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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

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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.

T-Mobile Suing Starbucks

June 7, 2008

T-Mobile is already not thrilled AT&T will replace them as the service provider of choice in Starbucks stores, now the GSM-based service provider who was early to embrace WiFi is losing revenue due to the new AT&T/Starbucks promotion of free WiFi in its stores.

While the news came out around February 11th that AT&T and Starbucks would provide free WiFi service, according to these court documents T-Mobile learned of this arrangement on or around March 30th.

Here are the salient points from this lawsuit:

  • In early 2008, Starbucks, AT&T and T-Mobile negotiated some agreements allowing a structured and seamless transition allowing AT&T to replace T-Mobile as the WiFi provider in Starbucks stores.
  • During the transition period, T-Mobile and AT&T would each promote the other brand via web pages which are displayed when a user logs onto the wireless network.
  • In addition, this page would allow customers to be authenticated by an existing subscription with either service provider.
  • AT&T and T-Mobile would not pay each other for using one another's networks.
  • Starbucks rolled out a promotional plan allowing its customers using a Starbucks card to register the card at starbucks.com and at this point the customers are directed to an AT&T page.
  • Since every US market is covered by T-Mobile except for Bakersfield, CA and San Antonio, TX, T-Mobile loses the opportunity to be marketed in front of these customers in other markets.
  • In addition, these cards are available to everyone, not just AT&T customers.
  • The agreement stipulates only AT&T customers are to have this right.
There is more but you get the idea... The point is if you have a T-Mobile account today, why not cancel it and use these cards instead to ensure you have access to the internet for free.

Based on the documents it is apparently T-Mobile thinks that Starbucks and the relationship they have with the behemoth of a coffee house is important to their success. Om Malik finds it funny that a coffehouse is a key pawn between two telecoms. He has a point.







Mobile Virtual Worlds Emerge

June 4, 2008

There are so many communications companies pushing products and services revolving around virtual worlds, one wonders if we are about to see a new subset of communications break out and achieve mass appeal like VoIP, the iPhone or Blackberry. Do you think we could see a time when we all have avatars -- or even multiple avatars used when communicating with different people?

Think about it... A work avatar in a suit, a casually dressed avatar for hanging out with your friends and yet another more "elegantly dressed" avatar for communicating with members of the opposite sex.

I recently wrote that Nortel, Dialogic and NMS are in this space but I forgot to mention that IBM too is deploying a virtual world communications system for US intelligence agencies. (Credit goes to Tony Rybczynski for reminding me yesterday of this).

Nortel recently espoused how we will one day use avatars on our mobile phones and it seems they were right on -- at least in theory.





Will LTE Fuel IMS?

June 3, 2008

Will LTE fuel IMS? Bob Emmerson seems to think so and he has a great point. With similar elements defined in WiMAX, LTE and IMS, the chances that carriers will have to install more and more IMS components are good. Similar to how you put a few pieces of a puzzle together at a time only to find your entire puzzle is solved before you know it, expect carriers to look at their networks and say that with a few more dollars they will have full-fledged IMS and the benefits such a framework allows.

Another point worth making is that IMS is due for a revival as we have already gone through the hype phase and there is less buzz around this term than there has been since its inception.

Flat Rate Voice/Data Plans for SMBs

June 3, 2008

Headed to Telx CBX 2008

June 3, 2008

Later this week I will be a video reporter at the Telx CBX (customer business exchange) event in New York. I always like the CBX events and am looking forward to meeting with the companies in the carrier hotel space (many lease space in the Telx interconnection facilities throughout the US) who come to network and exchange ideas and do business with one another.

I reached out to Telx to get a quick quote on why you should be at the show and Tesh Durvasula, Chief Marketing Officer of Telx had this to say,"With over 400 NANOG attendees at the Marriott and by moving CBX to Thursday to accommodate those traveling in for ITW and GTM in Washington which ends on Wednesday, our theme 'all roads lead to the CBX' is the final networking event of a week filled with major international meetings featuring ISPs, Carriers, Service Providers and more."

Here are some more notes on the  event from the CBX website:

This year's event is shaping up to be the biggest in Telx history. 2007 was a year of tremendous growth and change at Telx as we integrated various acquisitions that included 10 Meet Me Room Facilities from Digital Realty Trust and NYC Connect, the Meet Me Room at 111 8th Avenue.

2008 offers to an aggressive start as we integrate our latest acquisition, 21,000 of Colocation Space in Dallas at 8435 Stemmons Freeway. Our growth doesn’t stop at acquisitions though, we were recently announced as the first company to Host a NANOG in New York City.

Attendees will have the unprecedented opportunity to network with over 1,000 industry decision makers in one of New York's most spectacular boroughs.

See you there this Thursday, June 5th, 2008.











Of IP Communications and Broadband Reliability

June 1, 2008

I came across an interesting article in the New York Times by Randall Stross which discusses consumer VoIP services, the differences in quality between them and the general trend towards multiple services of lower reliability replacing a single service (PSTN) of extreme reliability.

What is interesting is comments by Comcast regarding the reliability of the company's service as compared to Vonage. The cable company stresses that their quality is better. They go on to say, because they have control of the network, they can provide better service. This is a true statement of course -- any internet telephony service can potentially be inferior to the quality of IP telephony -- where packets do not flow across the public internet.

Then again, as broadband speeds get better and better, the quality of internet telephony improves as well.



Speaking at IP Sizzles 2008

May 30, 2008

I am really looking forward to IP Sizzles 2008 -- formerly VoIP Sizzles 2008. What is it you ask? Well I am glad you did. IP Sizzles is an event put on by ABP which focuses on educating resellers on the the opportunities available in the IP communications space.
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