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VoIP

Angry Birds Ad From T-Mobile a Must Watch For Fans

June 13, 2011

8x8 Speaks Out About Skype Deal (Video)

June 13, 2011

Spreadable Shuts Down - Why?

June 10, 2011



While reading a blog post from telecom and channel partner thought leader Peter Radizeski, on how small businesses are responsible for much of the nation's hiring I learned about the fact that Grasshopper is shutting down its Spreadable company - an organization focused on word-of-mouth spreading of customer referrals.

I haven't talked with the people at Grasshooper in years - certainly not since they changed their name to Grasshopper - but I have often had conversations with others in the market about how their marketing campaigns seem to be the most untargeted in the space since much of it is being placed on satellite radio. According to the company's competitors, their marketing is as shotgun as it gets because - they seem to be purposefully utilizing mediums which are difficult to measure and they are relatively nonexistent online.

And as more decisions are being made on the web - this is quite a surprising and counter-intuitive strategy.

But when I started to read the first post from the company related to why they shut down Spreadable I could see they understand digital marketing quite well - its just surprising that you rarely see them online. Kind of a paradox I got to thinking. It is worth mentioning Spreadable too relied on Satellite radio among perhaps other mediums for its sales.

Another thought I had while reading is what company shuts down a business and then celebrates its failure in public via a four-part series?









Skype, the Carrier's Friend?

June 10, 2011



There are people who believe the Microsoft acquisition of Skype will make Redmond's relationship with carriers much worse but the leading internet telephony software company has been making steady progress wooing carriers. Years back at the CTIA show in Las Vegas, Chaim Haas, one of Skype's PR representatives told me the Three UK deal between his client and Skype was working out well for the carrier and moreover, the company was hoping other carriers would partner as well.

Then more recently Verizon Wireless struck a solid relationship with Skype and now, TMC's Paula Bernier breaks the story of how Canada's Telus too has partnered with Skype to among other things champion usage of the VoIP company's network and services.

Perhaps the Skype acquisition isn't all bad news for Microsoft's carrier relationships. In fact it may even do the opposite of what many pundits tell us - help Microsoft get more entrenched in carrier networks.

And certainly when you are the new underdog in the mobile world, any advantage like this one can come in handy when competing with Apple, RIM and Google.







Mitel Business Partner Conference 2011 Live Blog

June 2, 2011

A great primer on Mitel's new strategy can be found here.


President and CEO Rich McBee kicks off the event. 1,000 people here - 50 exhibitors. In the past we have had competition between us - in the future "You won't be competing with Mitel." this is the start of something new.

Strategy outline:

Simplify the business. Focus the portfolio.






Mitel to Come Out Swinging, Will They Connect?

June 1, 2011

This past January I wrote a piece which compared Mitel to ShoreTel titled Is ShoreTel filling the Nortel Void and since the post Mitel has been in a state of flux with a new CEO Rich McBee recently joining. When the opportunity presented itself to come to the Mitel Business Partner Conference titled Mitel Freedom – in Florida, I jumped at it in order to get more perspective on Mitel’s strategic direction and future.

The conference officially kicks off tomorrow morning but I wanted to give my readers as much information as possible before things got going. Tonight I had a sashimi (no, the other one – without the rice) dinner with Ron Wellard, GM and EVP of Mitel Communications Solutions, Jim Davies the CTO and Jay Nichols the VP of Sterling Communications – the PR firm handling Mitel.

7% of Doctors Using Video Conferencing

May 27, 2011

On TMC's Video Conferencing community Erik Linask reported on the fact that 7% of doctors are using video in their practice and this got me thinking about how the IP communications market flattened the world allowing jobs which were once required to be in the US to be outsourced to India and elsewhere.

For those of you who have followed my writings for years you know my company TMC has been at the forefront of educating the world on IP communications - and one of the unintended consequences of this technology was the outflow of jobs from the US to other parts of the world.

Thomas Friedman details how optical fibers have flattened the world and moreover - that Americans are not ready for the ensuing competition



But when you consider that US companies have used technology to lower their costs and the US healtcare system is not only one of the most expensive in the world, its costs are growing out of control - you realize we need to solve the problem.

Sure there is Obamacare - but the basic premise of this new entitlement is a broke country is going to spend another trillion dollars to insure even more people. The idea of insuring 30M more people and saving money as its proponents tout doesn't pass any logic test that humans innately posses.

So this leads us to the fact that in order for the US healthcare system to lower costs it too will have to outsource its services and we can expect nurses and doctors to eventually be treating us from other countries. This isn't a tremendous leap as it is already being done but without question inter-country video conferencing will eventually be used far more frequently to treat patients.

I have a good friend who recently flew to Costa Rica for an operation  because his dental surgery estimate in the US was $50k. In Costa Rica the cost was around $14k and when he had a problem a few months later the doctor flew him down again for free and fixed the issue.













An Honest Critique of Microsoft and Steve Ballmer

May 26, 2011

For the last five years there have been calls for Steve Ballmer to step down from Microsoft and I have refrained from comment until today because a confluence of news and events has made commentary necessary. Specifically, David Einhorn, an influential hedge fund manager – whose firm Greenlight Capital owns almost 9M shares of Microsoft, said (video) Ballmer is stuck in the past and is ruining Microsoft’s stock.

Technologist Vs. Businessperson: One compliant about Steve Ballmer is that he is more a businessperson than a technologist and as a result, new and innovative products have been developed much more slowly. This point is very tough to argue with and more importantly, what is Ballmer’s vision for Microsoft?

Skype For Asterisk to Shut Down

May 25, 2011

One of the more exciting announcements in the open communications space was when Digium inked a deal with Skype to allow the most popular open source communications server to work natively with the most popular Internet telephony software.

But yesterday Digium put out a note telling users that Skype for Asterisk will no longer be available after July 26th, 2011. Current users should be able to use it for a period of two years after that date.

The question worth asking is whether this announcement marks the end of Skype support for non-Microsoft platforms. As Erik Lagerway asks - will Skype Connect for various PBX vendors be next?

In the past I've have heard there were scaling issues with Skype for Asterisk so this move could be a result pruning products which didn't meet certain standards or requirements.

Obviously we will know more as time goes on but this move likely won't be welcomed by the legions of open-source fanboys out there. And Microsoft needs to be careful to not alienate the influencers in the market if it doesn't want to intentionally reduce the value of an acquisition which many say cost too much.

Update May 26, 2011

Skype sent me their official comment regarding Skype for Asterisk from Jennifer Caukin, spokeswoman for Skype.













Avaya Touts People-First Model

May 24, 2011

This week at IAUG - the Avaya user group event in Las Vegas the company launched a new program called Ace Your Apps with the goal of making communications more people centric while allowing corporations to integrated their UC solutions with a number of IT company solutions from IBM, Microsoft and others. David Yedwab breaks the news on TMCnet here.

Enjoy an excerpt:

At the heart of this program is a compelling offer for enterprises with Avaya Aura or Avaya Communication Server 1000 and Microsoft or IBM (News - Alert) instant messaging and presence clients. Enterprises current versions of Avaya Aura or Avaya CS 1000 are entitled to one free desktop integration user license for each UC-entitled user (up to $140/user in value).   This adds up to a significant savings – up to 87 percent for 5,000 deployed users – plus the ability to establish a communications-enabled business process (CEBP) platform that can further drive innovation and workflow efficiency by integrating critical business processes in order to grow competitive advantage through both the extension of productivity growth within the enterprise to desk-bound and mobile workers and across the supply chain.  





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