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Rich Tehrani
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ITEXPO West 2011 Austin Highlights

August 23, 2011

Before all ITEXPO events I do a final proofread of the show directory and this one may be the biggest ever at 132 pages with tabs (just doing our part to support the economy). We will post a PDF version soon so you can see what’s in it but until then, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Keynotes & Exhibits Tuesday, September 13th at 9:15 AM we have Ian Pennell from Cisco and at 4:30 PM-5:30 PM we have keynotes from Siemens and IBM followed by a Grand Opening Networking Reception sponsored by Interact from 5:30-7:30.

Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM we have keynotes from Polycom and DHL followed by exhibits from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM there is a Cocktail reception sponsored by Rackspace Hosting and at 4:45 you could win a pair of mountain bikes from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - an Austin Institution ( I am told).

Got Big Telecom Data? You Need Infinity Ear from Empirix!

August 16, 2011

OK, this isn’t a real product name – yet but you could potentially help pick it – be sure to let the company know if you have a name for their new product line.

I sat down with Tim Moynihan and Gordon Eddy of Empirix at SpeechTek and was happy to hear the company has been experiencing double-digit growth. Testing companies like Empirix are a great barometer for the markets they serve as they grow with the percentage of deployments in the spaces are in. In this case, the company is seeing increasing orders as a result of the migration to IP so SIP trunking and SBC deployments have really helped the bottom line.
Moreover, companies are seeking out testing services from Empirix before they deploy CRM, call center and UC services.

Mergers have been another positive factor in the company’s growth as companies have to ensure their disparate systems can interop smoothly before they go live as part of a more seamless network of communications systems.

An interesting area of expansion will be introduced this fall – analyzing “big data” for the telecom space. The point here is big data is being scraped and analyzed with positive results in data centers but there has been a lack of tools to do the same in the telecom space.

Latest Trends in Speech Technology, CRM, IVR, Collaboration and Cloud Computing

August 14, 2011

Speech analytics in greater demand

At the recent SpeechTek 2011 conference in New York I gained some great insight into the state of speech technology. For example, Jeff Schlueter of Nexidia told me his company’s speech analytics solutions have been in greater demand in this current economy as the desire to control costs has led to increased adoption of speech analytics. In addition, the company has released version 9.0 of its Enterprise Speech Intelligence product suite which cuts the TCO in half and allowing for customers to handle even larger amounts of data.

Will AT&T, T-Mobile Merger Slow Wireless Innovation?

July 25, 2011

AT&T has done an incredible job of getting special interest group after group to endorse its merger with T-Mobile, saying it will provide better broadband access for minorities, rural subscribers and just about any group of people you can think of. The broader gay community too has endorsed the merger - apparently transgender-Americans have been hoping for the day when there was one less GSM provider to choose from.

Here is how the system works - AT&T has hundreds of thousands of workers and inevitably large numbers of them in myriad groups. This in turn coupled with large contributions to various organizations and associations is rewarded with the reciprocal endorsing of anything AT&T requests.

To help grease the wheels even further, AT&T has further upped its lobbying budget by 58% according to PC Magazine.

AT&T is doing the smart thing by getting rid of its sole GSM provider allowing it better negotiating leverage in its roaming agreements with foreign carriers and gaining the ability to raise rates with one less major competitor to depress market pricing. It will also gain more leverage when negotiating with hardware and software companies.

An anti-merger video by the Free Press Action Fund

If the US government blocks the deal it will be because the remaining major companies AT&T and Verizon will have so much share that they are effectively a duopoly at about 80% - allowing them to raise prices at will.

Again, if you are an AT&T or Verizon shareholder, you likely want this merger to happen and AT&T is serving its short-term  shareholders well by seeking this transaction.

But the challenge I see is that with one less major telecom carrier in the US it becomes that much more difficult for innovative start-ups to launch, get funding and hold their breath long enough for a carrier to buy from them.

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.

Quad: The Death of E-mail and Cisco's Social Enterprise Ambitions

June 20, 2011

Quad moves to the cloud, has native Cius tablet support and offers better interoperability

Last week I took a train into the city from TMC’s Connecticut HQ to spend time with the Cisco Quad collaboration team – using Cisco telepresence technology and it was a fascinating look into the company’s foray into a post-email, collaborative enterprise world. First things first, I wrote about Quad and spoke with Murali Sitaram VP/GM of Cisco's Enterprise Platforms unit last September and since then Quad has not been talked about much in the media and has limited buzz in the market. Moreover, Cisco is repositioning itself – lightening up on consumer products meaning much of the company’s messaging has been in other areas of the market including launching consumer telepresence product UMI – something which should never should have gotten the green light.

Leading SIP Client Bria Gets Upgrade to 3.2

April 6, 2011

The Other Side of the iPad 2 Hype

March 3, 2011

While virtually every article you read about the iPad 2 release is positive and I expect it to be a hit - I already instructed my team to get one for me, there are two sides to every coin. For example, Seth Weintraub has a great piece on CNN/Money - Fortune the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field where he discusses how information is being presented in a potentially misleading manner.

Perhaps the item which is most shocking is claiming the iPad 2 is the first tablet to ship in volume with a dual-core processor. The Dell Streak 7, Motorola Xoom for example both are shipping and have dual core processors. Moreover the Atrix is a dual-core phone which is shipping in volume.

The question of course is what does "in volume" mean?

Why PAETEC Acquired XETA Technologies

February 9, 2011

Updated at 6:15 pm EST 2/9/11 with comments from Arunas Chesonis chairman and CEO of PAETEC at bottom

Last week at ITEXPO the rumor on the street was PAETEC may be doing a deal in India soon since Chairman and CEO Arunas Chesonis was in the country. Well it seems if this is the case it comes on the heels of another purchase - XETA technologies was just picked up by the company today.

I know what you're thinking - the company is on a mission to roll-up all other companies who use all caps in their names. Of course you are only partially right as PAETEC sees strong synergy here as XETA is a large reseller of Avaya, HP, Juniper, LifeSize and Mitel gear with a strong focus on the healthcare, financial and retail markets.

For Xeta, the move makes sense as its long-term chart looks like the Manhattan skyline just after the Empire State Building was built - basically a massive valuation around the Y2K/dotcom time frame when most companies were installing new gear. Other than that it has been mostly in the $2-$3 range for the last five years or so.

ITEXPO East 2011 Tues, Feb 1, SIP Trunking, Cloud Computing & More

January 30, 2011

Be sure to get to ITEXPO on Tuesday, February 1st to take advantage of what has shaped up to be a great pre-conference day of networking and learning about communications and technology.

First up us Ingate's SIP Trunking Workshop at 1:00pm. Here is the schedule for the day:

  • 1:00pm – The Case for SIP Trunking
  • 1:30pm – Delivering SIP to the Enterprise
  • 2:30pm – The Value of a Service Provider Demarcation Point
  • 3:30pm – Ensuring Interoperability: The Key to Service Revenue Growth
  • 4:30pm – Addressing Security Issues
  • 5:30pm – Generating Revenue from HD Video
  • 6:30pm – Wine Reception

Then at 2:00pm is Telecom One-on-One, a JS&A Power Networking Event. Bring lots of business cards and the sooner you start planning, the more meetings you can schedule and the more networking you can do.

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