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

Security

Data Exfiltration: Defined

August 25, 2008

Data -- even if it is unclassified, can be a problem for our government or any organization-- if it gets in the wrong hands in sufficient quantities. I was reminded of this fact while reading this article from Kevin G. Coleman on TMCnet.

According to the article:
Cyber attacks, hacking and systems compromises are all too frequent occurrences in a world that has become addicted to electronic information. Targeted attacks using advanced techniques combined with software application exploits have created the chink in our systems' armor that cyber attackers need to go about their snooping and thievery without being detected. Once a computer is compromised, cyber attackers have nearly "at will" access to the massive amount of electronic data stored there.


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.












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.



SaaS -- The Tide is Turning The Wrong Way

August 17, 2008

Without listing them all as their are too many, the recent outages of services from Amazon, Google and many others have people worrying about switching to hosted applications and moreover, some jobs may be at risk over decisions to go hosted.

Remember the good old days when no one got fired for buying IBM. Seems like the saying still goes for Microsoft and other non-hosted vendors.

For hosted providers, the tide is turning and if these companies don't get their collective act together, they will ensure a slower migration to software as a service or SaaS.

The problem is of course that a single hosting company having an outage such as SalesForce.com, Google or Amazon will scare potential customers away from even considering the move to servers which they do not control.

Sure the infrequent outage isn't a problem but we seem to be hitting a critical mass of these things and there is a record number of outages and worse -- record numbers of stories about hosted service outages.

Let's just say it seems like the SaaS space may soon take a pause if these outages don't stop soon.

See Also:

Gmail leaves Google Apps admins nervous


Apple, Amazon cloud snafus leave Microsoft sitting pretty
Google Docs Outage
Outages Force Cloud Computing Users To Rethink Tactics
















HTC Dream Coming Soon

August 16, 2008

The much anticipated Google Android phone looks like it will finally see the light of day on the T-Mobile network. It is worth noting that some of the more interesting developments in the world of mobile phones have come from traditional computer companies. First, HTC a company known for making really leading-edge PDAs around the turn of the century got into the smartphone business and provided a solid alternative to traditional cell phone makers and phone from Treo/Palm/RIM (all three of which could be considered computer companies as well).

Then it was Apple and now Google. (I may lump Samsung in here as well but let's leave them out for now.

Podcast Interview Tata Communications

August 15, 2008

Tata's View of Communications

Tata is a global company which is perhaps closest to what General Electric is in the US or Siemens is in Germany. The company is absolutely massive, having over 5,000 employees and engages in businesses such as building cars, providing chemicals, energy, materials and even consumer products like tea.

In addition, the company is a major player in telecom and has a global fiber network which is worth taking note of as it is large and growing. Tata has been aggressively pursuing US and international business and for this reason I knew my audience would be interested in learning more about how Tata Communications can help service providers, schools, the government and other US based concerns solve their communications problems.

On a podcast interview with Anthony Rossabi, Vice President of Carrier Services for the Americas I had a chance to ask questions about what the company is up to and how it can help carriers worldwide.

A good deal of our discussion centered around TCTS or Tata Communications Transformation Services which provides specific back office functions for carriers such as provisioning, network design, access and access pricing. The company has been focusing on landline but is moving into the wireless space as well.







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.







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