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Rich Tehrani
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Undersea Cable Cuts

February 5, 2008

Podcast Interview: 8x8 VP Marketing Huw Rees

February 5, 2008

8x8, the company behind Packet8 service has been doing a terrific job running their company with positive financial results and new services which are innovative and unique. Some are video-based, some are mobile and others are in the call center market.

Two weeks ago I had a chance to speak with Huw Rees the VP of Sales & Marketing at the company onstage at ITEXPO in Miami, FL. The talk went very well and there was tremendous feedback from the audience so I decided it made sense to talk with Rees in a podcast format allowing listeners who couldn't make the keynote to hear what is happening at his company and the industry as a whole.

Some of the items discussed have to do with Gov. Schwarzenegger's recent California Broadband Task Force report, mobile services, the SMB, and a host of other issues.

One area worth mentioning is marketing as the company is competing against at least one competitor who has told Wall Street that they will buy market share at all costs. We also delved a bit into patents and how intellectual property can be used as a defense and offense.

Hope you enjoy the podcast.







Aretta's Hosted Asterisk Tastes Great

February 5, 2008

In the nineties when communications manufacturers gave the market few choices and there were many proprietary options, companies like Dialogic, NMS Aculab and others came on the scene and gave users choice by allowing them to purchase DSP resource boards which let computers become communications processors. For the first time you could build your own PBX, prepaid calling card system or anything else you could want.

Best of all, you could have it any way you wanted it… Not just the way the manufacturer of a product-line dictated.

At this time Marc Fribush was working at Dialogic and was selling DSP boards for a variety of the applications outlined above. More recently, Mark is the president of Aretta Communications and when he started his company he had a vision of leveraging open-source communications to change the market the way the DSP resource board changed communications in the nineties.

Fribush took hold of Asterisk and decided the market needed an embedded IP PBX that was dropped in on premise, eliminating the need for custom installation.

Just as they he was going to market with this idea, Digium decided to launch its own appliance. So the idea was then to push the Asterisk idea up into the cloud where it would benefit from diesel generated backup and a direct internet connection.

The next step was to use virtualization and to pack 50-70 instances of Asterisk on a single server.

This business model is awash in successful buzzwords.











Foundry Powers XM

February 5, 2008

Level3 Cuts

February 5, 2008

It seems that Level3 will have some more cuts as a result of a steep loss this quarter. Over 1,000 people or 16% of the company's workforce will be getting the axe according to TheStreet.com. I was a bit surprised by this news actually. I didn't think things were this bad for the company.

Part of the reason I was caught off guard is that I have been hearing that in many regions, the company has pursued an acquisition strategy which put them in the position of being one of a few fiber carriers and this resulted in increased pricing power.

My contacts in the carrier hotel space however predicted the company would continue to have problems.



ITEXPO East 2008 Videos

February 1, 2008

Charlotte Wolter Joins TMCnet

January 31, 2008

I am proud to announce that Charlotte Wolter is joining our roster of TMCnet contributors and she  will be writing about the service provider space. I have been a huge fan of Charlotte -- her insight and writing and am thrilled to have her join us.

Earlier this week, we announced Gary Kim is joining the TMCnet team and just about a week earlier it was Jon Arnold joining us. The TMC team keeps growing and it is thanks to all of our loyal readers like you as well as our sponsors and advertisers.

Garmin and Dell in Cells

January 31, 2008

Motorola Explores Spinning off Handset Business

January 31, 2008

Word is according to CNBC is that Motorola is looking for strategic alternatives for its mobile phone business. I wonder if this move makes sense for the company as this product line is where everyone seems to want to be. Apple, Google, Microsoft and others.

It seems the company just needs to figure out how do get their mobile house in order. It will be interesting to see who wants this business and if it can return to its former glory with other leadership.

At a time when consumer electronics products are literally on fire it is still surprising to me that Motorola has not been able to grow this business and make it the leader in mobile phones that it really should be.

Let's see what the next chapter holds.

See also Greg Galitzine's blog, Is Motorola Finished with Handsets?







ITEXPO East 2008 Recap

January 30, 2008

You definitely want to check out Tom Keating's writeup of ITEXPO East 2008 where he talks about the great products he saw. Tom got to see more than I did at the show but one point I agree on is MobileMax is an awesome product. Thankfully I had a chance to stop by the company's booth at the show and install the software on my Windows Mobile device.

The company's software resides on a smartphone and intercepts international calls which are subsequently rerouted onto a VoIP network. I am trying this software via Packet8's MobileTalk product.

I can tell you from personal experience that this software works amazingly well and allows you to easily call international numbers from a cellphone without the need for calling card PIN codes, etc.

The best thing about this product is that it requires zero change in user behavior.

There is also a JAVA-based solution coming which will work on Motorola and other handsets which are not technically "smart." Users with such handsets will need to select an icon on the home page to dial an international number.







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