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Trixbox Certification

August 15, 2008

The open source world of communications is growing rapidly. Recently I discussed the Nortel acquisition of PingTel and what this means for our markets.

Ironically the competition in open source was once between Digium and PingTel and when Asterisk became the the dominant player in the space, it seemed that Digium won the war. It turns out that while PingTel lost steam, a new wave of compeitors in the open source space emerged, basing their products on Asterisk.

One such company is Fonality and their Trixbox platform has become a popular alternative in the open source space. It just so happens that Fonality is collocating their training session in Los Angeles at ITEXPO in a  few weeks.

If you are looking to see all the communications companies that matter in the market and also get a chance to receive certification on a number of topics, be sure to come to the show.





VoIP Growing at 53% to $24 Billion

August 15, 2008

The VoIP opportunity is still huge according to a new report from Infonetics Research. At a time when many industries are really hurting, hosted VoIP and managed IP PBX services grew 53% to $24 billion in 2007 after surging 66% in 2006.

Obviously much of this growth is as a result of PSTN replacement but it should be noted that once IP is in place, the potential to add services increases greatly. The great news is Infonetics anticipates growth in the strong double-digits until at least 2011.

Interestingly, IP communications boosts productivity and saves money at the same time. This makes it a great technology to invest in when times are good and times are bad.

Sadly, many companies get the deer in the headlights feeling when they see an economy slow and they sometimes stick with the status quo instead of making decisions which will save them money, boost performance and generate rapid ROI.

Interestingly I have noticed an increased focus on contact center and CRM solutions these past months which leads me to believe companies have finally figured out that if you serve your customers efficiently and well, you make more money.

Contrast this to the last slowdown in 2000 when companies decided to offshore their call centers to save money.









Buy ITEXPO Plane Tickets Soon

August 6, 2008

Good news: I have noticed plane fares for trips to ITEXPO this September 16-18, 2008 in Los Angeles have dropped by hundreds of dollars in many cases. As a show organizer, nothing makes me happier than having our event more accessible to everyone.

The Internet Telephony event has really evolved over this past decade and is now the the largest gathering of IP communications companies and decision makers in the world. It is the one place to be if you manage communications for a service provider, enterprise or are a reseller/developer.

You just have to be at this show if you want to network with the industry and see what is next and what is happening right now.

So I am happy to share the good news with you all and I hope to see you in September... In LA.











See Bill Kelly at ITEXPO in LA

August 1, 2008

Many of my blog readers know Bill Kelly well from his years of work building partner programs in the industry for companies like Excel and Cantata (after the company merged with Brooktrout).

Add to this a brief stint at Pulvermedia and Kelly becomes the perfect person to help improve the quality of ITEXPO conference content.

With Bill's vast experience he is the perfect person in fact to be at the show.

What will Bill be doing at ITEXPO? He will host two courses in the TMC University program, which is open to all conference attendees.  Bill's classes include "FMC/Mobility" on Tuesday September 16th and "IP Network Security" on Wednesday September 17th.

What are Kelly's thoughts on the show? Here is a quote from him:

"From an educational perspective, TMC University offers a unique opportunity for attendees to obtain third-party certification that recognizes their competence in selecting, installing and managing important communications solutions. As a part of ITEXPO, TMC University also provides a tremendous networking opportunity, and I'm looking forward to the entire event, catching up with colleagues and learning more about the latest solutions on the expo floor."  

And of course, much of the networking at the show might actually involve Bill as he is so connected .











ITEXPO: Exhibits 90% Sold Out

July 21, 2008



There has been more interest in ITEXPO Fall 2008, Los Angeles, CA September 16-18 than any other Internet Telephony Conference & Expo I can remember in recent years. It seems people are beginning to realize this show is the only major IP communications event left -- it is growing quickly and it draws attendees from around the world.

If you are looking to reach service providers, enterprise customers, SMBs, resellers or the communications industry at large -- you should consider being at this show.

A participating companies list I picked up from an upcoming TMC press release is as follows but really, every important company in telecom will be represented in multiple ways. (please do not get offended if your company is not here. If I added all participating companies -- my readers would get fired because they would spend their work day trying to get through it all -- instead of getting their jobs done).





The Local Starbucks is Closed

July 19, 2008

If you were wondering whether your favorite Starbucks will be one of the 600 stores the company is about to close, the entire list (PDF) of stores to be closed has been made available.

California will see just under 90 stores shut down while Florida and Texas just under 60. TMC's home state of Connecticut will lose five stores -- the closest is about ten miles away from TMC and a store I have never visited. Digium will lose one store in its home city of Huntsville, Al (Madison Square Mall), Manhattan will lose six and Southhampton is the only location in the prestigious Hamtons to be whacked. Expect stores to close early next year.

There have been petitions circulaing to save specific locations and government officials are trying to persuade the company not to shut certain stores.

What I find amazing about these incidents is that many used to complian that Starbucks killed off the local coffee shop and made coffeee a chain-like experience.





Contact Center and Service Provider Similarities

July 17, 2008

I have been seeing an interesting trend in the communications space. In the last 2-3 years, more and more companies who used to focus on service providers have expanded their focus into the call center space. Acme Packet and NextPoint are a few examples of such companies. This is not so surprising mind you when you realize how remote agents resemble service provider customers and the theing they have in common is the need for an SBC.

In addition there has been growth in the hosted contact center market and as more service providers have become interested in providing such services worldwide they need to work with call center vendors who can supply them with the solutions they need.

Preparing For Cyber Attacks

July 17, 2008

While ensuring the security of physical structures and events such as ball games is crucial to a comprehensive national security plan, we must not forget about cyber security and as terrorist threats from various groups and even nations continue, it is time the government comes together with private industry and academia to come up with a plan that helps protect not only the US but other nations.

The military, air travel systems, power plants and virtually everything else relies on computers and ensuring we reduce the likelihood of attacks on these and other resources is crucial. In addition we need to realize our economy relies a great deal on companies having access to working networks and as such, the network itself needs protecting.

I got to thinking about these issues while reading a recent TMCnet article on the matter from Kevin Coleman (pictured). It is certainly worth your time to read as well.

See Also:

Obama Cites Cyber Attack Threat









Microsoft OCS Training

July 10, 2008

An education like no other is what we promise at ITEXPO -- especially our TMC Universtiy certification classes which take place September 16-18, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

One of the certifications being offered at the show focuses on Microsoft OCS and the peripheral unified communications (UC) market and it will be taught by Tom Cross. Cross will also be focusing on Microsoft ResponsePoint in this session and if you aren't familiar with this product -- it is an SMB communications solution which is very powerful and flexible. It is a great SMB option encompassing easy to configure hardware with speech recognition built-in.

I asked Tom Cross for more information on why you need to be in this course and this is what he said:

Microsoft's OCS-Office Communication Server is the most profound new communications system now available.  Its more than Outlook-enabled unified communications, it changes the paradigm of what we call communications.

Called presence, OCS transforms the complexities of bureaucratic organizational noise and confusion into humanized and personal media communications.  For decades now, Tom has said, strategically, the faster you can communicate, the faster you can change, and those corporations that change the fastest will be the most successful.  With OCS, you will communicate faster and better.  If you want to know how OCS can dramatically impact your organization, then you need to come to this class.  In addition, this class will discuss Response Point Microsoft's SMB and branch office telephony solution and RoundTable an interesting approach to the decades-unsolved and vexing problem of video conferencing.  This class is being taught by certainly one of the great experts in electronic communications, telephony and education, Tom Cross - CEO of TECHtionary.com







Todd Keefe to Promote ITEXPO West 2008

July 1, 2008

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