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Rich Tehrani
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Unified Communications

Network Engines Buys Alliance Systems

October 10, 2007

If you have been in the telecommunications market for any period of time you are no doubt aware of Jon Shapiro the founder of Alliance Systems the company responsible for building bullet-proof communications servers. Alliance Systems has great industry partnerships with vendors like Interactive Intelligence, AudioCodes and Dialogic.   Alliance Systems was just sold to Network Engines for about $40 million dollars and according to the acquiring company, this addition of telecommunications products and services blends nicely with the company’s storage and security business.   As always, stay tuned for more.

Here is a letter Jon just sent out:
Dear Friends

I am very pleased to share some exciting news with you.  This morning, Network Engines announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire   Alliance Systems, Inc., a leading provider of server appliances and computer infrastructure that support telecommunications and enterprise communications solutions. 

This acquisition represents a major milestone for Network Engines and Alliance Systems. 




E-Mail Miscommunication

October 9, 2007

IP Communications News October 6, 2007

October 8, 2007

It’s been another busy week in the IP communications space as evidenced by the cornucopia of news from seemingly every sector of the market. If you happened to be on vacation this past week or just don’t want to deal with hassle of figuring out for yourself what is important in the world of IP communications, you came to the right place.   First off, you may be surprised to hear how fast VoIP is growing in the US if your sole source of news is your shareholder reports from SunRocket and Vonage. According to this article detailing North American VoIP and broadband growth – the rates are much higher than you may have thought.   Of course the odds are you knew this already because you probably use a VoIP PBX. What’s this you ask?

Siemens Unified Communications

October 7, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mark Straton the Senior Vice President of Product Marketing at Siemens about his thoughts on unified communications and where the telecom market is headed. Straton spent the early part of the conversation talking about Microsoft’s vision.   This vision in his words is basically that the first generation of VoIP solutions were tied to hardware but now you can overlay the communications software and migrate to a fully software-based approach. It should be noted the Siemens VP agrees with this vision.   But he argues that Microsoft has started to put walls around their systems. He says other providers must operate within this environment.   Straton thinks there needs to be an open approach to UC and one vendor cannot provide everything – we need flexibility he says.   Straton mentions to scale such a solution is a very difficult task… He points to the decades of telecom development embodied in the HiPath 8000 from people who are communications experts.   At this moment he took the opportunity to explain the fact that HiPath sales are rapidly accelerating at a number of major Fortune class organizations including the deployment of a massive hosted solution provided by Global Crossing in the UK.

Will RIM Make your Next PBX?

October 5, 2007

In July of 2004 Avaya and Motorola explained to me how their new FMC partnership would be great for business users. They even launched a new phone called the CN620 in fact. I haven’t heard much about the initiative between the companies in awhile and this could mean it either didn’t go according to plan or I just missed the evolving news. The issue hasn’t been important enough for me to pick up the phone and call the fine people over at Avaya and ask them about it.   I was reminded of this old news today when I came across this article about how Avaya and Nokia are collaborating on dual-mode devices for the enterprise.

TMCnet Searches

October 5, 2007

I thought it would be interesting to see what people search on when they come to TMCnet. It should be noted these searches are on TMCnet proper which unfortunately at the moment does not include blogs.   These numbers should be taken with a grain of salt because if a search is embedded in a web link and that link is crawled repeatedly by search engine spiders you come up with a situation where numbers may be skewed. Be that as it may, it is worth sharing some of the information from the last month if for no other reason than as a diversion from more important pursuits such as doing your (and my) job.   1 Avaya No surprise here but shouldn’t Cisco be more popular based on company size and product portfolio? 2 Witness+Systmes I get the feeling this is one of those odd pages (with a typo by the way) that gets crawled repeatedly.

Dialogic Buys Cantata

October 5, 2007

Dialogic has been gaining a great deal of momentum this past year and now this momentum has increased substantially as the company has just announced they will be acquiring Cantata. This deal gives Dialogic access to huge fax market share as well as the Excel and SnowShore product lines, significantly enhancing Dialogic’s position in the service provider market according to Jim Machi the company’s Vice President of Marketing.   Machi also explained this acquisition will be significant for Dialogic customers as there is a great deal of service provider know-how which Dialogic will now have access to. He further mentioned the company is extremely excited about this transaction.   In the nineties there were a number of companies in the DSP resource board market -- Dialogic, NMS, Brooktrout, Rhetorex, Aculab and Pika Technologies were some of these names. Through a series of acquisitions Rhetorex became part of Brooktrout which changed names to Cantata.

Call Center Flash Demo

October 4, 2007

Over a decade ago I came across Interactive Intelligence, a company who looked at the call center space as an area ripe with opportunity. They decided to market products which did exactly the opposite of what others were doing at the time.   While most companies were focusing on pushing box after box after box -- one for the ACD, another for the dialer, workforce management, etc… Interactive Intelligence decided to unify the communications mechanisms and deploy software as opposed to hardware. Their solution was to have a single configuration interface, navigation menus, etc.   I was thinking about the past decade in communications as I came across this interesting Flash demo from the company. It seems like more and more companies are now doing with Interactive is doing.   This demo talks a bit about the company and the Customer Interaction Center solution they provide.

Reselling VoIP

October 3, 2007

Calling all consultants, VARs, systems integrators and other resellers… Be on the look out for information on how you can make money selling IP communications. Specifically hosted communications. Now that I have got you looking, please indulge me as I give s shameless plug to a web seminar sponsored by Speakeasy, Polycom and TMCnet.   Here are some of the details. As always the webinar will be archived for future viewing if you miss it live.

Unified Communications Gaining Momentum

October 3, 2007

In less than two weeks the communications market will be bolstered by the announcement of Microsoft officially entering the unified communications space in a major way. As a show of their support for the market, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates will be speaking about the opportunity to a live audience.   To get an idea of what Microsoft will be rolling out be sure to read my recent article on the company.   The significance of this news cannot be underestimated as Bill Gates is not used by the company to push technologies which are not core to Microsoft’s strategy. If you need proof that Microsoft is serious about unified communications, imagine at a time when Microsoft is rolling out new music players and some of the most popular video games in the world, Bill Gates is taking time to talk unified communications instead of video games or music players.   I would imagine if there is nothing to slow the momentum down, 2008 will certainly be the year of unified communications. This will hopefully be good for the entire communications industry and give more choice for corporate customers.
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