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Technology

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.

IBM: Digital Darwinism May Kill You

October 8, 2013

In a candid IBM interview, Carl Ford of Crossfire Media spoke with Blair Reeves who said companies should spend less time on advertising and worrying about various channels and instead focus more on putting customers at the center of their business. He went on to explain that everything is part of big data – there is so much data going out there not only on the marketing side but related to how people are buying and selling he said. Another interesting point was this coupled with social information can be used by companies to serve their customers better.

Some types of data he mentioned are as follows:

  • What customers create: what they post to Facebook about their likes and dislikes
  • What/where/how customers buy and what they do with their purchases
  • How do they engage with brands and companies – through stores, kiosks, contact centers, mobile apps, etc

What he said was these are not discrete experiences, they are part of a larger omnichannel experience.

Amazing Self-Organizing Robots from MIT

October 7, 2013

Wow - it feels like you are looking at the future when you watch these self-organizing robots designed by MIT researchers work together to form different shapes. Each M-block is a marvel of technology - about the size of a few ice cubes, they contain a process motor controller, flywheel, braking mechanism, electronics, radio, battery and numerous magnets.

Moreover, these modular robots are unique because they are able to jump - its truly fascinating to watch them jump as they connect with one another while making different shapes - thanks to angular momentum.

If you start to think about these devices getting smaller - it may not be long before these robots can form a number of objects which you may need in your home like a stepping stool, temporary nightstand and more. One wonders how this technology may actually evolve and somehow merge with 3D printing tech to allow the creation of even more temporary objects.



The bottom line is the future seems to be getting closer by the day and self-organizing robots may be a huge field which changes the way we think about many of the fixed objects we rely on today.







Does Microsoft Need to Fire Bill Gates?

October 2, 2013

Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates are synonymous with Microsoft’s management and for many years the duo did a fantastic job creating value for customers, shareholders and employees. While the company is far from in trouble, possessing huge amounts of cash and cash flow, it has flopped in many areas which they saw as important. Phones and tablets are a few of these spaces and you may want to add search in as well. Unfortunately these are the products of the future.

Thanks PopSci: Web Page Integration may be the next Social Frontier?

September 30, 2013

You may have heard that Popular Science has shut down its comments citing studies which show comments can influence the readers perception of a story.

Specifically:

Another, similarly designed study found that just firmly worded (but not uncivil) disagreements between commenters impacted readers' perception of science. If you carry out those results to their logical end--commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded--you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the "off" switch.

They go on by explaining there are still lots of ways to interact with the company – social media, etc. Response from readers was mixed and to me it seems that shutting down comments is a bit like soft-censorship; people will still comment on the content but much of it will be hidden from readers.

This is echoed by a commenter, jasonthibeault who says:

Okay, so I am going to take a little different stance.

How NC-Based Bandwidth Enables the Telecom Ecosystem

September 25, 2013

Bandwidth.com recently became just plain Bandwidth (no dotcom) as they unveiled a colorful new logo and announced an exciting array of products and services which support the communications ecosystem. The company's Republic Wireless division gives it strength in the MVNO space where its new Moto X supports both WiFi and cellular services powered by Sprint. Their wholesale solutions permit carriers to embed voice into their click-to-call apps and also allow an ILEC to become a CLEC without worrying about building out their own nationwide network. This UC service can be provided on a per-seat basis.

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.

Qwilt Speeds Video Downloads Worldwide

September 24, 2013

There are few constants in the world of technology - one of them has to be that there will never be enough bandwidth... Your connection can never keep up with the growing need of enterprises and consumers. Binge viewing especially has become a plague for carriers who are seeing their costs increase exponentially.

Enter Qwilt, the company that functions as a a virtual CDN-enabler for the last-mile through the use of appliances which run on COTS hardware and sit in the carrier network assisiting in caching in the important area between the core to aggregation to the edge to home.

Neustar Enables CSPS to Speed Their Carrier Ethernet Offerings

September 24, 2013

Neustar is one of the most amazing companies in the world of technology and telecom because they are involved in so many spaces and are responsible for allowing much of what we rely on to function correctly. In a recent conversation with Gary Zimmerman the head of marketing communications segment, he explained how Neustar is evolving into a an analytics company with its purchase of TARGUSinfo and others. Neustar is involved in short codes, SMS, Caller ID, LNP and more - they call themselves the neutral provider of real-time information and analytics to the communications services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors... Wow!

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