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60 Crucial IP Communications Interviews

September 5, 2008

Whenever I go to a conference, I learn a tremendous amount from the people I meet at the show. I really enjoy the impromptu networking which takes place at events as it allows me to learn so much about what is happening in the market. Ironically, I generally learn things I didn't think I would learn ahead of time. Quite often, I wish I would have known more about peoples' experiences before I met with them as it would allow me to be better prepared to ask pertinent questions.

I further wish I knew who was coming to events and and moreover I wish I could get a "brain dump" from them before the event so I could have a frame of reference before our conversations take place.

Imagine how much better networking at a show would be if I had an idea what people were generally thinking about the market before I even say hello.

In less than two weeks the world with gather at ITEXPO -- The World's Communications Conference to help select products for purchase, learn about the latest events in the telecom market and network with peers.

It is this last area where this blog entry should be of maximal benefit.







ADC's Bob Switz on Telecom Growth and Commodity Pressure

September 5, 2008

ADC Telecommunications CEO Bob Switz appeared on CNBC this afternoon explaining his company's guidance for the full year is to be maintained. It would appear he was referring to revenue and not earnings. He also explained six weeks ago guidance was lowered. He further mentioned at the end of the second quarter, guidance was raised.

Yesterday, the company reported quarterly earnings.

John Chambers on Visual Networking

September 3, 2008

I missed John Chambers on CNBC this morning. I wanted to hear what he had to say but unfortunately I was being interviewed about ITEXPO at the exact same time Chambers was on TV. Thankfully, Michael Dinan, a TMCnet editor was on hand to listen to Chambers and write up what he had to say.

Chambers seems relatively bullish on technology and anticipates growth between 12-17% for the long-term. In addition, the world's largest networking company announced a net of over 10 billion dollars for the fourth quarter.

Election Technology News

September 1, 2008

One of the most fascinating advances in political systems worldwide is the advent of technology like blogs and other web 2.0 initiatives such as social networking and video. But even the old technologies like SMS are coming into play as candidates look for any and every advantage to distance themselves from one another.

As you can imagine, with so much technology swirling around, making candidates more productive and efficient, we at TMC became mezmerized by it all. It got so interesting to us in fact we decided to categorize all of the stories we ran having to do with election technology. Afer a while we realized we had developed an entire website focusing exclusively on election technology and how it transforms poltics.

Nortel Buys DiamondWare

August 21, 2008

For over six years I have been espousing the virtues of 3D, stereo voice conversations with articles  and ITEXPO demonstrations mostly focusing on DiamondWare and the company's patented 3D technology which allows you to have a conference calls with others and place them on the left right, front or rear.

Until you have heard a conference call in 3D stereo, you have not heard a conference call.

In addition, the technology allows the addition of overtones like adding a metallic sound to a speaker or group of speakers on a conference call. This function could be useful if you are looking to find a way to discern what group a person belongs to -- the Los Angeles office for example.

You may recall that on May 15th of this year, I suggested Nortel would even buy DiamondWare. Well today is that day as Nortel did just that... They purchased the company and further explained how they have a portion of their R&D budget devoted to making VC-like investments but of course with a potentially different exit strategy.

Nortel believes the future of communications is likely going to be avatar-based and even if they are partially right -- let's say 5% of all calls, this could be a huge market.

A Nortel Avatar Demo of their web.alive business communications platform:


Nortel is further betting that the technology advantage they have as a result of this acquisition will help insulate them against others in the market who compete. That would be Avaya, Cisco and even to a lesser degree (at the moment) Microsoft.












Yes, FiOS was a Good Idea

August 21, 2008

I find the debate over FiOS to be incredible. Some Investors didn't think the investment made sense and analysts even say there will be no way to get the investment in fiber to the home (FTTH) paid back.

What these arguments miss is the point. Consumers want faster and faster connections to the internet and this will only become more of an issue as homes get even more computers and internet connected devices.

Remember that the latest televisions at 1080p can provide a viewing experience which broadcasters are yet to support. This trend will likely continue -- hardware vendors will get farther and farther ahead of broadcasters.



Voice Mashups And Your Communications Future

August 18, 2008

What is the future of communications? One acknowledged thought leader in our field is Thomas Howe and his consulting company which bears his name is the place you go when you want to know. Howe and I were recently on a panel together at a conference in San francisco and I was very impressed with what he had to say so I invited him to be be my guest on a podcast.

Some of the takeaways from our discussion are that voice mashups are becoming more common and voice will transcend CEBP or communications enabled business processes to the realm of the consumer as well. As this happens, communications becomes the condiment to virtually all applications.

The excitement here is how this will happen.



Trixbox Certification

August 15, 2008

The open source world of communications is growing rapidly. Recently I discussed the Nortel acquisition of PingTel and what this means for our markets.

Ironically the competition in open source was once between Digium and PingTel and when Asterisk became the the dominant player in the space, it seemed that Digium won the war. It turns out that while PingTel lost steam, a new wave of compeitors in the open source space emerged, basing their products on Asterisk.

One such company is Fonality and their Trixbox platform has become a popular alternative in the open source space. It just so happens that Fonality is collocating their training session in Los Angeles at ITEXPO in a  few weeks.

If you are looking to see all the communications companies that matter in the market and also get a chance to receive certification on a number of topics, be sure to come to the show.





VoIP Growing at 53% to $24 Billion

August 15, 2008

The VoIP opportunity is still huge according to a new report from Infonetics Research. At a time when many industries are really hurting, hosted VoIP and managed IP PBX services grew 53% to $24 billion in 2007 after surging 66% in 2006.

Obviously much of this growth is as a result of PSTN replacement but it should be noted that once IP is in place, the potential to add services increases greatly. The great news is Infonetics anticipates growth in the strong double-digits until at least 2011.

Interestingly, IP communications boosts productivity and saves money at the same time. This makes it a great technology to invest in when times are good and times are bad.

Sadly, many companies get the deer in the headlights feeling when they see an economy slow and they sometimes stick with the status quo instead of making decisions which will save them money, boost performance and generate rapid ROI.

Interestingly I have noticed an increased focus on contact center and CRM solutions these past months which leads me to believe companies have finally figured out that if you serve your customers efficiently and well, you make more money.

Contrast this to the last slowdown in 2000 when companies decided to offshore their call centers to save money.









McCain To Support Technology

August 14, 2008

It has been pretty shocking to me to see that the Bush Administration did not embrace technology in a more grand fashion. After all, Vice President Al Gore was so enthusiastic about the Internet he even claimed to invent it.

So while it seems like the companies of importance in the Bush administration have to do with energy, commodities and defense, we may see a McCain presidency focusing at least a little on technology.

In fact there will be a 10% R&D tax credit and opposition to internet taxes. In addition there will be an increase in H1-B visas (thankfully). McCain does not think we should have federal net neutrality laws -- the FCC and other regulators should deal with these issues he believes.

See this New York Times article for more.







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