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The Latest in Carrier Testing

June 22, 2008

Mu Dynamics Adam Stein
As service providers grapple with providing more complex individual services as well as converged services, the need to test these systems grows as well. Providers need to ensure their subscribers receive high levels of service quality as well as reliability. One of the companies addressing the reliability of service issue is Mu Dynamics. Adam Stein (pictured), the company's VP of Marketing recently sat down with me to explain how his company's Mu 4000 analysis platform is able to test for variations of service traffic, known vulnerabilities and DoS attacks.

A Possible Sea Change at the FCC

June 22, 2008

For the last eighteen months I felt as if the FCC thought the cable companies were too powerful as a result of many rulings which seemed to be in favor of the telcos. It seemed even when the telcos were in the wrong they wouldn't really get in trouble and the cable companies seemed to have to walk on egg shells.

Now it seems that cable companies are going to see something come out the FCC which is to their benefit. BusinessWeek reports that the FCC is backing the cable companies over Verizon in a alleged marketing scheme having to do with Verizon not porting numbers immediately to cable companies but instead reaching out to the switching customers and offering them gifts and discounts to stay with Verizon.

What is interesting is that Chairman Kevin Martin was the lone dissenter on a 4-1 vote meaning all other commissioners were for this ruling.

Here is an excerpt from the article worth reading:

In an unusual move, on Saturday morning FCC member Robert McDowell released his formal statement that will accompany the formal announcement of the vote.

"Consistent with Congress's intent and Commission precedent in the long-distance context, today we carry out Congress's unambiguous mandate to protect consumer privacy in local markets as well," he wrote.









Emerson Network Power News

June 21, 2008

Emerson Network Power picked up the Motorola Embedded Computing Group last September and since that time, the company has made great progress in rolling out new products. I recently had a chance to sit down with Brian Carr Strategic Marketing Manager Embedded Computing to learn more about the company's products.

Carr explained that Emerson got interested in the embedded computing market when they purchased Artesyn. Emerson is a very large company -- $22 billion dollars and the Network Power division is $5 billion dollars making it quite a substantial player in the market.

The Importance of Communications

June 21, 2008

Do we realize the importance of what we do? I have been thinking about this question a great deal lately. I see the amazing technology being developed by the entire industry and I just can't help but wonder - do we realize how important we are to the world economy. I am far from an economist but I know that when productivity improves so does the standard of living.

Ditech Networks Update

June 18, 2008

The latest at Ditech Networks is that the company has hired Hossein Eslambolchi as a technical advisor. Generally, hiring a technical advisor is not big news but Eslambolchi is a bit of a celebrity having a distinguished career in engineering and his best-known role was perhaps his tenure at AT&T where he held multiple titles including CTO.

What this does for Ditech Networks is give them access to someone who lived deep in the trenches with intimate knowledge of all things telecom. The markets Ditech plays in specifically are transcoding, session border control and its more recent messaging has focused on voice quality improvements for wireless carriers.

The company has shown that increased voice quality leads to reduced carrier churn and they are obviously right.

In order to help get this message out and penetrate wireless carriers more effectively expect  Eslambolchi to open doors at carriers worldwide.

For the famous engineer, this move puts him back in the semi-spotlight and for Ditech, this move adds a prominent name to a company looking to lift sales.









Cisco's Managed Services Push

June 17, 2008

It has been an interesting day so far here at NXTComm. The first meeting of the day was with Cisco who plans on becoming a much bigger player in the managed services space… Al Safarikas the Sr. Director, Wireline Segment Service Provider Marketing at the company shared some thoughts on how Cisco is helping service providers worldwide deploy managed services.

One issue that came up is what precisely is the definition of managed services. From Cisco's point of view it is as follows:

Information technology which is remotely managed and provisioned, delivered as a finished product - operated by skilled professionals from a NOC.

Safarikas mentioned where the equipment sits is immaterial and this makes good sense.

Other points worth noting from our conversation are as follows:
  • Predefined SLAs that are negotiated with end users
  • It does not matter where the box sits or who owns them
  • Companies want managed services to support business initiatives

From there we discussed how Cisco helps its partners deliver managed services.

The company has expanded on the popular Cisco Powered program and helps its partners with sales and marketing, providing channel managers and other services to ensure a partner's success. AT&T Telepresence is a great example of this.

I asked what pain Cisco takes away for customers and to this Safarikas replied, "Partner with Cisco and improve your chance for success with managed services - We have the best technology, understanding of the marketplace, best capability of building [our customer's] operating capabilities through Cisco professional services."

This was a pretty memorable meeting and Cisco should be commended for looking to help the industry by defining terms such as managed services.















Build Communities With Google's Help

June 10, 2008

Let's say your company plays in a few different spaces such as information technology, security and storage. And let's say your company has decided to build a community of interest which is dedicated to a specific subject area as you are hoping like-minded people will visit the community regularly and begin to associate your company as a leader in the space and hopefully some of these people will become new customers.

In this example, your resources are limited and even if they aren't, you need to choose one of these above areas to build your community. Assume each of them has equal market sizes and growth rates and you need to determine where the highest level of search interest lies.

Using the updated Google Trends, you can now see a graph over time of search volume on a relative and absolute basis and this information can be exported for analysis.

You may find for example that storage interest spikes around the year-end holidays but also seems unusually high in May of each year... This information can be useful in your business as it helps you see how people are searching for various terms.

If you have read my blog before, you know TMC has been building communities (Global Online Communities, Channels) for companies in the communications and technology space for some time now.







CBX 2008 News and Analyis

June 5, 2008

Telx CBX has kicked off and I am going to be doing all the video reporting in about 20 minutes. Here is my quick take on the news breaking from the show so far:

WBS Connect will provide telepresence service and more importantly provide a global gateway allowing customers to interconnect private telepresence networks. This is a no brainer idea and certainly fills a need in the market. It may be early to call it a need but there is a proliferation of telepresence rooms at the moment and this obviously means interconnecting them all will be more important.

Tiscali International will be deploying new POPs in Toronto, Seattle, Atlanta and Dallas.



Will LTE Fuel IMS?

June 3, 2008

Will LTE fuel IMS? Bob Emmerson seems to think so and he has a great point. With similar elements defined in WiMAX, LTE and IMS, the chances that carriers will have to install more and more IMS components are good. Similar to how you put a few pieces of a puzzle together at a time only to find your entire puzzle is solved before you know it, expect carriers to look at their networks and say that with a few more dollars they will have full-fledged IMS and the benefits such a framework allows.

Another point worth making is that IMS is due for a revival as we have already gone through the hype phase and there is less buzz around this term than there has been since its inception.

Headed to Telx CBX 2008

June 3, 2008

Later this week I will be a video reporter at the Telx CBX (customer business exchange) event in New York. I always like the CBX events and am looking forward to meeting with the companies in the carrier hotel space (many lease space in the Telx interconnection facilities throughout the US) who come to network and exchange ideas and do business with one another.

I reached out to Telx to get a quick quote on why you should be at the show and Tesh Durvasula, Chief Marketing Officer of Telx had this to say,"With over 400 NANOG attendees at the Marriott and by moving CBX to Thursday to accommodate those traveling in for ITW and GTM in Washington which ends on Wednesday, our theme 'all roads lead to the CBX' is the final networking event of a week filled with major international meetings featuring ISPs, Carriers, Service Providers and more."

Here are some more notes on the  event from the CBX website:

This year's event is shaping up to be the biggest in Telx history. 2007 was a year of tremendous growth and change at Telx as we integrated various acquisitions that included 10 Meet Me Room Facilities from Digital Realty Trust and NYC Connect, the Meet Me Room at 111 8th Avenue.

2008 offers to an aggressive start as we integrate our latest acquisition, 21,000 of Colocation Space in Dallas at 8435 Stemmons Freeway. Our growth doesn’t stop at acquisitions though, we were recently announced as the first company to Host a NANOG in New York City.

Attendees will have the unprecedented opportunity to network with over 1,000 industry decision makers in one of New York's most spectacular boroughs.

See you there this Thursday, June 5th, 2008.











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