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Avatars: The Cursor in Communications 2.0

October 10, 2008

One of the people with a long history in the communications space is Neal Shact (pictured) -- CEO of Communitech Services. In the past, Shacht has been a distributor in the headset market and has been early in many new markets such as VoIP, call centers and others.

Shact points out it is impossible for customers to know what they want in UC. He mentions the old story that Henry Ford once said people when asked what they wanted in transportation said, a faster horse.

His point: you need a communications roadmap. Don't rely exclusively on your UC vendor to dictate what you want and need.

You want to check out this podcast as it is rife with references outside communications -- and the tie-ins are fascinating.





WiMAX World 2008 Update

October 6, 2008

WiMAX has gone through an overhype stage and now is like so many other technologies - VoIP included, at a stage where the markets are trying to figure out where the opportunities lie. Indeed, trying to determine what is real and what is hype is difficult to do and to cut through the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) I spent time at WiMAX World in Chicago to learn more from the movers and shakers in the space.

I came armed with questions about deployments and the threat of LTE - the evolutionary technology theoretically enabling 2-3G operators to ignore WiMAX. In the last six months there have been numerous articles and technical white papers written about whether WiMAX is necessary.

To cut to the chase, I spoke with VP Chair, Marketing Working Group of the WiMAX Forum, Dr. Mo Shakouri who explained that the transition to LTE is more than a simple software upgrade as carriers need to go from CDMA to OFDM - which obviously requires hardware. They believe there is a strong marketing campaign being waged by mobile operators and some hardware providers who want to sow FUD in the WiMAX market.

In order to combat the threat from LTE the WiMAX Forum is feverishly working with companies to develop lower cost CPE devices as carrier profitability is tied to device cost.





Asterisk World Comes to ITEXPO

October 6, 2008

As a major supporter of open source -- especially in the communications market, I cannot be more thrilled to announce that Digium will be co-hosting Digium/Asterisk World at ITEXPO this February in Miami.

It is well-known that open source companies consider ITEXPO an important event and one where they come to meet service providers, resellers and other companies looking to deploy open-source solutions. This news solidifies TMC's commitment to open source as a solid choice for companies looking to not only purchase today's solutions but to resell and develop tomorrow's breakthrough products.

Mark Spencer, founder and CTO of Digium and original creator of Asterisk had this to say about this news. "Hosting Digium|Asterisk World at ITEXPO East 2009 will allow us to share the vision and power of Asterisk with a broad set of customers who might not be familiar with open source. By giving them their first taste of Asterisk, we empower them to not only save money but to use and create new technologies that never existed before."

For my part, I salute Mark and his company which has brought open source communications so far, so quickly.





Communications and the Economy

September 29, 2008

Please note this post was written approximately one week ago -- before the news of the bailout bill failing began to spread fear in the financial markets. Stay tuned to learn how the financial markets will affect communications and technology.

Many people asked me recently at ITEXPO West 2008 Los Angeles, what I see happening in the communications market from an economic perspective. Let's just say that on the way to the show, I was watching TV as the stock market plunged and there was talk of another Great Depression. When I got to the show I must say I was unclear how the financial markets would affect the communications space.

ITEXPO Press Coverage

September 18, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Map

September 15, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 News to Date

September 15, 2008

Zippy's Thoughts on ITEXPO

September 15, 2008

I just came across an article by Richard Zippy Grigonis regarding the success of ITEXPO in light of the incredible competition over the years. Reading it, reminded me of shows of the past which I enjoyed going to. Zippy -- as many of you know is about the straightest-shooter there is -- he tells it as it is -- from his vantage point of course.

This is what makes his thoughts are all the more incredible (and humbling) -- and Zippy -- you are part of the team that allows ITEXPO and TMC in general to flourish. Of course while i am in thanking mode -- getting ready to head out to LA for ITEXPO myself -- let me extend a hearty thanks to the entire TMC team, our advertisers, sponsors, exhibitors and partners who have allowed TMC to keep growing.

I look forward to seeing you all and thanking you in person this week.



Dialogic/NMS Acquisition Discussion and Analysis

September 12, 2008

On a recent call with Jim Machi, Senior Vice President Marketing Dialogic Inc.I had a chance to ask a number of questions regarding his company's pending acquisition of the platform division of NMS. The deal is subject to shareholder approval and comes a few weeks after NMS received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq exchange due to the company's stock price being under $1 for more than 30 days in a row.

Machi tells me the deal will allow the two companies to pool resources and as a result they should be able to get products out to the market faster than ever. He further cited the video and mobile value-added spaces as other areas where the companies will be able to compete more effectively as a standalone entity.

I asked Machi about the geographical ramifications of this deal and whether there are complimentary areas of the world which NMS brings to the table. According to Jim, Dialogic is very strong worldwide so this was not a reason for this acquisition.

I asked if the deal has been on the works for a long time and Machi commented it was a normal amount of based on prior acquisitions.





CRG West Promotes John Savageau

September 11, 2008

John Savageau one of the hardest working people I know in the carrier hotel/data center business was just promoted to CTO of CRG West where he will get to focus more on the company's peering and ICT offerings. Perhaps no one is more deserving of a promotion.

John has been an instrumental part of CRG West's expansion from two to eleven data centers and John is a true thought leader in the space. In my many discussions with Savageau, he has explained in intricate detail what separates his data centers from the run of the mill and brimmed with pride when he gave me a tour of the company's famous One Wilshire building which is located literally a few blocks from where ITEXPO will be held next week in Los Angeles.

John was a career US Air Force officer and when you speak with him you get the sense of his military background. There is just something about the precision in the way he speaks.

Many people take for granted that interconnections in facilities like the ones John manages are responsible for supplying entire countries with internet traffic.





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