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Rich Tehrani
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Unified Communications

Stop IMing Me

April 10, 2007

Finding the Holy Grail of Unified Communications   We all have our peculiar ways of working and mine is e-mail centric. It is precisely this love of e-mail that enables me to really find a product like SpinmyVmail useful as it converts my voicemail to e-mail.   I am signed up for an IM client or two but I don’t use them that often. I do find them useful when I need to get a quick answer or as a means to schedule a quick conference call.   But IM is a pain for me and I wonder if I am alone.   The reason I don’t like it is the fact that what other people want is not always my highest priority at the moment. Sometimes I would like to respond to a request at night, on a weekend or on a plane.   IM does not allow me to easily accomplish the above.

The FMC Border Architecture

April 9, 2007

In 1999 I had an interesting discussion at a Lucent Technologies luncheon with Arun Netravali who then headed up Bell Labs for Lucent Technology. Netravali spoke of the future of communications being an all encompassing communications skin which would have all sorts of devices connected to it.   The idea made sense and wasn’t such a logical leap but at the time it was something that wasn’t really happening. Networks did not interoperate so well with one another. Arun predicted this would happen at around 2025 or so.   Although the concept seemed a bit far off, I decided to write about it in the January and February 2000 issues of Communications Solutions Magazine.   Here we are in 2007 and it seems like to concept of a communications skin is farther away and closer than it ever has been before.

Esna Technologies

April 8, 2007

When you think about unified communications you probably think of the big software or hardware companies. These are the organizations making the biggest splash in the UC area.   But we all know about the big boys. What is really interesting is the small players because they are doing today what the big boys will be doing months or sometimes years later.   I recently had a chance to sit down with Esna Technologies CEO Mohammad Nezarati and discuss the latest developments at his company. Esna has been in the telecom space for about two decades and I used to run in to them frequently in the nineties at Computer Telephony shows when the CTI craze took hold of the market.   Then the company fell off my radar for a few years.

SpinVox

April 8, 2007

When I first came across a company called SpinVox I thought it had a niche product not really aligned with my core readership. The first product the company introduced to me was SpinmyBlog which is something I could definitely use at my blog at Tehrani.com. But I thought – who else would even care?   Oh, wait a minute – I am sorry… I didn’t even tell you what SpinmyBlog does. Amazingly it uses speech recognition to convert your voice to a blog entry.

Cantata Gets New CEO

April 6, 2007

You may have seen the news about Cantata hiring a new CEO and could possibly be wondering why they would do such a thing. After all, Mark Zionts was involved in building Cantata into the company it is today with the combination of Brooktrout and Excel.   This is the story based on my conversation with Peter Vescuso the VP of Marketing at Cantata. It seems that Mark is acknowledged as the talented entrepreneur that took the company to where it is today. The goal now is to take Cantata to the next level.   The new CEO is Tim Murray and Tim is an AT&T veteran having worked as Executive Vice President and President of various divisions of the Telecom giant.

Unified Communications Magazine

April 6, 2007

Response Point

April 4, 2007

In case you weren’t aware, Microsoft unveiled a small business phone system recently called Response Point. TMCnet’s Tom Keating has a well thought-out blog entry on what Microsoft is doing as well as a bit of history on Microsoft and other players in IP communications going back to the nineties.   The SMB space continues to be a very sweet spot for VoIP. There is no question this market is huge and Microsoft wants to make billions in this space.   Will the Redmond, Washington based company be successful this time? I would say there is room in the market for many players.

Cisco's Real Strengths

March 31, 2007

Cisco’s incredible strength comes from being able to leverage its strong brand and enourmous salesforce to sell virtually every sort of product in telecom and datacom. This report makes it seem like the outlook for the competition is bleak.   It is worth pointing out however that if you focus on a niche, you can likely make better products in your specific area than a larger company with broader focus. This is basic business and has been shown time and time again to be true.   However the report should not be taken lightly. Cisco is a fierce competitor and as an acquisition machine – they do it better than any other company I have ever seen.   Having said that, the company is getting bigger and bigger and when that happens, invariably size works to the company’s disadvantage.   In addition I am beginning to hear stories about how the Cisco salesforce is inundated with new products to sell and just can’t do justice to all of them.

Hosted Unified Communications

March 30, 2007

Recently Microsoft and Nortel expanded their efforts to bring unified communications to the world. In this case, they have tackled the tough job of bringing unified communications to service providers who will in turn be able to bring UC to small and medium businesses. This collaboration makes a lot of sense as I am seeing a tremendous amount of growth and interest in the hosted communications space.   Serving up UC backed by Nortel and Microsoft could be a relatively easy sell but there's a chance that service providers will brand the service exclusively as their own. Having these 2 companies working with service providers will be a great benefit to the entire market.

ITEXPO Video

March 25, 2007

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