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Rich Tehrani
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Keep Bing at Microsoft

July 26, 2011

From a  competitive position, it would be major trouble to remove Bing from the deep pockets of Microsoft. Talk of the business being potentially sold to Facebook when that company needs to focus on fighting Google+ makes little sense. There are few other strong software companies beyond Oracle and Salesforce who I think could do a better job with Bing than Microsoft.

But like I said in May, Microsoft is doing as much as can be expected with Bing.

We know Marc Benioff loves Google so count them out of such a purchase - and Oracle, no fan of Microsoft or Google probably doesn't need the headache or the money-losing business as it is doing fine right now, thank you.

Microsoft has to continue to make Bing better while simultaneously forging stronger relationships with companies who are competing with Google. Facebook and Twitter are two obvious ones - perhaps LinkedIn is another company to work very closely with.

You see as long as Google is a dominant player in so many spaces, Microsoft can play the underdog position and work with all the companies they want.







GigaOm Tells You Why HTML5 Will Be Huge

July 25, 2011

It is no secret that HTML5 is important - the question is how big will it be? Word is out at GigaOm, that it will be huge - and moreover it is coming fast. Thanks to an article from Colleen Taylor, we also learn that Apple will have massive support for the platform. Moreover, Larry Dignan at ZDnet just wrote an article about how Amazon had to cave to Apple regarding in app purchases and how the only alternative for them and other companies is HTML5.

I couldn't be happier to see this activity around HTML5 as this is the week where TMC has launched its first ever DevCon5 event focused on HTML5 design, development and business opportunities.

TMC Dallas Video Interviews 2011

July 25, 2011

Recently I spent some time in Dallas doing video interviews with companies in the Dallas, Texas area and during the course of the discussions I was able to get a sense of where the markets have been and are going. The vast range of different opinions really comes together into a few themes.

They are simply that wages and turnover rates in India are skyrocketing meaning some jobs may be headed back to the US. This is offset by an interview with  King White of the Site Selection Group - an organization which helps companies decide which countries and states they should locate in. He tells us that states with higher taxes are less attractive and subsequently deter companies from opening there.

Nosh from Google a P2P Foursquare Meets Zagats

July 19, 2011

I just met with Craig Walker the Founder & CEO of Firespotter Labs and he went over where his Google-backed companies will be innovating in the future. As you may recall, Walker founded Dialpad and Grandcentral which eventually got acquired by and became the foundation of Google Voice. Walker explained his new company will be looking to disrupt markets where there is an opportunity to disrupt.

We can for example expect more disruption in telephony and the hospitality market was referenced by him as a space worth $600 billion/year and yet there has been little innovation beyond the buzzing pagers they give you when there is a line to get a seat.

His company's new app, Nosh available on iOS and Android aims to merge the best of Foursquare and Zagat with the p2p elements of having reviews done by users who could be your friends. You can rate food at the restaurant where you eat and you can share the rating with others - the scale is 1 to 5 stars.



Amazon Turns to Voters to Decide on Tax

July 14, 2011

Amazon has filed a petition for a referendum to allow voters in California to vote on whether they want to have the company pay sales tax in their state.

This in response to a new law recently passed in the state which requires online retailers to collect sales tax on sales in California.

Hanging in the balance are thousands of affiliates in the state who earn a living by displaying Amazon ads on their sites. Amazon has cancelled their ability to be affiliates as a result of the new California law and now residents of the sunshine state have to decide if they prefer to have the company collect sales tax on their state's behalf or continue having paid affiliates in their state.

It really boils down to more jobs or more taxes - and as is generally the case, more of the latter kills the former.









Did Social Just Make UC Irrelevant?

July 8, 2011

If you are working with a phone system maker who isn’t innovating rapidly, beware - their days could be numbered.

I hate to be sensational but you have to wonder, with real-time video & voice communications embedded into social networks where a billion or spend a good part of their day, is standalone unified communications now much less important? And with Google+ tying together all of Google’s activities from voice to video to Gmail and chat, will people prefer to make calls from their Google toolbar or something a PBX company provides?

Obviously Avaya with its Flare interface and Cisco’s Quad are examples of being ahead of where the consumer market eventually evolved to.

Search Marketing: Where it Pays to be Young

July 5, 2011

There is a crisis of unemployment in the US and those aged 16 to 19 are being hit with unemployment rates of 24% or almost three times the rate of adults. Worse yet, minority teens are seeing rates of unemployment as high as 41%.

There are a number of factors at play here - burst bubbles in credit and housing as well as margin compression due to price discovery on the Internet. The trend has gotten even worse as price discovery is now taking place via bar codes read by cellphones allowing consumers to buy from Amazon instead of the brick and mortar shop where they happen to be shopping and doing product comparisons.

Even worse, the Internet allows jobs to be outsourced with a mouse click and IP communications allows call center agents and other BPO jobs to be anywhere in the world. And these jobs are flowing to where there is less regulation and lower costs.

The good news is where the Internet takes away it also gives back.





China Repeals Trade Rule Favoring Local Companies

June 30, 2011

In order to get into Chinese markets companies have to partner with a Chinese firm which in effect means partnering with the Chinese government. In many cases this means signing over your technology as well. But companies look at the Chinese market with over a billion consumers with rising incomes and say the risk is worth it as the market is so vast.

The challenge is many companies have seen Chinese sales far smaller than their expectations. This is in part because it isn't easy to market in the country and also because the Chinese have had trade rules in place favoring local suppliers.

Thankfully, China repealed its technology trade rule favoring local companies meaning there should be more opportunity for outside companies selling into the country.



Sprint Tries Desperately to Block AT&T, T-Mobile USA Merger

June 28, 2011



At a time when wireless broadband is becoming so important to US consumers and businesses, how can it make sense to have less choice in the market? Moreover, as carriers shift from all-you-can-eat pricing to a tiered system, isn't it obvious that wireless charges for consumers are going to skyrocket?

These are some of the arguments opponents to the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA are making but AT&T spends so much on lobbying and is so well-connected, they seem to be close to getting their deal done.

The situation for Sprint is so dire, the company's CEO Dan Hesse is doing virtually anything he can to prove the deal is bad for consumers. This includes an 18-state push and tripling of the time he spends in front of Congress and regulatory bodies.

Generally any action has positives and negatives associated with it and Hesse has to prove that on balance, AT&T will either provide inferior service or higher prices as a result of this merger.

Certainly the momentum is on the side of AT&T and not Sprint but the government does need to sign off on this deal and if he can find enough sympathetic listeners he may be able to kill this deal or at least make AT&T have to give up some very painful items to get it done.

More from Bloomberg BusinessWeek.











Avaya's Support Strategy Emulates Successful Cancer Diagnostic Systems

June 23, 2011

It is an unusual occurrence for me to receive a call from any company to discuss their support. Generally the media gets all warm and fuzzy about tangible things like new product launches – scoops and items you can put in the category of breaking news. Ironically though if you ask most companies what differentiates them from the pack, service and support is typically the most common answer. Yet, I can’t remember other companies asking me to meet their new head of global services.

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