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Unified Communications

SprintSecure Laptop Guardian

October 29, 2007

One of the more interesting features of mobile devices such as Blackberrys is the ability to have the device remotely wiped in the case of theft or loss. Interestingly, many laptops are filled with much greater amounts of corporate data but it is not always so easy to remotely wipe data on such portable computers. There are certainly technologies which can make this happen but they are far from widespread and are limited in scope. In a recent meeting with executives from Alcatel-Lucent and Sprint, I was shown a technology developed by the former and sold by the latter which makes laptops more secure in a number of ways. The solution the companies demonstrated is something many corporations need as it allows them to take control of their mobile assets in ways not previously possible.   In brief, the companies have developed a broadband wireless data card named the SprintSecure Laptop Guardian which contains a battery, computer, GPS transceiver, VPN, firewall, and more.

Agito Networks

October 29, 2007

The amount of companies pursuing the fixed-mobile convergence market or FMC continues to grow at a torrid pace. The latest company to jump in with both feet is startup Agito Networks. I had a chance to meet with Dan Spalding the Director of Marketing and Communications and Pejman Roshan the VP of Marketing for the company to discuss their approach to allowing the world of fixed and mobile lines to merge.   Before we get into technology it may be worth noting that the people behind Agito are from the top firms in the wireless and tech business such as Cisco, Trapeze, Proxim, Spirent, Motorola, Palm and Good Technology. This never guarantees success mind you but it is certainly better than hiring a bunch of people with no experience.   Certainly this is a market with competition which is evidenced by my recent article about DiVitas Networks.

Covad Acquired by Platinum Equity

October 29, 2007

Covad was recently sold to private equity and this could be a good thing. The company made a big splash in the business VoIP segment years back but more recently Covad seemed to stop focusing on offering converged services and instead shifted the bulk of its messaging to broadband.   Part of the reason for this shift may have been service issues as I have heard complaints of poor voice quality from some of my readers over the years.   As a point of comparison -- during the last year, when Covad stopped focusing on the VoIP market, a competitor who is in the pure-play hosted VoIP space Cbeyond saw its shares rise over $11 or 36%. Cbeyond is now valued at $1.18 billion dollars in fact while Covad is valued at $191 million.   The new owner of Covad is Platinum Equity and some advice to the new company would be stay consistent. Promoting yourself as the ultimate IP communications solutions provider and then going dark for over a year sends a poor message to potential customers.   I started off this entry by saying this purchase could be a good thing and this is why.

DiVitas Networks

October 28, 2007

If you take a long walk through lower Manhattan you could very well end up in Greenwich Village, SOHO, Chinatown, Little Italy, the Meatpacking district or any other area of Manhattan bearing an interesting name and unique culture. Indeed, you can notice distinct differences in each of the above neighborhoods. In most cases the people in these different areas even look different.   Although we refer to this little island as the Big Apple, it is really an assortment of small apples of varying varieties. These separate pieces could just as well be located on different continents.   This is exactly how I feel about the communications space.

Communications Enabled Business Process

October 26, 2007

You may have heard the term Communications Enabled Business Process or CEBP. I always wonder where new acronyms come from so I did some digging. This particular term was developed by engineers who were bored by the current state of telecom terms. After all, there are only about 100,000 of them and it has been proven a single person can learn them all in a lifetime.   This of course was the impetus to develop CEBP as research showed most people will not even be able to remember what Communications Enabled Business Process stands for, let alone means.   Of course I kid and this is because I can’t believe we have yet another acronym to discuss, deliberate, explain, have conference sessions and webinars about, etc.

NET Acquires Quintum

October 26, 2007

On the face of it you might not see a merger between NET and Quintum as something predictable. NET is on the west coast, while Quintum is on the east. Quintum has had a consistent branding message over the past decade or so and NET has not.   But there is an area where both companies do play and that is in unified communications and specifically how UC relates to Microsoft. You see, both companies are working closely with the Redmond-based software company.   This is where there is some overlap.

Phone Calls without Subject are Rude

October 26, 2007

Polycom and Ekahau Partner

October 23, 2007

As the world becomes more interconnected (read: smaller), the need for increases in productivity grows exponentially. The reason is simple. The more countries get into the act, the more competition each company has to deal with.   Thankfully, technology comes to the rescue once again and to that end I would like to point out that WiFi telephony makes companies more productive in more ways than one. We all understand users can use a wireless LAN phone to hook into a PBX so as to not miss important phone calls.

Presence vs. Stalkers

October 21, 2007

Presence is a really great technology because it keeps people from playing phone tag – among other things. It is an absolute productivity accelerator as it allows people to know what people are up to 24x7. But therein lies the problem. I am not sure I am 100% comfortable with everyone knowing when I am online, on the phone, in a meeting, etc.   So the solution to this problem proposed by most people in the industry is to allow different people to know differing amounts of information about us.

Open Source Unified Communications

October 19, 2007

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