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Rich Tehrani
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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.

The FMC Border Architecture

April 9, 2007

In 1999 I had an interesting discussion at a Lucent Technologies luncheon with Arun Netravali who then headed up Bell Labs for Lucent Technology. Netravali spoke of the future of communications being an all encompassing communications skin which would have all sorts of devices connected to it.   The idea made sense and wasn’t such a logical leap but at the time it was something that wasn’t really happening. Networks did not interoperate so well with one another. Arun predicted this would happen at around 2025 or so.   Although the concept seemed a bit far off, I decided to write about it in the January and February 2000 issues of Communications Solutions Magazine.   Here we are in 2007 and it seems like to concept of a communications skin is farther away and closer than it ever has been before.

Cantata Gets New CEO

April 6, 2007

You may have seen the news about Cantata hiring a new CEO and could possibly be wondering why they would do such a thing. After all, Mark Zionts was involved in building Cantata into the company it is today with the combination of Brooktrout and Excel.   This is the story based on my conversation with Peter Vescuso the VP of Marketing at Cantata. It seems that Mark is acknowledged as the talented entrepreneur that took the company to where it is today. The goal now is to take Cantata to the next level.   The new CEO is Tim Murray and Tim is an AT&T veteran having worked as Executive Vice President and President of various divisions of the Telecom giant.

Unified Communications Magazine

April 6, 2007

Cisco's Real Strengths

March 31, 2007

Cisco’s incredible strength comes from being able to leverage its strong brand and enourmous salesforce to sell virtually every sort of product in telecom and datacom. This report makes it seem like the outlook for the competition is bleak.   It is worth pointing out however that if you focus on a niche, you can likely make better products in your specific area than a larger company with broader focus. This is basic business and has been shown time and time again to be true.   However the report should not be taken lightly. Cisco is a fierce competitor and as an acquisition machine – they do it better than any other company I have ever seen.   Having said that, the company is getting bigger and bigger and when that happens, invariably size works to the company’s disadvantage.   In addition I am beginning to hear stories about how the Cisco salesforce is inundated with new products to sell and just can’t do justice to all of them.

Arris

March 25, 2007

I recently touched base with my contacts over at Arris and asked what was up with the acquisition of Tandberg Television.   Jim Bauer, ARRIS VP Investor Relations said, "As discussed in our press release of March 8th, ARRIS has decided not to extend or increase its offer for the shares of Tandberg Television. However, we will continue to look for opportunities to grow our business through internal developments, partnering with other technology leaders or through acquisitions. In the meantime, our core businesses remain very strong."   If you are interested in meaning more about the company you may want to check out the following releases:     Also check out this related article: IPTV faces vertical integration.

MyTMCnet

March 21, 2007

Thanks to readers like you, TMCnet has been blessed with 1-2 million unique visitors every month and last month over 20 million pages were viewed on this site. We are truly grateful to our readers, sponsors and advertisers who support this site and all other TMC products and initiatives.   Of course hats off to the TMC team who nurtures the development of our beloved communications and technology portal.   At TMC we are always innovating. We always look for ways to serve our audience better.   A number of months back an advertiser came to us and said according to his research, TMCnet is not only the top communications site in the US but the world.   The interesting part of this conversation is it seemed that not everyone knew just how popular TMCnet was outside of the US.   To rectify this situation and moreover to make it easier for those people around the world to get access to news pertaining to their interests, we embarked on developing TMCnet for various continents.   But instead of hard coding this project, we decided it would be better to build a framework which was customizable.   This would take longer but what it would allow is a fully customizable news portal by specific topic or even specific keywords.   Once this project dubbed myTMCnet was launched and working we could then easily extend it to be continent specific, country specific, topic specific, etc.   Yesterday we rolled out the beta of myTMCnet.   TMCnet has 3,000-4,000 articles, press releases and other content pouring into it daily.   We have now given the world a custom interface so they can see this news in any way they choose.   For example, if you are interested in IMS news you can add a custom box dedicated to IMS. Or perhaps you want to track SanSay or Avaya or unified communications.   It doesn’t matter.   I have found MyTMCnet is an invaluable competitive research tool allowing me to see what they are up to.

TMCnet Sets Page View Record

March 20, 2007

Spirent

March 18, 2007

I recently had a chance to sit down with Andy Huckridge Director of Marketing, IMS Solutions over at Spirent Communications to discuss a variety of topics from the product line mix to thoughts on IMS. Spirent as you may recall went on an acquisition spree around the time of the telecom meltdown in 2001.   Since that time they have emerged as one of the strongest players in the testing market.   I asked about the current customer mix and Andy explained that 35-40% of customers are service providers. Ditto for equipment manufacturers. The rest of the company’s customers are enterpries.   I asked what 2007 will bring and Andy says he thinks 2006 was the year of hype for IMS and 2007 will be the year of RFPs. Andy says there are huge RFPs floating around the industry from the largest operators.

Cantata

March 17, 2007

Cantata is a veritable conglomerate in the communications space. The company was formed a year ago through a combination of Excel Switching and Brooktrout Technology and has product lines for developers and service providers. The company is soon celebrating its one year birthday and company executives were kind enough to take a break from their birthday party planning and give me feedback on where the company is headed.   As the briefing went on I realized the company was onto something interesting. You see IMS is a complex architecture and no existing network can become fully 100% IMS-based overnight.
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