Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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MobileCierge

April 10, 2007

At some point the secretary became the executive assistant and then a strange thing happened – there seemed to be less of these assistants. It seems executives started doing more and more of their own “secretarial work” such as scheduling meetings, making travel reservations, etc.   But let’s face it… Work is not getting easier for many of us as we all struggle to catch up with e-mail and assignments on nights and weekends. The internet has created an environment where those who choose to work 24x7 finally can. Even those who don’t want to sometimes work around the clock.

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.

Dialogic Does Video

April 9, 2007

When it comes to the world of communications, the development world used to revolve around Dialogic. Ten years ago you virtually had to buy a DSP resource board from this company or one of its smaller competitors if you wanted to develop an application such as unified messaging, voicemail, IVR, speech, recognition, ACD or just anything else.   In fact for a number of years VoIP gateways were sold almost exclusively based on DSP resource boards. Larger telecom equipment providers would repackage systems with these boards through an integrator and claim the resulting gateways as their own.   I have taken many plant tours at industrial computer companies where I had to promise not to disclose the logos I saw throughout the plant. These were typically gateways under construction with boards from NMS or Dialogic.   In the late nineties while Dialogic was enjoying a nice time atop the enabling technology perch, the company received an offer from Intel it just couldn’t refuse.

SpinVox

April 8, 2007

When I first came across a company called SpinVox I thought it had a niche product not really aligned with my core readership. The first product the company introduced to me was SpinmyBlog which is something I could definitely use at my blog at Tehrani.com. But I thought – who else would even care?   Oh, wait a minute – I am sorry… I didn’t even tell you what SpinmyBlog does. Amazingly it uses speech recognition to convert your voice to a blog entry.

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

Response Point

April 4, 2007

In case you weren’t aware, Microsoft unveiled a small business phone system recently called Response Point. TMCnet’s Tom Keating has a well thought-out blog entry on what Microsoft is doing as well as a bit of history on Microsoft and other players in IP communications going back to the nineties.   The SMB space continues to be a very sweet spot for VoIP. There is no question this market is huge and Microsoft wants to make billions in this space.   Will the Redmond, Washington based company be successful this time? I would say there is room in the market for many players.

DiamondWare in HD

April 4, 2007

I called Diamondware’s 3-D, stereo VoIP technology a killer application back in 2004 and even featured it on a stage at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo as a killer application. Unfortunately doing a demo of stereo VoIP to a room full of hundreds of people does not do the technology any justice at all.   Over a year ago I wrote about DiamondWare’s technology again and mentioned that the future of VoIP will be 3-D, stereophonic sound. But sometimes it takes time for the latest technologies to actually take hold and become popular.   I had a chance to sit down again recently with Keith Weiner the CEO of DiamondWare and discuss his newest HD software. Well actually I wasn’t sitting near Keith, I was on a conference call with him and his coworkers over his 3D, HD Conference Manager product.   Once on the call I was able to easily position the three callers all around me.

Cell Phone Bar Code Reading

April 2, 2007

There is a recent article in the New York Times worth reading regarding cell phones becoming barcode readers. the technology has been talked about for a number of years but when an article gets published in the New York Times about a new technology perhaps it puts the subject on the fringe of the mainstream. Unfortunately if you want to go out and start scanning today, you just can’t. You see, it will take a few years for cell phone-based bar code readers to be offered in the US due to our devices not being equipped to read these codes.   Japan happens to be one of the leading countries in terms of cell phone barcode adoption, allowing Japanese consumers to be able to scan things like the nutritional information on a hamburger in McDonalds or being able to use the cell as a way to board an airplane, without requiring any paper tickets In addition there are great applications for cell phone scanning technology such as being able to scan a billboard or a for sale sign near a house.   The scan could link to a mobile web page, photos, videos and/or a description of the object in question.   Whether this technology takes off in the US or becomes wider spread is unknown, but it seems like the ability to learn more information from everyday objects just by scanning them with your cell makes a lot of sense There are probably a number of mobile bar code applications around the corner we haven't even thought of.
In the next few years we will possibly see more and more of this technology becoming mainstream.

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.
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