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Unified Communications

White House E-mail Controversy

March 5, 2008

I just came across this summary of the White House missing e-mail fiasco and I am pretty blown away at just how out of touch Washington is with technology. I knew that this administration was tech-phobic when Dick Cheney was asked as a Vice Presidential Candidate what Napster was and he didn't know. And this was back when Napster was the "hot" software on the web.

Of course then there is President Bush saying he uses "The Google."

Before I get hate mail, I should say that I am a registered Republican (will that get me even more hate mail these days? )

Although I didn't read the entire article as it is voluminous, I did get a chance to see that the White House's IT practices border on the insane... Archiving via PST files that are ten times larger than is recommended is not smart.

They also seem to not know how much technology actually costs or perhaps vendors charge our government ten times more than they charge other companies.







AT&T's Bullish Investment

March 5, 2008


AT&T is making a major telecom investment in many areas of its business. The telecom giant cites the explosion of high-speed networks, data consuming devices and the move to IP as the reason for this investment.

The money is being spent to become a larger global player as well as a big provider of utility computing services.

Where will the company be spending money?

  • Subsea Fiber: Expect the company to expand capacity to area of the world experiencing economic growth such as Asia and the Middle East.
  • MPLS Routers: The company will add a number of these throughout the world in order to ensure there is proper capacity in areas of rapid business growth.
  • Metro Ethernet: The company will invest in a manner which allows it to have such services available in 39 countries.
  • DSL: Investments will allow AT&T to provide this service in 21 countries.
  • Data Center Increase: AT&T will add 180,000 square feet of global capacity by mid 2009 throughout its 28 data centers.
  • Unified Communications: Integrating and developing recently acquired Interwise - a web conferencing company into AT&T's network.
  • Expanding Audio Conferencing: Expect IP-based conferencing in more than 140 countries with native language support.

Here is my analysis of this news:

As AT&T gets more involved in the utility computing market, I expect them to butt heads with Sun, Amazon and Google. Google is a past foe - Amazon and Sun are new ones.

While a year ago the cable companies were eating the lunch of AT&T and Verizon, there has been a rapid about-face in the market which has been fueled by the wireless arms of both LECS, IPTV and well as international expansion.

I believe the cable companies will have to do something soon to be able to compete effectively in emerging markets.

In all, this news is fantastic for the telecom market as AT&T is spending 33 percent more than last year and double what they spent in 2006.

It will be great to see these investments allow AT&T to can overseas and whether it can compete effectively against other utility computing players in the market.

















TMCnet's New Vertical Communities

March 4, 2008

Over the past decade, TMCnet has become the accepted resource for news, product research and analysis in communications and technology markets - including telecom, VoIP, and contact centers. Moreover, the site has become the defacto location online where companies build loyal communities of interest on a variety of topics. Since 2004, TMCnet has built close to one hundred and fifty communities of various sizes (current communities, channels/microcommunities) for our partners.

These communities have proven time and again to be one of the most successful products TMC has ever launched in conjunction with our advertisers and sponsors. With an astronomical renewal rate of 70% year-over-year, TMCnet communities drive tremendous traffic to our partner's Web sites and help them achieve higher levels of search prominence.In fact, we receive numerous testimonials from companies whose TMCnet communities actually attract more visitors than their own Web sites.

Podcast: Joel Hackney, Nortel

March 4, 2008

If you want some great perspective on Nortel's recent earnings as well as information on which areas of Nortel are doing best, be sure to check out this podcast interview with Joel Hackney, President of the Enterprise Solutions Group at Nortel.

Joel discusses a number of things with me such as the rumored acquisition by his company of the Siemens Business Communications Division.

In addition, Joel discusses how applications leaders in the CIO's office are carrying more and more of the budgets for communications spending. Business processes are becoming more important he says and this allows Nortel to enter into a dialog with customers which we haven't been involved with in some time.

From there, Hackney explained how Nortel provides a choice in the market -- with lower price points, better technology while these solutions have a lower impact on the environment.

In addition, we get to hear his perspective of how SOA and web services intertwine with UC to give more choice to companies looking to implement the best communications solutions possible.

Finally we get to hear his ideas on what Nortel really sees in terms of tech spending going forward. Do they really see a slowdown in enterprise spending or not?

Here is the podcast for your listening pleasure.











IMS News from Ericsson, Radvision and Quanta

March 4, 2008



There is a good amount of news in the IMS space these days and perhaps most exciting is Ericsson working with Beijing Netcom, a branch of China Netcom to provide an IMS platform for the Olympics.

It will be interesting to see what sorts of applications the companies come up with and I certainly wish I was going so I could see them myself.

In other exciting IMS news, Radvision today announced that Quanta Computer is implementing its new IMS Video Share Application which provides complete, smooth integration of IMS video sharing services for Windows Mobile and other operating systems.  Quanta will be deploying the IMS Video Share Application as the first IMS service on their Windows Mobile 6 smartphones.

Using this solution, service providers can allow users to upgrade an audio call to a unidirectional video call. In this manner a user could show others what they see -- but in real time.

These two events alone are huge for IMS and have the potential to grow awareness of IP multimedia Subsystem technology to not only operators but wireless customers. I am looking forward to seeing IMS applications rolled out more widely in 2008.











Siemens Business Communications to be Sold

March 4, 2008

Siemens has put its Enterprise Communications division up for sale and it seems potential acquirers are Alcatel-Lucent, Nortel Networks and hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management.

Alcatel-Lucent would be an interesting partner as Lucent spun off its enterprise division into Avaya about seven years ago and as I have said repeatedly, having an enterprise division allows a company to offset weak service provider sales and vice versa. The Siemens customer base would be a nice addition to the former Alcatel enterprise communications division and in theory this purchase would allow the Paris/New Jersey-based company to have a broader spectrum of customers to help contribute to its revenue.

Nortel Networks has been committed to the enterprise as well as service provider markets. Nortel is a strong technology company and so is Siemens. Both companies were early to work closely with Microsoft.



A Coke, Collaboration and a Smile

March 3, 2008

TMCnet Services

March 3, 2008

Tellme Just a Small Yahoo?

February 29, 2008

If you want to get an idea of what Yahoo! could possibly look like after a Microsoft acquisition, it may be useful to look at Tellme, a company Microsoft acquired last year. It is worth pointing out that Tellme was able to keep its corporate culture and DNA. Microsoft seemed to realize it was better to keep the company intact and while providing it with the resources it needs to grow.

I do remember my first visit to Tellme offices about seven years ago. I was surprised by the open warehouse style of the office, the desks and dogs in the office.

Today, I came across a great article comparing the Tellme acquisition with Yahoo and I thought it worth sharing.

Here is an excerpt:

Tellme's warehouse-like office located along some railroad tracks about six miles north of Yahoo's Sunnyvale headquarters looks pretty much like it did during a visit seven years ago.








Bain and Huawei Resubmit Bid

February 29, 2008

Bain and Huawei are changing their bid for 3COM in a manner that does not change the financial elements of the deal but it minimizes Huawei's access to certain Ethernet technologies.

Last week, the parties pulled their application with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS, a 12-agency government panel amid concerns it would be rejected. A number of members of Congress had expressed concern about the security implications of allowing a Chinese-owned entity to exercise influence over the technology company.

If this transaction does go through, I believe it will increase the number of Chinese companies investing in US-based companies.

This may lead to more consolidation in the market but just as important, it is possible the Chinese will have the deep pockets needed to help grow a number of US-based technology companies at a time when capital may be more difficult to come by.

More from the AP and Wall Street Journal







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