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SaaS -- The Tide is Turning The Wrong Way

August 17, 2008

Without listing them all as their are too many, the recent outages of services from Amazon, Google and many others have people worrying about switching to hosted applications and moreover, some jobs may be at risk over decisions to go hosted.

Remember the good old days when no one got fired for buying IBM. Seems like the saying still goes for Microsoft and other non-hosted vendors.

For hosted providers, the tide is turning and if these companies don't get their collective act together, they will ensure a slower migration to software as a service or SaaS.

The problem is of course that a single hosting company having an outage such as SalesForce.com, Google or Amazon will scare potential customers away from even considering the move to servers which they do not control.

Sure the infrequent outage isn't a problem but we seem to be hitting a critical mass of these things and there is a record number of outages and worse -- record numbers of stories about hosted service outages.

Let's just say it seems like the SaaS space may soon take a pause if these outages don't stop soon.

See Also:

Gmail leaves Google Apps admins nervous


Apple, Amazon cloud snafus leave Microsoft sitting pretty
Google Docs Outage
Outages Force Cloud Computing Users To Rethink Tactics
















HTC Dream Coming Soon

August 16, 2008

The much anticipated Google Android phone looks like it will finally see the light of day on the T-Mobile network. It is worth noting that some of the more interesting developments in the world of mobile phones have come from traditional computer companies. First, HTC a company known for making really leading-edge PDAs around the turn of the century got into the smartphone business and provided a solid alternative to traditional cell phone makers and phone from Treo/Palm/RIM (all three of which could be considered computer companies as well).

Then it was Apple and now Google. (I may lump Samsung in here as well but let's leave them out for now.

Patent Negotiation Handbook

August 16, 2008

Podcast Interview Tata Communications

August 15, 2008

Tata's View of Communications

Tata is a global company which is perhaps closest to what General Electric is in the US or Siemens is in Germany. The company is absolutely massive, having over 5,000 employees and engages in businesses such as building cars, providing chemicals, energy, materials and even consumer products like tea.

In addition, the company is a major player in telecom and has a global fiber network which is worth taking note of as it is large and growing. Tata has been aggressively pursuing US and international business and for this reason I knew my audience would be interested in learning more about how Tata Communications can help service providers, schools, the government and other US based concerns solve their communications problems.

On a podcast interview with Anthony Rossabi, Vice President of Carrier Services for the Americas I had a chance to ask questions about what the company is up to and how it can help carriers worldwide.

A good deal of our discussion centered around TCTS or Tata Communications Transformation Services which provides specific back office functions for carriers such as provisioning, network design, access and access pricing. The company has been focusing on landline but is moving into the wireless space as well.







Motorola Turnaround?

August 15, 2008

Motorola will be breaking up the company, bringing in new management and launching over 30 new products in the near future. Analysts remain very impressed but one wonders if they will be able to turn things around after over a decade of problems. This is a company which had challenges hitting numbers in the late nineties when other companies were booming.

Perhaps the best article headline on the topic is Motorola's Funeral Canceled: On Slow Road To Recovery, Says Citi (MOT).

It is the emphasis on new product development which is supposed to be the ultimate salvation for Motorola. You see, the theory goes the more products you have, the better you do.



Trixbox Certification

August 15, 2008

The open source world of communications is growing rapidly. Recently I discussed the Nortel acquisition of PingTel and what this means for our markets.

Ironically the competition in open source was once between Digium and PingTel and when Asterisk became the the dominant player in the space, it seemed that Digium won the war. It turns out that while PingTel lost steam, a new wave of compeitors in the open source space emerged, basing their products on Asterisk.

One such company is Fonality and their Trixbox platform has become a popular alternative in the open source space. It just so happens that Fonality is collocating their training session in Los Angeles at ITEXPO in a  few weeks.

If you are looking to see all the communications companies that matter in the market and also get a chance to receive certification on a number of topics, be sure to come to the show.





VoIP Growing at 53% to $24 Billion

August 15, 2008

The VoIP opportunity is still huge according to a new report from Infonetics Research. At a time when many industries are really hurting, hosted VoIP and managed IP PBX services grew 53% to $24 billion in 2007 after surging 66% in 2006.

Obviously much of this growth is as a result of PSTN replacement but it should be noted that once IP is in place, the potential to add services increases greatly. The great news is Infonetics anticipates growth in the strong double-digits until at least 2011.

Interestingly, IP communications boosts productivity and saves money at the same time. This makes it a great technology to invest in when times are good and times are bad.

Sadly, many companies get the deer in the headlights feeling when they see an economy slow and they sometimes stick with the status quo instead of making decisions which will save them money, boost performance and generate rapid ROI.

Interestingly I have noticed an increased focus on contact center and CRM solutions these past months which leads me to believe companies have finally figured out that if you serve your customers efficiently and well, you make more money.

Contrast this to the last slowdown in 2000 when companies decided to offshore their call centers to save money.









Communications and Technology Stories August 14, 2008

August 14, 2008

Please enjoy some communications and technology stories while having your morning (or evening) tea or coffee. My thoughts in brief -- Extreme is smart to jump on the energy efficient bandwagon, Jajah claims to have over 10 million users in the story below which is substantial. They also have a service which translates short English phrases to Chinese. Very cool but I am not sure this can be monetized.

Virtual PBX now allows callers to be pulled out of voicemail -- this great news and not easy to pull off for a hosted vendor.

3G iPhone Problems... AT&T to Blame or Infineon?

August 14, 2008

Are you a new iPhone user who is having problems with the device switching between networks? Are you browsing at slower speeds than you should? Are you getting dropped calls at a higher rate than you are used to?

If you are having any of these problems you will be happy to know there is great debate about whether the cause is a congested AT&T data network or a chip made by Infineon. Company spokesman Guenther Gaugler won't discuss the chip's performance in the Apple phone but he does say the chip works fine in other cell phones.

Other speculation is that AT&T hasn't upgraded its network fast enough and of course AT&T denies this allegation.

Either way, there is a software fix in the works which should minimize the problem.





Book Flights Now For ITEXPO West 2008

August 13, 2008

Many attendees have told me they are getting great deals on airfare to ITEXPO September 16-18, 2008. I happened to just price a flight and the cost was $306. Travelocity has a sale with prices from New York to Los Angeles starting at $285.

Also, many people have told me they will be using JetBlue and landing in Long Beach and Burbank Airports.

Here is a United flight I priced as a reference:

Flight:  United flight 21 on a Boeing 757 Jet <input type=hidden name=javascript_turned_off value=YES>   Depart:  New York-Kennedy, NY (JFK)- Tue, Sep 16 6:30am Arrive:  Los Angeles, CA (LAX) - Tue, Sep 16 9:44am      
Flight:  United flight 840 on a Boeing 757 Jet Depart:  Los Angeles, CA (LAX)- Thu, Sep 18 2:14pm Arrive:  New York-Kennedy, NY (JFK) - Thu, Sep 18 10:38pm  
The great news is that flight costs are dropping pretty rapidly meaning you can come the world's communications event and still have reasonable travel costs.







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