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Technology

Virtual World Investment

October 5, 2007

If you want to get an idea of just hot virtual worlds are these days consider there has been a billion dollars invested in this technology in the past year. More amazingly this amount of money has been divided and parceled into 35 companies. Some of these distributions of capital were acquisitions and others were investments. There is obviously a lot of money out there thinking virtual worlds will be huge.

Dialogic Buys Cantata

October 5, 2007

Dialogic has been gaining a great deal of momentum this past year and now this momentum has increased substantially as the company has just announced they will be acquiring Cantata. This deal gives Dialogic access to huge fax market share as well as the Excel and SnowShore product lines, significantly enhancing Dialogic’s position in the service provider market according to Jim Machi the company’s Vice President of Marketing.   Machi also explained this acquisition will be significant for Dialogic customers as there is a great deal of service provider know-how which Dialogic will now have access to. He further mentioned the company is extremely excited about this transaction.   In the nineties there were a number of companies in the DSP resource board market -- Dialogic, NMS, Brooktrout, Rhetorex, Aculab and Pika Technologies were some of these names. Through a series of acquisitions Rhetorex became part of Brooktrout which changed names to Cantata.

Call Center Flash Demo

October 4, 2007

Over a decade ago I came across Interactive Intelligence, a company who looked at the call center space as an area ripe with opportunity. They decided to market products which did exactly the opposite of what others were doing at the time.   While most companies were focusing on pushing box after box after box -- one for the ACD, another for the dialer, workforce management, etc… Interactive Intelligence decided to unify the communications mechanisms and deploy software as opposed to hardware. Their solution was to have a single configuration interface, navigation menus, etc.   I was thinking about the past decade in communications as I came across this interesting Flash demo from the company. It seems like more and more companies are now doing with Interactive is doing.   This demo talks a bit about the company and the Customer Interaction Center solution they provide.

Nokia Ferrari Phone

October 4, 2007

60 lucky people will be able to own the new Nokia Ascent Ferrari 60 phone. As is the case with the cars, if you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it. Let’s put it this way. Assuming the average car costs around $30k and the Average Ferrari costs about $300k – you pay a 10x premium for the prancing horse.   The situation is similar with the phone where if the average smartphone costs around $250, you can pick up this new Ferrari phone for about $25k.

Freeconferencecall.com

October 4, 2007

If you are interested in how services like Freeconferencecall.com make money be sure to check out this article in the Wall Street Journal (paid content). In short, large phone carriers like AT&T and Verizon have to pay 5.3 cents per minute to terminate calls in rural parts of Iowa due to the way the telecom regulations in the US work.   So free conference calling services, chat and sex lines were set up with numbers connecting to rural Iowa. The rural carriers split the incoming revenue with the internet companies.   The large phone companies started to block calls, the free conference calling services complained to the FCC and now the large phone companies stopped blocking calls and instead refuse to pay.   If nothing else this article shows just how inconsistent the telecom policies are in the US and moreover how technologies like the internet and IP communications have been able to open up large business opportunities.

Reselling VoIP

October 3, 2007

Calling all consultants, VARs, systems integrators and other resellers… Be on the look out for information on how you can make money selling IP communications. Specifically hosted communications. Now that I have got you looking, please indulge me as I give s shameless plug to a web seminar sponsored by Speakeasy, Polycom and TMCnet.   Here are some of the details. As always the webinar will be archived for future viewing if you miss it live.

Unified Communications Gaining Momentum

October 3, 2007

In less than two weeks the communications market will be bolstered by the announcement of Microsoft officially entering the unified communications space in a major way. As a show of their support for the market, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates will be speaking about the opportunity to a live audience.   To get an idea of what Microsoft will be rolling out be sure to read my recent article on the company.   The significance of this news cannot be underestimated as Bill Gates is not used by the company to push technologies which are not core to Microsoft’s strategy. If you need proof that Microsoft is serious about unified communications, imagine at a time when Microsoft is rolling out new music players and some of the most popular video games in the world, Bill Gates is taking time to talk unified communications instead of video games or music players.   I would imagine if there is nothing to slow the momentum down, 2008 will certainly be the year of unified communications. This will hopefully be good for the entire communications industry and give more choice for corporate customers.

Google Adds Security

October 3, 2007

The day’s news has been pretty steady and one of the most interesting bits coming across my screen is certainly Google’s decision to add security from Postini into their Google Apps Premier service. This is a great idea as Google has gotten into some trouble lately because their applications have some security flaws due to problems such as captured cookies and others.   Every vendor has to deal with security issues and the best way to handle such problems is to take them head on and add security. This is a positive move for Google.   Disclosue: The author is a shareholder in Google but thinks Google apps have a long way to go before he switches to hosted applications.  

Verizon Voyager: iPhone Killer?

October 3, 2007

With all the hoopla surrounding the iPhone it is not surprising that Verizon Wireless is touting a suite of new phones and one – the LG Electronics Voyager is being touted as an iPhone killer. The device runs on the faster Verizon Wireless data network (Probably EVDO Rev. A) and has a keyboard. These are the two Achilles heels of the current iPhone. The device is similar to Apple’s phone in that it has a touch screen and web browser built-in.   So will this device be an iPhone killer?

Phil Hill

October 2, 2007

Welcome Phil Hill to TMCnet as a columnist. Phil’s column is titled Hosted Hearsay and his first article is titled Small Business VoIP: Is it an Elephant or Gorilla? Where he discusses the reason why all SMBs are lumped together.   Here is a salient part of the article:   Small Business is a Big Market While similarities between eating five-toed pachyderms and the small business market may seem a stretch, let’s remember that they have one thing in common: they’re both very large. According to U.S. Census data, there are 5,083,750 businesses in the U.S.
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