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Unified Communications

NFV Roadmaps Are Affecting Carrier Purchases Now

October 12, 2013

The view from Asia

I had the chance to catch up with a top exec at a major Asian telecom equipment manufacturer and he told me customers are asking for NFV and they are busy working with a number of carriers in Europe to provide suitable solutions. This exec thinks that NFV will have the greatest impact in the gateway space. He went on to say he doesn’t believe the technology will have as much impact beyond the gateway because interoperability may become a problem – meaning whose throat is there to choke if things don’t work properly?

SimpleSignal and gUnify Brings Lync-Like Power to Google Apps

October 12, 2013

I’ve had a few conversations recently with analysts and resellers about how Microsoft Lync is getting trials in many of the largest global corporations and this has traditional telecom equipment providers getting nervous. From these discussions you might surmise that the future of telecom is going to be dominated by Redmond. We know however there is also a major competing force in the market… Cloud-based services. Moreover, Microsoft’s dominance as an operating system seems to be coming to an end due to the onslaught of Android, iOS and Chromebooks.

How NC-Based Bandwidth Enables the Telecom Ecosystem

September 25, 2013 recently became just plain Bandwidth (no dotcom) as they unveiled a colorful new logo and announced an exciting array of products and services which support the communications ecosystem. The company's Republic Wireless division gives it strength in the MVNO space where its new Moto X supports both WiFi and cellular services powered by Sprint. Their wholesale solutions permit carriers to embed voice into their click-to-call apps and also allow an ILEC to become a CLEC without worrying about building out their own nationwide network. This UC service can be provided on a per-seat basis.

Vocalocity is Growing Quickly: Here's Why

September 25, 2013

Recently, customers, vendors and competitors have been talking about Vocalocity - as one of the fastest-growing cloud-based communications companies. In fact just a month ago Syngergy Research produced a report detailing how fast the cloud UC market is growing and mentioned Vocalocity is growing must faster than the market at at 45% while the market grew at 22%. This puts the company just behind 8x8 and Shoretel - which acquired M5 Networks to get into the cloud space in terms of market size.

An article from Steve Anderson on a TMCnet sister-site explains some of the reasons for the growth:

The channel partner program offers a campaign syndication tool that gives resellers options in terms of collateral and promotions so that the individual resellers get some choices in what can be offered.

H2O Overgroup Speeds Telecom Carriers

September 24, 2013

As tier 2 and 3 carrriers have started to face more competition from cable and larger SIP trunking providers, they have had to look to new markets in order to grow revenue. The challenge with this strategy is dealing with billing and management of a slew of new competitive services. Enter H2O Overgroup, a company helping these carriers with billing and backoffice operations. Evan Rice (pictured) the company's VP of Sales & Marketing spent some time explaining how the market is evolving, causing his company's customers to grow into numerous markets.

The Cloud is Hurting PBX Sales

September 13, 2013

In case there was any doubt about the success of cloud-based telephony growing at the expense of customer-premise-equipment or CPE, the latest research out of Dell’Oro Group should serve as a wake-up call. Alan Weckel, Vice President of Enterprise Telephony research at the company had this to say, “If you look at 8x8, RingCentral, and Shoretel's acquisition of M5, combined they experienced growth in excess of 15% compared to 2Q12.”

ShoreTel has certainly been a visionary in the communications market – they were nimble enough to come up with a cloud solution which they purchased from M5 and are rapidly growing this part of their company as you can see from the research above.

Ben Irvine, the VP of Operations at the company’s cloud division recently told me 20% of customers are asking for cloud-based solutions off-the-bat according to the company’s partners.

GENBAND Buys Fring to Make Carriers Sexy

September 12, 2013

Carriers are scrambling right now as they see OTT services such as Skype and WhatsApp eating into their revenues. In a conversation with David Walsh (pictured), GENBAND’s new CEO, we discussed how OTT players have taken 30% of voice traffic in seven years and how service provider voice growth is now around 3% per year.

In response to this onslaught of new competition, carriers have come together to develop standards which will allow their telecom equipment to run on off-the-shelf servers so they can more effectively compete with their app-based competitors. This initiative: network functions virtualization or NFV will help turn hardware-based telcos into software telcos allowing them to be more flexible in rolling out new offerings while saving money in the process.

Software Telcos Based on NFV Want Less Equipment Provider M&A

June 18, 2013

Mergers are nothing new but about a decade ago in the telecom market they reached a fever pitch when SBC purchased AT&T and rebranded itself with the name of the acquired company. At the time it became common in the industry to believe consolidation among carriers meant consolidation needed to take place at the equipment supplier level.

The idea is if you have fewer customers, you have less pricing power which means lower overhead with means merging suppliers can eliminate redundant costs such as accounting, marketing, HR and other “synergistic” areas of the business.

Large carriers have also been known for choosing large suppliers for their hardware needs as they felt these larger companies were more likely to be around to support them in the future as they roll out their solutions.

Yealink SIP T-38G Review

June 17, 2013

The Yealink SIP T-38G Gigabit color LCD PoE IP phone is another impressive IP phone following in the steps of the Yealink T-28P that Tom Keating reviewed in 2010. Tom liked the 4-way arrow navigation keypad, which continues on the T-38G, making navigating on the color screen a breeze. The T-38P also features a very similar web admin page as the T-28P and like Tom I had no trouble adding the SIP credentials, configuring the NTP server, adding speed dials, and other various configuration options.

While referencing Tom's T-28P review for comparison to the T-38G, Tom has this noteworthy comment:
The web interface displays a message when the phone is registered so you know immediately if you put the SIP credentials in correctly. I have to say, I really loved how every change I made DOES NOT require a reboot.

Moped 2.0 Blends Social, Messaging and Cloud Storage

June 6, 2013

There are a plethora of apps to communicate but precious few bubble up to the top. Quite often a company comes up with an idea for a service which improves on another form of communications. Tweetdeck and Hootsuite come to mind as examples.

Another new option is Moped 2.0 which goes live as you read this entry and allows users to more easily communicate with their social circles while adding in the capability of sharing media.

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