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Rich Tehrani
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Unified Communications

Increase Marketing Spend in a Recession

February 14, 2008

Corporate Phone Bills: $133 Billion in 2008

February 14, 2008

A staggering $133 billion dollars will be spent on communications services by businesses in 2008 according to Insight Research. 39% of this spending will be on cell phone bills. This staggering amount could be reduced if companies explore IP communications solutions that currently exist on the market.

If the economy is indeed slowing, a painless way to save money is to explore the world of IP communications more thoroughly and picking solutions which not only save your business money but they also increase flexibility and customer satisfaction.

Even if you have an IP PBX, be sure you also have SIP trunking so your calls are routed in the most cost-effective fashion possible. If you are a big user of telephony be sure to look at VoIP peering.

Telco 2.0 - the Microsoft way

February 14, 2008

The following are comments from Ovum SVP, Brett Azuma on Microsoft and what they are up to in service provider communications. I thought this was worth passing along.

Microsoft provided an update on its Telco 2.0 vision. The analyst telebriefing indicated that Microsoft's revenues for the Communications Sector exceeded $2bn in 2007.

Verizon's Network Upgrades

February 14, 2008

If you haven't been paying attention, you will have missed the fact that Verizon Wireless is investing like mad around the US to improve their mobile network. The quality of the wireless network was amazing to begin with and now this. VZW puts out a release every few days about a new region they are enhancing.

Perhaps all wireless companies are spending the same amount but if so they are not taking advantage of the free publicity that comes with putting our frequent press releases on their progress.

In my experience, companies who put out frequent releases do better than those who do not.

The more the editors in the world see your name surrounded by positive news the more likely they are to write nice things about you.

If you have any doubts, read to the end.

Today's release is about improving the network in Kansas, Missouri and Southern Illinois.

ITEXPO East 2008 Video

February 14, 2008

If you missed ITEXPO this past month in Miami, you missed a great opportunity to meet with VARS, service providers and many companies looking to purchase IP communications products and services. I am truly humbled by the unsolicited comments that many of you gave us at the show.

We also got a tremendous amount of feedback regarding the move from the Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center to Miami. It was pretty interesting to hear the varying reasons why some people like one city over another.

Here is a video which encapsulates many of the comments you gave us about the show. Thanks to all of you who attended and we hope to see you at ITEXPO in Los Angeles, September 16-18, 2008.

8x8 Patent Reissued

February 14, 2008

8x8 the parent of Packet8 has been reissued a patent 6,483,532 entitled, "Video-Assisted Audio Signal Processing System and Method."

The patent relates to an arrangement for controlling audio signal transmissions for a communications system that includes a microphone and a video camera.  The reissued patent is dated February 12, 2008 and contains eleven new claims which strengthen the company's intellectual property rights related to this invention.

The company has been awarded over 71 patents so far in the fields of voice, storage and video. This portfolio probably did not seem so important a few years back but today it is crucial to have as we have found that telcos are beginning to wield their patents as weapons and smaller companies like VoIP Inc. are using them as a way to generate revenue.

Patents are like sports. The best defense seems to be a good offense.

Blogged via wireless handheld

Covad has Wider Loss

February 13, 2008

Covad reported a fourth quarter net loss of $11.9 million or $0.04 per share, compared to a net loss of $8.4 million or $0.03 per share in the previous year quarter.

Net revenues for the quarter increased to $121.6 million from $119.4 million in the last year quarter.

On average, five analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial expected loss of $0.01 per share, while analysts estimated revenues of $125.03 million for the fourth quarter.

For fiscal 2007, net loss was $43.0 million or $0.14 per share, compared to a net loss of $13.9 million or $0.05 per share in the last year.

Net revenues for the year were $484.2 million, up from $474.3 million in the prior year.

It seems the company's fortunes turned for the worse a few years back around the time the company stopped advertising and changed its focus from being an IP communications company to a broadband company. This move was accompanied by a management change as well.

I am not sure what the company's future holds but I keep hearing the question "Is Covad still around" from readers and attendees at shows. This is usually not a good sign.


Google Apps Get Unified Communications

February 12, 2008

It was bound to happen... Google Apps have finally become connected to the world of Unified communications.

Thanks to Voice Mobility, you can now integrate Google Apps with your unified communications system in your campus or corporate environment. As you may know, the Google Apps suite includes Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Contacts, Mobile apps and other collaboration tools all using the workplace or campus domain.

The company's UCN Vmerge adds unified communications to complete messaging, collaboration, calendaring and presence functionality. The solution allows hosted or on-premise technology to handle the connectivity which is great for people who prefer the flexibility of choosing how they install this solution.

According to UCN spokesman Mike Seeley, Voice Mobility's VP of Global Sales, this total solution is like deploying Microsoft Exchange server, Active Directory and Office Communication Server at a fraction of the cost.

New VoIP Security Problem

February 12, 2008

Tom Keating alerted to me a new phone hack which is for now targeting SNOM IP phones.

The big hack involves the ability of some VoIP phones to make phone calls from the Web interface using a simple web POST request. The Snom 32x supports this feature which along with some security vulnerabilities is what GNUCitizen exploited to have some real fun, like ya know, making an outbound call using a spoofed CallerID.

Hackers will need the IP address of the phone being targeted to launch the attack, but using a simple scanner they can use a cross-site scripting attack to hack the phone’s built-in management interface.

Illegal stuff a hacker can do:
  •  Steal the phone history from the logs including any other details attached to the calls via XHR.
  •  Poison the address book with a persistent XSS - the name is encoded correctly but not the phone number.

Packet8 MobileTalk Goes Free

February 12, 2008

Packet8 has done a good thing today by allowing charter subscribers to their MobileTalk service free access. In other words, there are no longer fees associated with signing up to use this service which allows you to seamlessly connect your long distance calls over their VoIP network. You still pay per-minute charges depending on the country you call.

These rates are ridiculously low by the way. A call to Paris is 3 cents per minute.

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