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Rich Tehrani
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Technology

Sangoma: From Open Source to Unified Communications

June 19, 2007

I recently had a chance to speak with David Mandelstam at the Communications Developer Conference last month in Santa Clara, CA. Sangoma was one of the highlights at the show as the company had produced a few record quarters in a row just prior to the event. Even more impressive the company turned in yet another record-breaking quarter of 24% growth quarter over quarter.   It was great to catch up with David and hear his thoughts on where the company is going. One thing I mentioned to David is how his customers consistently tell me how great the voice quality and reliability is of their cards.

Skype Trunking

June 19, 2007

VoSKY Technologies Enables Skype Trunking and More

Many companies are using Skype in their business but generally speaking these are Skype islands which do not interconnect with the plethora of telephony equipment in the organization. For example the ACD is an integral part of many an enterprise yet native Skype does not have access to such niceties. For example, there is no centralized auto attendant on Skype calls coming into an enterprise.   A few years back when there was talk of eBay purchasing Skype and many critics who said eBay spent too much on the VoIP software company, I countered by saying Skype is one of the world’s largest and still fastest-growing telephone companies. This idea still holds true and the one thing most every pundit forgot to mention is the Skype opportunity in business.   There is a tremendous SMB and enterprise market for Skype to exploit by offering its network for the benefit of businesses everywhere.   At a keynote speech at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in 2005, Skype CEO Niklas Zennstrom told the world for the first time that Skype is doing very well in the business world.

Nuvoiz: Unified Communications Grows Up

June 19, 2007

The interest in unified communications is not slowing down and I can tell from the subscription interest to TMC’s Unified Communications Magazine the future looks very bright for this burgeoning technology.   A few months back I wrote about mid-market unified communications and more specifically a company called Nuvoiz which is aiming squarely at this market as it rolls out its UC strategy.   The founder of the company Chong-Jim Koh is an energetic and passionate entrepreneur who seems to have the drive to be a player in the space. Of course UC is a wide open market and there will be no lack of competition.   To stay a step ahead of the competition, Koh showed me the slick UI of his UC application. If I had to say what it looks like… I would say it is more Skype-like than other solutions I have seen. This by the way is a complement.   In addition, the company offers a mobile client which runs on Microsoft Windows Mobile Devices.

RingCentral Update

June 18, 2007

If you have any doubt the hosted communications market is growing, you need to look no further than RingCentral who tells me their customer acquisition rate has grown at twice the rate of last year. The company does not offer VoIP but instead, a virtual office service allowing you to have the features and functions of a much larger company on a less expensive and pay as you go basis.   The service works with any phone system, such as a cell phone allowing a full featured auto attendant to front end calls. The company is focusing on the under 10 user market and Boris Elpinier the company’s VP of Marketing tells me they have tens of thousands of customers.   Boris and I met at the recent Communications Developer Conference in Santa Clara where he went on to tell me his service has the benefit of allowing you to start with a single client and doesn’t force you to use VoIP. Boris went on to say the SMB space uses fax more than he initially thought they would and thankfully his service supports fax.   Elpinier went on to say the value proposition for prospective customers is that for the price of a featureless 800 number or a fax service you can have both using RingCentral.

Borderware's SBC Strategy

June 18, 2007

MidMarket Session Border Contoller   Over the past few years the Session Border Control market has seen some change. At the high end of the market there are companies like Acme Packet and Nextone. These companies generally focus on features, features oh and more features. In fact a recent meeting with Seamus Hourihan of Acme Packet was one of the most information-packed discussions I have ever had.

Lifesize

June 18, 2007

Near Telepresence at a Fraction of the Cost   There seems to be no doubt if your company has corporate jets you can afford and will likely embrace a telepresence system from a company like Cisco or Polycom and spend up to $300k per unit to do so. But for those companies who might think twice about spending the equivalent of the average US house on their videoconferencing solution, there are choices.   One such choice comes from a company called Lifesize who has been making lots of noise in the HD videoconferencing market. Lifesize sits in the market at the midrange, providing excellent video quality at a fraction of the cost of the big boys. The goal of the company is to be the price/performance leader and I can vouch for the quality of their technology as I had a chance to see it for myself.

Shunra

June 18, 2007

Developing applications for local computers is one thing but once you factor in the latency generated by wide area networks you can significantly reduce productivity if users are forced to wait for painfully slow applications to refresh screens and provide data updates. In order to help speed up the process of writing effective applications for WANs Shunra has recently released a New WAN optimization and application acceleration selection service.   You may remember Shunra has been a benefactor to TMC labs for about a decade providing their Cloud product which has been instrumental at simulating WAN traffic at our labs over the years.   In a recent sit down with the executive management team of Shunra Software I learned how the company has taken its excellent suite of technologies and began offering them up as services. The suite of services includes but is not limited to application profiling and surge testing, allowing developers to be sure applications are performing within the correct parameters – even when pushed to the limit.   Of course a use for such technology is ensuring VoIP applications are running efficiently but the product/service also excels in other areas. For example when choosing between various vendors, Shunra can help you company set up a virtual network environment.

SPIRIT DSP and HTC

June 16, 2007

T-Mobile Fights VoIP

June 16, 2007

Update: Please note this post is regarding T-Mobile UK VoIP has obviously changed the revenue equation in the telecom space with operators now facing competitors which are smaller, nimbler and able to launch new services rapidly. In some ways these new operators embody the ultimate dream of IMS. The only problem is in some cases operators have seen these new services as competitive to their core offerings and in many cases have blocked this competition. Sometimes illegally.   That is the contention of Andy Abramson who runs PR for Truphone.

Samsung’s Gateway Play

June 15, 2007

Samsung is no stranger to the world of technology with leading positions in memory chips, televisions and mobile devices to name a few. Recently the company has launched a line of gateways dubbed the Ubigate Intelligent Business Gateway (IBG) series.   The gateways range from the IBG3026 for large offices down to the IBG2006 for small branch offices and have many leading-edge features such as hot-swappable modules, fan and power supply, redundant power supplies and more.   The gateway also has a built-in firewall, anti-virus, anti-spam, URL filtering, web application firewall and end-point security.   I met with the company’s charismatic VP of Business Development, Alex Kim who has held positions in the past at 3Com and Spirent. Alex really focused his attention on the four distinct capabilities of the box… VoIP, security, switching and routing.   He went on to say in the mid market he believes a single box is a much better solution than individual solutions. Samsung is certainly ambitious as they want to be the IP mobility convergence leader.
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