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Rich Tehrani
| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space


Monkeybars Lets Social Could Cut Out Middlemen

January 20, 2012

Think of all the ways technology has changed commerce. Most every city for example was littered with photo processing huts and with the advent of sites like ofoto, now part of Kodak and entire layer of businesses between the buyer and seller was wiped out. Likewise, mall owners have seen the pain caused by Amazon and other ecommerce sites. Craigslist crippled the newspaper classified business; Google has massacred all sorts of industries by sucking the life out of advertising profitability and moreover ravaging the direct mail industry.

11 Things Yahoo Must Do Now That Yang Has Stepped Down

January 18, 2012

As reported on TMCnet yesterday, Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo! has stepped down from the board to pursue other interests. We have a great deal to thank Yang for – as the first company to categorize the web and build out many free services, society has benefit greatly from what Yahoo has more or less given away for free. That is the positive – the negative is the company has eroded top management and investor confidence for many years. Not to mention the botched Microsoft acquisition some years back at a valuation more than double what the company is worth now.

Zennstrom Onto Next Big Thing: Wrapp

January 3, 2012

Niklas Zennstron is on to the next big thing – the intersection of mobile, social and local – by investing in a new company called Wrapp which allows users to send gift cards via social networks. In a nutshell, you see it’s a friend’s birthday on Facebook and then send a gift card. They receive an email and the store scans it.

The twist here is companies could potentially offer free gift cards for sending, allowing you for example to send someone $10 which the store would in theory book as a referral fee/coupon meaning this fee becomes a marketing/customer acquisition cost.

Does PhoneDog Lawsuit Mean a New Twitter Revenue Opportunity?

December 27, 2011

Gadget review and news site PhoneDog is suing a former worker Noah Kravitz over a Twitter account even though when he left the company he changed his Twitter handle from one which implied company sponsorship (@PhoneDog_Noah) to one which didn’t (@noahkravitz). Kravitz said he had the company’s blessing until they changed their mind after Kravitz began promoting PhoneDog competitor TechnoBuffalo.

As a result, his former employer is suing for $2.50/month per Twitter follower or $340,000 over eight months. PhoneDog says in its complaint that this amount is in line with industry standards but it is unclear which standards they are using.

Will Companies Be Forced into Google+?

December 24, 2011

A month or so ago, Google started to integrate corporate Google+ results into its SERPs or search engine results pages. On the one hand this isn’t such a surprising move as a few days after my Google+ personal page went live it showed up in a Google alert for my name.

The potential challenge here is with this new search result behavior Google may be using its near-monopoly in search to take over another market – namely social networking. While the majority commenters on this post seem to think Google is within its rights, the DoJ may have other thoughts on the matter.

Intel Sees HTML5, Ultrabooks and More in Tech's Future

December 23, 2011

This past August Intel invested $300M in an Ultrabook fund and if you haven’t had a chance to use these high-end laptops from companies like Asus and Toshiba – you should… They are pretty incredible. Light, thin, efficient and fast. I have finally lost my MacBook Air envy. In fact a trip to Best Buy a few minutes ago got me so revved up about this category I’m looking for new risky things to do with my relatively new laptop to hasten its demise.

Will Microsoft Departure Kill CES?

December 22, 2011

Can one major defector kill a trade show institution?

It happened with COMDEX – the show got so big that it exerted tremendous pressure on companies to spend more and more money to keep their coveted locations on the show floor. Location – being in the North Hall of Las Vegas was so important in fact that companies acquired others so they could improve their location! And as the desire to be in an important location increased, show organizers decided to increase the sizes of the booths exhibitors had to take in order to remain in important halls.

Avaya's Top Communication Trends in 2012

December 16, 2011

Recently I had a chance to have an in-depth conversation with Avaya about the trends they see for 2012 in the communications space. In particular I spoke with George Humphrey a Director and Line of Business Owner at Avaya and Diane Royer, Senior Marketing Services Manager.

The trends below are at times augmented or enhanced with my thoughts.

1) Mobility raises the expectation of availability

Google Currents Crashes Newsreader Party

December 9, 2011

Flipboard calls itself the pocket-sized social magazine and this is an apt description for a social newsreader so popular that this week when it launched an iPhone edition, it was overwhelmed with traffic and crashed. Obviously there is tremendous interest in this category which explains why in April of this year the company raised $50M at a $200M valuation.

Another player in the space Yahoo! has Livestand, an app which has improved over the months but still has a somewhat non-intuitive user interface.

Will Rockit Redefine Social CRM?

November 18, 2011

What happens when you merge social CRM, location based marketing, mobile marketing, loyalty rewards and targeted social marketing? The answer is Rockit – a new company whose goal is to prove to the world that managing customers in the new multichannel, multimedia world is far from “rocket science” (get it?).

The company provides a loyalty-enabled platform allowing customers to sign up for offers in categories of interest or by company and these companies can use the platform to track customer loyalty, communicate and push out special offers and incentives.

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