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Rich Tehrani
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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.









Communications and Technology Stories August 14, 2008

August 14, 2008

Please enjoy some communications and technology stories while having your morning (or evening) tea or coffee. My thoughts in brief -- Extreme is smart to jump on the energy efficient bandwagon, Jajah claims to have over 10 million users in the story below which is substantial. They also have a service which translates short English phrases to Chinese. Very cool but I am not sure this can be monetized.

Virtual PBX now allows callers to be pulled out of voicemail -- this great news and not easy to pull off for a hosted vendor.

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.







Book Flights Now For ITEXPO West 2008

August 13, 2008

Many attendees have told me they are getting great deals on airfare to ITEXPO September 16-18, 2008. I happened to just price a flight and the cost was $306. Travelocity has a sale with prices from New York to Los Angeles starting at $285.

Also, many people have told me they will be using JetBlue and landing in Long Beach and Burbank Airports.

Here is a United flight I priced as a reference:

Flight:  United flight 21 on a Boeing 757 Jet <input type=hidden name=javascript_turned_off value=YES>   Depart:  New York-Kennedy, NY (JFK)- Tue, Sep 16 6:30am Arrive:  Los Angeles, CA (LAX) - Tue, Sep 16 9:44am      
Flight:  United flight 840 on a Boeing 757 Jet Depart:  Los Angeles, CA (LAX)- Thu, Sep 18 2:14pm Arrive:  New York-Kennedy, NY (JFK) - Thu, Sep 18 10:38pm  
The great news is that flight costs are dropping pretty rapidly meaning you can come the world's communications event and still have reasonable travel costs.







Buy ITEXPO Plane Tickets Soon

August 6, 2008

Good news: I have noticed plane fares for trips to ITEXPO this September 16-18, 2008 in Los Angeles have dropped by hundreds of dollars in many cases. As a show organizer, nothing makes me happier than having our event more accessible to everyone.

The Internet Telephony event has really evolved over this past decade and is now the the largest gathering of IP communications companies and decision makers in the world. It is the one place to be if you manage communications for a service provider, enterprise or are a reseller/developer.

You just have to be at this show if you want to network with the industry and see what is next and what is happening right now.

So I am happy to share the good news with you all and I hope to see you in September... In LA.











Cloud Computing Showdown

August 5, 2008

Cloud computing has so many benefits and the market is poised to continue its momentum. Companies like Amazon and Google were early players in this market but the early success of these companies has not gone unnoticed. Case in point, AT&T and soon (WSJ: subscription required) Verizon will be players in the space and AT&T already has a major customer.

Cloud computing is not perfect and Amazon has had a few high profile outages lately. It is worth watching to see if the industry will get to a point where outages will cease and moreover whether the increased competition will help grow the market in larger.

My take is there will be rapid growth in this area for many years to come -- barring more serious and high-profile outages of course.





See Bill Kelly at ITEXPO in LA

August 1, 2008

Many of my blog readers know Bill Kelly well from his years of work building partner programs in the industry for companies like Excel and Cantata (after the company merged with Brooktrout).

Add to this a brief stint at Pulvermedia and Kelly becomes the perfect person to help improve the quality of ITEXPO conference content.

With Bill's vast experience he is the perfect person in fact to be at the show.

What will Bill be doing at ITEXPO? He will host two courses in the TMC University program, which is open to all conference attendees.  Bill's classes include "FMC/Mobility" on Tuesday September 16th and "IP Network Security" on Wednesday September 17th.

What are Kelly's thoughts on the show? Here is a quote from him:

"From an educational perspective, TMC University offers a unique opportunity for attendees to obtain third-party certification that recognizes their competence in selecting, installing and managing important communications solutions. As a part of ITEXPO, TMC University also provides a tremendous networking opportunity, and I'm looking forward to the entire event, catching up with colleagues and learning more about the latest solutions on the expo floor."  

And of course, much of the networking at the show might actually involve Bill as he is so connected .











My Tips to Resellers and VARs

July 29, 2008

97 Degrees in Dallas And it is Cool

Well it is relatively cool anyway. Compared to the rest of thee week, 97 feels downright arctic. I think the humidity levels are lower as well. I had a great talk today at IP Sizzles 2008 and I am as enthused as ever about our space.

One part of my discussion centered around how my talks used to focus on making money selling VoIP then making money selling IP communications and now it is just communications. It could have even been technology as I focused on things like UPS systems, SANs, RAID systems, disaster recovery, etc.

The reseller of today has to seize opportunities and be smart enough to listen to customer needs and sell them solutions.





Why Was Amazon S3 Down?

July 26, 2008

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