Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
Rich Tehrani
| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space


Google, YouTube, Apple and Beats: Music Options Galore

March 6, 2013

There is good and bad news for Pandora today. The streaming radio leader has for the first time found itself in a position to compete for radio advertisers on an equal footing thanks to its inclusion in an influential ratings network run by Strata Marketing. The potential in the streaming radio market has brought new competition.

It's worth noting the news recently broke that Apple has held talks with Beats Electronics LLC about collaboration and/or investment in a music service called Daisy – apparently these talks go back a decade but Steve Jobs wasn’t ready to act when they began. Although Apple hasn’t been announced as an investor in the deal, Daisy has just secured $50M from a group including Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik, Fort Worth billionaire Lee M. Bass, and Australian financier James Packer.

MWC 2013 Day One Trends

February 26, 2013

After a day of meetings there are some strong takeaways from the first day of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Interestingly devices played a large and yet small factor in my analysis. First off The Sony Xperia Z tablet was shown off here but crowds were lackluster. In examining the device I was amazed at how thin and light it was - it seemed like a larger iPad Mini in terms of weight and the feeling in the hands.

Thank You Amazon, Retailers May Now Merge at Will

February 18, 2013

When reports surfaced regarding Office Depot merging with OfficeMax, the first thing which may have occurred to many, is regulators wouldn’t let this approximately $2 billion happen because the resulting store would be too large and create antitrust concerns. Much of these worries in retail however have decreased as of late because of the strength of Wal-Mart, Costco and of course Amazon. Let’s also remember that Staples is a major player in the space. It’s worth pointing out that Amazon in particular can be used by just about all retailers to justify industry consolidation.

Thoughts on Alcatel-Lucent

February 8, 2013

One of the greatest challenges incumbent companies face is the ambivalence and corporate politics incumbency breeds and it only gets worse in what we call the age of acceleration where competitors arise faster and technologies shift more quickly than ever. Nortel, NSN and Alcatel-Lucent are all companies who enjoyed decades of leadership in the carrier market and in the process decided to provide generous benefits for their workers which would eventually help make them uncompetitive.

There is more to it - in the late nineties, Lucent acquired companies so quickly that its workers didn't know exactly who did what. Nortel too made a great deal of acquisitions.


February 5, 2013

Dell is in a mind-bogglingly large long-rumored deal to go private worth $24 billion and of note is business partner Microsoft has decided to invest in the company which has struggled for many years. The company still has strength in the data center market but the PC space is facing a major challenge from the smartphones, the iPad and other tablets.

Dell tried to go upmarket with its Adamo line realizing Apple was a threat due in-part to its superior computer designs but the strategy fizzled. In the past, Dell also tried to come out with a device in the PDA space only to see the market erode as it launched because smartphones became more desirrable.

Chinese Government Funds Global Telecom Roll Outs Through ZTE

December 20, 2012

With global uncertainty the norm, many carriers have struggled to get financing for new infrastructure projects and in fact they have been a bit hesitant to spend on areas other than wireless where ROI is much more predictable. Subsequently, the financial challenges facing Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens Networks, ZTE and others aren’t expected to dissipate any time soon. What may be a surprise to some though is how ZTE, a Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer with relatively low costs could have lost $414 in Q3 of this year while seeing sales drop by 13% and gross margins cut in half.

In response to this decline, China Development Bank (CDB) an entity controlled by the Chinese government has given the company a $20B line of credit at very low rates allowing it to streamline operations, continue its expansion and perhaps most importantly finance its customers’ purchases.

Voxeet Shows the Future of Conferencing - Stereo and 3-D

December 12, 2012

About eight years ago I held up DiamondWare as a shining example of what communications should be – HD, stereo and 3-D. Nortel later purchased DiamondWare and integrated it into its Project Chainsaw initiative which allowed avatar-based communications. Then these assets were sold to Avaya as part of the Nortel bankruptcy. I am fairly disappointed that this technology never went mainstream.

Avaya and Mitel Cross at Canadian Border

November 16, 2012

New Jersey-based Avaya, spun out of Lucent and previously AT&T has a decades-long history of providing business communications solutions. With its purchase of Nortel’s business communications assets a few years back it picked up even more knowledge, know-how and relationships. Mitel, the Kanata, Ontario-based global business communications company cofounded in 1973 by Sir Terry Matthews is known for delivering superior technology. More recently Mitel has become publicly traded and acts sort of as a partner to the dozens of Sir Terry Matthews’s companies under the Wesley Clover Brand.

Google and Dish Were in Talks to Launch Wireless Biz

November 15, 2012

Some time back I commented on rumors of a Sprint takeover by Google and at the time many thought the idea was crazy. Fast forward a few years, tens of thousands of Android devices and a Motorola Mobility acquisition later and now Google is reportedly in talks to launch a wireless service with a number of companies including Dish Networks. As you may recall, Steve Jobs too wanted to launch a wireless network and if Google is seriously exploring this option this means Apple has to be doing the same.

The next frontier of advertising revenue for Google is mobile and if carriers and Apple decide to lock the company out of this lucrative market (even partially), then they have no choice but to own the wireless pipes.

Microsoft, SNL, Sprint and Softbank News for Monday October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

Microsoft is jumping into the music business and this is perhaps the biggest news of the day and possibly the week. Redmond is now offering ad supported music streaming and going up against Sirius XM, Pandora and Apple’s iTunes all at once. Boasting a 30-million strong library of songs, users can listen to playlists for free or download to own music across their TV, computers and smartphones. The ad-free version is $9.99 per month and includes access to music videos as well.


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