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Open-Source Telephony Goes Mainstream

May 8, 2007

In the last few years the communications industry has been taken by storm through the invention of an open-source communications platform named Asterisk invented by Digium (www.digium.com) founder Mark Spencer. An article written for the January 2004 issue of Internet Telephony magazine by yours truly was titled, “Open Source Telephony. . .

Cable Gets VoIP

May 8, 2007

Cable companies are feasting on VoIP success by the millions of customers. What an amazing job they are doing taking customers from phone companies. So far however, cable VoIP growth in the SMB space has been slow. Large phone companies for their part seem to be copying as opposed to innovating.

Hillary Clinton Champion of Net Neutrality?

May 8, 2007

VoIP Stories May 7, 2007

May 7, 2007

Here are some interesting stories worth reading. Incidentally, I now have a Plantronics CS70N installed at my desk. It is about the same size and weight as the popular Plantronics Voyager 510 with the difference being slightly more weight and thickness as well as a long voice tube which reaches your mouth.   I have been able to walk a few hundred feet (with massive amounts of RF emitting equipment in-between) from my base station before sound quality degrades.   Enjoy:  

RIM Does Unified Communications

May 7, 2007

Research in Motion has taken the full unified communications plunge via its Blackberry Mobile Voice System (MVS) solution. The goal of this product is to allow a Blackberry smartphone to become a seamless telephony extension.   Millions of users already rely on Blackberrys to provide them seamless e-mail and now the company is pushing hard into the world of voice. MVS provides enhancements to device software, the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) and Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite from Ascendent Systems which is a subsidiary of RIM.   I had a chance to catch up with Ascendent Systems Senior Marketing Manager Heather Howland a few weeks back in Boston to discuss this announcement. In addition we spoke today where she rounded out the details.

Wireless 2.0

May 4, 2007

Google, Yahoo, Skype/eBay and others are very interested in ensuring they have direct access to consumers through licensed spectrum. In fact, on March 6, 2007, Google became part of a consortium called the Coalition for 4G in America. It includes Skype, Yahoo, DirecTV, EchoStar, Intel, and wireless services provider Access Spectrum.   One wonders if this isn’t the clearest sign of all these companies are sure net neutrality will not ever be enforced. Then again it could just be a way to hedge their bets.   Chairman Kevin Martin and the FCC should be praised for taking action on the suggestions of the dotcoms and publicly pledging support for increased broadband wireless competition.   See the full story written by BusinessWeek.

Skype Announcements at Communications Developer

April 28, 2007

I was just perusing an article on Skype development from Greg Galitzine which consists of an interview with head of development for the world’s most successful VoIP software company. The interview is with Paul Amery the Director of the Skype Developer Program.   Here are some of the salient comments from Paul:   The breadth of developers who work with Skype is extraordinary. They range from 15-year old techies who are coding in their bedrooms to CEOs with more than 30 years of experience developing software applications. The uniting factor is that they all love Skype, and constantly want us to enhance the platform to help them do more.   The most popular application [Skype Extra] overall is CrazyTalk for Skype from Reallusion.

Ed Whitacre Jr.

April 27, 2007

Congratulations to Ed Whitacre Jr. for building a great big telecommunications company from an assortment of smaller ones. Certainly in this case the sum was greater than the parts.   Ed is about to retire and he can consider this my retirement present.   While I have perhaps had a rant or two over the years about net neutrality comments made by Mr. Whitacre, there is not a single person who can deny this man has achieved greatness in the world of communications and technology.   Ed Whitacre Jr. put AT&T back together again and left it in great shape.   The Board of Directors has chosen Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T's chief operating officer, to succeed Whitacre as chairman and CEO.   Randall has tremendous shoes to fill and it may be very tough to keep AT&T’s massive momentum going without even more acquisitions. These could consist of content plays such as perhaps satellite radio, internet companies and even advertising networks. Yahoo!

Bees Gone Wild

April 26, 2007

Greg has some thoughts on the bee problems and how Taiwan is being affected by bees who leave their hives and get lost on the way home. Last year at the Communications Developer Conference I joked onstage about the latest forms of IP communications and how pigeons would play an important role in providing mesh-based WiFi networks of the future.   It seems now we need a tiny IP-based bee-cam to be placed on bees allowing scientists to see where these bees are going. Some of the theories scientists are offering are power lines or cellular signals disrupting the bees natural ability to navigate.   Something I haven’t read about is pollution being a problem but pesticides and weather are other theories that have been posed.   But the bee problem seems to have become a problem last year and power lines and cell phone signals haven’t increased so much in the last year have they? Remember this is a worldwide problem it seems.   If it is a technology problem then it would have to be a new wireless technology.

Interactive Intelligence and Alliance Systems

April 23, 2007

Interactive Intelligence announced today it has purchased the professional services group of Alliance Systems and I had a chance to speak with the president of Alliance Systems Rusty Cone about this deal. Rusty deferred to Alliance Systems chairman Jon Shapiro about the reason for this transaction.   According to Jon: “Our core server and infrastructure business has been growing very rapidly and we wanted to focus our resources on increasing our manufacturing capacity, engineering resources and our global logistics and support business.”   I did get a chance to find out a bit more about the transaction however. Rusty explained he is happy for the 14 people who will now be part of Interactive Intelligence as they now have more opportunity to move up in the organization.
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