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IP Communications

Brockmann Research

April 5, 2007

I’ve known Peter Brockmann for many years as he used to work for 3COM on the NBX product line. This product line was one of the first PC PBXs in the space as you may recall.   Peter recently began his own business, Brockmann & Company focused on enterprise communications research. My mission is to uncover what enterprise users are doing.

His first report is called First Communications and was released earlier this week. The focus is on disaster recovery priorities.   I thought this was a great idea to see what makes Pete tick these days.

Response Point

April 4, 2007

In case you weren’t aware, Microsoft unveiled a small business phone system recently called Response Point. TMCnet’s Tom Keating has a well thought-out blog entry on what Microsoft is doing as well as a bit of history on Microsoft and other players in IP communications going back to the nineties.   The SMB space continues to be a very sweet spot for VoIP. There is no question this market is huge and Microsoft wants to make billions in this space.   Will the Redmond, Washington based company be successful this time? I would say there is room in the market for many players.

DiamondWare in HD

April 4, 2007

I called Diamondware’s 3-D, stereo VoIP technology a killer application back in 2004 and even featured it on a stage at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo as a killer application. Unfortunately doing a demo of stereo VoIP to a room full of hundreds of people does not do the technology any justice at all.   Over a year ago I wrote about DiamondWare’s technology again and mentioned that the future of VoIP will be 3-D, stereophonic sound. But sometimes it takes time for the latest technologies to actually take hold and become popular.   I had a chance to sit down again recently with Keith Weiner the CEO of DiamondWare and discuss his newest HD software. Well actually I wasn’t sitting near Keith, I was on a conference call with him and his coworkers over his 3D, HD Conference Manager product.   Once on the call I was able to easily position the three callers all around me.

Altigen News

April 3, 2007

Big news over at Altigen. Jerry Fleming who ran the Vonexus division of Interactive Intelligence is at Altigen now and will focus on building the US operations of the company. I haven’t had a chance to talk with Jerry yet but his title will be President and COO.   Gilbert Hu will continue to lead AltiGen Communications as Chairman & CEO.   A word of history. Back in 1995 or so Altigen really wowed the telecom market with the world’s first PC PBX.

VoIP Peering Web Summit II

April 2, 2007

I am currently listening to a TMCnet Web Summit on VoIP Peering in conjunction with Jon Arnold & Associates. This webinar took place last week. Eli Katz is the first presenter and makes a point I have not really focused on. He says that using peering you can share services across networks and subsequently add value to customers and increase revenue for carriers.   His example was that of SMS and how SMS became truly useful when multiple carriers began interoperating with one another.   Other areas he touched on were security, ENUM and SPIT.

Cisco's Real Strengths

March 31, 2007

Cisco’s incredible strength comes from being able to leverage its strong brand and enourmous salesforce to sell virtually every sort of product in telecom and datacom. This report makes it seem like the outlook for the competition is bleak.   It is worth pointing out however that if you focus on a niche, you can likely make better products in your specific area than a larger company with broader focus. This is basic business and has been shown time and time again to be true.   However the report should not be taken lightly. Cisco is a fierce competitor and as an acquisition machine – they do it better than any other company I have ever seen.   Having said that, the company is getting bigger and bigger and when that happens, invariably size works to the company’s disadvantage.   In addition I am beginning to hear stories about how the Cisco salesforce is inundated with new products to sell and just can’t do justice to all of them.

Intoxicating Tech News

March 30, 2007

Hosted Unified Communications

March 30, 2007

Recently Microsoft and Nortel expanded their efforts to bring unified communications to the world. In this case, they have tackled the tough job of bringing unified communications to service providers who will in turn be able to bring UC to small and medium businesses. This collaboration makes a lot of sense as I am seeing a tremendous amount of growth and interest in the hosted communications space.   Serving up UC backed by Nortel and Microsoft could be a relatively easy sell but there's a chance that service providers will brand the service exclusively as their own. Having these 2 companies working with service providers will be a great benefit to the entire market.

Vonage Bankruptcy Discussed

March 29, 2007

Many people have been asking me about the Vonage situation in light of a recent stock downgrade from Citibank analyst Michael Rollins, who said that Vonage probably has a couple of years to go and at that point they will undergo a financial restructuring or bankruptcy. Recently many have been asking me what I believe the future of this company to be.   The recent Verizon lawsuit regarding patents Vonage infringed upon is probably not final if my sources are correct. Many believe the patents Verizon has are not unique and were indeed awarded based on technology which was not invented by Verizon. This of course would have to be proven by someone.

Packet8 and the Army

March 29, 2007

I recently learned that 8x8's Packet8 service was awarded a US Government contract and, there's going to be an installation of 15 Packet8 Virtual Office unlimited extensions at the US Army's, Yuma Arizona facility. It looks like the voice over IP market has gotten to the point where the government has really caught on to it and is beginning to roll out installations on a pretty widespread basis.   We've been seeing the Army, and other parts of the government coming to our Internet Telephony Conference & Expo shows since about 2001. It looks like now, the various branches of the government and military are taking voice over IP very seriously, and they see that IP communications is a great way to go in terms of communications from the stand point of reliability, redundancy, etc.   It's interesting to note that, the military has been a big user of voice over IP, in installations in remote areas that needed satellites for communications. Subsequently, what they've been able to do is use high powered compression equipment to send multiple conversations, first these conversations are encrypted and then multiple conversations are compressed into packets, and send up to satellites, and then sent back down to the receiving and calling parties.   So, this is not the Army's first foray, or the military’s foray into voice over IP, but it does show that the technology's continuing to grow in our military, and hopefully it will allow our soldiers and officers to be more efficient, and more productive, just like voice over IP has done for consumers and business users.
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