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IP Communications

Cisco Booted at UPMC

November 15, 2006

To be more fair, at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Cisco, Avaya Nortel and Siemens voice systems will all be replaced by Alcatel in a $300 million deal that seems more like a service provider network than one needed for your typical medical needs. The deal is France-based Alcatel's largest enterprise transaction in North America, and will involve the retirement of thousands of Cisco switches and routers, hundreds of PBX systems, and thousands of digital phones from Avaya, Nortel, Siemens and other vendors. In doing this, the medical center will consolidate more than 150 standalone PBX phone systems into two redundant data centers, while boosting its core bandwidth by a factor of 10.

"It's pretty big," says Bill Hanna, vice president of IT infrastructure at UPMC. "The long and short of it is that the Cisco infrastructure will be replaced with an Alcatel infrastructure."

Analysts quoted in this article think this could be a defining moment for Alcatel who can now become a serious player in the enterprise space.



Cantata Layoffs

November 15, 2006

The word on the street is that approximately 50 people (see update) were laid off at Cantata yesterday out of a workforce of 300. Most of the people who were let go are shocked. Sources tell me the reason for the layoffs are soft sales numbers and some speculate the company is facing increased competition in its Excel Switching line. Apparently competitors are providing lower cost solutions.

Air Blown Fiber Market to Grow

November 15, 2006

They say death and taxes are the only two certainties in life but I wonder if in the technology space we could come up with a couple of certainties as well. I would say the need for "bandwidth" and the pace of "change" are the two certainties we must contend with in tech. As bandwidth hungry IP communications becomes more prevalent companies need to focus on network capacity to ensure they can easily carry voice and video with excess capacity left over for other important network functions. Not every company is carrying voice and video on their networks today but it seems the trend is certainly going in that direction.   The challenge for IT departments of course is knowing what the applications of importance will be six months from now and perhaps as importantly six years from now.

Caritas/Comcast VoIP Patent Victory

November 14, 2006

The VoIP market won a victory in Texas yesterday with Comcast defending itself successfully against a $2.2 billion lawsuit brought on by Caritas Technologies. The company was formed by four men, including David Farber, who many consider the grandfather Internet, was awarded a series of VoIP-related patents. One, in particular, Caritas claimed could be read to include calls that were made partly using VoIP connections and partly across the PSTN. Essentially, Caritas was claiming to have invented to capability to connect calls running partially on the PSTN and partially on IP networks, explained Daralyn Durie, attorney at Keker & Van Nest, LLP, representing Comcast in the case.   In the suit, whereby Caritas sought to end the Comcast Digital Voice (CDV) VoIP service offering, Caritas alleged that CDV infringed on Caritas’ patent rights, and in a claim construction hearing on July 31, the main issue was the term, “telephone connection in a telephone network.” Comcast held that the patent owned by Caritas was intended as a way to set up conference calls on the PSTN, not a way to have actual voice signals transmitted over an IP network.

The 50 Most Influential People in VoIP

November 13, 2006

I was very excited to learn today that I was honored to be part of The 50 Most Influential People in VoIP. The list starts with the Asterisk community followed by the FCC, Congress and Cisco. Further down the list are the bloggers. Starting at #26 with Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Om Malik and yours truly at 29.

Showing Kevin Martin the Door

November 13, 2006

FMC Research

November 11, 2006

While the recent ABI FMC report gushes with optimism regarding the FMC market I get the feeling their numbers are off by a bit if not a great deal. ABI says fixed mobile convergence technology will cost operators more than $450 million during the next five years.

ABI also predicts that in 2011, operators will generate $97 billion (yes, that's billion, not million) in FMC service revenue.

Here is the problem in my opinion. First of all, operators will likely spend more than they first intend on this equipment so I would say the $450 million could exceed a billion dollars pretty easily. Is this based on hard and fast research by yours truly?



Camrivox

November 9, 2006

Inter-Tel Buyout Withdrawal

November 8, 2006


Vector Capital and former Inter-Tel CEO Steven Mihaylo said they withdraw their bid for Inter-Tel. Recently Inter-Tel shareholders rejected the takeover proposal. 11,272,46 shares were voted against the Mihaylo Resolution, representing slightly over 50% of the 22,524,535 shares of the Company's common stock that were represented in person or by proxy.

Stockholders who voted, other than Mihaylo, rejected the resolution by approximately a two to one margin. This is obviously a very substantial number. Mihaylo owns approximately 19.4% of Inter-Tel's outstanding common shares.

Personally I think current management at the company is doing a good job and it would seem shareholders agree.




France Telecom in the Movies

November 8, 2006

The next move for telecom companies is to look outside telecom

It would seem that if cable and phone companies are set for a war, the phone companies need to hurry up and catch up in one of the areas cable has a stronghold; video content. This is not news to France Telecom who recently created a new unit that will invest in French and European movie rights and produce between 10 to 15 films per year.

Some people were surprised by the move but what France Telecom has done makes perfectly good sense for a number of reasons. We all know content is king. Consumers will be watching more and more video on devices like iPods, phones and soon watches.



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