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Unified Communications

Microsoft Working on Skype Everywhere Initiative

April 20, 2012

The fact that Microsoft would want to integrate Skype everywhere shouldn't be too surprising, Office/Lync and Windows Phone are obvious areas and so is Xbox. That's why news of the company looking for engineers who can delve into the hybrid world of video games and IP communications shouldn't be too surprising.

When Microsoft integrates Skype into Xbox and bundles some free calling into the solution, what's to stop them from offering a DECT phone as well? With retail prices of DECT 6.0 phones starting at less than $20, the idea makes more and more sense.

Sure, you can use a cordless/wireless phone with Skype today but if Microsoft integrates it all seamlessly and video is added for free, what happens to the business models of Ooma, netTALK and magicJack?

And what about the cable companies, AT&T and Verizon? Sure, a Skype home phone calling solution will be inferior as it doesn't allow emergency calling due to a lack of E-911 support but still, if it is part of a bundle and has HD voice support, why pay for phone company or cable calling? Especially if it has video as well and other great Skype calling features, presence, etc.

Additionally, a benefit of the Skype purchase will be potentially becoming the phone provider for hundreds of millions of consumers.







Comcast Lets You Text Message from your Home Phone

March 28, 2012

It took about eight years but it seems like SMS has finally come to home phone service

In 2004 in a piece about VoIP 2.0 I wondered why home phone service hadn’t progressed and suggested that they allow instant messaging/SMS. It’s obvious the market would love such a solution and Comcast will be one of the first to bring it to market. In fact, now included with its ‘Xfinity Voice Unlimited Nationwide’ plan, customers get access to free text messaging from the Xfinity Mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

Consumers Tell Mobile Carriers how to Save Millions

March 22, 2012

Wireless carriers spend millions on contact center calls related to device questions from their subscribers and to lean more Amdocs recently commissioned a survey which shows that while 83% of the 2,900 consumers surveyed are aware of self-service options, only 37% of consumers use them. Why? You may think because they don't have access to a PC or perhaps they have an Apple iDevice and are afraid the answer will be in Adobe Flash and all they will see is a series of question marks.

Well, if this is what you thought, you'd be wrong on both counts. The reality is that they expect the answers to be wrong or inaccurate.

So perhaps you are thinking, social media is the solution.



Acme Packet University Live Blog

March 15, 2012


Acme Packet is hosting their Acme Packet University at Harvard University in Cambridge. I spoke with the company's Co-Founder, CEO & President Andy Ory before the session kicked off and the topic of Sonus came up. The two companies partnered for many years and eventually Sonus reached out to Acme to purchase them however Acme had begun the filing to go public and Sonus had taken a hit to their market cap so the deal never happened.

According to Andy, the idea today is to explain to the world how complicated the SBC space is - one part switch, security device and softswitch. These are separate disciplines in most companies - making it more complicated to build a good SBC.

He then briefly outlined the future and what we will learn today - how hosted-IMS based solutions will help move the industry forward.

9:00 Session kicks off

Marianne Budnick, CMO kicked things off and set the tone for the day.


Patrick MeLampy
Co-Founder and CTO began with a history of the
markets and Acme.

Net2Phone NetMeeting had problems - in part because they wouldn't work through NAT and this derailed the company.

The company started in Andy's house and the workers were day trading as well as working - this was 2000 after all.

Lots of talk of the alphabet soup of standards IP communications had to deal with until around the time of 9/11.

The partnership with Sonus Networks helped them a great deal back in the day.

People like Henry Sinnreich and Jonathon Rosenberg "hated" Acme because they didn't want the carriers to be able to control the endpoints.





















Broadvox Shows Big Ambitions With New Hire

March 13, 2012

Broadvox just announced that Bruce Chatterley the former MegaPath President and Speakeasy CEO will become the President and CEO of the company. Chatterley has distinguished himself by growing Speakeasy and eventually selling it to Best Buy in 2007 and more recently integrating MegaPath, Covad and Speakeasy.

Broadvox is an innovative company – they were early in the sip trunking space and made a name for themselves quickly. They haven’t been afraid to acquire to grow and this move is designed to take the company to the next level.

Vocalocity: One Cloud Provider's Path to Growth

March 10, 2012

Cloud computing providers are all the rage these days and cloud communications is no exception. Witness the growth of 8x8 as well as the M&A interest in the space evidenced by the recent acquisition of M5 Networks by ShoreTel and the acquisition of Aptela by Vocalocity.

I recently had a chance to speak with Wain Kellum the CEO Vocalocity to get a sense of how his company is differentiating itself from other hosted/cloud providers in the space. First off the combined company has over 15,000 customers and over 100,000 network endpoints.

7 Wireless Data Cap Winners

March 7, 2012

Yesterday I outlined 7 Wireless Data Cap Losers and today I thought I would explore the flipside – in other words, who might win as a result of carriers becoming far stingier with their bandwidth allotments. After all, devices are becoming far more powerful and quad-core tablets and smartphones could become the norm by the middle of next year if not sooner. So with all this power and limited supply of bandwidth, how might user behavior change?

Here is my list of the 7 wireless data cap winners.

The 7 Wireless Data Cap Losers

March 6, 2012

We are in uncharted territory when it comes to mobility as this year we will see a slew of productivity-boosting 4G, quad-core smartphones like the Ascend 4D Quad from Huawei which I saw at Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Moreover, while devices get more powerful, we will only want to do more with them and quite often this means relying on wireless networks from carriers.

The only problem is these providers are rapidly running out of bandwidth and this means they have decided the best course of action is to cap users and slow their connections once they hit a certain threshold. Their other strategy is to just charge for bandwidth being used.

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai - Did He Invent E-Mail or Not?

February 23, 2012

I have to admit that I had never heard of V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai prior to meeting him recently in Boston just prior to the video interview below. But he and his PR firm told me he had invented e-mail – with the proof being in-part a copyright from 1982 relating to electronic mail. He spent a few years building this email system which he says were more or less the evolution of text messaging systems which existed at the time.

Off to MWC 2012 Next Week

February 23, 2012

I've got lots on my plate this week before I take off to Barcelona to attend Mobile World Congress (MWC) - which was once called 3GSM. I've got great meetings lined up and I am very interested in seeing what is happening in the world of 4G, white spaces, M2M, tablets and smartphones. Apple won't be there - formerly anyway so I consider this event to be kind of like the anti-Apple confab. Interestingly, all the major events I attend these days are devoid of the iconic Cupertino brand as well.
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