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VoIP

Can Incumbent Companies be Disruptors?

January 14, 2012

Business disruption through technologies they never saw coming is fascinating to me. I have been fortunate enough to be in the technology and communications spaces at a time when the pace of change has been breathtaking.

Consider for example in the 1980s when Rockwell one of the leading ACD manufacturers collaborated with IBM to enable computer-telephony integration or CTI. As a point of reference an ACD is an automatic call distributor and is the machine that asks you to press one if you are calling about domestic travel and so on.

CES, Ultrabooks and Lowered Expectations

January 8, 2012

It has been a few years since I have been to CES and I have to be honest, I have never seen the kind of lowered expectations for an event. There have been numerous stories from mainstream publications this past week telling us not to judge the future of the industry based on what the hot product at the show happens to be. For more see the end of this article.

While on the one hand this is good advice backed up by lots of flops like the Microsoft and HP tablet of a few years back that was supposed to be an iPad killer but was never released.

Zennstrom Onto Next Big Thing: Wrapp

January 3, 2012

Niklas Zennstron is on to the next big thing – the intersection of mobile, social and local – by investing in a new company called Wrapp which allows users to send gift cards via social networks. In a nutshell, you see it’s a friend’s birthday on Facebook and then send a gift card. They receive an email and the store scans it.

The twist here is companies could potentially offer free gift cards for sending, allowing you for example to send someone $10 which the store would in theory book as a referral fee/coupon meaning this fee becomes a marketing/customer acquisition cost.

Julius Genachowski Makes Brilliant Move at FCC in Hiring Henning Schulzrinne as CTO

December 29, 2011

Earlier this month, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the appointment of Henning Schulzrinne as Chief Technology Officer – a major move forward for the FCC and the US communications regulatory environment. This move was made in-part because the FCC has had to keep up with fairly rapid changes in the communications and networking worlds. Telephony was once a circuit-switched service provided by a handful of large telecommunications companies and a number of regional players.

It was relatively easy to understand and regulate.

Verizon MiFi 4510L Mobile Hotspot Review

December 21, 2011

Recently I was emailing with one of my contacts at Verizon asking what the hot devices are from his perspective and during our conversation I mentioned I have Verizon 3G in my laptop but haven’t had a chance to try Verizon 4G. Without a beat he offered me a 4G MiFi Mobile Hotspot to test and review. It’s funny really, I am not starved for connectivity but this device made my business life much easier… It is an essential device for the cloud-based world we are moving to. After all, if all your apps live somewhere else and you don’t have the best connectivity possible, you really aren’t able to leverage the cloud.

Alianza Lands Huge Clearwire Cloud Communications Deal

December 20, 2011

Fasten your seat-belts - this is getting interesting... cloud-communications provider Alianza just landed a four-year hosted software licensing agreement with Clearwire. Alianza's end-to-end voice platform combines all the back-office platform management, product management, and end-user support functions into a single web-based administrative user interface and this deal marks perhaps one of the largest if not largest cloud-based VoIP deal I am aware of. Company President and CEO Brian Beutler certainly thinks this is the largest deal in the industry...

Avaya's Top Communication Trends in 2012

December 16, 2011

Recently I had a chance to have an in-depth conversation with Avaya about the trends they see for 2012 in the communications space. In particular I spoke with George Humphrey a Director and Line of Business Owner at Avaya and Diane Royer, Senior Marketing Services Manager.

The trends below are at times augmented or enhanced with my thoughts.

1) Mobility raises the expectation of availability

Altigen's iFusion: Fuses the Desk Phone & iPhone

December 2, 2011



The smartphone and tablet are taking the world by storm and this information isn’t lost on Altigen Communications the company who literally revolutionized the communications space in the nineties by merging the best of the PC and telephone into an office phone system for small companies. I remember meeting the company’s VP of Marketing Gary Andresen in 1996 as he showed the fascinating concept of merging the best of the PC and telephony worlds. For the next ten years or so Altigen evolved and went upmarket but in the past few years they’ve been very quiet. Part of the reason for the slowing in PR and marketing has to do with the company retooling its portfolio and evolving its strategy.

Will Rockit Redefine Social CRM?

November 18, 2011

What happens when you merge social CRM, location based marketing, mobile marketing, loyalty rewards and targeted social marketing? The answer is Rockit – a new company whose goal is to prove to the world that managing customers in the new multichannel, multimedia world is far from “rocket science” (get it?).

The company provides a loyalty-enabled platform allowing customers to sign up for offers in categories of interest or by company and these companies can use the platform to track customer loyalty, communicate and push out special offers and incentives.

I Use Google and You Siri are no Google Killer

November 14, 2011

I worry more it will kill the public’s interest in speech rec

I have been reading with great interest all of the back and forth chatter on the web regarding Apple’s Siri and its merit as a Google killer and as I read these articles I wonder if many of the people writing these stories have followed the speech technology space these past decades. In 2000, I ran a show called Communications Solutions and on stage I did a live demo of General Magic’s Portico calling it a killer app – the next big thing. It was incredible to me and it worked pretty similarly to Siri. Sure, Apple’s speech rec “wizard” Siri has enhanced functionality allowing you to do information searches but in a decade you would expect such advancements, right?

But one has to wonder why is Siri the Google killer and why now?

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