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Rich Tehrani
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Allworx

September 5, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask Sandra Gault, EVP of Marketing at the rapidly expanding communications product company Allworx about the evolution of IP communications in the SMB space, VoIP and the direction her company is taking.   Allworx provides businesses with all the mission-critical communications support in a single system. They combine PBX and Key phone functionality with PC network services, along with VoIP, secured Internet access, remote office, group collaboration tools, and messaging software such as email, voicemail, unified messaging, follow-me calling, and group calendaring.   To learn more about the company, read this article published on TMCnet from earlier this year. Be sure to read this interview to the end… The answer to the final question is pretty surprising.   RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives. SG: Our initiatives continue to enable the 3.5 million small to medium-sized (SMBs) businesses in the U.S. to transition risk-free and affordably to the benefits of VoIP, replacing the aging installed base of TDM key telephone systems that are incompatible with VoIP.

Fonality FtOCC Training

September 5, 2007

Nortel on Microsoft/Cisco

September 4, 2007

The following comments are from Nortel’s Tony Rybczynski regarding the new relationship between Microsoft and Cisco. I found them interesting and worth passing along.   ---   I was on holidays in Eastern Europe when the photo shoot took place. During my travels I learnt that the Austrio-Hungarian empire was largely created by making love (through arranged marriages) not war.

Miss Teen South Carolina

August 31, 2007

It is all about the education. Miss Teen South Carolina hit the nail on the head when she said our education system in the United States needs to improve so as she says, US Americans can one day hope to aspire to be as well-educated as the people of Iraq and South Africa. At least I think that is what she said – you may watch the video for yourself and decide. Of course as she reminds us, we need to also include the Asian countries so we can help build up our future.   If you haven’t seen the video, make sure you are sitting down first.

Polaris IP

August 29, 2007

Polaris IP is a company you probably never heard of but they have a patent on an e-mail routing system and are using it to sue the Internet’s largest companies. In particular, Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, A9, Borders, AOL and IAC/Interactive Corp among others are named in a suit claiming infringement on patent 6,411,947.   With ITEXPO just around the corner I haven’t had the time to delve deeply into this patent. Here is the abstract:  
A method for automatically interpreting an electronic message, including the steps of (a) receiving the electronic message from a source; (b) interpreting the electronic message using a rule base and case base knowledge engine; and (c) classifying the electronic message as at least one of (i) being able to be responded to automatically; and (ii) requiring assistance from a human operator. The method for automatically interpreting an electronic message may also include the step of retrieving one or more predetermined responses corresponding to the interpretation of the electronic message from a repository for automatic delivery to the source.
  This patent seems to apply to a number of advertising related companies as they all use a machine to determine which ad will be served based on web page content.   The original patent claim was applied for by a company called Brightware.

Inter-Tel

August 28, 2007

Inter-Tel executives Aron Aicard (Director of Product Marketing), Jon Young (Director, Softswitch Technology) and Rick Ringel (Strategic Solutions Engineer), gave me this exclusive interview. They talked to me about Inter-Tel’s new corporate initiatives, the impact of SIP technology, and the future of the market in general.   Recently merged with Mitel Networks Corporation, Inter-Tel is a high-profile provider of business telephone systems and related software products.   It will be interesting to see how Inter-Tel/Mitel does under the leadership of the capable Mitel and Inter-Tel management. This includes of course Sir Terry Matthews who seems to turn everything into gold.   Please outline your new corporate initiatives.   Now that its merger with Mitel has been concluded, Inter-Tel is working closely with its colleagues at Mitel to broaden its collective suite of solutions to deliver seamless, advanced IP platforms, applications and services to businesses ranging from large enterprises to SOHO environments.        How has SIP changed communications?   We are only in the early stages of SIP acceptance, but Inter-Tel sees SIP—and other industry standards—as integral to the evolution of business communications.

BlueSocket

August 28, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask Mads Lillelund, president and CEO of Bluesocket, about the evolution of the IP communications space, its acquisition of Pingtel and the direction his company is taking.   Bluesocket provides open wireless security and management solutions designed to simplify the complexities of mobile enterprises. Bluesocket provides end-to-end product portfolio for universities, healthcare organizations, government institutions, libraries, and enterprises to deploy, secure, manage and profit from their wireless LANs. The company’s products allow its customers to build secure, manageable, global WLAN deployments that support mobile workers simultaneously.   To learn more about the company, read my previous blog entry regarding Bluesocket.   RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives. ML: Bluesocket recently acquired SIP-based enterprise communications solutions leader Pingtel to establish a solid foundation for the delivery of converged mobility and unified communications. Combining Bluesocket’s award-winning WLAN and security capabilities with Pingtel’s SIP PBX technology puts Bluesocket in a leadership position to meet the mobility needs of its customers. As 2007 progresses, look for the release of the next-generation Bluesocket MIMO access point compliant with draft two of 802.11n along with a variety of feature and performance enhancements across our entire WLAN controller and access point product family.

Call Center Outage

August 28, 2007

A call center outage could be disastrous for your business. Some of the largest call centers sell millions of dollars worth of products and services each hour so an outage of minutes can be devastating to the bottom line. According to Boston.com, NStar the Boston gas and electric utility had a four-hour outage in their call center due to AT&T cable failure.   This outage on top of the recent Skype outage written about last week are both wake up calls for any business looking to ensure they can communicate effectively at all times.   Even if you do not have a contact center in your company, dhow would you like to be the person explaining to the CEO why his call to your company’s top client was dropped unexpectedly.   These wake-up calls should be heeded and you should definitely be at ITEXPO in a few weeks to ensure you are aware of the latest technology which can help your company avert communications downtime.   Here are some parts of the event worth noting:  

Virtual Customer Interactions

August 25, 2007

This is my next Customer Interaction Solutions High Priority column. If memory serves it will be the October, 2007 issue. As often happens this will be the unedited version. If this is of any interest be sure to subscribe digitally to the magazine so you don’t miss an issue.   -----   On a blustery day at a Virginia Beach hotel a decade or so ago, a group of call center decision makers gathered to hear Rich Tehrani, Group Editor-in-Chief of TMC speak on the topic of evolving customer service and technology.

VoEX

August 24, 2007

VoEX, Inc., is a VoIP managed-service provider offering global peering infrastructure, network interoperability, industry-leading quality of service, and advanced applications capabilities for top tier carriers, mobile operators, cable operators, voice service providers, academic institutions and enterprises. VoEX maps the world’s phone numbers to resolvable IP addresses by combining an advanced carrier-grade VoIP peering infrastructure with the world’s largest carrier ENUM registry — now totaling over 250 million phone numbers — to interconnect IP, TDM and hybrid-network service providers.   I recently had the opportunity to discuss industry trends with Cyril N. Matthews, Director of Registry and Network Services at VOEX. For more on the company be sure to check out a March 30th, 2007 discussion between Cyril and Russell Shaw.     RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives. CM: Our company has built our network on IP at the core and we are working with our customers and vendors to push IP to the edge of the network (using ENUM and other technologies) to provide a base for the development of applications that can take advantage of the IP-based environment to drive convergence.   RT: How has SIP changed communications? CM: SIP has opened up communications to the level of flexibility and innovation previously seen in personal computing… creating the ability for personal communications such as Instant Messaging (text, voice & video), as well as other presence- and location-based applications.   RT: What is the biggest request coming from your customer base? CM: Give me something to help me differentiate what I do from my competitors.   RT: How are you answering their demands? CM: We are working with our customers to develop solutions   RT: What do you think the future of the market is? CM: Applications that seamlessly blend voice, video and data with real-time (inter)personal communications.   RT: How does the U.S.
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