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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

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ITEXPO #SuperShow: The One Event Tech Buyers Should Attend Each Year

December 12, 2018

Time is limited and the only constant in tech is change.

In this environment, our challenge at TMC has been to evolve our conference ITEXPO, into a #SuperShow.







We hope you’ll make it Jan 30th-Feb 1st, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Simply stated, we have spent years, making ITEXPO (photos) the one place where purchasing decision-makers need to go to learn everything they need for the new year.

Dispersive Networks Hopes to Be the Future of Secure Networking

October 30, 2018

The December 2015 Ukraine power grid cyberattack was the first successful attack on a power grid and this event gave rise to Dispersive Networks.

According to Wikipedia, the attack was complex consisting of the following steps:



  • Prior compromise of corporate networks using spear-phishing emails with BlackEnergy malware;
  • Seizing SCADA under control, remotely switching substations off;
  • disabling/destroying IT infrastructure components (uninterruptible power suppliesmodems, RTUs, commutators);
  • Destruction of files stored on servers and workstations with the KillDisk malware;
  • Denial-of-Service attack on call-center to deny consumers up-to-date information on the blackout.

In total, up to 73 MWh of electricity was not supplied (or 0.015% of daily electricity consumption in the Ukraine).

Cyber attacks on the energy distribution companies took place during an ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war and is attributed to a Russian advanced persistent threat group known as "Sandworm".

If there is any good news that emerged as a result, it was people trying to find ways to prevent such attacks in the future. 



In an exclusive interview with Ed Wood, CEO at Dispersive Networks we learned how his company took the knowledge of this attack and used it as the basis of their technology which uses tech principles from telecom like spread-spectrum to take networking to the next level.





IBM Buys Red Hat - What Took so Long?

October 28, 2018

The late nineties are when IBM decided to make a big bet on Linux and open-source. It was a smart bet. They saw where the market was going and hopped on early.

In 1999, in fact, one year before the dotcom crash that the company announced it was jumping in.

It was a fairly big deal. IBM was known for proprietary operating systems and hardware and pretty much everything else.



Yamaha Brings Audio Expertise to UC

October 17, 2018

"People don't always understand the value of audio in meetings," said Randall Lee, Director Strategic Channel Marketing at Yamaha Corporation when speaking about the company's UC solutions.

This reminds us... We were once an amateur audiophile ourselves. In the days when we had to drag a diamond over a spinning plastic disc to produce quality tunes. And even back then, we knew about the Yamaha legacy.

They have actually been in the U.S.



Phone.Com adds Enterprise Features and HIPAA Compliance

October 10, 2018


As Phone.Com crossed the 30,000 customer mark we decided to have an exclusive interview with Alon Cohen, CTO and Executive VP. Alon is credited with being a founder of the VoIP market as a co-founder of VocalTec, the Israeli company which sold PC software and gateways allowing calls to traverse packetized IP networks for the first time.



Alon was very excited to discuss the company's new cloud architecture - the serverless solution allows the company to focus more on business logic. In fact, they can now respond to requests for changes quite rapidly as a result. He said, "We can respond in a day or two if a big customer needs a feature."

Telecom systems were once famous for being extremely slow when new features were needed.






Stack8: Achieving the Promise of UC and UCaaS

September 21, 2018



When it comes to UC, quite often, integrators leave when a system is technically up and running, not when it is optimally running. Stack8 was founded in 2010 to address this gap by bringing enterprise UC systems closer to what they could be doing from what they are doing.

The name Stack8 is interesting - it comes from the 7 layers OSI model starting at the bottom - the  physical layer carrying binary transmission all the way up to layer 7 or the application layer.

Stack8 refers to the human and business layer which runs on top.

CEO Steven Karachinsky explained in an exclusive interview, his company fights for customers to achieve the promise of UC and network - allowing users to communicate anywhere, anytime, on any device.
 

They work with companies using Cisco UC and fill in the gaps.

Sample customer list


For example - moves, adds and changes using a level 2 engineer is challenging as it's expensive, doesn't provide job satisfaction for the tech, zaps morale and is low priority, meaning a new employee could wait 48 hours for a new phone to be configured.

As a result, they built SMACS or the STACK8 Moves, Adds and Changes System so non-technical users can take over the task without errors. He explained ease-of-use is very important to them - there is no new terminology to learn, the logic is built-in and there are no templates needed like other solutions on the market.

"We try to make it as easy as smartphones," he exclaimed.

There is a Dial-Plan Manager which acts like an airplane seat selector, showing available numbers when you're assigning a new extension.



In addition, the IT administrator can:
  • Decide which fields or services should be shown to and hidden from the user.
  • Choose which fields are required.
  • Provide default values for any field.
  • Select and order the values of any drop down.
  • Customize text fields such as descriptions and labels to follow your company standards.
  • Set restrictions based on location (e.g. define a New York SMACS user and a Chicago user who can each do provisioning only for their office.)

Then you can authorize non-technical people in office administration, human resources or other departments to take over user provisioning.




























PGi Aims to Become Heart of Digital Transformation and UCaaS

September 19, 2018

60% of companies are behind on digital transformation (DX) and 34% of business owners say half their workers will be remote by 2020. Companies have to change and quickly to be able to keep up with a workforce which is increasingly working from remote locations.

Sure, (DX) is a term we use a great deal - perhaps even overuse but if the market considers itself behind and competition and a changing workforce require it, then perhaps it needs even more press coverage to ensure decision-makers are taking the competitive threat and opportunity to excel, seriously.

iPhone XS and XS Max Benchmarked: World's Fastest Phones (Again) https://t.co/2Knzy2iFrC pic.twitter.com/41ik34t4jQ

— Rich Tehrani (@rtehrani) September 18, 2018

We know not only is change happening more quickly but the pace of change is increasing as well. Apple's iPhone XS to be released tomorrow, is the fastest smartphone on the planet and increases the pressure on enterprise services to keep up with all the amazing things the latest generation of handheld devices can achieve.

A major thought leader in the DX space PGi CTO Patrick Harper recently wrote a compelling piece on a TMCnet sister-site detailing six considerations for enterprises adopting a UC&C strategy. In it, he had this to say:

Uptake of collaboration tools continues to grow as companies using this technology report higher productivity. Those with effective internal communications achieve 47% higher returns for shareholders, which makes effective communication and collaboration technology highly prized, while failure to promote effective communication and collaboration can be expensive - $37 billion is lost annually due to employee misunderstandings and poor communication. 








ZaiLab Powers the Contact Center via AI, ML and AWS

September 12, 2018

The breathtaking pace of technological innovation has meant that companies have been able to punch beyond their weight class. In other words, Moore's Law has allowed technology to improve at roughly by a factor of 2, every few years or so for the same price.

Couple this with numerous macro trends and the small to medium business of today is as advanced as the large company of a few years earlier.

In fact, you can argue the small business that is paying attention, can leapfrog a behemoth fairly easily.

Two technologies which make this possible are the cloud and app stores.

Because of these developments, a software developer can leverage an ecosystem of devices and solutions (iPads and iPhones for example) without having to ship products or even worry about having to deal with a server where they need to be downloaded from.

Then there is cloud. Developers can host applications of any size without worrying much about disaster recovery, generators, servers, massive IT departments, cooling systems, power, etc.

As software developers leverage today's tools, they are able to bring better products to market with new and innovative pricing models customers love.

For example ZaiLab has a fantastic cloud contact center offering which includes UC and is delivered via the Amazon cloud. They pass their flexible AWS server pricing on, meaning no per-seat license cost.













Pareteum Lets Carriers and Companies Quickly Integrate Global Mobile Services

September 11, 2018

Abstraction in tech adds value. Look no further than portable document format or PDF for an abstraction format for documents that revolutionized the way they were shared and printed. Before PDF, lots of energy was spent on installing printer drivers, exporting and importing documents - and quite often, retyping.

The packet network is an abstraction in the simplest sense - we send packets and they generally arrive at their destination, taking numerous possible routes.

The cloud is yet another abstraction - an amazing one... We save our files and run our applications without worrying about where the hard drives are - or the processors, memory, disaster recovery, etc.

Telecom has seen tremendous abstraction take place over the decades.





Nerdio ITaaS Helps Maximize MSP Profits

June 5, 2018

As customers continue to embrace cloud, MSPs and IT providers can look at the transition as an opportunity or a competitor.

One of the biggest challenges for MSPs is dealing with the increased cost of employees without being able to pass these costs on easily to customers. When benefits are factored in, increases can be 5-10+% each year.

One option is to hire less expensive workers but you get what you pay for many MSPs don't want the cheapest workers they can find servicing their customers.

Another way to handle the challenge is to automate but there is a limit to how much automation can be applied to installing servers and desktops.

This is where Nerdio comes in. They provide easy IT automation for managed service providers and their customers. Nerdio for Azure provides IT automation technology that delivers pricing, provisioning, management, and cost-optimization of hybrid and full IT environments on the Microsoft Cloud, allowing MSPs to build and rapidly grow their IT practices in Azure.

In a telephone interview, Nerdio CEO Vadim Vladimirskiy said, "Many MSPs are looking to add advanced cloud services to their offerings and find alternatives to continued investment in their own infrastructures.










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