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Rich Tehrani
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Amazon's Subsidized Tablets Borrow from Wireless Carriers

September 28, 2011

Will any margin remain in selling standalone computing hardware?

I want to bet against Amazon - not because I don't like the company - I most certainly do. But because coming out with a new line of tablets to take on Apple is not turning into a successful strategy for the rest of the tech world. Both HP and RIM are feeling pain - even though I might add the Blackberry Playbook is a very solid tablet.

When Amazon released a slew of devices today from $79-$199 I was concerned that this is yet another case of a tech company going up against Apple and getting slaughtered. It is worth pointing out however that the HP tablet didn't really start selling until the price was dropped to $99.

But back to Amazon - I didn't think the original Kindle would be very popular and I was wrong.





Why AT&T Purchased Superclick Networks

September 27, 2011

AT&T just picked up Canadian WiFi gateway and solution provider Superclick Networks for $15 million dollars and the deal is curious as the company provides wireless solutions but not service for the hospitality, healthcare and retail markets. As you may recall, in November of 2008, AT&T also purchased leading WiFi provider Wayport and my take at the time was the deal signaled the importance of WiFi.

This transaction echoes this sentiment but it’s a bit different because it isn’t a service they are purchasing per se. The deal also shows the Ma Bell is looking outside the country for growth and isn’t afraid to do deals that are unexpected.

AT&T Responds to DOJ - What They Missed

September 9, 2011

AT&T responded to the DOJ regarding the blocked T-Mobile USA acquisition saying that the proposed merger would be good for consumers as it would allow AT&T to gain access to T-Mobile spectrum allowing their call quality to improve and the number of dropped calls to be reduced. This in turn they argue would lead to lower prices. Ma Bell 2.0 continued to explain that the wireless business is fiercely competitive which has resulted in lower prices over time.

The interesting takeaway here is that there is nothing new being argued.

Exciting New ITEXPO Keynote, Michael Tribolet with magicJack VocalTec

August 31, 2011

Two months back I told you that IP communications veteran Michael Tribolet, someone involved in the founding and growth of the VoIP space joined magicJack Vocaltec and would be at ITEXPO West in Austin Texas, September 13-15, 2011.

I have great news to share and that is that Michael will be keynoting at the show at 8:45 am on Sept 13. He kicks off what is perhaps the best keynote line-up ITEXPO has ever seen - he will be followed up by representatives from Cisco, IBM, DHL, Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe and many more.

I have known Tribolet for about a decade if not longer and he worked at some of the most influential game-changing companies in his career. For example, he Vice President of Operations at Dialpad - a VoIP leader in the nineties allowing tens of millions of global callers the ability to call into the US for free.

He then went to Vonage America and became President and watched the company change the face of VoIP - causing the cable companies to realize IP was their future as well. The ensuing competition between Vonage and the cablecos is still fascinating to watch.

Now at magicJack Vocaltec, Tribolet is once again at one of the game-changing IP communications companies and no doubt has fascinating insight on where the communications business has been and will be going.







Cloud Communications: That's gold, Jerry! Gold!

August 31, 2011

Seinfeld fans rejoice – I haven’t forgotten about you – and Kenny Bania is now forever immortalized in this blog. He came to mind and his expression “That's gold, Jerry! Gold!” seems so fitting when I get to talking about the cloud. You see, the cloud continues to be one of the most exciting areas TMC covers and as more companies move their tech and telecom into the cloud, they have questions about how best to go about transitioning.

Why Blocked AT&T, T-Mobile USA Deal is Good for Growth

August 31, 2011

Critics might say, in the history of M&A, it is difficult to recall one instance where more jobs were created as a result of two companies coming together. Yet this is the argument AT&T has been making for just less than three months after the merger announcement with AT&T and T-Mobile USA was announced. In part the argument was reinforced by the company's commitment to bring remote call center jobs back to the states.

Moreover, AT&T’s claim that this merger would be good for consumers is an interesting one as critics might say it is fairly easy to argue either side.

Suggestion: Apple's First Move Without Steve Jobs

August 25, 2011

Apple went from computer innovator to little more than a joke. Then Steve Jobs returned and since then, the company has become the absolute leader in tech, consumer electronics, wireless, tablets, music, entertainment, app stores, retail, industrial design and those are just off the top of my head. Jobs also turned Pixar into a multibillion dollar company and created movies destined to become classics.

Jobs did more than create new products and industries, he was savvy enough to lock up supply chains for hard disks, displays and other products keeping the competition scrambling to not only copy the company but to produce products in quantity.

The momentum the company has is incredible and in the tablet and music player market, the company is virtually untouched. Moreover, I fully expect an Apple TV (a real television I mean) in the future with even better integration with online video options.



Suzanne Bowen Moves to AstraQom

August 25, 2011

Electronic Health Records Only as Strong as Weakest Link

August 24, 2011

It is becoming commonplace to find that organizations of virtually all sizes are getting hacked and their data compromised. Sony and the CIA are just some of the latest we have heard of.

Let's be clear, these are some very high-profile sites and if they are hackable, it may be safe to say virtually all sites and are potentially vulnerable. Of course we know security is a journey and not a destination meaning companies need to install the latest patches and updates and monitor their code carefully for potential buffer overrun and related attacks.

One of the most recent areas of digitization is electronic health records and candidate and President Obama has discussed the potential benefits of going digital in the past. Then again, it isn't like the average consumer who has used LPs, tapes and MP3s doesn't understand that the digital format is the best for multiple reasons.

So when politicians finally read the Obamacare bill and start implementing it - we can bet there will be a heavy, heavy focus on electronic health records (EHR).

But wait, the EHR of 300,000 Californians have been floating around the Internet according to a story on TMCnet's HealthTechZone.







ITEXPO West 2011 Austin Highlights

August 23, 2011

Before all ITEXPO events I do a final proofread of the show directory and this one may be the biggest ever at 132 pages with tabs (just doing our part to support the economy). We will post a PDF version soon so you can see what’s in it but until then, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Keynotes & Exhibits Tuesday, September 13th at 9:15 AM we have Ian Pennell from Cisco and at 4:30 PM-5:30 PM we have keynotes from Siemens and IBM followed by a Grand Opening Networking Reception sponsored by Interact from 5:30-7:30.

Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM we have keynotes from Polycom and DHL followed by exhibits from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM there is a Cocktail reception sponsored by Rackspace Hosting and at 4:45 you could win a pair of mountain bikes from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - an Austin Institution ( I am told).

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