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Rich Tehrani
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Broadband

Vonage buys Vocalocity: Better Late Than Never

October 10, 2013

For a good part of this past decade businesses have been moving rapidly to cloud-based communications… Especially small business. Bryan Martin, 8x8 CEO – his company is one of the leaders in the hosted VoIP space, told me in 2009 – around the time of the financial crisis that the situation was good for his business.

While the business market kept improving, the consumer space got tougher as competition from Skype and MagicJack rapidly reduced margins in the space.

It has always been odd to me that Vonage ignored the business market. The branding of the company made so much sense to apply to small and medium size telecom purchases.

Vocalocity is Growing Quickly: Here's Why

September 25, 2013

Recently, customers, vendors and competitors have been talking about Vocalocity - as one of the fastest-growing cloud-based communications companies. In fact just a month ago Syngergy Research produced a report detailing how fast the cloud UC market is growing and mentioned Vocalocity is growing must faster than the market at at 45% while the market grew at 22%. This puts the company just behind 8x8 and Shoretel - which acquired M5 Networks to get into the cloud space in terms of market size.

An article from Steve Anderson on a TMCnet sister-site explains some of the reasons for the growth:

The channel partner program offers a campaign syndication tool that gives resellers options in terms of collateral and promotions so that the individual resellers get some choices in what can be offered.

Overture: Enabling Carriers to Compete Today

September 25, 2013

Communications service providers are facing unprecedented opportunity and threats and if the OTT threat wasn't a big enough challenge, its worth pointing out AT&T recently lost its bid to supply broadband to Starbucks to Google of all companies. Who would have thought this could even happen a mere five years ago?

I had a discussion about the pace of change in the CSP market with Mark Durrett of Overture and he went over many of the ways his company is helping carriers deal with the transition. The company is doing this through their Ensemble OSA product which is an open-architecture for software-defined services allowing service creation, activation and assurance by bringing many of the benefits of cloud computing to the metro edge.

Compass EOS and The Optical Approach to Core Routing

September 25, 2013

As core routers have to handle ever-faster data rates the high-speed connections suffer from a variety of problems as a result of challeenges which have to be overcome in inter-chip communications. Signal integrity becomes a problem over copper lines connecting ASICs as circut AC characteristics begin to dominate the impedance, inductance and conductance of the line and in-turn distort the signal. One way to mitigate these challenges is to utilize decision feedback equalization which consumes large amounts of power. Moreover, crosstalk has to be dealt with as electrical circuit speeds have reached the limits where traditional technology can overcome these effects.

Optelian Lowers Packet Optical Service Roll Out Costs

September 24, 2013

SDN is a wonderful technology for networking but its a few layers up from packet optical service meaning you can't take advanatage of the latest in software defined networking innovation. In a conversation with Brian Pratt of Optelian, I had a chance to discuss how his company is trying to bring some of the best concepts in the SDN world to the packet optical world.

One of the main benefits of allowing software to manage the rollout and provisioning of packet optical service is you need less Ethernet engineers and WDM experts to deal with configuration and provisioning. The company sees this new world as being embodied by the concept of service-driven networking, a term which has the exact same acronym as software defined networking - on purpose.

The Cloud is Hurting PBX Sales

September 13, 2013

In case there was any doubt about the success of cloud-based telephony growing at the expense of customer-premise-equipment or CPE, the latest research out of Dell’Oro Group should serve as a wake-up call. Alan Weckel, Vice President of Enterprise Telephony research at the company had this to say, “If you look at 8x8, RingCentral, and Shoretel's acquisition of M5, combined they experienced growth in excess of 15% compared to 2Q12.”

ShoreTel has certainly been a visionary in the communications market – they were nimble enough to come up with a cloud solution which they purchased from M5 and are rapidly growing this part of their company as you can see from the research above.

Ben Irvine, the VP of Operations at the company’s cloud division recently told me 20% of customers are asking for cloud-based solutions off-the-bat according to the company’s partners.

Global Capacity: Enabling the Virtual Network Operator

August 22, 2013

On a recent trip to Global Capacity I got to see how the company provides automation-based network service platforms to system integrators and carriers who are typically of the tier-two variety. Over half-a-million quotes a month are provided by the company through an API or portal. Let’s say you are a carrier in rural Texas, Global Capacity can work with you and let you know how your rates compare to others in the markets you serve. In other words, you may be the lowest cost carrier in 10 cities but there may be eight other ones where you are not price-competitive.

Comverse ONE Helps CSPs Monetize Digital Services

August 7, 2013


In March I detailed how Comverse Share is helping carriers integrate the best of social networking with their carrier offerings allowing a CSP to communicate with customers in an environment where they are spending more of their time. The integration of social into the typical service provider business model means carriers can use information from these networks to provide their customers offers on specific products and services. For example a sports fan could get an offer on a package which offers football video streaming.

In the above interview I spoke with Alice Bartram and last week I followed up with her and Mike Huffman in their Mass based headquarters to report on the latest offerings coming from her company.

Axis Communications Uses APIs and Low-Light Tech to Differentiate

August 5, 2013

One constant in business has been the ecosystem can be more important than the product. As an example, if a person is considering attending a conference, they typically look at the speakers and exhibitors to see if there is a fit before booking their trip. In other cases they will look to see who else is attending before they decide to pull the trigger. Over the last few decades a number of tech companies did their best to attract developers to their platforms to build their ecosystems.

Chromecast Dongle Helps Google Take Down Apple

July 26, 2013

A low-cost atom bomb from Google aimed at the living room

If you have been following Google’s moves lately you see the company seems to have a laser focus on being a leader in a number of areas from autonomous cars to balloon-powered WiFi. Its important to point out there seems to be intense focus on competing with Apple with the introduction of solid products which are priced far lower than what Cupertino has to offer.

In the past five years, Google has launched an app store, an OS for mobile devices, smartphones, tablets and cloud-powered laptops. Now the company has unveiled Chromecast, a $35 dongle allowing streaming from mobile device to any television.



In short it takes on Apple TV to some degree and costs one-third as much.

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