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Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

Call Center

CommPartners Update

May 22, 2007

It has been a few years since I wrote about CommPartners and I am surprised at how much their business has transformed. The company is one of the few CLECs who seem to have figured out a business model that works.   CommPartners is a CLEC focusing on business customers and the company also sells access to their network on a wholesale basis. They have some impressive customers and as is all too frequently the case I can't share the list with you due to confidentiality agreements. Suffice it to say it is a group of carrier’s carriers and consumer VoIP providers you may even be using at home.   In a conversation recently with David Clark the CEO and Co-Founder of the company and Mark Peterson the VP of Sales & Marketing I got a chance to get up to speed on what the company is up to lately.   A few years back as the company built out their network they realized the future was in providing applications but they knew the market was not quite there yet.

Aculab Supports PCI Express

May 15, 2007

Some developer news of note is Aculab’s move to have the Prosody X DSP resource board support the PCI Express bus. This is not unexpected of course as this new bus is becoming more popular. Announced here in Santa Clara at TMC’s Communications Developer Conference there is also a promotional package being introduced which the company tells me consists of the following:   Product – Two Prosody X PCIe media processing cards, each supporting 300 voice channels and 2 E1/T1 trunks, with CSS/CAS/SS7 protocols.
Training – One delegate placement on a one day training course ‘Implementing VoIP applications with Prosody X’.  Courses will be onsite in Aculab’s offices in Milton Keynes, UK and Needham, USA.
Technical consultancy – Benefit from an Aculab consultant spending a day onsite in your office – sharing expertise on structuring solution architectures based on Prosody X and helping with the actual application development and testing.
Technical support – Free and unlimited access to Aculab’s technical support.

Functionality – Access to Aculab’s complete portfolio of media processing and signaling software, including SIP, H.323 and SS7, with an unrestricted number of channels.
Software updates – Free future software updates, including the planned roadmap functionality for IP and 3G mobile video support, wideband voice codecs, etc.   So the news here is a bit about the new bus support but perhaps most importantly the development package meant to sweeten the pot.





Asterisk Fuels Speech Technologies

May 11, 2007

If open-source telephony is going mainstream as I recently wrote about, then the subsets of open-source telephony are also booming. For example, speech recognition in the open-source world is becoming more and more important. Case in point, a company called LumenVox has been working closely with Digium to provide speech recognition to Asterisk users.   Using a speech API (in the world of Asterisk it is called an AGI or Asterisk Gateway Implementation) Asterisk users can now have access to LumenVox speech technology. In addition, Asterisk developers can use the familiar Asterisk Dial Plan environment for programming.

Skype for Salesforce

May 9, 2007

One of the stories which caught my eyes recently was Skype and Salesforce.com coming together to launch Skype for Salesforce. In the article there is a discussion of more and more call centers looking for ways to integrate Skype into their centers allowing any Skype user to seamlessly call in.   This story shows the growing need for companies to evaluate Skype compatibility in the products and services they purchase. There are certain segments of the market where this makes more sense than others.   In other words if your call center has wealthy American customers, Skype support may not be so important. If you have young international customers however, Skype support makes sense.   Is a Skype a must in your call center?

Open-Source Telephony Goes Mainstream

May 8, 2007

In the last few years the communications industry has been taken by storm through the invention of an open-source communications platform named Asterisk invented by Digium (www.digium.com) founder Mark Spencer. An article written for the January 2004 issue of Internet Telephony magazine by yours truly was titled, “Open Source Telephony. . .

VoIP Stories May 7, 2007

May 7, 2007

Here are some interesting stories worth reading. Incidentally, I now have a Plantronics CS70N installed at my desk. It is about the same size and weight as the popular Plantronics Voyager 510 with the difference being slightly more weight and thickness as well as a long voice tube which reaches your mouth.   I have been able to walk a few hundred feet (with massive amounts of RF emitting equipment in-between) from my base station before sound quality degrades.   Enjoy:  

Open-Source Call Center

May 4, 2007

Marketing in the New World Order

April 29, 2007

Tomorrow I will be speaking in sunny Phoenix, Arizona on “Marketing in the New World Order”. I often write about a plethora of new technologies and tomorrow I get a chance to weave together my knowledge of marketing and technology together and in doing so I hope to shed light on opportunities many companies are not yet taking advantage of.   Building communities, blogging and sites like Twitter will be mentioned as well as Web 2.0 and mashups. I am really looking forward to talking about this subject matter as it is an area I have a tremendous amount of passion for.   I am speaking for a company called Teledirect and the event is open to Teledirect sponsors and customers. If you fit one of these categories I hope to see you there.   Here is a link for more details.

Skype Announcements at Communications Developer

April 28, 2007

I was just perusing an article on Skype development from Greg Galitzine which consists of an interview with head of development for the world’s most successful VoIP software company. The interview is with Paul Amery the Director of the Skype Developer Program.   Here are some of the salient comments from Paul:   The breadth of developers who work with Skype is extraordinary. They range from 15-year old techies who are coding in their bedrooms to CEOs with more than 30 years of experience developing software applications. The uniting factor is that they all love Skype, and constantly want us to enhance the platform to help them do more.   The most popular application [Skype Extra] overall is CrazyTalk for Skype from Reallusion.

Ed Whitacre Jr.

April 27, 2007

Congratulations to Ed Whitacre Jr. for building a great big telecommunications company from an assortment of smaller ones. Certainly in this case the sum was greater than the parts.   Ed is about to retire and he can consider this my retirement present.   While I have perhaps had a rant or two over the years about net neutrality comments made by Mr. Whitacre, there is not a single person who can deny this man has achieved greatness in the world of communications and technology.   Ed Whitacre Jr. put AT&T back together again and left it in great shape.   The Board of Directors has chosen Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T's chief operating officer, to succeed Whitacre as chairman and CEO.   Randall has tremendous shoes to fill and it may be very tough to keep AT&T’s massive momentum going without even more acquisitions. These could consist of content plays such as perhaps satellite radio, internet companies and even advertising networks. Yahoo!
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