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Rich Tehrani
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Broadband

Cisco Systems Rockets Ahead, Beats all Estimates

November 16, 2006

Here is part of my Internet Telephony Magazine Publisher's Outlook December 2006:   -----------   Certainly the biggest news in recent months is that Cisco Systems, the world’s biggest vendor of computer-networking equipment, reported first-quarter 2007 net sales of $8.2 billion (exceeding analyst predictions, which ranged from $7.9 billion to about $8.05 billion) and net income of $1.61 billion (up 28% from last year). In a public statement, Cisco’s CEO John Chambers boasted that the company “achieved, once again, record revenue of approximately $8.2 billion, a 25 percent year-over-year increase and a Cisco standalone increase of approximately 16 percent, which was above our standalone guidance of 11 to 13 percent,” adding, “This is the fastest standalone year-over-year revenue growth rate we have seen in several years.”   After the news appeared, investors jumped into the market, sending Cisco shares surging 7% to a new 52-week high of $27.44. The stock closed that day with a 6% gain, at $26.71 on the Nasdaq. Analysts everywhere either immediately upgraded their rating on the stock to “buy” or else increased their price targets.   The Associated Press quoted Ittai Kidron, an analyst with CIBC: “Few businesses Cisco’s size can claim to have achieved what it did in [the quarter] — outperformance in nearly every product line.

Cisco Booted at UPMC

November 15, 2006

To be more fair, at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Cisco, Avaya Nortel and Siemens voice systems will all be replaced by Alcatel in a $300 million deal that seems more like a service provider network than one needed for your typical medical needs. The deal is France-based Alcatel's largest enterprise transaction in North America, and will involve the retirement of thousands of Cisco switches and routers, hundreds of PBX systems, and thousands of digital phones from Avaya, Nortel, Siemens and other vendors. In doing this, the medical center will consolidate more than 150 standalone PBX phone systems into two redundant data centers, while boosting its core bandwidth by a factor of 10.

"It's pretty big," says Bill Hanna, vice president of IT infrastructure at UPMC. "The long and short of it is that the Cisco infrastructure will be replaced with an Alcatel infrastructure."

Analysts quoted in this article think this could be a defining moment for Alcatel who can now become a serious player in the enterprise space.



Cantata Layoffs

November 15, 2006

The word on the street is that approximately 50 people (see update) were laid off at Cantata yesterday out of a workforce of 300. Most of the people who were let go are shocked. Sources tell me the reason for the layoffs are soft sales numbers and some speculate the company is facing increased competition in its Excel Switching line. Apparently competitors are providing lower cost solutions.

Air Blown Fiber Market to Grow

November 15, 2006

They say death and taxes are the only two certainties in life but I wonder if in the technology space we could come up with a couple of certainties as well. I would say the need for "bandwidth" and the pace of "change" are the two certainties we must contend with in tech. As bandwidth hungry IP communications becomes more prevalent companies need to focus on network capacity to ensure they can easily carry voice and video with excess capacity left over for other important network functions. Not every company is carrying voice and video on their networks today but it seems the trend is certainly going in that direction.   The challenge for IT departments of course is knowing what the applications of importance will be six months from now and perhaps as importantly six years from now.

Caritas/Comcast VoIP Patent Victory

November 14, 2006

The VoIP market won a victory in Texas yesterday with Comcast defending itself successfully against a $2.2 billion lawsuit brought on by Caritas Technologies. The company was formed by four men, including David Farber, who many consider the grandfather Internet, was awarded a series of VoIP-related patents. One, in particular, Caritas claimed could be read to include calls that were made partly using VoIP connections and partly across the PSTN. Essentially, Caritas was claiming to have invented to capability to connect calls running partially on the PSTN and partially on IP networks, explained Daralyn Durie, attorney at Keker & Van Nest, LLP, representing Comcast in the case.   In the suit, whereby Caritas sought to end the Comcast Digital Voice (CDV) VoIP service offering, Caritas alleged that CDV infringed on Caritas’ patent rights, and in a claim construction hearing on July 31, the main issue was the term, “telephone connection in a telephone network.” Comcast held that the patent owned by Caritas was intended as a way to set up conference calls on the PSTN, not a way to have actual voice signals transmitted over an IP network.

Showing Kevin Martin the Door

November 13, 2006

Dems Bullish on Tech

November 13, 2006

Regardless of your political affiliation you must realize the technology boom was stronger under the Clinton administration than Bush. Sure Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet but at least he used it. The fact that Dick Cheney didn’t know what Napster was during his first campaign and the fact the president uses the terms “the Google” and “the Internets” is pathetic. How can the US be leaders in tech if our leaders are so oblivious to the space? Even lovers of the Bush administration realize he has done as much for technology as Kevin Federline has done for Britney Spears.

So from a technology perspective let’s welcome the Democrats with open arms.

Inter-Tel Buyout Withdrawal

November 8, 2006


Vector Capital and former Inter-Tel CEO Steven Mihaylo said they withdraw their bid for Inter-Tel. Recently Inter-Tel shareholders rejected the takeover proposal. 11,272,46 shares were voted against the Mihaylo Resolution, representing slightly over 50% of the 22,524,535 shares of the Company's common stock that were represented in person or by proxy.

Stockholders who voted, other than Mihaylo, rejected the resolution by approximately a two to one margin. This is obviously a very substantial number. Mihaylo owns approximately 19.4% of Inter-Tel's outstanding common shares.

Personally I think current management at the company is doing a good job and it would seem shareholders agree.




France Telecom in the Movies

November 8, 2006

The next move for telecom companies is to look outside telecom

It would seem that if cable and phone companies are set for a war, the phone companies need to hurry up and catch up in one of the areas cable has a stronghold; video content. This is not news to France Telecom who recently created a new unit that will invest in French and European movie rights and produce between 10 to 15 films per year.

Some people were surprised by the move but what France Telecom has done makes perfectly good sense for a number of reasons. We all know content is king. Consumers will be watching more and more video on devices like iPods, phones and soon watches.



GrandCentral

November 7, 2006

One Number for Life is the tagline of GrandCentral the brainchild of Craig Walker who by the way was one of the Internet Telephony Magazine's Top 100 voices of IP Communications. He was also president and CEO of DialPad and stayed on with Yahoo! for a while when the online portal purchased the company.

GrandCentral is a telecom dashboard that is future proof. The main benefit is as long as the company is around they will save your voicemails and allow you to keep your phone number.

In addition you can forward calls to any phone number and provider certain callers or groups of callers with special rings, specific rules, etc.

This is exactly the sort of service that would have saved Tom Keating from having a Vonage number porting problem a few months back.

In addition this service -- assuming everyone used it -- could have saved service providers from having to spend millions on local number portability solutions.

Other benefits of GrandCentral? You can also use a ring back tone derived from an MP3 file so callers can hear the song of your choosing.

In addition you can have call screening on your calls so you will know who is calling before you answer.











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