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Rich Tehrani
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IMS: Are We There Yet?

February 2, 2007

Here is my unedited Publisher’s Outlook for IMS Magazine for February 2007.

I start this column thinking about the most recent TMC IMS Expo last week in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The takeaway for me from this event is that the market is somewhat confused about IMS.   Still, I can’t help but wonder if history is repeating itself. After all when I launched Internet Telephony Magazine – the sister publication to IMS Magazine, many service providers did not take the technology seriously.   Service providers first universally dismissed VoIP and then started to experiment with it when carrying their backhaul traffic. One would imagine the cable companies would have jumped all over VoIP quickly but they just didn’t.   There was early euphoria for IP telephony in 1998-2000 but from 2001-2003 virtually all service providers dismissed VoIP as something just not viable or worth discussing.

IFS

February 2, 2007

Please enjoy my High Priority Column in the February 2007 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine.   IFS: Another Hat In The CRM Ring   The world of software is succumbing to a few forces which seem to be operating in stark contrast to one another. In most industries where we see consolidation, it is due to private equity reasons. There are hundreds of billions of dollars being thrown around, and if your company wants to make an acquisition, there may be a waiting list of private equity firms that will want to give you money to make the deal happen.   In addition, the appeal of being a public company has faded for the moment and, as a result, some of the money in the industry has been spent on taking public companies private. One example is the purchase of Aspect by Concerto, creating Aspect Software.   One strong force is that of consolidation which, ironically, in the CRM space is being driven more by Oracle than by private equity companies.

The Real Unified Communications Relationship between Microsoft and Nortel

February 2, 2007

The Real Unified Communications Relationship between Microsoft and Nortel   With all the IP communications industry focus on ITEXPO last week it was difficult to get a chance to share my thoughts on happenings from the prior week – especially between Nortel and Microsoft.   I really had a great time in New York listening to Steve Ballmer the CEO of Microsoft and Mike Zafirovski the CEO of Nortel talk about their collaborative Unified Communications strategy. What you may not know because you weren’t at the press conference is just how passionate Steve Ballmer is about communications. He is serious about our market and this could be a very good thing.   When I asked Steve about educating the market about Unified communications he got animated and his eyes lit up. He said, “When you show people this stuff, they get it.

Teleflip

February 1, 2007

One of my early blog entries in April 2004 was about a company called Teleflip that allows you to send an SMS message via e-mail. Ok so you are thinking this is no big deal but it is because in many instances you don’t know the address for Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc. For example for Verizon you can use 2033331212@vtext.com. But are we expected to commit these extensions to memory?   But what happens if you don’t even know the carrier?

ITEXPO Comments on Video

February 1, 2007

Since Internet Telephony Conference & Expo last week – TMC has received a steady stream of testimonials unlike I have ever seen for any tech show ever. So many people have told me that ITEXPO in Ft. Lauderdale was the best show they have ever attended that I don’t know what to say. It has been quite amazing. Our marketing department has been scrambling just to keep up with all the testimonials that have been steadily arriving.   A few of the testimonials are up in video format already.

Toshiba Brian Metherell Interview

January 31, 2007

Toshiba is a company you think about in just about every area of tech. In fact I recently ditched my old laptop from another manufacturer for a Toshiba laptop and so far so good. When you think of this Japanese electronics giant you may not think about VoIP or even communications.   But Toshiba is in fact taking the communications space very seriously and in fact they have had business communications systems for a long while. Generally the company has kept a low profile on their communications products in the US but perhaps that will change going forward.

ITEXPO Photos and More

January 30, 2007

Here is Ari Zoldan from Launch 3 based in Garfield, NJ. His company is in the investment business - they invest in communications companies worldwide.   On this day he walked away with a great education as well as a new SUV. Wow – now that’s a show.   About 30 minutes later when I accidentally saw him on the road he seemed elated. I think the shock wore off and it turned to happiness.       Note to self.

New Digium CEO

January 30, 2007

Mark Spencer is a competitive weapon at Digium and is well-liked by many in the open source community. It was evident to anyone who knows Mark that he is spread thin as a coder, manager, chief strategy officer and company spokesman. As the company expands the smartest thing the company could do is divide Mark’s responsibilities allowing the company continue its rapid growth rate without having to count on Mark for everything.   I just read on Tom Keating’s blog (he heard it from Alec Saunders) that Mark will become Chairman and CTO and Danny J. Windham, President, Chief Operating Officer and director of ADTRAN will become the new CEO of Digium.   There is a synergistic relationship between ADTRAN and Digium which you can learn about on Tom’s blog. I believe this a great moved for the company and for the open source community as a whole.

FCC, Martin and the Democrats

January 27, 2007

I thought this was an excellent article about the Democratically-controlled Congress and how they may clash with the FCC and especially Chairman Martin (read Martin’s past views on broadband competition). The article also touches on the relationship between Chairman Martin and Commissioner McDowell. The democrats could put a great deal on Chairman Martin as he is a Republican who is very close to the Bush administration.   What does this mean to IP communications? Well Martin is generally pro-ILEC and if anything has made life very difficult for cable companies and VoIP companies.
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