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Keating on Skype, Pika and Zune

September 12, 2008

You know what? I was looking at Tom Keating's blog today and there is some good stuff worth sharing. First he points to an Om Malik interview of Josh Silverman the CEO of Skype and then reminds us of how to get Skype to run on an iPhone (sort-of) until Skype releases an official version.

The interview is great -- it shows Skype is laser-focused on profit, mobility and embedding itself into other applications. Malik pushed Silverman on a few fronts -- explaining that the telcos aren't a monopoly (contradicting my thoughts and those of Silverman) -- he also pushed Silverman on why they are still part of eBay and finally on why Skype is boring.

Dialogic/NMS Acquisition Discussion and Analysis

September 12, 2008

On a recent call with Jim Machi, Senior Vice President Marketing Dialogic Inc.I had a chance to ask a number of questions regarding his company's pending acquisition of the platform division of NMS. The deal is subject to shareholder approval and comes a few weeks after NMS received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq exchange due to the company's stock price being under $1 for more than 30 days in a row.

Machi tells me the deal will allow the two companies to pool resources and as a result they should be able to get products out to the market faster than ever. He further cited the video and mobile value-added spaces as other areas where the companies will be able to compete more effectively as a standalone entity.

I asked Machi about the geographical ramifications of this deal and whether there are complimentary areas of the world which NMS brings to the table. According to Jim, Dialogic is very strong worldwide so this was not a reason for this acquisition.

I asked if the deal has been on the works for a long time and Machi commented it was a normal amount of based on prior acquisitions.





Dialogic Swallows up NMS Platforms

September 12, 2008

NMS Communications signed a definitive agreement to sell its NMS Communications Platforms business to Dialogic for $28 million in cash. This is a significant deal as it shows just how little value the platforms division has and it further marks a turning point in a rivalry which has been legendary for the past few decades.

Why the low price? Simply stated, Moore's Law which has in the past few years made it possible for Intel CPUs to do much of the DSP work which once required separate processors.

In the nineties, the fight for share between Dialogic and NMS was incredible and seemed to transcend business to become personal in many cases. It was a real slug fest and shows like CTI Expo, Internet Telephony and the Computer Telephony event were where these companies would traditionally try to outdo one another.

More recently however under the leadership of Nick Jensen, Dialogic has been much less of an in-your-face competitor and as such, deals like the purchase of Cantata and now this one have been made possible.

NMS for its part will become LiveWire Mobile -- the name of the company's subsidiary which focuses on providing ring tones and videos to mobile devices.







CRG West Promotes John Savageau

September 11, 2008

John Savageau one of the hardest working people I know in the carrier hotel/data center business was just promoted to CTO of CRG West where he will get to focus more on the company's peering and ICT offerings. Perhaps no one is more deserving of a promotion.

John has been an instrumental part of CRG West's expansion from two to eleven data centers and John is a true thought leader in the space. In my many discussions with Savageau, he has explained in intricate detail what separates his data centers from the run of the mill and brimmed with pride when he gave me a tour of the company's famous One Wilshire building which is located literally a few blocks from where ITEXPO will be held next week in Los Angeles.

John was a career US Air Force officer and when you speak with him you get the sense of his military background. There is just something about the precision in the way he speaks.

Many people take for granted that interconnections in facilities like the ones John manages are responsible for supplying entire countries with internet traffic.





Kanye West Arrested in LA

September 11, 2008

I realize this has nothing to do with my typical subject matter but as you know as I get closer to a trade show I do look for nice segues to help me discuss the show. For example, next week, ITEXPO will be held in Los Angeles and coincidentally about an hour or so ago, Kanye West was arrested in Los Angeles.

So coming to ITEXPO can not only be good for your career and help you supply your users with a better IP communications experience, you can come to the show in the city where Kanye West was actually arrested. If you come to the show via LAX, you can actually visit the airport and perhaps gate where Mr. West -- famous for the song Gold Digger and Stronger among others -- was handcuffed and taken away.

With any luck -- being LA and all -- you may get to see other celebrities arrested on your way to the show as well. If you do -- be sure to drop me a line.

Silliness aside -- we are all looking forward to seeing you next week in LA.





SIP Trunking Article

September 11, 2008

FierceVoIP has a great article on SIP Trunking which does happen to mention ITEXPO which takes place next week in Los Angeles. As you may have guessed -- it is written by Doug Mohney -- the smiling gentleman pictured to the left of this short entry.

As I have mentioned before, SIP trunking is one of the major growth areas of communications and will be for the foreseeable future. Resellers and businesses of all sizes should be at the SIP Trunking Workshop at the show which happens to be free and from what past attendees have told me, a fantastic learning experience which helps you increase your call quality and lower costs. For resellers/interconnects/VARs/VADs -- SIP trunking represents a recurring revenue stream which is welcome in an age of decreased margins.

I should also mention -- while on the topic of SIP, there is also a SIP certification class at TMC University focusing on building services with SIP.

Here are other TMC University courses to consider:

  Date Course Hosted by

Tuesday,
September 16, 2008

Microsoft OCS



Tuesday,
September 16, 2008

FMC/Mobility  

Tuesday,
September 16, 2008

Open Source  

Tuesday,
September 16, 2008

SIP in the Contact Center   Wednesday,
September 17, 2008
IP Network Security   Wednesday,
September 17, 2008 SaaS Thursday,
September 18, 2008
Unified Communications   Thursday,
September 18, 2008 SIP: The Foundation for Building Enhanced Services Thursday,
September 18, 2008 Next-Generation Call Center
Management
 
















ITEXPO West 2008 Show Daily #1

September 10, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 attendance for the upcoming Los Angeles, California event to be held September 16-18 is looking great and I just can't wait for the show to start. We are brimming with enthusiasm about this year's event and it will truly be the World's Communications Conference. Perhaps the most exciting thing about this year's show is the record number of companies making news at the show. We are absolutely thrilled about this and are doing our best to help you absorb all the news emanating from the show in an easily digestible format.

Why Wireless Carterfone is Needed

September 10, 2008

The Carterfone ruling is what allowed the AT&T network to be opened up to competition and basically was the result of AT&T trying to stop a company from adding a device which was acoustically not electrically to their network.

The 1968 Federal Communications Commission allowed the Carterfone and other devices to be connected directly to the AT&T network, as long as they did not cause damage to the system. This ruling (13 F.C.C.2d 420) created the possibility of selling devices that could connect to the phone system using a protective coupler, and opened the market to customer owned equipment.

Many companies including Skype have tried to apply this ruling to the wireless market and changing the practice of bundling service and device with long-term contracts consisting of early-termination penalties. I actually thought this matter was over.

But today I came across a press release from The Phoenix Center which says that if the FCC were to regulate the way the mobile industry operates, consumers would lose out. Their point is that the result of such moves will be higher costs for mobile devices with no guarantee of lower service costs.

This is why their press release is right:

Long-term service contracts do indeed partially include financing charges on the device which you use.









iPhone VoIP Banned in Germany

September 10, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Show Guide

September 9, 2008

I have been looking at the show directory for next week's Internet Telephony Conference & Expo and am very happy to report this event will be one of the best we have produced. When I saw the draft of the directory on the way to the printer I immediately asked my team to have it turned into a PDF so everyone can see it in advance.

Most of the links below will get you directly to the PDF which is 17 MB in size so please don't download over dial-up or wireless where you pay per minute.


My show letter is a great place to start as it gives you the details of what is happening at the show.

All the top names are in the show... Cisco, Avaya, Time Warner Cable, Mitel, Interactive Intelligence and Dialogic. In addition, the most important open-source communications companies will be exhibiting.




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