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Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

Unified Communications

iPhone Denial of Service Vulnerability

April 15, 2008



Radware today discovered the iPhone Safari browser is vulnerable to denial of service attack. The specific model being tested was the Apple iPhone1.1.4.

In order to experience this problem a user must browse to a website containing malicious Javascript code. Once there, the code can trip up the browser and iPhone -- making it crash.

According to Radware, the Apple iPhone Safari browser is vulnerable to DoS attacks due to a design flaw that may be triggered by a series of memory allocation operations on the dynamic memory pool, which in turn triggers a bug in the garbage collector. The security hole is currently unpatched, leaving iPhone owners vulnerable to potential attacks until Apple issues a security update.

Assuming virus writers decide to exploit such security holes we may run into a situation where handheld device makers will have to ensure their devices have enough memory to handle endless security patches.







Fonality Trixbox 2.0 Launches

April 15, 2008

According to Chris Lyman, the Founder and CEO of Fonality, the brand new Trixbox 2.0 is the "look mom, no hands, reseller version."

In fact, the company is doing its best to make sure resellers have to touch these phone systems less and less. Lyman tells me the beta of 2.0 has been out for a few weeks and this release signifies the company's renewed focus on the reseller market.

Lyman tells me candidly that resellers are their future and they are thrilled to have their margins double by selling software systems like those supplied by Fonality.

Some added features in this release are sophisticated, presence-enabled find-me, follow-me, with remote features such as call control and record.

In addition there is E1 and BRI autodetect. Think of this as the wizard-based approach to open-source communications.

So how do you upgrade? As Lyman explains, the data center gets the new version of the software and you get it the next time you log in.









Openwave Turns Service Providers into Internet Companies

April 14, 2008

For years, service providers could see their competitors coming head on. For example CLECs and VoIP providers are pretty easy to spot and entrenched telecom providers worldwide have adopted different strategies to battle these new entrants.

But that was the easy part of the game. After all, playing in your home stadium is often easier than playing on the road.

But this "on the road" analogy is perfectly accurate in describing what service providers will be dealing with as they enter new markets and come up against companies like Yahoo, Microsoft and Google.

Recently I had a chance to see a demo of technology from Openwave Systems which helps service providers compete more effectively with the traditional web-based competitors.

I must say that I was beyond impressed with the demo I saw of a product named Openwave Mobile Client Suite, a set of products which help turn service providers into internet companies.

I also had a chance to see some of the company's network-based technology, the Openwave Rich Mail Solution, which does what Microsoft Exchange Server and Outlook clients do for the typical enterprise. The application is based on AJAX which means response times are more like software than web pages.

The look of the UI is impressive and not something you might expect your typical service provider to code themselves.

For example there are contextual menus which pop on a right-click, e-mail preview, drag-and-drop, voicemail/VoIP integration and more.













Target Service Provider Marketing by Pontis

April 14, 2008

At the recent CTIA show in Las Vegas, much of the talk centered around how service providers need to focus on generating revenue from advertising as companies like Google will be giving away many of the services they hope to charge for.

A good example of such a service is Google Maps which utilizes cellular tower triangulation to approximate GPS. It doesn't stop there of course… With Google Gears for Mobile, Google is in the enviable position of allowing mobile devices to utilize hosted applications whether or not there is a live internet connection.

It isn't news that Google has a head start in delivering services and advertising… Now carriers need to catch up.

But service providers are terrible at getting into new business areas and they have little experience in advertising. You know, that reads a bit harsh. Allow me to rephrase… Let's say instead, that if wireless carriers learned to sell advertising as well as they spend money on their own ads, they will be in great shape.

What is the first step in becoming a better advertising company?







Google and SalesForce Enhance Relationship

April 14, 2008

It was over a year and a half ago when I had a chance to listen to Marc Benioff talk about how his company's software would be integrating with Google to provide a mashup allowing companies to better track their Google advertising. Using the services together, companies would be able to utilize the CRM portion of the software to track where customers came from... Which ad, which keyword, which landing page, etc.

The matter was so important I made the article a High Priority column in Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine.

The two companies have decided to take the collaboration one step further and as a result, you will now be able to purchase Google Applications via SalesForce.com and there will be tighter integration between the two companies.

For example, e-mails sent to customers via Google's mail application will be connected to customer records in SalesForce.com.

While this collaboration is great, there are still companies who worry about how to maintain security when their vital corporate data is stored on the servers of another company.

Perhaps this move will manage to make customers more comfortable with the hosted approach as Google has a strong reputation and helps boost SalesForce.com's credibility -- not that the company really needed it but having such a large partner would help anyone.

In my opinion, there are many companies who don't want to worry about having idle employees if their broadband provider or router fails.

I have to say that I really appreciate Marc Benioff as a spokesperson for SalesForce.com because he calls them as he sees them. No longer having Tom Siebel to go after, Benioff has resorted to blasting Microsoft.

If you want a more specific example of what I mean, consider the memo put out by Benioff in November of 2005 where he had the following to say:

Last month, our number one competitor surrendered, and decided to take its place beside several former competitors at software's Shady Pines Rest Home, also known as Oracle.


















GrandCentral Outage

April 13, 2008

Dimdim is to WebEx like Asterisk is to Avaya

April 11, 2008



Open source web conferencing company Dimdim is looking to attack the conferencing market in the same way Asterisk "attacked" the PBX space. Although the concept of open source is not new this sort of product just shows how virtually every corner of the software market has to deal with the issue of competing with free or very cheap software supported by a community of developers who work for the "fun of it".

One way to compete with such challenges is to focus more on consulting and systems integration. Another is to focus on building your development community up as a way to add value to your core offerings.

These are things Avaya has done masterfully and it remains to be seen how companies in the conferencing space will deal with the increased pressure from open source conferencing providers such as Dimdim.

[TMCnet]







Digium's New Deal

April 11, 2008

Plantronics HW251N-USB Wideband Headset

April 10, 2008

Correction... Despite my best efforts to be perfect this device is called the HW251N-USB not the HW351N-USB. Sorry if this caused you any problems.




If you are like me you look for ways to ensure your entire team is as productive and efficient as possible. You look for ways to increase productivity and if possible costs at the same time.

As communications solutions have evolved and Moore's law has lent it some speed, we have all benefited from a  slew of faster and faster solutions that can do more for less money.

This coupled with the power of IP communications has led us to a world where communications is becoming truly unified.








Podcast: Ken Lamneck - President The Americas, Tech Data

April 10, 2008

Ken Lamneck
President
The Americas
Tech Data









Distribution companies are in a great position to tell us what trends to look for in the market. What is hot? What is not and more. It is for this reason I was very interested in speaking with Ken Lamneck - President The Americas at Tech Data.

In our discussion we had a chance to embrace the concepts of virtualization, unified communications, NAS, how selling services is becoming a great business for VARs and more.

We also had a chance to discuss how VARs that do not provide complete solutions will lose business to others and will subsequently put their product sales in jeopardy.

Lamneck stresses that Tech Data wants to provide the best choices for their customers instead of pushing companies down a certain path.

There is much more but to hear it you have to listen to the podcast.




















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