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Strategy Change: Make Money

October 21, 2008

In my conversations with a number of CEOs of small tech and communications companies, one thing has become clear. The market for exiting businesses has become tougher. This is common sense and the added challenge is with today's stock market valuations, there are thousands of bargains out there. This just means the odds of a start-up or existing concern getting picked up at significant valuations has been considerably decreased.

There are a number of company heads who have recently come to the conclusion that while hoping for an acquisition by Google, Cisco and others they need to simultaneously work on getting customers.

Dialogic: Video is the New Voice

October 21, 2008

One of the more exciting conferences I have attended lately has to be the Dialogic One Event at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, CA. Rob Martinez, VP Sales Americas kicked off the event, speaking to global partners from over 125 companies who were in attendance at the kickoff session last night (see pictures throughout). Martinez thanked the enthusiastic crowd and sponsors and explained what we would see over the next few days. After a short intro, Martinez handed the microphone and stage over to Nick Jensen, the President and CEO of Dialogic.

Jensen was right at home on the stage and as always, was full of passion and enthusiasm.



Dialogic One -- Day Two

October 21, 2008

Aastra 57i and 57i CT Reviewed

October 17, 2008

Aastra is a great engineering company and they have a really interesting phone -- the 57i CT which has a DECT base-station built-in, allowing a second cordless phone to follow you around a 300,000 square foot (27,870 square meter) area, so you don't miss important phone calls. Lately I have been hearing more and more PBX companies touting Aastra phones and many in the open-source space seem to especially like them.

Tom Keating spent a long while reviewing this phone and the 57i which has no built-in DECT capability. He seems to like them both and gives them two thumbs up.



I should mention I also have had a chance to beat up (the technical term I use when I test a phone repeatedly -- in reality I think I am one of the best reviewers around because I seem to naturally find flaws in products without even trying -- Tom also seems to have this ability/talent/gift -- curse? ) a 57i CT for a number of months and it works very well.





Dialogic One 2008 San Diego

October 17, 2008

I will soon be heading out to the Dialogic One event in San Diego and hope to see my friends and colleagues there. Dialogic has been and continues to be a major communications infrastructure player. As the markets have evolved, the company has shifted its business model to respond to areas which require more DSP processing and along the way picked up a number of former competitors.

Now the company has a complex array of solutions which can be used to solve a variety of communications challenges.

I always like to hear what Nick Jensen has to say about the market and his perspective is always unique and generally optimistic. I am curious to hear how current economic variables are meshing with his outlook.

Aside from Dialogic, you can come to the show and meet with the company's partners.





Adtran Earnings Rise, Declares Dividend

October 14, 2008

Adtran just released earnings for the third quarter and the good news is they were 4% greater than a  year ago. For the year, Adtran is ahead by by 11%. The company has also declared a quarterly dividend of nine cents per common share.

What does this news mean to the communications sector? Well, it is obviously positive and bodes well for how the communications and tech spaces can do as things slow down.

As you recall, the last 60 days or so have seen major global economic problems and to be able to beat last year's earnings in such a tumultuous environment is a great accomplishment.

This positive communications news follows up on the recent news that AudioCodes has reaffirmed their yearly guidance.

It is difficult to predict what the next few quarters will look like but it seems a number of the companies in the communications and tech space are pretty well-prepared for a potential slow-down in the general economy.

With the ability to boost productivity and lower costs, communications and technology can really help companies get through a slower economy without the need to cut heads.









CBX 2008 Video Interviews

October 14, 2008

Some months back I was invited to be the video reporter at the Telx CBX event which took place in Brooklyn, NY. You have likely already read my CBX blog posts but I neglected to post the video interviews themselves. They have been on YouTube for a number of months but now you have an easy reference with links to all of them:

Overview The Best of Packet Exchange Jason Velody/Chuck Storman PointOne Vic Bozzo Telx Tesh Durvasula Telx Eric Shepcaro Stealth Communications Shrihari Pandit WBS Connect Scott Charter Calient Networks Jim Diestels 4Connections Bill Kosnik



TMC Video Launches

October 12, 2008

SnapTell: Mobile Game Changer

October 12, 2008

Game changing is a term used too often - and sometimes in the media we think something will bring about big change when in fact it doesn't. No one has any way to know for sure when an idea is going to change paradigms but I have been experimenting with software for the iPhone which really has the potential to change the way we interact with our environment.

SnapTell Explorer is a free application which allows you to take a picture of the cover of a CD, DVD or book and in about 30 seconds or less, looks up the item in a database, presents you with a summary and allows you to search for it online and even buy it on Amazon.

In tests, the software was very good.

Avatars: The Cursor in Communications 2.0

October 10, 2008

One of the people with a long history in the communications space is Neal Shact (pictured) -- CEO of Communitech Services. In the past, Shacht has been a distributor in the headset market and has been early in many new markets such as VoIP, call centers and others.

Shact points out it is impossible for customers to know what they want in UC. He mentions the old story that Henry Ford once said people when asked what they wanted in transportation said, a faster horse.

His point: you need a communications roadmap. Don't rely exclusively on your UC vendor to dictate what you want and need.

You want to check out this podcast as it is rife with references outside communications -- and the tie-ins are fascinating.





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