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Rich Tehrani
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An Honest Critique of Microsoft and Steve Ballmer

May 26, 2011

For the last five years there have been calls for Steve Ballmer to step down from Microsoft and I have refrained from comment until today because a confluence of news and events has made commentary necessary. Specifically, David Einhorn, an influential hedge fund manager – whose firm Greenlight Capital owns almost 9M shares of Microsoft, said (video) Ballmer is stuck in the past and is ruining Microsoft’s stock.

Technologist Vs. Businessperson: One compliant about Steve Ballmer is that he is more a businessperson than a technologist and as a result, new and innovative products have been developed much more slowly. This point is very tough to argue with and more importantly, what is Ballmer’s vision for Microsoft?

Skype For Asterisk to Shut Down

May 25, 2011

One of the more exciting announcements in the open communications space was when Digium inked a deal with Skype to allow the most popular open source communications server to work natively with the most popular Internet telephony software.

But yesterday Digium put out a note telling users that Skype for Asterisk will no longer be available after July 26th, 2011. Current users should be able to use it for a period of two years after that date.

The question worth asking is whether this announcement marks the end of Skype support for non-Microsoft platforms. As Erik Lagerway asks - will Skype Connect for various PBX vendors be next?

In the past I've have heard there were scaling issues with Skype for Asterisk so this move could be a result pruning products which didn't meet certain standards or requirements.

Obviously we will know more as time goes on but this move likely won't be welcomed by the legions of open-source fanboys out there. And Microsoft needs to be careful to not alienate the influencers in the market if it doesn't want to intentionally reduce the value of an acquisition which many say cost too much.

Update May 26, 2011

Skype sent me their official comment regarding Skype for Asterisk from Jennifer Caukin, spokeswoman for Skype.













Avaya Touts People-First Model

May 24, 2011

This week at IAUG - the Avaya user group event in Las Vegas the company launched a new program called Ace Your Apps with the goal of making communications more people centric while allowing corporations to integrated their UC solutions with a number of IT company solutions from IBM, Microsoft and others. David Yedwab breaks the news on TMCnet here.

Enjoy an excerpt:

At the heart of this program is a compelling offer for enterprises with Avaya Aura or Avaya Communication Server 1000 and Microsoft or IBM (News - Alert) instant messaging and presence clients. Enterprises current versions of Avaya Aura or Avaya CS 1000 are entitled to one free desktop integration user license for each UC-entitled user (up to $140/user in value).   This adds up to a significant savings – up to 87 percent for 5,000 deployed users – plus the ability to establish a communications-enabled business process (CEBP) platform that can further drive innovation and workflow efficiency by integrating critical business processes in order to grow competitive advantage through both the extension of productivity growth within the enterprise to desk-bound and mobile workers and across the supply chain.  





Will Contact Centers Boost US Employment Again?

May 23, 2011

It was 1991 when the US was in the midst of a recession and economic development agencies worldwide started to court the editors of this publication to write articles about their location as attractive places to start a new center. In 1991 my fist article-writing assignment outside the US in fact was to attend an IDA Ireland event in Dublin. At the time, call centers were seen as the perfect job creators as the skills needed to work in them were limited. Moreover, they didn’t require massive amounts water or electricity like the manufacturing space.

Is The Mobile Market Beyond Intel's Reach?

May 18, 2011

A few weeks back Intel made news announcing its 3D transistors being commercialized. This new Tri-Gate technology can enable increased computing power at reduced energy levels. We all know that this sort of breakthrough is crucial in mobile computing and even general electronics can benefit from increased performance at lower power draws. Think about the benefit of such technology in data centers for example.

Over the years, specialized processors have had to compete with Intel's CPUs which gave so much more computing power per dollar.

Avaya SMB Event Features Cake Boss

May 17, 2011

Avaya Press and Analyst SMB Live Blog.



At an Avaya Event here in New York City, the company is set to detail its plans to migrate Nortel users to Avaya's IP Office 7.0. According to Isabelle Guis (pictured) General Manager of of the SME Communications Business Unit, the company now has 30 million users - 14M of those came from Nortel and there are 7 million total IP Office users - with 200k systems being sold last quarter.


Here are some shots of the event so far.




10:00 am EST Kick Off

Announcer addresses audience from TV via video Small business make is vital to Avaya.

Dr. Alan Baratz
takes the stage. He transitions to a video of happy customers "Thinking Big."



IP Office was designed for small to medium businesses and can scale to 1,000 users. 60% YoY growth - almost 150% QoQ growth in sub-20 end of market.


















Interop 2011 Day One Wrap Up

May 11, 2011

Day one of Interop has been great so far – I had video and written interviews with a number of companies such as Juniper Networks, Siemens, Brocade, ShoreTel, Navisite, Broadcom and Cisco. The videos will be posted soon – I will alert you when they are up or just go to our video page and click on the forthcoming Interop 2011 tab.

One point which came up repeatedly in my meetings is the micromanaging of budgets by CEOs – not just in small companies but some really big ones. It seems CXOs are scrutinizing new spending like at no time I have ever seen.

Rich Tehrani and TMC at Interop 2011

May 9, 2011

I am here in Las Vegas getting ready for Interop 2011. I apologize for not being connected more - but I've been doing wall-to-wall video interviews all of last week as well as speaking at the Broadvox Partner Summit. Not to mention watching the gorgeous US scenery as I travel from NY to Dallas and back and then to Vegas.

To check out the videos from last week you can click on the first one and they will loop through. BTW, one of these videos is being held back because the news is embargoed.

Later today I will be at a reception with Cisco execs and at the moment my editorial team is at another Cisco event which involves a Q&A session with their CIO.

Then its on to at least 80 interviews - I am looking forward to gauging the mood of the exhibitors and speakers at the show.

Finally, this Wednesday, May 11th at 8:00 AM, TMC will host a breakfast  focusing on online community building and social networking... I will be speaking on tips and best practices and more.







My Day of Shooting Videos in Dallas

May 5, 2011

I am here at the Joule Hotel in Dallas, Texas where I met with over a dozen companies in the communications and tech space today. The mood is very very optimistic - there was more confidence than my last trip to Boston this past December. A few interesting items - I forgot my phone on this trip as I left it charging until the last possible second - and whoops, I forgot to take it. When I realized, I freaked out for ten seconds and then realized I had a tablet.

Since my voicemails get transcribed and emailed and I could use Skype, I actually didn't miss the phone.

China Patent Wars: Huawei Sues ZTE

April 28, 2011



Huawei today filed lawsuits in Germany, France, and Hungary against ZTE a fellow Chinese manufacturer of telecom equipment - with strength in 4G/LTE technology among others. The interesting point here is the company is being sued for patent and trademark infringement and what this shows us is a greater concern for patents and trademarks in China. At least from Huawei.

According to the company, they paid US $222 million themselves in patent licensing fees to obtain the legal right to use patents and technologies of other companies in the industry. In fact TMCnet reported two weeks ago that Huawei and Motorola Solutions settled patent disputes.

This is great news as Huawei had a reputation years back for copying technology from companies like Cisco and after losing a  court case they seem to have become more serious about patents and trademarks.

Last month I pointed out how a sales boom for tech and media is being unleashed by China as a result of it announcing 3,001 people have been arrested for rampant product piracy and seized fake or counterfeit medicines, liquor, mobile phones and other goods.

This is all great news for western companies who have invented technology which China wants to and will continue to use.









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