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Rich Tehrani
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Apple Shatters the Hardware is Unprofitable Rule

January 21, 2011

What you can learn from a company that shatters conventional wisdom like an elephant in a Swarovski store

Before you line up the virtual rotten tomatoes to hurl at me through the screen I want to give you the following disclosure… I am going to defend Goldman Sachs. You see, John Cassidy just wrote an article in the New Yorker to explain that is Apple twenty-times as profitable as Goldman Sachs when measured by return on assets.

He goes on to explain part of the reason is that Apple doesn’t record its patents for products like the iPad as capital – then again he points out Goldman doesn’t do this for its trading algorithms either.

Polycom Has Great Earnings

January 20, 2011

ITEXPO East 2011 speaker and exhibitor Polycom just announced earnings which were ahead of expectations. Fourth quarter net-income soared two and a half times to $33M or 37 center per share. Earnings were 49 cents per share beating analyst estimates of 43 cents.

Another ITEXPO participant Adtran announced amazing earnings this week and it is a very exciting time to be in the tech and communications spaces.

As always, there are winners and losers but it seems for companies who can execute and hedge their bets by playing in multiple markets, you can do very well - as evidenced by the positive earnings news from many players in the market.

See these and many other leading tech companies at ITEXPO in Miami in about two weeks.











Crucial Google and HP News

January 20, 2011

Here's a quick digest of the news you need to know from the past hour:

  1. 4 HP directors are stepping down - these are the one who pushed out Mark Hurd in the weird soap opera style of the "he said," "she said" variety. Joel Hyatt, John Joyce, Robert Ryan and Lucille Salhany will step down, and five new members will take their places on Friday, bringing the total number of board members to 13. The five incoming members of HP's board are: Shumeet Banerji, CEO of Booz & Company; Gary Reiner, formerly of General Electric; Patricia Russo, former CEO of Alcatel-Lucent; Dominique Senequier, CEO of AXA Private Equity; and Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay.
  2. HP is also investigating Hurd's exit from the company. This is truly the never-ending tech story.
  3. Google had a blow out quarter and Eric Schmidt is stepping down as CEO - to be replaced by past CEO Larry Page.
  4. Bonus news: Headsets are getting accelerometers meaning soon we may not have to press buttons at all to communicate.


$25 Per MB for M2M Just Tip of Iceberg

January 20, 2011

Stacey Higginbotham points out $25/MB is a tremendous amount of revenue and a great reason for carriers to love M2M. Another reason carriers love it has to do with the fact that that the old models of ARPU, churn and device subsidies go out the window. Sprint's Wayne Ward explained this to me in October of 2009 and went on to say you don't even need to deal with customers regarding rates as the machines do all the talking.

Finally, he explained you can even use your older networks as M2M apps typically do not require tremendous speed or throughput.

Obviously these are some of the reasons why carriers are excited about the M2M market - not to mention market projections of 2.1 billion M2M connections in ten years. This is up from 61 million today.

Steve Hilton Principal Analyst at Analysis Mason says, "With a year-on-year growth rate of between 36% and 52%, M2M seeks to be one of the fastest-growing connectivity sectors in the next decade."

All this M2M talk reminds me of the upcoming M2M Evolution conference in Miami in two weeks.







ShoreTel Filling the Nortel Void?

January 20, 2011

Jeff Wiener at The Telecom Blog predicts 2011 will be a huge year for ShoreTel and as supporting evidence he cites distribution deals with Catalyst/Scansource and Westcon - traditional Avaya partners. He quotes ShoreTel's Kevin Gavin who says the company is looking to fill the void left at the table in the wake of Avaya's Nortel acquisition.

Indeed, ShoreTel has been seeing positive momentum in terms of perception - there is no question about that and I wouldn't be surprised to see them gaining market-share in the future.

Mitel could have certainly been the company to step up to the plate - they have always had great technology and the Inter-Tel acquisition of a few years back really broadened their product line and distribution. The challenge is the company's outward communications have been spotty - they promote themselves and then go dark. Mostly they're dark.



Steve Jobs Takes Leave and Mobile Tax Filing (Video)

January 19, 2011

iTunes Opens to Adult Content

January 19, 2011

Playboy to be the first confirmed adult content offering on Apple’s industry-leading tablet





I’ve been extremely critical of the iTunes App Store because I don’t believe we should allow companies to censor applications and other content. Now it seems, the rules for the Apple App Store may be loosening as Hugh Hefner tweeted that uncensored issues of Playboy will be available on the iPad in March, 2011. This is likely going to be one of the offerings relating to the new subscription model available in the store and to be leveraged by News Corp with their launch of The Daily.

Obviously I believe the less censorship, the better and this is great news for Apple customers as it gives them the freedom to do what they want with their devices. It does seem ironic though – since Steve Jobs himself said in May of last year that these restrictions were put in place to give customers freedom from porn. But for Playboy lovers, it seems this loss of freedom will likely be met with big smiles.

Update: Apparently, Hefner was referring to a Safari-based service which will be uncensored.







Rediscover the American Dream

January 18, 2011

In the last few years, it has become fashionable in America to bash the American Dream. This is like South America bashing soccer or the French bashing surrendering – it should be unheard of. Perhaps part of the problem is Wall Street bankers have become the poster children for the American dream. And this shouldn’t be the case – especially when you consider the tens of thousands of entrepreneurs who start businesses and are responsible for generating hundreds of billions of dollars in aggregate revenue – much of which comes from other countries.

ITEXPO East 2011 Attendance up 52%

January 13, 2011

For those of you who attended the ITEXPO and related events last year in Miami, you remember it was a very strong show with great attendance. The conference usually draws from all over the world – especially Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Central and Eastern US and of course Canada.

The even better news about this upcoming event Feb 2-4, 2011 at the Miami Beach Convention center is the numbers are trending much better than last year. My marketing team just sent over the comparable stats and here they are:

  • Overall attendance up 52% over same time last year
  • Paid conference attendance up 54% over same time last year
  • Loews hotel block up 31% over last year

The event has certainly grown and there are currently 13 collocated events as follows.

Staying in Business in Tough Times

January 12, 2011

Recently Smart Business Magazine requested I write for them and for my first article I outlined fifteen things you can do to stay in business or grow your company in a tough economy.

Smart Business

is a management journal providing insight, advice and strategy for C-level executives of fast-growth, middle-market and large companies. Our publications are designed as concise packages that meet the information needs of senior decision makers of these companies. Each edition of Smart Business features a cover story on a high-profile local business or community leader on what makes them successful.

For me, this opportunity is rewarding as I get to share some things I have learned over the years competing against some of the biggest names in the business and through multiple bubble bursts... Dotcom, telecom, housing, credit, etc.

Here are the tips...



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