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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.







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.











Gadgets Guilty Until Proven Innocent

August 4, 2008

Nortel Earnings August 2008

August 1, 2008

In a podcast conversation with Joel Hackney, President of Enterprise Solutions Business at Nortel I had a chance to discuss Nortel's earnings which were a mixed bag for the quarter. On the one hand there were eight quarters of year over year profit increases and revenue and gross margins increased compared to the same quarter (Q2) last year.

On the down side there was a wider net loss of $113 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $37 million, or seven cents a share, a year earlier.

Hackney did explain that the economic environment has been challenging, citing a "tough economy" and he mentioned work needs to be done to improve operational effectiveness and margins in the business.

Hackney went on to say, "Not only are we looking to become more effective and efficient, internally within Nortel from a cost perspective, we're taking our solutions externally and helping our customers do the same thing."

Other important takeaways were thoughts on the LG-Nortel JV, the Siemens acquisition by the Gores Group and what the rest of the years' earnings will look like.

Here is the podcast  for more.























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