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Rich Tehrani
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Call Center

VooDooVox

October 10, 2007

I thought I had heard it all when it came to telecom. I have been doing this job long enough that I have seen probably ten thousand companies come and some go.   VooDooVox however has a new twist on telephony and will now allow people on hold to listen to ad-supported news and sports scores.   In addition the technology allows radio stations to actually answer the thousands of many unanswered calls they can receive each day. You can now easily poll these callers and/or you can get personal information and build an e-mail list.   In short, VooDooVox has a great idea in taking inefficiency in the telecom space and eliminating it.   I know the question you are likely asking – Rich, do they have a prayer at being successful (pun intended).   Are they guaranteed to be successful – no. But the company could do well in a few niches in my opinion.

RingCentral VoIP

October 8, 2007

The folks at RingCentral have had a great virtual PBX service for ages and it was almost a surprise to hear the company still didn’t have a VoIP module. Even if you weren't aware... Fear not as I've got your back and I mentioned it back in June of last year and again a few months ago. In my most recent article I ended it with the following:   The service has some big news coming soon which will make it even more useful but I can’t tell you yet what it is.

Siemens Unified Communications

October 7, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mark Straton the Senior Vice President of Product Marketing at Siemens about his thoughts on unified communications and where the telecom market is headed. Straton spent the early part of the conversation talking about Microsoft’s vision.   This vision in his words is basically that the first generation of VoIP solutions were tied to hardware but now you can overlay the communications software and migrate to a fully software-based approach. It should be noted the Siemens VP agrees with this vision.   But he argues that Microsoft has started to put walls around their systems. He says other providers must operate within this environment.   Straton thinks there needs to be an open approach to UC and one vendor cannot provide everything – we need flexibility he says.   Straton mentions to scale such a solution is a very difficult task… He points to the decades of telecom development embodied in the HiPath 8000 from people who are communications experts.   At this moment he took the opportunity to explain the fact that HiPath sales are rapidly accelerating at a number of major Fortune class organizations including the deployment of a massive hosted solution provided by Global Crossing in the UK.

TMCnet Searches

October 5, 2007

I thought it would be interesting to see what people search on when they come to TMCnet. It should be noted these searches are on TMCnet proper which unfortunately at the moment does not include blogs.   These numbers should be taken with a grain of salt because if a search is embedded in a web link and that link is crawled repeatedly by search engine spiders you come up with a situation where numbers may be skewed. Be that as it may, it is worth sharing some of the information from the last month if for no other reason than as a diversion from more important pursuits such as doing your (and my) job.   1 Avaya No surprise here but shouldn’t Cisco be more popular based on company size and product portfolio? 2 Witness+Systmes I get the feeling this is one of those odd pages (with a typo by the way) that gets crawled repeatedly.

Dialogic Buys Cantata

October 5, 2007

Dialogic has been gaining a great deal of momentum this past year and now this momentum has increased substantially as the company has just announced they will be acquiring Cantata. This deal gives Dialogic access to huge fax market share as well as the Excel and SnowShore product lines, significantly enhancing Dialogic’s position in the service provider market according to Jim Machi the company’s Vice President of Marketing.   Machi also explained this acquisition will be significant for Dialogic customers as there is a great deal of service provider know-how which Dialogic will now have access to. He further mentioned the company is extremely excited about this transaction.   In the nineties there were a number of companies in the DSP resource board market -- Dialogic, NMS, Brooktrout, Rhetorex, Aculab and Pika Technologies were some of these names. Through a series of acquisitions Rhetorex became part of Brooktrout which changed names to Cantata.

Call Center Flash Demo

October 4, 2007

Over a decade ago I came across Interactive Intelligence, a company who looked at the call center space as an area ripe with opportunity. They decided to market products which did exactly the opposite of what others were doing at the time.   While most companies were focusing on pushing box after box after box -- one for the ACD, another for the dialer, workforce management, etc… Interactive Intelligence decided to unify the communications mechanisms and deploy software as opposed to hardware. Their solution was to have a single configuration interface, navigation menus, etc.   I was thinking about the past decade in communications as I came across this interesting Flash demo from the company. It seems like more and more companies are now doing with Interactive is doing.   This demo talks a bit about the company and the Customer Interaction Center solution they provide.

Unified Communications Gaining Momentum

October 3, 2007

In less than two weeks the communications market will be bolstered by the announcement of Microsoft officially entering the unified communications space in a major way. As a show of their support for the market, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates will be speaking about the opportunity to a live audience.   To get an idea of what Microsoft will be rolling out be sure to read my recent article on the company.   The significance of this news cannot be underestimated as Bill Gates is not used by the company to push technologies which are not core to Microsoft’s strategy. If you need proof that Microsoft is serious about unified communications, imagine at a time when Microsoft is rolling out new music players and some of the most popular video games in the world, Bill Gates is taking time to talk unified communications instead of video games or music players.   I would imagine if there is nothing to slow the momentum down, 2008 will certainly be the year of unified communications. This will hopefully be good for the entire communications industry and give more choice for corporate customers.

Verizon Voyager: iPhone Killer?

October 3, 2007

With all the hoopla surrounding the iPhone it is not surprising that Verizon Wireless is touting a suite of new phones and one – the LG Electronics Voyager is being touted as an iPhone killer. The device runs on the faster Verizon Wireless data network (Probably EVDO Rev. A) and has a keyboard. These are the two Achilles heels of the current iPhone. The device is similar to Apple’s phone in that it has a touch screen and web browser built-in.   So will this device be an iPhone killer?

Phil Hill

October 2, 2007

Welcome Phil Hill to TMCnet as a columnist. Phil’s column is titled Hosted Hearsay and his first article is titled Small Business VoIP: Is it an Elephant or Gorilla? Where he discusses the reason why all SMBs are lumped together.   Here is a salient part of the article:   Small Business is a Big Market While similarities between eating five-toed pachyderms and the small business market may seem a stretch, let’s remember that they have one thing in common: they’re both very large. According to U.S. Census data, there are 5,083,750 businesses in the U.S.

Response Point

October 2, 2007

For at least a decade PBX manufacturers would speak to me off the record about their trepidation regarding Microsoft entering the phone business. For those companies who hoped the day would never come, they should probably avoid reading this article from TMCnet’s Greg Galitzine detailing the availability of Response Point.   Microsoft has partnered with a number of companies to bring these systems to market. Some of the partners consist of Quanta Computer, D-Link and more recently Aastra. The cost for the systems is between $2,500-$3,000 for 4-5 users.   I have used Microsoft’s Response Point phone system both in TMC Labs and in Microsoft’s Redmond office.
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