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Rich Tehrani
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VoIP Growing at 53% to $24 Billion

August 15, 2008

The VoIP opportunity is still huge according to a new report from Infonetics Research. At a time when many industries are really hurting, hosted VoIP and managed IP PBX services grew 53% to $24 billion in 2007 after surging 66% in 2006.

Obviously much of this growth is as a result of PSTN replacement but it should be noted that once IP is in place, the potential to add services increases greatly. The great news is Infonetics anticipates growth in the strong double-digits until at least 2011.

Interestingly, IP communications boosts productivity and saves money at the same time. This makes it a great technology to invest in when times are good and times are bad.

Sadly, many companies get the deer in the headlights feeling when they see an economy slow and they sometimes stick with the status quo instead of making decisions which will save them money, boost performance and generate rapid ROI.

Interestingly I have noticed an increased focus on contact center and CRM solutions these past months which leads me to believe companies have finally figured out that if you serve your customers efficiently and well, you make more money.

Contrast this to the last slowdown in 2000 when companies decided to offshore their call centers to save money.









Communications and Technology Stories August 14, 2008

August 14, 2008

Please enjoy some communications and technology stories while having your morning (or evening) tea or coffee. My thoughts in brief -- Extreme is smart to jump on the energy efficient bandwagon, Jajah claims to have over 10 million users in the story below which is substantial. They also have a service which translates short English phrases to Chinese. Very cool but I am not sure this can be monetized.

Virtual PBX now allows callers to be pulled out of voicemail -- this great news and not easy to pull off for a hosted vendor.

McCain To Support Technology

August 14, 2008

It has been pretty shocking to me to see that the Bush Administration did not embrace technology in a more grand fashion. After all, Vice President Al Gore was so enthusiastic about the Internet he even claimed to invent it.

So while it seems like the companies of importance in the Bush administration have to do with energy, commodities and defense, we may see a McCain presidency focusing at least a little on technology.

In fact there will be a 10% R&D tax credit and opposition to internet taxes. In addition there will be an increase in H1-B visas (thankfully). McCain does not think we should have federal net neutrality laws -- the FCC and other regulators should deal with these issues he believes.

See this New York Times article for more.







Book Flights Now For ITEXPO West 2008

August 13, 2008

Many attendees have told me they are getting great deals on airfare to ITEXPO September 16-18, 2008. I happened to just price a flight and the cost was $306. Travelocity has a sale with prices from New York to Los Angeles starting at $285.

Also, many people have told me they will be using JetBlue and landing in Long Beach and Burbank Airports.

Here is a United flight I priced as a reference:

Flight:  United flight 21 on a Boeing 757 Jet <input type=hidden name=javascript_turned_off value=YES>   Depart:  New York-Kennedy, NY (JFK)- Tue, Sep 16 6:30am Arrive:  Los Angeles, CA (LAX) - Tue, Sep 16 9:44am      
Flight:  United flight 840 on a Boeing 757 Jet Depart:  Los Angeles, CA (LAX)- Thu, Sep 18 2:14pm Arrive:  New York-Kennedy, NY (JFK) - Thu, Sep 18 10:38pm  
The great news is that flight costs are dropping pretty rapidly meaning you can come the world's communications event and still have reasonable travel costs.







iPhone Vs. Kindle Magazines

August 12, 2008

iPhone Vs. Kindle?

August 11, 2008

Citigroup recently upgraded Amazon, saying more kindles will be sold than previously thought. The leading etailers stock zoomed upwards on the news in fact.

The analyst estimates Amazon will sell up to 380,000 Kindles in 2008, up from a previous forecast of 190,000. It expects Kindle-related revenue of $1 billion by 2010, compared with a previous view of $400 million to $750 million.

Many have surmised that Bezos wants the kindle to be the iPod or iPhone of books. Question is, do we already have an iPod of books and is it the iPhone?

Obviously there are trade offs between the iPhone and Kindles -- the iPhone has a color screen and worse battery life while the Kindle is better for reading large amounts of content.

I got to thinking about this as I noticed that Frommer Travel Guides are now available (press release) on the iPhone.







Interactive Intelligence on Contact Center Growth and More

August 10, 2008

One of the most innovative communications companies around certainly has to be Interactive Intelligence. Consider the company saw the unification of communications happening in the mid-nineties and launched products to take advantage of what they saw as a huge opportunity. While the rest of the communications space was awash is individualized, siloed solutions, Interactive Intelligence was busy building solutions which minimized the traditional box overload most call centers had to contend with.

Specifically, they focused on eliminating the need for a separate PBX, ACD, IVR, ACD, etc.

Leaving Montreal

August 8, 2008

I am am on way back from Canada and am happy to be headed home. As I leave, I just can't help but think that this country is an amazing place as it seems to have more communications companies per capita than anywhere else I know of. Israel could be a close second or could be ahead of Canada but I am not certain which gets the crown.

I have met company after company which is in this sector or that in the market. Lately I have been meeting with lots of companies making a living in wireless such as WiMax, FMC, etc.

It is almost impossible to keep track of them all.

Moreover I have had a great deal of positive feedback on my session yesterday and it was great fun to discuss next-gen marketing with a room full of tech-savvy people who really understand how the marketing world is changing.





IP Fax Still Growing Thanks to Unified Communications (UC)and VoIP

August 7, 2008

Today I had the opportunity to sit in on a partner conference Sagem-Interstar put on in Montreal to help its partners and customers. The conference was attended by a number of resellers/integrators from around the world but the ones I met were primarily based in the US. Some of the takeaways from the conference were that fax is still doing well and although many have predicted its demise, it is alive and well yet going through a dramatic transition.

In fact the company repeated what they have told me in the past - many companies still have no idea how many fax machines they have and how much fax traffic they generate.

Malicious Gadgets

August 7, 2008

The gadgets are coming... The (malicious) gadgets are coming. Sure we all know about gadgets/widgets and how they foster cross-site integration and the ability for users to take the best of various applications and data and meld them together in a single user interface.

While the concept of gadgets and widgets is not new, their growing popularity has become a target for hackers and this article points out some of the risks. Moreover it contains comments from Google on how gadgets are useful and their gadgets are generally safe.

My take is that gadgets and widgets are important parts of the future of the web and moreover, as technology gets more complex, the ability to fight off hackers becomes more important and at the same time, more difficult.





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