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Samsung Bribery News

January 14, 2008

Samsung has its hands in just so many things and subsequently it is worth sitting back and taking notice when the company is accused of setting up a slush fund and engaging in bribery.

Samsung Group is easily South Korea’s leading conglomerate. The company has 58 subsidiaries and accounts for over 20 percent of the country’s exports. Samsung Group’s assets are valued at more than $280.8 billion and its exports were worth $66.3 billion last year.

Scandals are not considered new to such huge South Korean industrial groups as Samsung. These conglomerates have regularly been accused of wielding their economic power to influence government decisions, as well as using shading dealings between subsidiaries to help controlling families to evade taxes and transfer wealth to heirs.

Read more on TMCnet.





Sprint Layoffs

January 14, 2008

The bad news keeps flowing for Sprint employees as there are now rumored layoffs coming. Still, with a new CEO, this news is not too surprising. Moreover, for shareholders these cuts will likely be welcomed as sales are slowing and churn is increasing. Sprint desperately needs to do something to make their company and service sexy.

Verizon has the best network from a quality perspective.

Cisco Invests in SoonR

January 12, 2008

Cisco has just invested in SoonR a company which supplies a service allowing computer files to be easily accessed by mobile phones or other internet devices. As mobile devices become more powerful and wireless broadband becomes more pervasive, this segment of the market is obviously going to be more important.

I recall in 2000-2002 that a few companies focused on solving this problem went out of business. I can't even remember the company names anymore but as happens often, the ideas were good but the timing was not.

But although this is just an investment, I get the feeling Cisco is eyeing what Microsoft, Apple and Google have done in the mobile market and wants in.

Let's not forget RIM and the company's soaring stock price. Certainly mobility has much potential and if SoonR competes with anyone today, perhaps it is RIM with the company's popular Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) software.

I think we will see Cisco making acquisitions and/or rolling out more products in the mobility space this year.







Good Bye Jeff Raikes

January 11, 2008

Good bye Jeff Raikes.

Raikes did a great job at Microsoft and in the unified communications space he should be commended for rolling out a slew of strong products and doing a fantastic PR and marketing job promoting them. He will be retiring from Microsoft soon.

Microsoft is an interesting animal in that they are so large that sometimes I think they are too big to get things accomplished quickly but at the same time they surprised me by rolling out good products in the unified communications space in a relatively short amount of time. They also got a large group of partners to buy in and simultaneously promoted these products very well via extremely effective marketing and public relations campaigns.

Unlike many companies in the communications space who change marketing strategies virtually every quarter, Microsoft has stayed consistent with message. They really understand marketing better than the typical communications or tech company.

Stephen Elop the former COO of Juniper Networks will be replacing Raikes and there is much speculation about why Microsoft did not look internally to fill this position.







IP Fax Reliability

January 11, 2008

IP Communications News January 4, 2007

January 4, 2008

If you just can't get enough IP communications news then you are a lot like me and I do feel a bit sorry for you.  Either way, there is lots of great news happening in this first short week of the new year.

Some of my favorite news is Vonage settling the AT&T Patent dispute, P&G receiving an award for wireless VoIP and the Simulscribe recognition. Enjoy:

Excel Telecommunications: 2007 a Good Year for SIP Trunking, 2008 Even Better




The Latest on Mitel

December 17, 2007

Nortel Sues Vonage

December 17, 2007

Vonage just can’t catch a break these days and seems to be the target of more lawsuits related to patent infringements than just about any other company out there. The latest patent fight is with Nortel, a company who says Vonage is infringing on twelve of its patents.   ``Defending our intellectual property rights is a top priority for Nortel,'' said Nortel spokesman Mohammed Nakhooda. ``That's why we are seeking damages and to put an injunction on the use of our technology with respect to Vonage.''   ``The litigation is ongoing and both parties have filed and will continue to file papers,'' said Vonage spokesman Charles Sahner. Nortel's filing ``is a countersuit in defense.''   Generally speaking when a company becomes as high profile as Vonage they also have an arsenal of patents.

Genesys Buys Informiam

December 11, 2007

Genesys– once called Genesys Labs is one of the companies at the head of the CTI (computer-telephony-integration) revolution of the nineties. Often referred to as a middleware company, Genesys always seemed to fight the designation. In reality, Genesys was just so good at connecting call centers consisting of disparate equipment; they never entirely shook this “middleware” reputation.   Eventually acquired by Alcatel and later merged with Lucent to form Alcatel-Lucent the company became a smaller part of a large parent.   Until today, the Genesys division has been quiet for a company of its size. This is not unusual in such situations but today the company made an acquisition which may signal more moves to come.   Genesys purchased Informiam a company focusing on reporting and analytics.

It’s Google Vs. the Carriers

December 8, 2007

This past week at the VPF Winter event in Manhattan on a panel dedicated to the intersection of the internet, media and telecom I made the prediction that the company with the biggest advertising network will win the media and telecom war. My comments went unchallenged for a while the audience asked questions relating to fiber capacity and the like. Thankfully, Hunter Newby was sitting to my left and the rest of my esteemed panelists handled optical questions while I wondered silently why no one said anything about comments. Did the whole room agree with my thoughts I wondered?   And then suddenly, someone in the audience asked if anyone wanted to challenge my assumptions and then all hell broke loose as questions started to pour in regarding Google’s ability to be a serious telecom threat.   Here are some points made by both sides:  
  • Google is giving away many services for free and they are ad supported.
  • Many of these services don’t make money.
  • How can Google be a threat to telecom if none of their new services seem to be successful?
  • It doesn’t matter because the mere threat of Google in many industries is enough to make VCs wet themselves and scamper away like hurt children.
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