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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

Cisco VARs Feeling Microsoft Pressure

November 10, 2007

I saw an article in CRN titled Cisco VoIP VARs Feeling Microsoft Pressure and I found it interesting that Cisco VARs are having to deal with customer doubt regarding selling unified communications solutions.   Imagine this news is coming less than a month after I wrote Microsoft’s Big Unified Communications Launch which discussed Microsoft’s official entry into the space with a Bill Gates cameo appearance in San Francisco.   What amazes me most is that Cisco has shipping products and is such a dominant player and the threat of Microsoft entering the Unified Communications space is slowing down the networking giant’s telecom sales.   One wonders if Cisco VARs are having such problems are the VARs of other PBX players feeling the pain as well? Many of the other players in the market are doing their best to embrace the Microsoft Unified Communications strategy so perhaps this challenge is unique to Cisco and Avaya.   Why do I throw Avaya into the mix? Only because they haven’t tied themselves closely to the Microsoft UC strategy as of yet.   At the last ITEXPO this past September in Los Angles, CA, approximately one in five VARs I spoke with said Microsoft’s entry into the space would change the competitive landscape. Most were not concerned.

ITEXPO East 2008 Brochure Available

November 8, 2007

Ditech Networks

November 8, 2007

In the many IP communications demos I hear each year I am consistently amazed at just how good the quality of VoIP can be. With today’s wideband codecs the sound is remarkably better than the PSTN. This is especially true when I listen to 3D stereo VoIP.   The first issue of Internet Telephony magazine which was the first publication in the world focusing on IP communications came out in February, 1998 and in all the years since we have seen the IP communications space explode with growth. Sure there have been ups and downs but we can safely say at this point the technology behind internet telephony has changed the world for the better.   But this does not mean every VoIP call today sounds fantastic.

ITEXPO Discount – Act Fast

November 7, 2007

Sometimes I think I have the best job on earth as I get to meet with the real thought leaders in the communications market and see the latest products and services in the industry. Then I get the distinct pleasure of writing about my meetings.   Now there are times – don’t get me wrong – when I am on deadline and I can’t seem to type a cohesive sentence. But other than these few times each year, I have a great job made even better when I get to meet my many readers in person at trade shows and events around the world.   Each year, thousands of service providers, enterprise decision makers, resellers and developers come to TMC’s Internet Telephony Conference & Expo to learn about what is happening in the world of IP communications and to make purchasing decisions   In an effort to get to meet more of my readers in person, I would like to offer something I have never offered before… A major discount to attend ITEXPO, the world’s best-attended IP communications event drawing attendees from over 100 countries.   As you can see from these photos and videos, this is the world best attended IP communications event. We are very excited to have you come to this show.

Nortel is Back

November 6, 2007

Recently it is has been a mixed ride for communications companies as those relying on tier-one service providers for the majority of their growth have been battered. Case in point is Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent who each have lost over $15 billion in market capitalization in the last three months alone.   On the other hand companies like Cbeyond and ShoreTel have been fantastically well as they focus on the small business market exclusively.   Enter Nortel, who has a mix of products in its portfolio serving enterprise customers as well as service providers in the wireless and wired spaces. The company’s shares have been decelerating since early in 2004.   So Nortel’s prospects for beating earnings this quarter were less than clear. Would they have a great quarter like so many technology names with worldwide exposure or would they have a terrible quarter like both Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent?   Well the results are in and the news is very good as the Toronto-based company said it had net income of $27 million or 5 cents per share in the third quarter.

IP Communications News November 6, 2007

November 6, 2007

What are some of the interesting things happening in the wide world of communications today? For one, Excel telecommunications and Allworx have partnered to provide SMBs with SIP trunking and a PBX solution respectively (check out the SIP Trunking channel for more news on this segment).   The SMB space seems to be brimming with choice as Cisco too has decided to focus more energy on this are with a series of new additions and upgrades to the company’s product line.   In a more patriotic move, ReCellular has launched a program allowing people to donate their old cell phones so the proceeds can be used to provide calling cards for US troops around the world.   Moving to the software world, Aspect Software has moved up on the Software 500 list at 76 overall – a nice 6 place increase from the prior year.   Moving right along into the service provider market, Pactolus Communications has recently announced a quarter million session benchmark translating into upwards of 8-10 million subscribers served on an ongoing basis.   From their lets discuss the consumer market where Packet8 has done something new by updating the firmware on its Tango Video Terminal Adapter in order to allow it to also be a digital picture frame when not engaged in an IP communications call.   Priced at $99 after mail-in rebate this is one of the greatest IP communications values around. Having recently spent around $700 myself for two digital picture frames n the past few months I can tell you this price is good.   As always, the TMC team is diligently writing more articles for your perusal so check back often for more exciting developments.

Quantcast

November 6, 2007

You are likely familiar with Alexa, a division of Amazon that measures website traffic. I have written about the site a number of times before. A while back I discovered a site called Quantcast which is becoming a well respected third-party way to measure web traffic in an accurate manner. Currently Quantcast allows you to see how many unique visitors any site has.

FonalityCRM

November 5, 2007

Fonality has made quite a splash in the open source communications market and the most recent news coming out of the California company is an acquisition of Insightful Solutions Pty Ltd, one of the world’s largest SugarCRM development houses.   I had an opportunity to have a podcast interview with Fonality CEO Chris Lyman about the acquisition, the future of telephony, CRM, unified communications and the market in general.   As part of the transaction, Fonality will also begin selling Insightful’s SugarCRM managed service offering called FonalityCRM. The solution is integrated with PBXtra and trixbox Pro and provides click-to-call dialing, agent screen pops, telephone campaign management for outbound sales teams, and a host of other features. It is hosted at one of the six Fonality data centers and available immediately to PBXtra and trixbox Pro customers worldwide. The underlying FonalityCRM managed service platform was developed by Insightful to provide a complete on-demand offering that is updated, maintained, backed-up and available 24x7.   As you may expect, Fonality will leverage Insightful’s knowledge and experience when supporting SugarCRM deployments, as well as support of its other solutions.

This acquisition is infinitely logical and also provides a tipping point in the open-source market.

Open Handset Alliance and More

November 5, 2007

Another week and other massive avalanche of news in the communications space. The first item worth sharing is regarding Google shaking up the foundation of the mobile phone market. The funny thing is, editors and bloggers have been looking to find the Google phone for months and instead of it being somewhere, it will be everywhere.   If you missed it the company has launched an Open Handset Alliance which aims to open things up in the cellular communications space. Specifically the alliance is a total of over 30 companies working together to produce low-cost phones whose development is supported by advertising.

Fluke

November 3, 2007

In the world of advertising the expression commonly used is “perception is reality.” Moreover companies are often branded by customers. If I say IBM, you will say mainframes. Oracle? Databases.   Sometimes I feel it is my job to help uncover companies who have a broader portfolio of products than is generally appreciated.
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