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Mitel Business Partner Conference 2011 Live Blog

June 2, 2011

A great primer on Mitel's new strategy can be found here.


President and CEO Rich McBee kicks off the event. 1,000 people here - 50 exhibitors. In the past we have had competition between us - in the future "You won't be competing with Mitel." this is the start of something new.

Strategy outline:

Simplify the business. Focus the portfolio.






Mitel to Come Out Swinging, Will They Connect?

June 1, 2011

This past January I wrote a piece which compared Mitel to ShoreTel titled Is ShoreTel filling the Nortel Void and since the post Mitel has been in a state of flux with a new CEO Rich McBee recently joining. When the opportunity presented itself to come to the Mitel Business Partner Conference titled Mitel Freedom – in Florida, I jumped at it in order to get more perspective on Mitel’s strategic direction and future.

The conference officially kicks off tomorrow morning but I wanted to give my readers as much information as possible before things got going. Tonight I had a sashimi (no, the other one – without the rice) dinner with Ron Wellard, GM and EVP of Mitel Communications Solutions, Jim Davies the CTO and Jay Nichols the VP of Sterling Communications – the PR firm handling Mitel.

Skype For Asterisk to Shut Down

May 25, 2011

One of the more exciting announcements in the open communications space was when Digium inked a deal with Skype to allow the most popular open source communications server to work natively with the most popular Internet telephony software.

But yesterday Digium put out a note telling users that Skype for Asterisk will no longer be available after July 26th, 2011. Current users should be able to use it for a period of two years after that date.

The question worth asking is whether this announcement marks the end of Skype support for non-Microsoft platforms. As Erik Lagerway asks - will Skype Connect for various PBX vendors be next?

In the past I've have heard there were scaling issues with Skype for Asterisk so this move could be a result pruning products which didn't meet certain standards or requirements.

Obviously we will know more as time goes on but this move likely won't be welcomed by the legions of open-source fanboys out there. And Microsoft needs to be careful to not alienate the influencers in the market if it doesn't want to intentionally reduce the value of an acquisition which many say cost too much.

Update May 26, 2011

Skype sent me their official comment regarding Skype for Asterisk from Jennifer Caukin, spokeswoman for Skype.













Avaya Touts People-First Model

May 24, 2011

This week at IAUG - the Avaya user group event in Las Vegas the company launched a new program called Ace Your Apps with the goal of making communications more people centric while allowing corporations to integrated their UC solutions with a number of IT company solutions from IBM, Microsoft and others. David Yedwab breaks the news on TMCnet here.

Enjoy an excerpt:

At the heart of this program is a compelling offer for enterprises with Avaya Aura or Avaya Communication Server 1000 and Microsoft or IBM (News - Alert) instant messaging and presence clients. Enterprises current versions of Avaya Aura or Avaya CS 1000 are entitled to one free desktop integration user license for each UC-entitled user (up to $140/user in value).   This adds up to a significant savings – up to 87 percent for 5,000 deployed users – plus the ability to establish a communications-enabled business process (CEBP) platform that can further drive innovation and workflow efficiency by integrating critical business processes in order to grow competitive advantage through both the extension of productivity growth within the enterprise to desk-bound and mobile workers and across the supply chain.  





Family Plans Coming to Verizon

May 23, 2011

It took about six months for carriers to respond to my suggestion - and many families will be happy they did.


Back in December I wrote about the need for carriers to offer group data plans - especially for families. Specifically I said:

But one wonders if carriers aren't doing themselves a long-term disservice by not coming up with some sort of group or family plan for devices. In this way they get consumers to ante up a bit more - let's say for example $10-$20/month per device for dedicated 3G.


Today, I noticed on TMCnet's sister information technology site (I am the CEO of global media company TMC) TechZone360 an article about how Verizon will offer family plans in the future.






VocalTec adds magicJack to Name

May 22, 2011

In Life and Internet Telephony, Timing is Everything

VocalTec will now become magicJack VocalTec Ltd. – a nod to the fact that most Americans see more magicJack ads than they do even McDonalds and name recognition for VocalTec is virtually zero – except for the handful of us in the VoIP space in the nineties.

The personal irony for me is that Microsoft NetMeeting was an Internet telephony software package which was given away for free by Redmond shortly after VocalTec announced a paid product. As a result, VocalTec had to refocus completely on hardware gateways and Microsoft became the leader in VoIP.

BlackBerry PlayBook First Thoughts

May 19, 2011

In my review of the BlackBerry PlayBook I must say I am impressed with the device - it is small - not too heavy, feels good in your hands and runs Flash like a champ. The back of the device is rubberized which holds the promise of increased durability and a large degree of scratch-resistance. TMCnet's Stefanie Mosca has more thoughts on the device and as a BlackBerry user it was certainly more functional for her. She also thinks it is an ideal device for traveling which is tough to disagree with - it likely even fits in most purses.

Tehrani Stuck on Train

May 17, 2011

IBM to Eclipse Microsoft Market Cap

May 17, 2011

Ouch. The PC revolution took all the power away from the hardware leader IBM only to give it to the software company making operating systems - Microsoft. For decades, Microsoft used it's OS dominance to help subsidize and sell myriad software products causing the company to grow like a weed.

But Redmond needs a new growth engine and it looks like PCs and servers just aren't going to continue their massive growth curve - especially when you consider how well iPads are selling.

Moreover, IBM brilliantly transitioned from a PC company to services where they are doing very, very well.

This is why as Matt Rosoff at Business Insider explains the reason IBM is about to pass Microsoft in market cap.

He infers this is the reason for the Skype acquisition by Microsoft but really, the company needs a solid mobile advantage and a way to get it's voice and unified communications strategy to be successful and the Skype deal kills these birds as well as adding a social and consumer electronics elements to the mix.















Should Carriers Charge Less for Pipes to Get More For Services?

May 17, 2011

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