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Ditech Networks Update

June 18, 2008

The latest at Ditech Networks is that the company has hired Hossein Eslambolchi as a technical advisor. Generally, hiring a technical advisor is not big news but Eslambolchi is a bit of a celebrity having a distinguished career in engineering and his best-known role was perhaps his tenure at AT&T where he held multiple titles including CTO.

What this does for Ditech Networks is give them access to someone who lived deep in the trenches with intimate knowledge of all things telecom. The markets Ditech plays in specifically are transcoding, session border control and its more recent messaging has focused on voice quality improvements for wireless carriers.

The company has shown that increased voice quality leads to reduced carrier churn and they are obviously right.

In order to help get this message out and penetrate wireless carriers more effectively expect  Eslambolchi to open doors at carriers worldwide.

For the famous engineer, this move puts him back in the semi-spotlight and for Ditech, this move adds a prominent name to a company looking to lift sales.









Build Communities With Google's Help

June 10, 2008

Let's say your company plays in a few different spaces such as information technology, security and storage. And let's say your company has decided to build a community of interest which is dedicated to a specific subject area as you are hoping like-minded people will visit the community regularly and begin to associate your company as a leader in the space and hopefully some of these people will become new customers.

In this example, your resources are limited and even if they aren't, you need to choose one of these above areas to build your community. Assume each of them has equal market sizes and growth rates and you need to determine where the highest level of search interest lies.

Using the updated Google Trends, you can now see a graph over time of search volume on a relative and absolute basis and this information can be exported for analysis.

You may find for example that storage interest spikes around the year-end holidays but also seems unusually high in May of each year... This information can be useful in your business as it helps you see how people are searching for various terms.

If you have read my blog before, you know TMC has been building communities (Global Online Communities, Channels) for companies in the communications and technology space for some time now.







T-Mobile Suing Starbucks

June 7, 2008

T-Mobile is already not thrilled AT&T will replace them as the service provider of choice in Starbucks stores, now the GSM-based service provider who was early to embrace WiFi is losing revenue due to the new AT&T/Starbucks promotion of free WiFi in its stores.

While the news came out around February 11th that AT&T and Starbucks would provide free WiFi service, according to these court documents T-Mobile learned of this arrangement on or around March 30th.

Here are the salient points from this lawsuit:

  • In early 2008, Starbucks, AT&T and T-Mobile negotiated some agreements allowing a structured and seamless transition allowing AT&T to replace T-Mobile as the WiFi provider in Starbucks stores.
  • During the transition period, T-Mobile and AT&T would each promote the other brand via web pages which are displayed when a user logs onto the wireless network.
  • In addition, this page would allow customers to be authenticated by an existing subscription with either service provider.
  • AT&T and T-Mobile would not pay each other for using one another's networks.
  • Starbucks rolled out a promotional plan allowing its customers using a Starbucks card to register the card at starbucks.com and at this point the customers are directed to an AT&T page.
  • Since every US market is covered by T-Mobile except for Bakersfield, CA and San Antonio, TX, T-Mobile loses the opportunity to be marketed in front of these customers in other markets.
  • In addition, these cards are available to everyone, not just AT&T customers.
  • The agreement stipulates only AT&T customers are to have this right.
There is more but you get the idea... The point is if you have a T-Mobile account today, why not cancel it and use these cards instead to ensure you have access to the internet for free.

Based on the documents it is apparently T-Mobile thinks that Starbucks and the relationship they have with the behemoth of a coffee house is important to their success. Om Malik finds it funny that a coffehouse is a key pawn between two telecoms. He has a point.







Headed to Telx CBX 2008

June 3, 2008

Later this week I will be a video reporter at the Telx CBX (customer business exchange) event in New York. I always like the CBX events and am looking forward to meeting with the companies in the carrier hotel space (many lease space in the Telx interconnection facilities throughout the US) who come to network and exchange ideas and do business with one another.

I reached out to Telx to get a quick quote on why you should be at the show and Tesh Durvasula, Chief Marketing Officer of Telx had this to say,"With over 400 NANOG attendees at the Marriott and by moving CBX to Thursday to accommodate those traveling in for ITW and GTM in Washington which ends on Wednesday, our theme 'all roads lead to the CBX' is the final networking event of a week filled with major international meetings featuring ISPs, Carriers, Service Providers and more."

Here are some more notes on the  event from the CBX website:

This year's event is shaping up to be the biggest in Telx history. 2007 was a year of tremendous growth and change at Telx as we integrated various acquisitions that included 10 Meet Me Room Facilities from Digital Realty Trust and NYC Connect, the Meet Me Room at 111 8th Avenue.

2008 offers to an aggressive start as we integrate our latest acquisition, 21,000 of Colocation Space in Dallas at 8435 Stemmons Freeway. Our growth doesn’t stop at acquisitions though, we were recently announced as the first company to Host a NANOG in New York City.

Attendees will have the unprecedented opportunity to network with over 1,000 industry decision makers in one of New York's most spectacular boroughs.

See you there this Thursday, June 5th, 2008.











Vocaltec Sells Patents to Karo Millennium

May 29, 2008

In a way, I must thank VocalTec because it was companies like them that helped me realize how IP would revolutionize communications and further help me decide to launch a magazine dedicated to the market in 1997. VocalTec was one of the first to have a column in Internet Telephony Magazine and I will never forget my many interactions with the company over the years.

So it is with mixed emotions I witness the fact that the company is selling some of its VoIP patents to Karo Millennium J.P., L.L.C. It should go without saying that these patents will likely be used to get others in the industry to pay a "tax" for using VoIP and this is likely bad news for many in the market.

On the flipside, you cannot fault VocalTec for selling 11 patents -- or half its portfolio for $12.5 million. Why?



Vonage Record Quarter: Jeff Citron Interview

May 8, 2008

Vonage has done a great job this last quarter --  posting growth numbers in a slower economy. I just had a podcast interview with Jeffrey Citron where he talked about the company's growth rate and the number of new initiatives at the pure-play VoIP service provider.

Citron explains that they are pleased with their financial performance as their revenue was $225 million and this is a 15% increase from the previous year. One great bit of news is that expenses increased and adjusted operating income is now $8 million.

These results were ahead of expectations and in addition to the news on earnings, Citron was proud to explain how well-received his new  products have been. Visual voicemail and unlimited international calling are some of these new items.

Moreover, the company has a new prosumer product and another called Companion which installs on your computer and works in conjunction with your phone service.

Perhaps most importantly, Vonage is becoming a double-play provider by reselling Covad broadband DSL service.







Nortel's Joel Hackney Discusses Earnings

May 2, 2008

Interop Bound and Thanks

April 27, 2008

Another year, another Interop. I am off once again across the country to Vegas where I will likely spend more time standing in line than I will sleeping. How amazing is the fact that you can build a city in the middle of nowhere and after fifty years get people from all over the world to come visit your city and spend their precious time waiting. Waiting to gamble; waiting to eat; waiting for a hotel room; waiting, waiting, waiting.

Thankfully I will have all my gadgets and gizmos and will continue to blog and email away while I wait, wait for everything.

Having said all that, although I do despise the cab line that comes with the Vegas airport I do like the fact that the airport is not too far from the strip and moreover, at least Vegas is closer to Connecticut than California is.

How is that for turning my lemons into lemonade?





New TMCnet Record and New Writer

April 15, 2008

Thanks to our readers -- once again, TMCnet has hit a new record. In this case, we built a Global Online Community in conjunction with Interactive Intelligence and this community generated just under 600,000 page views in one month according to Webtrends, a company which measures web traffic.

As you might imagine, this is a staggering number of pages to be viewed in a month and after TMCnet, this number represents the most page views in a month out of all competitive sites worldwide. This is according to third party web measurement sites like Quantcast.

In other words a single community built on TMCnet outproduced any other single competitive site in total.

As I have promised before, as we grow we will ensure the quantity and quality of TMCnet articles and as such we recently added Rick Bye as a columnist. He wrote his first piece last week in fact.

Bye is a senior segment marketing manager with Zarlink and is responsible for leading the company’s residential gateway and consumer voice products development.







TiVo On the Offensive

April 13, 2008

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