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

Unified Communications in the Cloud

A couple of weeks ago, I explored the migration to Unified Communications and gave my point of view about how the migration is somewhat...

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DieselGate: We Were Right, Something Smells Awful

Remember back in 2015 when we said something doesn't smell right in the VW diesel scandal? it would be impossible for the...

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What Should the Next Generation SBC Be Able to Handle?

It’s strange to be writing about a next generation SBC, given that it seems only yesterday that SBCs came to the fore. ...

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StaffAlerter Provides Value in Emergency Notification and IoT

With terrorist attacks and other shooting incidents becoming commonplace, the need to quickly notify large groups of people regarding dangerous situations seems...

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Top 8 IoT Trends for 2017

The IoT market is accelerating as growth comes from numerous directions and markets and as it does, one thing is very clear,...

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Google Dandelion to Popularize Geothermal?

Geothermal energy is pure perfection for heating and cooling homes in climates which are very hot or very cold because the ground...

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LANTelligence's CEO on Channel and Contact Center

After a short conversation with Martin Tracey, CEO of Unified Communications Solutions Provider, LANtelligence, we decided to do an interview to...

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Stupid Mistakes Lead to Kelihos Botnet Spam Lord Arrest

April 11, 2017

Russian Pyotr Levashov spread ransomware and other malicious software through the Kelihos botnet, possibly hacked the U.S. election and probably ran the Waledac spam botnet.

In 2009, Levashov was charged with operating the notorious Storm botnet, Kelihos’ predecessor. According to anti-spam organization Spamhaus, Levashov is listed as one of the World’s 10 Worst Spammers and “one of the longest operating criminal spam-lords on the internet”.

How did he get caught? Levashov was arrested in Barcelona, Spain under a U.S.



FreeConferenceCall.com Adds Enterprise Support

April 9, 2017


Getting workers these days to adopt the technology the company mandates is a bit like telling your children to eat their veggies. The only way to make it happen is to use reverse psychology and even then, they typically eat (or adopt) what they want.

This is why it makes so much sense for FreeConferenceCall.com to take their 800,000 business user accounts and allow them to "grow up" by adding admin control.

In other words, they have won the bottom-up war, now its time to attack the top down.

The company's CEO David Erickson told me they are now focusing on enterprises - their current international offering supports 60 countries. and will grow. They all use VoIP, support HD voice and are integrated with the PSTN.

They also have multifeed viceo with picture-in-picture, allowing up to 1,000 people on an audio or video call.








New 8x8 Communications Cloud Enables Digital Transformation

April 9, 2017

Bryan Martin of 8x8 told us the company's new Communications Cloud is analogous to the other clouds companies have in place - marketing and sales for example. The service combines UC, collaboration, contact center and analytics into a single streamlined package.



The company's Team Collaboration is an open solution connecting to other communications platforms such as Slack and Hipchat - allowing them to interoperate. Bryan tells us they can connect 50 of these services together. 

The openness angle is a very interesting one - is it better to be connected to all the various solutions on the market or try to acquire one of your own and lock customers in?





CafeX Chime Shows How Communications Enables Digital Transformation

April 9, 2017

There is is a nonstop movement from traditional communications and UC players to add value to their applications and services. It reminds us a great deal of what is happening with communications service providers - they had been trying for years to add value to their connections so as not to be considered dumb pipes. The latest move in this direction is AT&T offering HBO free in some of its service packages.

In a recent meeting with Sajeel Hussain of CafeX - we got a glimpse of what the evolution of UC and collaboration could be. CafeX has a service called Chime (PDF)- not to be confused with the more recent Amazon Chime service by the same name - which by the way, spurred a lawsuit from CafeX.

Hussain describes it as business-focused, outcome-driven pervasive collaboration with customer engagement.



It's NEVER too Late to Start Digital Transformation

April 8, 2017

Is it ever too late for your company to start a digital transformation process? Let me answer that with another question. Are you ever too old to run a marathon? Interestingly, in 2011, a 100-year-old did run one and finish in over eight-hours.

Connecticut Law to Allow Lethal Drone Use

April 8, 2017



In 2014 we warned a drone war was coming. Specifically we said, "Drone technology may be the biggest threat to civilized society over the next twenty years."  Two months later El Mehdi Semlali Fahtia, a Moroccan national, looked to use a drone to attack a federal building in our home state of Connecticut.

Earlier this year, we told you the drone wars have arrived and that an army of good drones will protect us from the bad ones.

The challenge is if we need good drones to protect us they need to likely be armed. It looks like the legal framework to allow this to happen may soon be passed.

Our home state of Connecticut  has a new bill An Act Concerning the Use and Regulation of Drones (see the first page at the start of this post) which effectively bans weaponized drones for everyone in the state except for police officers, permitting them to use drones equipped with tear gas, incendiary and explosive devices and “remote deadly weapons.”

If the law is passed, it will be the first to allow lethal drones to be used by law enforcement.

This is a very big deal. It is quite necessary for law enforcement to be able to combat criminal drones which can be used for terrorism and other nefarious activities.











Malicious Email of the Day

April 8, 2017



This is the best malicious e-mail I have seen in a while. It disguises itself with a From line: Microsoft OneDrive <noreply@icloud.com>. It looks legit until you realize iCloud competes with Microsoft and its Onedrive. Looking at it quickly - you could think it is an official reminder of a real document you need to look at.

It also tells me I have something waiting - it sounds like it could be a gift.



Zang Spaces: a Major Digital Transformation Enabler

April 6, 2017



As we've said repeatedly, communications is the low hanging fruit of digital transformation. You can transform your business in lots of ways of course - setting up systems to reduce crime in your retail locations is just one way to do this. But across the board - looking at companies in all industries, there is a single constant... Communications.

Free HBO Content Makes the AT&T Pipe Smart

April 5, 2017



For years, communications service providers like AT&T and Verizon discussed their need to to not be dumb pipe sellers but instead add value with various services. It turns out one of the major ways to add value to a dumb pipe is with content - lots of it. Comcast owns NBC and Universal, Verizon owns Yahoo! and AOL and AT&T owns DirectTV.

Thanks to T-Mobile and Sprint, there is real price competition in the wireless space and differentiating can be more difficult. Tremendous credit goes to to T-Mobile for immediately offering Pokemon Go with no data charges - soon enough to capitalize on the trendy new game.

Amazingly, carriers are more nimble than they've ever been. 





ITEXPO Attendee Cap'n Crunch Needs Your Help

April 4, 2017



I first met John Draper or Cap'n Crunch at ITEXPO in Los Angeles as he was looking to connect with Asterisk Creator and Digium founder Mark Spencer. I still remember how mystified people at the conference were when they learned this gentleman's nickname was a breakfast cereal. In case you don't know the story, John blew the whistle that came in the box of Captain Crunch cereal into a phone and was able to subsequently hack into the AT&T Central Office.



He became the first hacker by accident.

Draper also knew Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, a past ITEXPO keynoter.

The Cap'n now needs our help. He has a major medical situation.









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