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

The Unique role of the Service Provider with a SmartHome

  As last week's blog described, a SmartHome is a complicated place today.  A service provider could tie all of these different...

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The SmartHome, The Service Provider, and Connectivity

The SmartHome market is important for consumers for many reasons - energy savings, additional security and improved quality of life to name...

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Part 3 of Pros and Cons of Hosted vs. CPE Phone Systems

In part 2 of this series I discussed price. Now let’s wrap up this series and talk about Unified Communications, features and...

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How to Prepare for The Future of Work

The future of work continues to change and the predictions of mass joblessness as a result of AI and robotic automation have...

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Pros and Cons of Hosted vs. On Premise Phone Systems (Part 2)

In Part 1 we discussed some of the considerations that would affect a cloud vs on-premise solution. Now I’d like to start...

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Pros and Cons of Hosted vs. On Premise Phone Systems

Purchasing communications infrastructure equipment for your business, whether it’s data routers, SBCs or phone communication systems is difficult.  There are many vendor...

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Making Sense of Blockchain and Nothing Can Be Hidden in it?

The Bitfury Group and First Block Capital, on January 11, 2018, announced they had invested in Emercoin and would support the ground-breaking...

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TetraVX Smooths UCaaS Complexity

April 7, 2018


In a recent in-person interview with Jimmy Carroll of TetraVX, he explained the company has an end-user centric approach to consulting with customers to provide superior UC solutions. TetraVX is a new brand of Netrix, LLC launched this past January.

They have an operating committee consisting of the following:

  • Samir Patel – Partner and Director of Unified Communications at Netrix, LLC for four years, Samir has over a decade of experience in the unified communications industry and will be leading delivery and development for TetraVX.
  • James Carroll – Partner and Director of Sales at Netrix, LLC for 11 years, James will be leading TetraVX’s sales and marketing.
  • Vytas Kasniunas – Partner and Director of Channel Relationships at Netrix, LLC for the last five years, Vytas has been with the organization for over 19 years in total and will be leading indirect channel sales and sales operations for TetraVX.


“With increased focus, investment and dedicated research and development, TetraVX will continue to build upon Netrix’s success and provide rapid innovation across the multiple integrated platforms. Supported by the broader Netrix family, TetraVX is poised well to capture the growing UCaaS market and be a leader in the market” said Rob Dang, Managing Director at Netrix, LLC.

In addition to developing its proprietary technology, TetraVX will retain its long-standing partnerships with Microsoft, Cisco, Five9, Nectar, and VOSS.

The company is a CLEC and works with eight tier-one carriers in the U.S.






Nectar and Plantronics Ear-to-Ear Diagnostics to Boost Call Quality

April 2, 2018



The quality of phone calls varies for a variety of reasons from network congestion to weak headset batteries and wireless interference. This is why Nectar Services partnered with Plantronics to build an Ear-toEar (e2e) solution allowing the enterprise and carrier to track call quality across core networks, the internet/intranet and to agents answering phones.

With this new capability, service providers and enterprises can resolve issues faster, ensure superior call quality across the network and improve customer service. In an in-person interview with Tom Tuttle (right), SVP, UC Strategy & Global Alliances and Tim Armstrong (below), VP, Microsoft Practice at Nectar Services, explained they can measure call quality in real-time throughout the duration of the call.

They explained the increase in BYOD has become an issue which enterprises have to deal with when trying to provide superior call quality to workers and customers.

Nectar looks at the health of the platform, SBCs, clouds, network and endpoints, looking for router or WAN-segment issues.

“Correlation between user sessions and network health has always been our strength," said Tim Armstrong.

“As business communications services continue to evolve, it is paramount that the quality of those services remains superior. The last thing any business wants is to lose a potential customer or sale because of jittery VoIP,” said Jon Arnold, principal analyst, J. Arnold & Associates.











Sharpen adds AI and Cloud to Agent-First Contact Center

April 2, 2018

Sharpen provides a cloud-based agent-first contact center solution with simple pricing and AI-powered in-line training, microlearning, and conversational coaching.

The company hails itself as the solution to these problems:

  • Slow Release Cycles
  • Expensive New versions
  • Clunky/Confusing UI
  • No/Limited API’s
  • Expensive to maintain
  • Monolithic code base

By providing:

  • Fast Release Cycles
  • Free upgrades
  • Clean, efficient UX
  • Open REST API’s
  • No maintenance cost
  • Microservices architecture


Pricing starts at $99/contact center agent/month.

In an in-person interview with Cameron Weeks, CEO (top right) and Bracken Fields, CTO (bottom left), they told me the call center market hadn't been rearchitected for the cloud until they came along. The company has built a HIPAA and PCI compliant cloud in 14 regions with 100 ms replication time and AES 256 encryption. It works on Amazon, Azure and Google Cloud and customers can determine which of these to use if they like. This could come in handy as Walmart has encouraged customers to avoid Amazon AWS.

There is five nines uptime and an average 4.4 MOS score.









NEC Brings Tech Edge to UCaaS

March 27, 2018

NEC has been a technology leader in the communications space for decades and as the market has evolved to UC and UCaaS, they haven't kept up. That however is changing and NEC is bringing the power of it's tech portfolio to assist in sales of its telecom solutions.



In an exclusive in-person interview with Ram Menghani (pictured above), VP Product Management, he explained the company is seeing cloud at around 12-15 percent of revenue. To do better, they are building out their global data centers to remain competitive and perhaps leapfrog some of their UCaaS competitors.

Canada is currently supported via the U.S. In addition, they are building out in EMEA, UK, Germany, Milan and Australia. 





RingCentral UC is Eating the Enterprise

March 26, 2018

According to a RingCentral report From Workplace Chaos to Zen: How App Overload Is Reshaping the Digital Workplace, when it comes to communications applications, workers today are using an average of four apps, with 20 percent of workers using six or more. This includes apps for phone calls, texts, web meetings, video conferencing, team messaging, and more. Sixty-nine percent of workers waste up to an hour each day navigating between myriad communications apps, amounting to a waste of 32 days per year.

To counter this app fragmentation, 66 percent of workers want a single communications platform that will bring a sense of productivity to their

 workplace.

Genesys Bought Altocloud Because AI is the Future

March 22, 2018



Genesys has completed the acquisition of privately-held Altocloud Ltd., a cloud-based customer journey analytics provider founded and led by CEO Barry O'Sullivan.

We predicted the sale some years back:

"One last comment worth making is I perhaps have never seen an acquisition candidate so perfectly positioned - assuming the company is even moderately successful. The marketing automation and  communications companies will likely look to grow their organizations into the space in the middle so Avaya, Cisco and Marketo are a few to watch. In the end, it seems to me that Oracle followed by Salesforce are the best acquisition candidates. Time will tell but you read it here first."

Barry told us when he founded this company that "Marketing is eating sales." He continued, "A nurtured lead is a far better prospect than a cold call."



From our exclusive interview in 2014:
By categorizing customers into groups, the cloud-based Altocloud solution makes suggestions on which agent would be best to talk with a specific customer at the time they place a call.








How Tech Helped Nab the Austin Bomber

March 21, 2018




As tech permeates a greater part of all our lives, it is becoming more and more difficult to pull off a large-scale string of bombing without getting caught. Case in point, the Austin Bomber whose name we will intentionally not release was caught in part thanks to video evidence at a FedEx store, store receipts and suspicious Google search history.




The bomber blew himself up as authorities closed in.



The bomber who was an unemployed college-dropout killed two and injured four leaving package bombs on doorsteps, one with a tripwire and one shipped via FedEx. Authorities do not know at this moment if others were involved or more packages are out there so if you see something suspicious please dial 911.

Hopefully the rapid pace at which law enforcement was able to find the bomber thanks in-part to technology will serve as a lesson to the next would-be bomber that you will be caught quickly.

From a civil libertarian perspective one wonders how ethical or even legal it was to acquire "suspicious" search history. The ACLU hasn't made any statements yet... We'll see if the media covers this angle going forward.



















What We Got Wrong and Right in our 2017 Predictions

March 20, 2018



On December 9, 2016 we made the following predictions. Some we realized were ahead of their time but we figured, it was worth taking a risk. Topics ranged from tech to the economy and even the strength of the dollar. We've scrutinized our results.

IoT and Blockchain Could Stop Package Bombers

March 20, 2018



The people of Austin are being deluged with package bombs. Within a few weeks, there have been packages left on doorsteps, connected to tripwires and early this morning exploding in a FedEx facility in Schertz, Texas. So far, two people are dead and four others have been injured.

Police have told residents to stay indoors. Obviously, if you don't leave your house, you need to order online.



Talkdesk Really Differentiates with Enterprise Contact Center

March 19, 2018



In a short amount of time Talkdesk has amassed 1,400 global customers according to an exclusive interview we had with CEO, Tiago Paiva (above left; Yours Truly on the right).

We've followed his company's progress since inception and through sheer will and a tremendous investment in engineering and development, the company has lured away many customers from not only legacy systems but other cloud providers. They bill themselves as a next-gen cloud using microservices, an API-driven CPaaS communication layer, built-in SMS, omnichannel and many integrations like Salesforce and ServiceNOW. They also have adopted the latest cybersecurity standards and guidelines such as SOCII, BPDR, HIPAA and PCI-DDS.

Talkdesk AppConnect



Tiago explains much of the reason for the company's rapid growth is due to the fact that nobody likes their contact center solutions. By focusing on things like quick set-up (about four weeks), free online training, AppConnect app store, custom dashboards, self-service changes and  data-based routing, the company's commitment to innovation is leading to market share gains.

Talkdesk Data-Based Routing



In addition, the system has an average 4.22 MOS score, greater than 99.99% uptime and six global data centers.

Customers include IBM, MongoDB and companies whose names we can't disclose.













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