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Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

Technology

Oracle CRM

April 13, 2007

Oracle obviously knows a thing or two about CRM and with their recent acquisition of Siebel Systems they are even more firmly entrenched in the space than ever. The company has a recent white paper designed to help users get the most out of their CRM initiatives including mining the data in every company more effectively.   In addition there is talk in this document about using on-demand customer relationship management systems in your corporation. It is refreshing to see virtually every company I come in contact with pushing hosted solutions such as hosted CRM.   The content is in an easy to read and digest format and is worth a read. Here is an article with more detail and a link to the white paper, Delivering Actionable Insight Into Sales.

New 8x8 Patent

April 13, 2007

8x8 the parent company of Packet8 announced today they have been awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,202,884 which focuses on the processing of images from a communications system to a computing system. This patent is important as technology companies need a strong patent portfolio to protect against being sued by other companies with patents they could potentially infringing upon.   The company’s patent portfolio is now up to a total of 67 for 8x8. This is a great number relative to the company’s size.

H1-B Visas

April 12, 2007

The US has a chronic shortage of technology workers. Sure the job market has gone up and down over the past decade but today, we need more tech workers at various levels and it seems being a programmer or engineer has lost its glamour in the US. So where does this leave US-based business?   Some top tech leaders have said the need for foreign tech workers is infinite. It is tough not to believe this is true with the opening of US company research centers all around the world.   According to Internetnews, one day after the opening of the H1-B visa program process, the 2008 allotment of 85,000 H1-B visas was gone.

Is Vonage the New Google

April 12, 2007

Now hear me out. I realize the title of my article is baffling and your brain is already calculating all the different ways you will flame this piece with negative comments.   You may be thinking of all the differences between these two companies. For example: Google makes money and Vonage does not. Google can easily afford the lawsuits it is in.

Crippled Mobile Phones

April 12, 2007

I have written in the past that the iPhone could be responsible for opening up the cell phone world by forcing carriers to give use better devices. Moreover it was my hope that cell phone carriers would see the light as Apple’s newest mobile phone would prove that by not unduly crippling a device you could sell even more of them and even more service as a result.   It seems sadly that my vision if it happens will be in the long term as Andy Abramson points out today that European carriers seem to be following the lead of the Americans by beginning to not quite cripple phones but at least make them less useful and less VoIP friendly.   I for one am not surprised by this but it is always a sad day when consumers loses out on the benefits of being able to communicate in the way they find most suitable. Instead, wireless carriers seem to be convinced they know what’s best for all.   Of course these carriers do make money from selling minutes. In addition, carriers in the US are pretty smart in subsidizing phones with less functionality and thus ensuring they boost minutes used.   When Verizon sold devices with crippled bluetooth they received a class action suit as a result.

Webinar Update

April 12, 2007

TMC’s marketing team is apparently very generous as I found out today they are giving away a TiVo Series2 Dual Tuner 80-hour DVR in a drawing to one lucky webinar attendee.   I would be remiss in my responsibility if I did not bring to your attention that you could be the lucky winner of this device. Personally I don’t have TiVo in my house (yet) as I am under the impression TiVo users watch more TV and I watch quite a bit already.   Enjoy the webinars and good luck in the drawing.     IP Media Servers and IMS: Key Enablers for Voicemail and Unified Messaging   April 19, 2007 2:00pm ET 11:00am PT   ---------   Securely Enabling VoIP Remote Users   May 1, 2007 2:00pm ET 11:00am PT   ---------   Also be sure to check out the webinar page for archived events and an upcoming schedule.

Vonage to Focus on Profit

April 12, 2007

Jeffrey Citron will replace Michael Schneider as CEO of Vonage. It seems Wall Street is happy with this move as the stock price has increased somewhat on this news.   In addition the company has instituted a hiring freeze and layoffs of 180 workers or about 10% of the workforce according to CNBC.   Vonage also says they are just shy of the 3 million customer milestone which is a fantastic achievement.   Having Citron back is CEO is great news for the company as he is responsible for building Vonage into the strong brand it is today. Unfortunately blame can be placed on him for building a market-share at all cost company.   Hopefully the layoffs could be a sign that Citron is serious about achieving profitability. Jeffrey has got to focus on profit now more than ever if he wants to gain Wall Street’s blessing and get the stock price to start moving in the positive direction.

Entertainment Wars

April 11, 2007

Movie review site Fandango was snapped up today by cable company Comcast with the ultimate goal for Comcast being increased web traffic and support for a new site Fancast.com devoted to allowing consumers to watch on demand content on a variety of devices.   Comcast is the nation’s largest cable company and Fandango is one of the largest movie sites around. There is a natural synergy between Fandango’s base of movie enthusiasts and Comcast’s goals to allow users to watch on demand content across a variety of devices.   The question worth asking is what other acquisition ideas have been created as a result of this one. Will other cable companies, AT&T and Verizon be looking for movie content sites as well? Does everyone who distributes content now need a TV Guide like audience to market to?   Fandango has a community of interest and Comcast will now be able to tap into this community to sell things – beyond its geographic boundary if it so chooses.   It seems companies are waking up to the concept of online communities and their inherent value.

Scala-700

April 11, 2007

Testing the Scala-700 Skype Bluetooth Headset



Behind my desk sits a mountain of boxes containing videophones, wireless headsets and unimaginable gadgets for me to look at, evaluate and consider writing about. My day job is running the largest communications & technology media company in the world with four print magazines with over 600,000 readers a month, three trade shows with over 15,000 attendees in total a year and a website – TMCnet, attracting about two million people a month. My night job is to share my thoughts on the industry… Where things stand today and where they are headed.   As TMC has grown I miss the days when I had more time to devote to sharing my thoughts. So yesterday I decided to delve into the pile and start a review of the Cardo Scala-700 headset which the company bills as the world’s only voice-controlled wireless headset for Skype and high quality cell phone communication.   About a year ago I mentioned seeing an earlier Cardo System’s bluetooth, Skype-enabled headset for the first time.

Skype for Mac Improved

April 11, 2007

Skype for Mac has a new beta version 2.6 available here and it’s brimming with new features. In addition you can expect improved sound quality and software stability according to the company. There is a nifty new call transfer feature allowing you to send a call to someone else. This is something you had to use an office PBX for and this is an unexpected bonus for Mac users.   The concept of having software come out for the Mac first used to be something we saw in the desktop publishing world all the time in the late eighties and early nineties.
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