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IP Communications

Is Apple the Biggest Facebook Threat?

January 13, 2011

Now I am not saying Apple is today ready to take on Facebook but boy are getting to a point where the pieces are lining up nicely for the maker of super-cool gadgets to combine the best of its offerings into a seamless social network.

Rather than talk about all the pieces, let’s instead begin the discussion realizing the massive marketshare Apple has and is gaining in consumer electronics. Add to this the increase in Mac shipments the company continues to boast. It is this network of devices which enabled the company to launch a product like FaceTime for video conferencing by immediately interconnecting millions of devices worldwide.

ITEXPO East 2011 News Begins

January 13, 2011

The ITEXPO tsunami of news is beginning and one recent announcement which caught my eye was that snom will be showcasing  its all new snom ONE collection of IP PBXs. The product line includes three versions - from free with ten extensions to a blue version which supports up to 150 extensions with support for five different businesses. There will be lots more news coming and for an idea of all the excitement and information which be generated from the event, check out the videos from the last ITEXPO in Los Angeles last fall.

Remember, the show is Feb 2-4, 2011 at the Miami Beach Convention center - be sure to register now.

Dialogic's Jim Machi discusses his company with me and also touches on the history of the Los Angeles Convention Center where we met over a decade earlier at Computer Telephony Expo or CT EXPO - anyone else remember the flying pigs?


ShoreTel's Bernard Gutnick discusses his company's latest offerings








How Apple is Greasing the Wheels of Churn

January 13, 2011

It’s a pain to change mobile devices and carriers. Thankfully over the years many wireless providers have made the process go more smoothly by porting address books in their retail stores. But Apple has gone the extra mile allowing their devices to seamlessly work with most of the existing data from previous phones. In other words upgrading from an iPhone to an iPhone 3G to a 3GS and 4G has been a fairly straightforward task.

Cablevision Merges Facebook Photos with TV

January 12, 2011

Pay-TV companies have a tough road ahead of them as content providers are pressing for more compensation and advertising is under pressure in-part because of the economy and the use of DVRs. So raising prices is one of the options available to these companies and many are doing so. Cablevision for its part is raising prices but not as much as many of the other companies in the space. And as expected, record numbers of people are disconnecting their paid television service because they simply can’t afford it.

SIPNOC: A New Conference for SIP Network Operators

January 12, 2011

The SIP Forum launches a much-needed event.

There is a rapid transformation of carrier and enterprise networks taking place utilizing IP communications and SIP. Surprising, to date there have been precious few places for the techies in the carrier space to get together and do what techies do. No I am not talking about consuming candy and caffeine here – instead, a new network operator event called SIPNOC will bring the community together for some serious discussions about issues affecting the space such as SIP trunking, interoperability, FoIP, testing, emergency services as well as discussions regarding many other challenges and opportunities.

Are Pay-TV Companies Suicidal?

January 10, 2011

I don’t mean to sound an alarm bell but run for the doors – if you are a cable company or telco, just what the heck are you thinking?

Let me lay out the facts. Kodak is a shell of its former self as is Tower Records which went through bankruptcy. And in each case the move to digital distribution gave consumers alternatives which were either lower cost, more convenient or both.

Behold the Anticloud - Lapdoc is Born

January 7, 2011

Are Lapdocs the Future or Palm Foleo 2.0?

In May of 2007 Palm introduced the Foleo to a stunned public wondering why the need a device whose only purpose is to sync with their smartphone. Priced similar to a laptop – and with a similar form factor, the Foleo had only a fraction of the functionality and needed a separate device to be truly useful. I immediately explained I had no idea what the need for the gadget was.

Apple Walled Garden Grows

January 7, 2011

While you have to admire the absolute genius the Apple iTunes App Store and its potential to rake in $2B in revenue this year, the success of the store is the worst thing in the world for those who enjoy the ability to purchase software in an uncensored fashion. Although it’s eased, Apple retains tight control over the applications which are allowed to run on the company’s iDevices and now the computing industry is following suit with Android, RIM and Microsoft stores.

There are profound benefits to having a central authority manage apps which are available on a platform such as ensuring applications aren’t acting in a malicious manner or breaking privacy rules.

Did Skype Just Kill Cisco's UMI Telepresence?

January 5, 2011

Let’s start with the positives. I like the Cisco Umi television ad campaign and the fact the company has kiosks in Malls across the country demonstrating the service is a great idea. However, a paid service which basically brings enhanced Skype functionality is a really tough sell to me and when there are so many other things to buy with your consumer electronics dollar such as the Microsoft Xbox Kinect and tablets galore, will the typical family opt for personal telepresence so they can see grandma a bit better than they can with Skype?

In October I detailed ten reasons why Cisco’s Umi will fail and now we have reason number 11.

SIP and HTML5 Convergence: Are You Ready?

January 5, 2011

Carl Ford is the loveable guy in the IP communications space I used to compete with but we are now family. It is really a great partnership and his company, Crossfire Media has partnered with TMC on a number of events including SIP Tutorial which has been held three times and has educated companies of all sizes, major telcos and technical staffs working at prestigious Ivy League schools.

The next event will be collocated with ITEXPO East 2011 in Miami this February 2-4 and I asked Carl for a few reasons to attend and macro trends which will be discussed.

He mentioned recent SIP meetings in China which show the need to keep current on SIP standards and HTML5 in particular which will integrate with SIP in the future.

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