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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

Broadband

GENBAND Enables Carriers to Take On Silicon Valley

April 18, 2017

In 2010, we told you Genband has become a mini Alcatel-Lucent for all practical purposes and we couldn't help thinking of this, almost a decade later as we sat, discussing the latest happenings at the company. GENBAND is actually not only a company delivering hardware and software, they have become a cloud-enabler for carriers worldwide. For example, Deutsche Telekom has a consumer app based on Kandy.

Who is GENBAND today? They are becoming the ultimate enabler of carrier communications solutions.

New Flowroute Customer Onboarding Platform Lubricates CSP Porting

April 17, 2017



Smoothly and effectively onboarding new enterprises is one of the most significant operational challenges for cloud communications providers. Flowroute is aiming squarely at helping these companies deliver an excellent experience for companies migrating to their services.

In a recent meeting with Dan Nordale and Dave Rich, they told me they asked themselves, "Why is it so easy to get a gmail account but not so easy to get telecom configured for business?"

And thus the Flowroute mission was born.

The company helps its customers in the following ways:

  • Onboarding API: Through an Onboarding API, Flowroute helps communication service providers manage the lifecycle of customer onboarding, from order submission to completion.
  • Bulk port orders: Gives CSPs the ability to create and manage thousands of port orders at once through the its web-based application.
  • Real-time event updates: Provides end-users access to the entire onboarding journey, including real-time messages from Flowroute’s number and porting experts.
  • Number feature automation: Enables automated configuration of CNAM, E911, call routing and name assignments during onboarding.
  • Quality Control: Sends automated verifications to confirm phone number transition through NPAC, the National Portability Administration Center.
The most impactful statement made in the interview "90% of enterprises run their PBX inside a firewall." It will flip in five years. Meaning we ar going from UC to UCaaS.

And as enterprises move to the cloud, Flowroute is trying to take away the pain of delayed ports and minimize the exposure customers have to tech issues.

By automating and approving onboarding, they help carriers expand their product sets as they no longer need to focus as much on these areas.



















Will the FCC Ban Talking on Flights Next?

April 11, 2017

We realize this is a controversial topic as many people didn't want internet on flights, let alone calling. Having said that, Your's Truly has turned on WiFi Calling on his phone and does occasionally talk in the iPhone mid-flight. The connection isn't usually that great and it is very difficult to hear with all the background noise from the engines. Also - because the upload speed is generally severely limited, the other party will often be challenged to hear you clearly.

The minor inconvenience fellow passengers face from a nearby phone call is certainly far less than noise generated by people talking around you.

New 8x8 Communications Cloud Enables Digital Transformation

April 9, 2017

Bryan Martin of 8x8 told us the company's new Communications Cloud is analogous to the other clouds companies have in place - marketing and sales for example. The service combines UC, collaboration, contact center and analytics into a single streamlined package.



The company's Team Collaboration is an open solution connecting to other communications platforms such as Slack and Hipchat - allowing them to interoperate. Bryan tells us they can connect 50 of these services together. 

The openness angle is a very interesting one - is it better to be connected to all the various solutions on the market or try to acquire one of your own and lock customers in?





CafeX Chime Shows How Communications Enables Digital Transformation

April 9, 2017

There is is a nonstop movement from traditional communications and UC players to add value to their applications and services. It reminds us a great deal of what is happening with communications service providers - they had been trying for years to add value to their connections so as not to be considered dumb pipes. The latest move in this direction is AT&T offering HBO free in some of its service packages.

In a recent meeting with Sajeel Hussain of CafeX - we got a glimpse of what the evolution of UC and collaboration could be. CafeX has a service called Chime (PDF)- not to be confused with the more recent Amazon Chime service by the same name - which by the way, spurred a lawsuit from CafeX.

Hussain describes it as business-focused, outcome-driven pervasive collaboration with customer engagement.



Free HBO Content Makes the AT&T Pipe Smart

April 5, 2017



For years, communications service providers like AT&T and Verizon discussed their need to to not be dumb pipe sellers but instead add value with various services. It turns out one of the major ways to add value to a dumb pipe is with content - lots of it. Comcast owns NBC and Universal, Verizon owns Yahoo! and AOL and AT&T owns DirectTV.

Thanks to T-Mobile and Sprint, there is real price competition in the wireless space and differentiating can be more difficult. Tremendous credit goes to to T-Mobile for immediately offering Pokemon Go with no data charges - soon enough to capitalize on the trendy new game.

Amazingly, carriers are more nimble than they've ever been. 





Sennheiser Shows the Future of Work in NYC

April 3, 2017


Sennheiser
and furniture company Wilkhahn recently held a press conference at their pop-up store in Greenwich Village, NY where the audience was treated to great content and the ability to try some of the company's high-end audio products.

The presentation started with pictures which showed the evolution of the office - from tightly packed desks, to offices, to cubes and now more casual informal settings replete with couches, huddle rooms and a few quiet areas for serious work. In other words, our collaborative future.

The takeaway? Well, it wasn't all that different from what many of us heard in the keynote room of ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Companies are changing to suit the tastes of millennials.



Why Apple's Dropping its Pants With New iPad Price

March 21, 2017

This new device is a dramatic departure for the company... Here's why



If you look at the innovations of the iPad over the years, the device has gotten significantly more powerful as well as lighter with each iteration. The company pioneered a Smart Cover and a Smart Keyboard and even launched a pencil - although, they didn't pioneer that... In fact it was avoiding the use of a stylus that got the company to where it is today...



Mitel Analyst Day 2017 Live Blog

March 7, 2017

Past live blog 2015. Here are the complete slides.

8 am: CEO Rich McBee takes the stage.

The company won’t overpay for a company but will look for strategic acquisitions. Digital transformation is a key element of their strategy – they will provide software and services to their installed base.

Avaya Bankruptcy Really Doesn't Bother Buyers

February 21, 2017

At this month's ITEXPO we hosted a panel on Cloud UC with RingCentral, 8x8 and Broadsoft and one of the first questions I asked was what is the end-result of the Avaya bankruptcy on the mind of people making purchasing decisions. While the panelists and I were quick to point out that cloud and debt helped do Avaya in, the audience wasn't particularity concerned.



Out of about 500+ people in the room at the time one a few hands said the bankruptcy would affect their decision.

One would have expected it to be much higher - we would have guessed north of 15% but instead the number seemed to be similar to what the company's typical annual churn rate is.



Perhaps people have seen enough in their careers to know that Avaya products will still be maintained and serviced and likely invested in, regardless of what the bankruptcy courts decide.

That's what happened with the Nortel assets after all.

The funny thing is even though much is moving to the cloud, phones were everywhere at show... Peter Radizeski pointed out just how many phone vendors were exhibiting at the show. In addition, Sangoma drew much attention with their new phones.













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