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

Yes, Fonality, I am Skeptical (of the VoIP Sector)

Apparently, one slightly snarky tweet and a single line item in Tidbits - "A head scratcher: Fonality got bought by Netfortis....

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Uber News Involves Sexual Harassment While Waze Competes

The news of the week wasn't great for Uber as a result of sexual harassment claims by workers via a blog post...

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Forward This Post to Employees To Protect From Hackers

Although there is no guarantee you can be 100% protected against hacking, there are some basics you can share with workers to...

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The Drone Wars Have Arrived

An army of good drones will protect our high-value targets at all times. In February 2014 we warned of the impending urban drone...

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Downhill Sledding

For Agents especially, our business has been downhill sledding, much the way Calvin and Hobbes did it (see HERE). Price compression...

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Avaya Bankruptcy Really Doesn't Bother Buyers

At this month's ITEXPO we hosted a panel on Cloud UC with RingCentral, 8x8 and Broadsoft and one of the first questions...

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How Service Providers Can Avoid Becoming A Bit-Pipe

I was recently talking to STL Partners / Telco 2.0 and we had a discussion about service providers now facing the similar...

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Space Shuttle Program Grounded

July 27, 2005

How depressing a thought is this? One of the most inspirational space programs NASA has ever put forth is now grounded. After analyzing the effects of debris falling from Discovery during blastoff the agency decided to put a hold on future launches. It is not clear whether any debris actually hit Discovery or the extent of any impact.

From a CNN article:

NASA was analyzing data from video and from the robotic arm, the launch and elsewhere to decide what steps -- if any -- to take next.

"We should start seeing the jury coming in on those decisions by the end of the crew's day tomorrow," Hill said.





VocalTec Lays Off 70

July 27, 2005

It is a sad day for me as VocalTec, the company that really popularized VoIP and was the inspiration for TMC launching Internet Telephony Magazine have cut 70% of their staff leaving 30 out of a 100 people in the company. There is 2 million dollars in cash left at the company and they recently changed their focus to selling softswitches.

There is some great engineering talent at the company but it is going to be very tough to come out of this hole without some assistance either financial or otherwise.

They would be a great acquisition target just for their technology.

My hats off to the bright people at VocalTec that helped launch VoIP into the mainstream and I reiterate that this is a sad day for the VoIP market.





Note To Self: Don’t Upset Tom Keating

July 27, 2005

OK OK, although I wasn’t involved in not sending Tom to TMC’s VoIP Developer event perhaps I deleted him from the list and didn’t realize it. Either way, sorry Tom… I didn’t know you would willingly go to a venue where there wasn’t a blackjack table

Seriously though, Tom’s post on VoIP Developer is right on. Although Tom decided to compare us to other events in the market including Internet Telephony and VON… I see the market differently. There is room for all our events and they all serve different purposes.

VoIP Developer was designed to be a much purer show where partnering and development choices can be made without thousands of non-technical people running around (without pocket-protectors no less!).

This event is purely about finding tools and toolkits you need to develop killer VoIP applications.





Senator Ensign Telecom Bill

July 27, 2005

Here are some links to the new telecom bill:

Senator Ensign Telecom Bill

Senator Ensign Telecom Bill Talking Points


I haven’t had a chance to digest it fully but so far the important points of this bill are that it protects VoIP calls. It claims to help the market by taking away arbitrary and historical regulations that arbitrarily hamstring one competitive technology over another.

It says its goal is to encourage all companies to invest and compete vigorously to deliver innovative, quality services to consumers.

It claims it may bring $634 billion in GDP growth and 212,000 jobs in five years.

I like the idea of having more competition and less regulation. My concern is that we have cable lines and phone lines built over the decades from a monopoly position in the market. These lines have always been regulated to some degree and since 1996 have been shared with others at low rates.

Now these companies don’t have to share their lines if they don’t want.












PGP VoIP

July 27, 2005

Tom Keating’s PGP VoIP blog entry caught my eye today. Apparently Phil Zimmerman has come up with a VoIP PGP-equivalent for encrypting voice over IP calls. Many in the industry are concerned about encrypted p2p VoIP solutions as they can be used to send viruses and other malicious code throughout a company. It is unclear to me whether this software can be used to send content other than VoIP.

Regardless, there is another problem with encrypted voice communications and that is government regulations.

Yahoo! On A Plane

July 27, 2005

The battle to be the search leader knows no limits as is evidenced by the new deal struck between Yahoo! And Connexion by Boeing allowing the search giant to provide search results from a small box on the Connexion user interface.

Here are release excerpts from the release:

"We are pleased to be partnering with a market leader like Yahoo! in order to provide our customers with the highest quality in-flight Internet experience available today," explained David Friedman, vice president of marketing and direct sales, Connexion by Boeing.



Deborah Tate on the FCC

July 27, 2005

Michael Meese on the FCC

July 27, 2005

White House aide Michael Meece has emerged as a top contender for one of two Republican seats on the Federal Communications Commission, according to the Washington Post and Reuters.

Meece is the deputy director of the White House public liaison office and previously worked as deputy chief of staff to Don Evans when he was U.S. Commerce Secretary during President Bush's first term.

Among other names circulating as potential occupants of the other seat are Deborah Tate, a director on the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, and Suzanne Terrell, who unsuccessfully tried to unseat Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2002, the sources said.

The FCC has been tied with two Republicans and two Democrats since March, when Michael Powell stepped down as chairman. Controversial issues currently require new Chairman Kevin Martin to convince a Democrat to support them.

This is such an important time for the FCC as there are so many controversial issues on the table from the future of VoIP... Will it have to contribute to the USF?







Huge Changes at Empirix

July 26, 2005

Ed Goldfinger the CEO of Empirix, announced some huge changes recently. The company was divided into a few different units and is now a single operating unit which means the ESG - Enterprise Solutions Group and the carrier focused Communications Infrastructure Group will merge.

Now there is a single culture and strategy for expansion. They think this will take shareholders to a higher level.

Duane Sword now becomes VP of Product Management for the entire company.

Dan Potter is now in charge of outbound marketing and becomes the face to the industry from web to PR, etc.

There is a great deal of hiring happening as well. You may want to send a resume.

The only downside is that Steve Gladstone will be stepping down.









Bomber On Welfare

July 26, 2005

I don’t know the term for welfare or social assistance (on the dole comes to mind) ain England but apparently Out of the two terror suspects responsible for the recent failed bombing attempts, Terror suspect Yasin Hussan Omar is a Somalian national who arrived in Britain at age 11 in 1992 as a dependant and was granted exceptional leave to remain in the country. In May 2000 he was granted indefinite leave to remain.

Omar has been handed thousands of pounds in taxpayers' money in recent years. He was given £75 a week in housing benefit to pay for the one-bedroom flat where he has been the registered tenant since February 1999.

His housing benefit stopped in May this year but he may have been given up to £24,000 over the last six years.

His flat (apartment for those of us on this side of the pond), on the ninth floor of a 12-storey tower block in New Southgate, north London, is believed to have been used as a bomb factory by the suicide team who unsuccessfully targeted the London transport network last Thursday. Explosives experts were examining material found inside.

What is scary about this case is how someone whose family was granted asylum by England and is living off the citizens of the UK could get so upset that they would unleash such a plot.







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