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Rich Tehrani
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Is AT&T Using Investment Angle to Silence Blumenthal?

March 25, 2011

One thing you have to give AT&T a tremendous amount of credit for is knowing how to work the regulatory system - legal, financial and lobbying to get deals done. They are absolute masters and off the record I hear amazing things about just how connected they are. And they will likely need to pull on all the strings they have access to in order to make the T-Mobile acquisition happen.

So realizing the US is a Republic made up of 50 states, the company has now begun working on public opinion in individual states. Consider that today alone the company has put out two releases regarding their building of what they call the most advanced mobile broadband experience in Cincinnati and Connecticut.

In boilerplate press releases where a few items are changed, the company explains that in the greater Cincinnati area it is going to install 10 new cell sites, add spectrum carriers to 35 cell sites, enhance backhaul to 100 cell sites to enable 4G and deploy a distributed antenna system at the Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium to enhance network coverage during events.



KickStarter Gets $10M Funding

March 18, 2011

Yesterday I wrote about the new Tembo Trunks concept and how it could have been inspired by the African vuvuzela and now, the news is out that KickStarter - the company helping to get Tembo Trunks off the ground just received $10 million in funding from Union Square Ventures and others.

It's an interesting business model as it seems to blend funding and marketing to fledgling companies and it could do very well with a few mega hit products.

Union Square's Fred Wilson said his team was immediately taken by this marketplace where anyone could fund and follow creativity of all kinds. Moreover, he continued by writing:

Kickstarter is a very important and fundamental idea that will most certainly be part of the answer. Simply put, Kickstarter allows everyone to fund the projects they want to see come to fruition. The creators set the amount of funding they need and the marketplace determines whether the project is worthy of funding.






How China is Unleashing a Sales Boom for Tech and Media

March 14, 2011

Shanghai at Night
In many parts of the world, rampant pirating of products takes its toll on businesses costing billions of dollars of lost sales and value. While countries like Iran violate rampantly with no signs of improvement, others are slowly making changes.

China is one of the countries under the spotlight because it is growing incredibly fast and so many manufacturing jobs have fled to the country and in return, many there aren't paying the originators for software, movies, music and various other products.

The US has complained to China for years and although there hasn't been much progress, there has at least been the promise of progress from the country's leaders. This is why I called the Apple App Store the OPEC of the West in June of last year. My thinking was, even though I am not a fan of closed app stores, at least Apple is ensuring people get paid for their hard work.




iPad 2 Hands On Review

March 14, 2011

Without a doubt, the iPad 2 continues in the Apple tradition of attracting legions of followers who wait in line for hours in order to be one of the first to acquire the latest and greatest in consumer electronics. With long lines all weekend in many stores, buyers were faced with numerous choices if they did make it to the front of the line. Which carrier – AT&T or Verizon? What color – white or black?

Massive Lines for iPad 2

March 11, 2011



Larry on my IT team was nice enough to scout around Norwalk, CT looking for an iPad 2 for me and this is the photo he sent back from Best Buy. Larry says at least 60-80 people were in it. The going rate to cut the line is $500 BTW. The AT&T store across the street from TMC HQ had four units and they sold out quickly. And forget about getting many retailers carrying iPads to even think about answering phones today.

It is obvious that Apple has built tremendous consumer trust and if a tablet manufacturer even dreams of penetrating Apple's massive market share they need to way over deliver.



Earthquakes and Tsunamis to Help or Hurt Cloud Growth?

March 11, 2011

If your cloud services relay on a data center which is in an area affected by a natural disaster and your users or home office is not, you probably look at the recent disaster in Japan as a negative for cloud-based services. the reality is however that once your services are in the cloud, you will be able to more easily have access to computing resources which are geographically dispersed.

Moreover, generally speaking, a data center is more resilient to natural disasters than a typical office would be. This is the case for example with the Terremark building in Miami, FL which while located in a hurricane zone, is one of the most disaster-proof structures you will find. This is likely why the US government virtually owns an entire floor of the building and moreover why Verizon decided to buy the company as it expands its cloud strategy.

Larry Dignan has more analysis on the topic at ZDnet and its worth a read.



How Cloud Computing Could Destroy VARs

February 17, 2011

A typical VAR is used to frequently selling large ticket items which may not all have the largest margins but in volume can throw off a good amount of cash and profit. As a result, many resellers have developed a business model with commensurate expenses and as the market shifts to cloud-based services with OPEX budgets being used instead of CAPEX, customers are reducing their immediate spend and spreading their dollars over months if not years.

And the typical VAR is not ready for the shift. This is what was discussed in a recent conversation at TMC headquarters in Norwalk, CT with George Fandos, Vice President of Global Data Center for Westcon Group.

In a conversation, I learned this $3.5B distributor has tremendous insight into how VARs need to prepare themselves for the future. Moreover, I had a chance to learn how the company has become a large distributor of Cisco products via their Comstor division and they not only distribute but use and are fans of Cisco UCS solutions as they are faster to configure and reduce the need for cabling in a data center.

The company is focusing on the flattening of the network, virtualization and cloud-based solutions.





Electronic Warfare is the Future. Are You Ready?

February 14, 2011

Stuxnet is Victory at Entebbe 2.0

The Stuxnet worm alleged to be the work of Israel and the US was designed to target and disable Iranian centrifuges by increasing their speeds to dangerous levels while reporting to operators that all was well. The latest report from the New York Times shows this worm has also hit five industrial sites in the land of Ahmadinejad.

It’s no secret most of the world does not want Iran to get nuclear weapons and the best weapon being used to deter the country’s nuclear program was sanctions and if they are working it would be tough to know it as the country are prospering greatly as the price of oil is much higher than what Iran has budgeted.

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.





Verizon Drives Stake Through Heart of Net Neutrality

January 27, 2011

Updated with modified quote from Hunter Newby January 28, 2011, 8:15 AM EST

Updated again January 28, 2011, 4:37 PM EST for grammatical reasons

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My views have shifted on net neutrality over the years - to the point where I firmly believe that carriers have the right to recoup investments they make in networks.

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