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Rich Tehrani
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Agito Networks

October 29, 2007

The amount of companies pursuing the fixed-mobile convergence market or FMC continues to grow at a torrid pace. The latest company to jump in with both feet is startup Agito Networks. I had a chance to meet with Dan Spalding the Director of Marketing and Communications and Pejman Roshan the VP of Marketing for the company to discuss their approach to allowing the world of fixed and mobile lines to merge.   Before we get into technology it may be worth noting that the people behind Agito are from the top firms in the wireless and tech business such as Cisco, Trapeze, Proxim, Spirent, Motorola, Palm and Good Technology. This never guarantees success mind you but it is certainly better than hiring a bunch of people with no experience.   Certainly this is a market with competition which is evidenced by my recent article about DiVitas Networks.

Covad Acquired by Platinum Equity

October 29, 2007

Covad was recently sold to private equity and this could be a good thing. The company made a big splash in the business VoIP segment years back but more recently Covad seemed to stop focusing on offering converged services and instead shifted the bulk of its messaging to broadband.   Part of the reason for this shift may have been service issues as I have heard complaints of poor voice quality from some of my readers over the years.   As a point of comparison -- during the last year, when Covad stopped focusing on the VoIP market, a competitor who is in the pure-play hosted VoIP space Cbeyond saw its shares rise over $11 or 36%. Cbeyond is now valued at $1.18 billion dollars in fact while Covad is valued at $191 million.   The new owner of Covad is Platinum Equity and some advice to the new company would be stay consistent. Promoting yourself as the ultimate IP communications solutions provider and then going dark for over a year sends a poor message to potential customers.   I started off this entry by saying this purchase could be a good thing and this is why.

DiVitas Networks

October 28, 2007

If you take a long walk through lower Manhattan you could very well end up in Greenwich Village, SOHO, Chinatown, Little Italy, the Meatpacking district or any other area of Manhattan bearing an interesting name and unique culture. Indeed, you can notice distinct differences in each of the above neighborhoods. In most cases the people in these different areas even look different.   Although we refer to this little island as the Big Apple, it is really an assortment of small apples of varying varieties. These separate pieces could just as well be located on different continents.   This is exactly how I feel about the communications space.

Communications Enabled Business Process

October 26, 2007

You may have heard the term Communications Enabled Business Process or CEBP. I always wonder where new acronyms come from so I did some digging. This particular term was developed by engineers who were bored by the current state of telecom terms. After all, there are only about 100,000 of them and it has been proven a single person can learn them all in a lifetime.   This of course was the impetus to develop CEBP as research showed most people will not even be able to remember what Communications Enabled Business Process stands for, let alone means.   Of course I kid and this is because I can’t believe we have yet another acronym to discuss, deliberate, explain, have conference sessions and webinars about, etc.

Polycom and Ekahau Partner

October 23, 2007

As the world becomes more interconnected (read: smaller), the need for increases in productivity grows exponentially. The reason is simple. The more countries get into the act, the more competition each company has to deal with.   Thankfully, technology comes to the rescue once again and to that end I would like to point out that WiFi telephony makes companies more productive in more ways than one. We all understand users can use a wireless LAN phone to hook into a PBX so as to not miss important phone calls.

IP Communications News: October 19, 2007

October 19, 2007

Some of the interesting news of the week shows SMBs will not only be going down the road to purchasing IP communications solutions – they will also be purchasing and installing security solutions. In my research this morning I also came across a wonderful article by SIP legend Jonathan Rosenberg discussing social networking, SIP, VoIP and Web 2.0.   Avaya made some news as well when it announced it will be supplying IP communications solutions to Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Of course, I am sure the fact that Avaya is located in New Jersey didn’t hurt this deal one bit.   VoltDelta made news as well by announcing AT&T is using the company’s integrated advertising platform for its 1-800-YellowPages offering in a number of southern states. The way the system works is simple… You listen to an ad and get free directory assistance information.   Rounding out this article but certainly not the end of the week’s interesting news is the fact the iPhone has been opened up to third-party developers.

Nokia N810

October 18, 2007

One of the best portable devices I have ever used is the Nokia N800. It was launched earlier than Apple’s iPhone and has many of the features the iPhone has but is better in many ways. It is not as portable as the iPhone but it does more and is a solid device for people who live in areas where WiFi is prevalent.   The one drawback was the Nokia did not have connectivity to any cellular networks. Another drawback was the lack of the keyboard.

Which PBX Manufacturers will Survive?

October 17, 2007

The following is a sidebar to the Publisher’s Outlook Column Microsoft’s Big Unified Communications Launch in the November, 2007 issue of Unified Communications Magazine.   ---   There are many PBX companies – well over 25. I am surprised how many of these companies survive “under the radar” thanks to their strong dealer network. Telephony is an interesting business in that relationships can be more important than technology and, oftentimes, price.   Having said that, it is obvious that more and more companies will start looking for UC solutions and not just a plain vanilla IP-PBXs. This means every PBX company must immediately have ready UC solutions either capable of adding value on top of Microsoft’s solutions or else sold as a viable alternative. They must find a way to position themselves for the future and convince customers they are leading, not trailing, in UC technology.   From there, they need to start producing leading-edge software.

Microsoft’s Big Unified Communications Launch

October 17, 2007

Please enjoy the Publisher’s Outlook from the November, 2007 Unified Communications Magazine.   ---   In the history of communications space there has never been a new product roll-out supported by over 50 other companies. Until October 16, 2007, that is. I write this article while on a returning flight from San Francisco, CA, where I got to hear Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and Business Division President Jeff Raikes speak about how Microsoft will change business communications forever through the introduction of a suite of unified communications software, products and services. And yes, over 50 other companies also announced related products and services.   Bill Gates explained to an extremely large audience that this announcement is about applying the magic of software to phone calls.

What eBay Should do with Skype

October 14, 2007

Please enjoy the unedited November 2007 Publisher’s Outlook column from Internet Telephony Magazine.   ---   OK, I was wrong. Really wrong. Over a billion dollars wrong in fact. Why?
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