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

Unified Communications

Packet8 Links With SalesForce.com

April 3, 2008

In the race to differentiate IP communications services, a natural area  for service providers in the business market to look is the CRM space. Integration with customer relationship management systems is common in large enterprises and even medium companies have embraced the concept.

Now, small business customers utilizing a hosted solution can take advantage of one of the cream of the crop hosted CRM packages -- SalesForce.com. You see, Packet8 service will now seamlessly integrate with Mark Benioff's creation.

What does this mean for the market? Simple...



The Coming Mobile WiMAX Revolution

April 2, 2008

Over the past fifteen years the world has become smaller as a result of the internet and more recently broadband connectivity allowing IP communications consisting of voice and video to flourish. As connectivity has improved, entire industries were transformed. For example, emerging markets began to harness the internet as a way to provide outsourced services to more developed parts of the world.

It is fair to say the entire world has improved as a result of the net… Just a single example is the hoards of ambitious people worldwide who have leveraged the internet to do things like start businesses where they sell myriad products on eBay or their own websites.

Yet for all the progress we have made over the years, the potential is far greater. In a recent conversation with Lars Johnsson, the VP of Business Development at Beecem I was able to learn how his company - a four year old fabless semiconductor chipset company has been improving mobile WiMAX.

If companies like Intel are responsible for the computing revolution and the benefits we enjoy from microprocessor improvements, then companies like Beceem will be responsible for the coming mobility revolution.

You see, Beceem (pronounced "beseem" which means "without wires" in Farsi) has just released its BCSM250 mobile WiMAX chipset whose surface area is about the size of a stick of gum.







Plantronics Discovery 925: is it Jewelry?

April 1, 2008



If you have a doubt that your bluetooth headset is becoming more and more like jewelry, take a look at the new Discovery 925 line by Plantronics. The new headset reminds more of an earing than a headset and one wonders if the company is targeting the female consumer more heavily with this product.

The answer to this question could be best summed up with the fact that the headset comes in numerous colors which have super-fancy names such as Onyx Black, Alchemy Gold and Cerise Pink.

The device is not short on function either... You get five hours of talk time and days of standby time.

So welcome to your new future... One in which you not only have to match your belt color to your shoe color (yes, my fellow engineers, this is a fashion rule ) but now your headset needs to match as well.







Save Money in a Slow Economy

March 31, 2008

What is one of the best ways to cut costs without cutting heads or disrupting you key business operations? One simple solution is to explore the adoption of a telecom expense management or TEM solutions.

Recently I had a chance to sit down with the team at Anchorpoint to learn just how they are helping companies cut costs in a painless fashion.

One of the biggest problems with how companies currently deal with phone bills is that they put highly skilled workers in charge of what is really a low skill job. In addition, the job of approving telecom bills is time sensitive as phones tend to stop working when bills aren't paid. So as these highly skilled workers deal with the time sensitive job which they often feel is below their skill set they tend not to take the job very seriously and subsequently rubber stamp bills to get them through.

So companies are paying good salaries to people to do a job which doesn't get done too well.

In my conversation at Anchorpoint's headquarters in Massachusetts, we discussed how in some cases companies deploying TEM solutions can cut headcount but this usually pales in comparison to saving perhaps 10 % or more on a 10 million dollar bill.

So instead of focusing on a company's ability to cut heads they explain that these high value workers could do more important things in the company.

Of course I brought up the $99 flat rate bill phenomenon being marketed by the wireless carriers and the team told me that the result of this new marketing approach is that companies now have a metric they must come below.

So a CFO may expect phone bills to be less than $99 and a compensation plan can even be assigned to a worker based on the percentage of savings over this amount.

We further went on to discuss how telecom cost management compares with travel management.















Polycom's Software Play and More

March 31, 2008

Depending on the era, if I asked people what the name Polycom makes them think of they would give me different answers. In the nineties it was video conferencing and audio conferencing devices. Around 2000 you could add IP phones to this list. With the Spectralink acquisition you then could add wireless phones to this list.

Starting in 2008, the company will also be known for software solutions and in a recent meeting with company execs I got to learn about their new Productivity Suite which retails for a reasonable $11.99/seat.

So what void did Polycom see in the market that would have them go out and start selling software solutions?



Polycom's Durable 8002 VoIP Phone

March 31, 2008

I have to be frank… I have never been in a meeting where I saw a product launch accompanied by a phone being slammed on a table. So I was a bit surprised when Polycom's Ben Guiderian did just that with the company's new 8002 phone.

As it flashed before my eyes on the way to making a big bang on the table, I was told by Ben the new phone is an 802.11b WiFi device which is priced lower than the company's higher-end solutions. The 8002 costs just $349 for a phone, handset and charger and for another $50 you can get an extra charger and battery meaning the phone will always be functional.

On a typical AP you can get 3-4 simultaneous calls. This compares to Polycom's higher-end solutions which can potentially quadruple the number of calls.

So why would I even bother writing about a WiFi phone from Polycom at $349 when for about $150 less you can get a consumer WiFi telephony device which also supports the more robust 802.11g?

Simply stated because this device has a removable battery, Polycom has a great experience with SIP interoperability and if you break one of the consumer WiFi phones, you have now paid more than the virtually indestructible Polycom.







NEC's New Vision

March 31, 2008

Recently I had a chance to sit down with NEC Unified Solution's new president Jeffrey Kane and talk shop. Kane has an extensive background in systems integration having worked at firms like Perot Systems and EDS. Most importantly, he has a passion for success I haven't seen in my NEC telecom contacts over the past fifteen plus years.

He talks of unleashing the power of the 43 billion dollar company and bringing communications and computing together. The company purchased Sphere a while back for its SOA technology and Active Voice too is owned by the computing and telecom giant.

Still, with all that's going for them, in my experience it is always difficult for large multinational companies with non-US headquarters to compete against the likes of Cisco and Avaya.



OnRelay's Mobile PBX Solution

March 31, 2008

Years ago I realized that mobile phones would get cheaper and cheaper and eventually cause a threat to the PBX vendors of the world. Of course… trends are generally easy to spot but timing technology adoption is generally very difficult.

My friends, the time has come for PBX vendors to fear the mobile phone as a company called OnRelay is embarking on a super-aggressive campaign to get us to scrap our desk phones for mobile devices.

In a conversation with company President and CFO Marie Wold I got to see her configure her phone settings right from an application on her Nokia phone. When I asked her repeatedly if you could also use a web portal to change the settings of the phone service, she repeatedly answered, "Why would you need a web browser?" At first I thought she was being difficult but then I realized in most cases she is likely right. Besides, it is tough to argue with a company whose marketing says they will help eliminate 47 million Kg of e-waste.



Here at CTIA in Vegas

March 31, 2008

So here I am in Vegas. I had a 45 minute wait for a cab followed by a 15 minute wait to check in to find out that the hotel I thought I was staying at is not the right hotel but instead I am next door. Check in time is 3:00 but rooms aren't ready so I am at the restaurant just waiting and waiting.

As I wait I am seated next to a table with 15 women.

VPF Winter 2007 Video Interviews

March 30, 2008

Although the temperature near TMC's Norwalk, CT headquarters is below freezing, I am told we are actually in spring. And I am admittedly late in sharing this information with you, frequent readers of these pages know I believe it is better to post late than not at all.

A few months back, Gary Kim and I had the opportunity to conduct video interviews with a number of movers and shakers in the communications market. These interviews took place at the Voice Peering Forum, Winter 2007. It is worth noting that shortly after these interviews TMC was fortunate enough to add Gary Kim as a columnist.

On this page you will find lucid interviews with the following people:







Featured Events