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IP Communications

Voice Carrier Wants a Big Piece of the SMB VoIP Pie

April 14, 2011

The business VoIP market has a tremendous amount of growth potential based on a recent FCC report I highlighted last week. And perhaps the most exciting aspect of the market is there is no single leading player which comes to mind – especially for the SMB. And losing and gaining marketshare in the segment can be done quite rapidly if you aren’t careful. Case in point are Comdial and Inter-Tel: two major players in the SMB CPE space just a decade-and-a-half ago.

Photobucket Outage

April 13, 2011

Updated 4/14/2011, 4/15/2011 and 4/19/2011 - see below.

Originally posted 4/13/2011

Apparently my Photobucket account is one of the ones unavailable due to maintenance. I have come to rely on this cloud-based photo sharing service more and more as it works on iOS and the Sony Dash. There is an Android app as well which I have found doesn't display photos as well as it does on other operating systems. Here is the message the company gives when I try to login via the web.



Update 4/14/2011: Its been more than 24 hours and the site is still out. This is without a doubt one of the challenges of moving to the cloud - but that doesn't mean as a customer of a free service I feel I have such a strong right to complain.

Jim Goss, the company's VP of Operations expressed his apologies (see below) for the site being inaccessible via the Sony Dash, the web and iOS - I've tried all three.









Regulatory 2.0 Conference in DC Tomorrow

April 11, 2011

In an age where the government is so crucial to shaping communications and technology through its decisions on mergers, net neutrality, spectrum and a host of others, it is imperative that we take these actions into account as we plan for the future. Lawyers, decision-makers, policy-makers and everyone who could see their business fortunes change as a result of government policy shifts should be in DC tomorrow for this event.

Thank you Google who is the Diamond Sponsor and Pillsbury who is the Gold Sponsor. You can register here, this press release has more details and the schedule is below:

April 12th, 2011  The ICC FUSF NPRM:  
A New Vision for the Future of Communications?


Hosted by
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
2300 N St. NW Washington DC



The Regulatory 2.0 Conference DC is going to focus on the following topics:

8:45  - 9:00 Opening Remarks:  Jim Kohlenberger, President, JK Strategies

9:00 – 10:00 Rumors of POTS Death have been “Greatly Exaggerated”.
While packetized technology dominates the backbone of our networks, most of the end user community still experiences the revolution through the traditional twisted pair. 





Important HD Voice Research Report Available

April 7, 2011

You probably know I have been a huge proponent of HD voice as to me it’s an inevitable outcome of transitioning away from the PSTN to IP-based networks which allow us to upgrade CODECs without having to downshift our conversations to technology which was invented many decades ago. When I was a kid, television was an 11 inch black-and-white screen which seemed to always have Walter Cronkite on it and changing the channels was a manual and rotary process.

Yet, the incredible tech advancements we have seen in the television space haven’t yet fully materialized in the world of telephony. Sure, I can have high-quality conversations if a call stays on IP networks and there is no need for transcoding or jumping onto the public switched telephone network.

Brady Bunch Videoconferencing Goes Mobile Thanks to fring

April 6, 2011

fring has launched a Beta app for mobile devices allowing Brady Bunch-style conferencing with up to four users at once. The importance of this announcement is that anyone can now take advantage of advanced video communications which until recently was not even available in an office without a high-priced videoconferencing solution with dedicated bandwidth and specialized equipment.

Indeed, the power of mobile devices has grown substantially over the years and soon dual and eventually multicore processors will be the norm. And as this evolution in mobile horsepower continues, apps like this one will continue to proliferate.

We have signed up for Beta accounts and I look forward to trying this app out to see how well it performs when all four users are moving around. I also wonder about screen lag and synchronization between audio and video.

The question now is how popular will video become on mobile devices and will the experience become compelling enough to make video the default for phone calls?





Leading SIP Client Bria Gets Upgrade to 3.2

April 6, 2011

WorldGate Communications Closes Shop

April 5, 2011

Word has it that funding was pulled at WorldGate Communications two weeks ago with everyone being laid off. Requests for information to the company did not get an immediate response. The Pennsylvania-based organization which made high-end designer-looking videophones no-doubt faced an uphill battle competing with Cisco and Polycom - as well as low-cost players like Grandstream.

When the company launched - years back I remember a massive crowd around its products at ITEXPO and other events - but getting tremendous attention at a show does not obviously always translate into success in business. Those of you who recall Wildfire's booth at the Computer Telephony Expo know what I mean.

The company seemed to be in a perpetual state of financial trouble and the best news I heard from them a while back was when they either received or were about to receive an order for an organization who was to supply videophones to the hearing-impaired so they could communicate via sign language.

TMC's Tom Keating reported troubles brewing at the company in February, 2008 and then reported when things got better in the next month saying Ojo Phone Lives!





KenCast: Video Streaming Democratization in Action

April 5, 2011

One of the more interesting companies in the streaming video market is KenCast - and one area of growth for the company is live streaming of sporting events. Recently, the company launched a live streaming coverage online community on TMCnet - and this article The Truman Show: Self-Service Live Streaming Video in Real Time living on the community is worth a read.

One of the differentiators KenCast offers is technology which merges 3G and 4G broadband wireless signals from multiple carriers - allowing a transmission of higher quality than is allowed by the upload speed of a single carrier.

As more 4G networks are rolled out and bonding technology becomes more common, eventually everyone will be able to stream live video from virtually anywhere - rivaling the output from a major television network. And that my friends is the definition of technology democratization.

How to set up live streaming of a triatholon


Bill Steele Chairman and CEO of KenCast Inc. explains how the company does a tremendous amount of video work in the multicasting space as well as providing solutions for the military and applications in retail. He goes on to explain how mobile live video capture is a big area of growth for the company.










FCC Reports Highlights 8x8 Business VoIP Success

April 4, 2011

While many technology decisions are made based upon what analysts or the media think, these sources can be flawed as they involve relationships – sometimes financial which could potentially skew how a specific company may be rated by the media or analyst firm. Even if everything is 100% objective, there is a certain amount of guesswork related to determining share of market in any industry as much of the data is not available and has to be surmised from multiple sources which could include interviews. Typically though, there aren’t other places to go when trying to ascertain which companies are leading in a particular market.

But in the VoIP space, there is a relatively new source of information worth noting.

How Poor Branding and Positioning Have Led to Tech and Auto Failure

March 27, 2011

Lessons Learned From Microsoft, Cisco, Volkswagen, Mazda and Apple Misteps

Why do Cisco and Microsoft have trouble entering new consumer markets and why does Apple have challenges when trying to get into the enterprise server market? According to an article from Rob Enderle, President and Prinpal Analyst, Enderle Group the reason has to do with poor management choices which have more to do with seniority than ability - coupled with starving new products of the resources they need to make it.

I agree with many of the points he makes and the fact Redmond actually decided turd brown was a great color to use when competing with Apple is hard to digest (sorry).  But in addition to the thoughts from Enderle I would add there is a positioning challenge facing these companies as well. In today's world where everything seems to revolve around clicks and search ads, most companies don't even seem to know what positioning means.

And its too bad because companies fail every day because they generate lots of leads that won't turn into business.





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