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Rich Tehrani
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Cisco

ITEXPO TMC University Courses Expanded

June 26, 2008




I promised yesterday that we would be devoting great focus to ITEXPO this week and to kick things off I want to ensure you are aware of the TMC University courses which will be offered at the show September 16-18, 2008 in Los Angeles. We have been running TMCU sessions for many years and we have had hundreds of graduates who walk away from the event better educated on various topics and if they pass the test at the end of the session(s), they also have the bragging rights of a diploma which can boost their resume value and get them valuable consulting/reseller assignments.

The program has focused on open source, SIP and IP-PBX topics in years past and for the first time we have greatly expanded the number of courses provided to ensure we can help you get certified in multiple courses at once. These are the important areas of the market where the seems to be great interest in certification as well as hiring.

Here is the complete list of topics and a page with the details.

  • Microsoft OCS
  • FMC/Mobility
  • Open Source
  • IP Network Security
  • Unified Communications
  • SIP
  • Software as a Service
  • SIP in the Contact Center
  • Next-Gen Call Center Management

  Date Course        

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Microsoft OCS
Learn More  

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

FMC/Mobility
Learn More  

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Open Source
Learn More
 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

SIP in the Contact Center
Learn More   Wednesday, September 17, 2008 IP Network Security
Learn More
  Wednesday, September 17, 2008 SaaS
Learn More
  Thursday, September 18, 2008 Unified Communications
Learn More
  Thursday, September 18, 2008 SIP
Learn More
  Thursday, September 18, 2008 Next-Gen Call Center Mgmt
Learn More


Come to the show and try your luck skill at becoming a happy graduate, along with the hundreds of your peers. Be part of an elite group -- only at ITEXPO.






























NXTComm, VPF, ITEXPO and More

June 25, 2008

I am back from NXTComm, the Voice Peering Forum and my trip to Vancouver. It is good to be home and I have so much to share. A few things you should know about are the fact that TMCnet was on-hand at NXTComm doing video interviews with a number of the movers and shakers.

Here is one of these interviews with Erik Linask and Sam Lisle from Fujitsu. This interview page has a menu of all the interviews so I hope you enjoy them all.

On another note, my team and I will be gearing up to put the final touches on ITEXPO which takes place September 16-18, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.



The Importance of Communications

June 21, 2008

Do we realize the importance of what we do? I have been thinking about this question a great deal lately. I see the amazing technology being developed by the entire industry and I just can't help but wonder - do we realize how important we are to the world economy. I am far from an economist but I know that when productivity improves so does the standard of living.

Cisco's Managed Services Push

June 17, 2008

It has been an interesting day so far here at NXTComm. The first meeting of the day was with Cisco who plans on becoming a much bigger player in the managed services spaceā€¦ Al Safarikas the Sr. Director, Wireline Segment Service Provider Marketing at the company shared some thoughts on how Cisco is helping service providers worldwide deploy managed services.

One issue that came up is what precisely is the definition of managed services. From Cisco's point of view it is as follows:

Information technology which is remotely managed and provisioned, delivered as a finished product - operated by skilled professionals from a NOC.

Safarikas mentioned where the equipment sits is immaterial and this makes good sense.

Other points worth noting from our conversation are as follows:
  • Predefined SLAs that are negotiated with end users
  • It does not matter where the box sits or who owns them
  • Companies want managed services to support business initiatives

From there we discussed how Cisco helps its partners deliver managed services.

The company has expanded on the popular Cisco Powered program and helps its partners with sales and marketing, providing channel managers and other services to ensure a partner's success. AT&T Telepresence is a great example of this.

I asked what pain Cisco takes away for customers and to this Safarikas replied, "Partner with Cisco and improve your chance for success with managed services - We have the best technology, understanding of the marketplace, best capability of building [our customer's] operating capabilities through Cisco professional services."

This was a pretty memorable meeting and Cisco should be commended for looking to help the industry by defining terms such as managed services.















Packet8 Virtual Trunking

June 12, 2008

Last month I discussed a rumor regarding 8x8/Packet8 providing SIP trunking services. It turns out this rumor was true as today the company released the news they will not only provide SIP trunking but a more comprehensive product they call Virtual Trunking.

Virtual Trunking performs just like SIP trunking - assuming you have an IP PBX which supports SIP. For those of you who do not, you can still take advantage of many of the benefits VoIP has to offer as 8x8 will provide equipment courtesy of Carrier Access to connect your older PBX to their IP communications network.

It is important not to confuse this service with a double-play offering which may bundle DSL or cable but instead you can consider it to be nomadic - so you can easily move the equipment to any Ethernet line meeting the quality criteria.

The service is available throughout the US except Alaska and Hawaii where the company currently does not have telephone numbers. Competition to the service comes from ILECs, Cbeyond, M5 and a number of others.

More than one 8x8 investor has asked me about whether this is a good move for 8x8 and I think it is because it allows the company to extend its customer base to larger companies meaning more opportunity to monetize its existing network.







Hyperconnectivity, Live and in Person

June 11, 2008

You can't escape the reality that interconnectivity between humans will increase at a more rapid pace as time goes on. The myriad ways in which we connect with one another, e-mail, social networks, blogging, IM, SMS, telephone, voicemail and others are mushrooming.

It seems obvious that today's teens will demand social networking in the workplace meaning IT departments will have to support these myriad communications mechanisms while dealing with the repercussions of compliance management. Not allowing social networks into your company may even be a deal-breaker when hiring the best talent in the market. We may see a time where publicly traded companies fearful of social networks will lose workers to smaller companies who are more social-network friendly.

Another challenge is web browsers on phones.



Sipera Looks To The Channel

June 11, 2008

Build Communities With Google's Help

June 10, 2008

Let's say your company plays in a few different spaces such as information technology, security and storage. And let's say your company has decided to build a community of interest which is dedicated to a specific subject area as you are hoping like-minded people will visit the community regularly and begin to associate your company as a leader in the space and hopefully some of these people will become new customers.

In this example, your resources are limited and even if they aren't, you need to choose one of these above areas to build your community. Assume each of them has equal market sizes and growth rates and you need to determine where the highest level of search interest lies.

Using the updated Google Trends, you can now see a graph over time of search volume on a relative and absolute basis and this information can be exported for analysis.

You may find for example that storage interest spikes around the year-end holidays but also seems unusually high in May of each year... This information can be useful in your business as it helps you see how people are searching for various terms.

If you have read my blog before, you know TMC has been building communities (Global Online Communities, Channels) for companies in the communications and technology space for some time now.







Podcast: AudioCodes Mediant 1000 MSBG

June 10, 2008

Recently, AudioCodes released the Mediant 1000 MSBG (Multi-Service Business Gateway) a device which combines the following: media gateway, enterprise class session border controller, data router, firewall, LAN Switch, WAN access, Stand Alone Survivability and an on-board general purpose server.

This is a big product release for the company and from what I hear there has been positive reaction from the market. In addition, this release shows the progress AudioCodes has made expanding on the solutions acquired from NetRake a few years back.

In order to learn more about this product I conducted a podcast interview with Nimrod Borovsky, Vice President, Marketing, Enterprise Business Group at AudioCodes. In the interview, we discuss how this product fits into the competitive landscape and we also delve into the benefits the gateway affords Service Providers, Businesses, OEM and ISV Customers. It is worth a listen and I hope you enjoy it.



T-Mobile Lawsuit Repercussions

June 10, 2008

Rob Adler has an interesting take on the T-Mobile/Starbucks WiFi lawsuit at his Vantage blog. His point? That the PR hit of winning a lawsuit which takes away WiFi from millions of users will be extreme. I can't help but wonder if the general public would ever be aware of the lawsuit.
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