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Some US Offices Being Closed by Mitel

November 3, 2011


I just got word that a number of US offices have been closed by Mitel. A source tells me 60 people were let go, 40 technicians and engineers and there are now only 16 branches in the US. I reached out to Mitel PR who wouldn't comment due to the quiet period so I did some digging and found a Mitel employee in a supervisory capacity who confirmed US offices were being closed but wouldn't specify how many.

Mitel has had challenges for a number of years and I won't go into what they are in this piece. If you are curious see my past pieces in order or pertinence, ShoreTel Filling the Nortel Void?, Mitel to Come Out Swinging, Will They Connect? and Mitel Business Partner Conference 2011 Live Blog.

What is worth mentioning is the new CEO Rich McBee has outlined a plan and part of it consists of aligning its channels.




Plantronics Headset Line Exudes UC Dominance

November 3, 2011

Recently I received a care package from Plantronics with a number of their headsets and other products and when I opened the box it served as a not so subtle reminder of just how dominant the company is. Back in 1982 when my company TMC (I am CEO) launched the first magazine in the call center space, Plantronics was one of the few companies in the market and almost 30 years later they have evolved into an organization delivering unified communications endpoints for virtually every segment of the market.

Blackwire C435

New Interactive Intelligence Quick Spin Cloud Contact Center Trial Portal

October 17, 2011

Coming off the first six months of 2011, Interactive Intelligence enjoyed cloud-based revenue growth numbers of 58% while orders increased a whopping 146% during the same period. Moreover, the cloud accounted for 26% of the company’s total new order dollar volume in the first half of 2011. Company CMO Joe Staples said the following to me in a meeting in New York, “We are seeing a huge shift towards the cloud.” He continued, “It is talked about in every single deal we are in.”

As a refresher – the company started selling a hosted solution in 2005 but relaunched its cloud-based communications as a service or CaaS solution in 2009.

Download ITEXPO on the Go

September 11, 2011

The PSTN Will Die. Time to Learn SIP

September 9, 2011

It should come as no surprise to avid followers of this blog that the PSTN is potentially going to be mothballed in the next seven years. If you are wondering what will replace it, the answer is in-part SIP and protocols TBD. You may know that there will be a can't-miss keynote panel on the death of the PSTN at ITEXPO next week but what you may not know is the SIP Forum - the global organization devoted to SIP interoperability and promotion is making a big splash at the show and if you either purchase, sell, or manufacture/develop SIP products and solutions you may want to lean more.

Here are the details:

SIP Forum to Have Strong Presence at ITEXPO in Austin, TX

Association Sponsor of  ITEXPO and co-located events including 4G Wireless Evolution, and the SIP Tutorial; Leadership to participate in multiple sessions, panels and tutorials, Chairman Richard Shockey to Moderate Keynote Luncheon Panel on “End of POTS” 

NORTH ANDOVER, MA, and AUSTIN, TX September 9, 2011 – The SIP Forum (www.sipforum.org) has announced a full schedule of activities at the upcoming ITEXPO West in Austin Texas, showcasing the association’s active role in helping to drive the broad adoption of SIP communications in today’s global telecom industry.

Exciting New ITEXPO Keynote, Michael Tribolet with magicJack VocalTec

August 31, 2011

Two months back I told you that IP communications veteran Michael Tribolet, someone involved in the founding and growth of the VoIP space joined magicJack Vocaltec and would be at ITEXPO West in Austin Texas, September 13-15, 2011.

I have great news to share and that is that Michael will be keynoting at the show at 8:45 am on Sept 13. He kicks off what is perhaps the best keynote line-up ITEXPO has ever seen - he will be followed up by representatives from Cisco, IBM, DHL, Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe and many more.

I have known Tribolet for about a decade if not longer and he worked at some of the most influential game-changing companies in his career. For example, he Vice President of Operations at Dialpad - a VoIP leader in the nineties allowing tens of millions of global callers the ability to call into the US for free.

He then went to Vonage America and became President and watched the company change the face of VoIP - causing the cable companies to realize IP was their future as well. The ensuing competition between Vonage and the cablecos is still fascinating to watch.

Now at magicJack Vocaltec, Tribolet is once again at one of the game-changing IP communications companies and no doubt has fascinating insight on where the communications business has been and will be going.







Suzanne Bowen Moves to AstraQom

August 25, 2011

ITEXPO West 2011 Austin Highlights

August 23, 2011

Before all ITEXPO events I do a final proofread of the show directory and this one may be the biggest ever at 132 pages with tabs (just doing our part to support the economy). We will post a PDF version soon so you can see what’s in it but until then, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Keynotes & Exhibits Tuesday, September 13th at 9:15 AM we have Ian Pennell from Cisco and at 4:30 PM-5:30 PM we have keynotes from Siemens and IBM followed by a Grand Opening Networking Reception sponsored by Interact from 5:30-7:30.

Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM we have keynotes from Polycom and DHL followed by exhibits from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM there is a Cocktail reception sponsored by Rackspace Hosting and at 4:45 you could win a pair of mountain bikes from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - an Austin Institution ( I am told).

Cisco's Ian Pennell to Keynote ITEXPO in Austin

August 22, 2011

We are thrilled to announce that Cisco's Ian Pennell The Senior Vice President, Small Business Technology Group will be keynoting ITEXPO in Austin, TX, Tuesday, September 13, 2011 between 9:15 AM and 9:45 AM. One reason I am excited to announce his participation is Pennell handles much of the carrier and VAR/channel partner relationships and these are integral parts of the ITEXPO experience.

It should be a great event and Cisco's participation joins a roster of truly crucial tech companies keynoting  such as Mike McCarthy the VP of Cloud Computing Services at IBM, Mark Straton, Senior Vice President Solution Marketing Voice and Applications at Siemens, John Antanaitis, VP of Marketing at Polycom and Matt Groppe, Director of Global Business Development, DHL Same Day.

Update: Another event which takes place the same week at the same convention center as ITEXPO is StartupCamp4 Comms Edition and the keynoter for this event will be Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet, VC, professor, cofounder of 3COM and author of the world-famous Metcalfe's Law.

By the way, speaking of DHL - if you doubt a shipping company is really in the tech space - check out this editorial from Marc Andreesen in the Wall Street Journal this past weekend which explains why software is eating the world. Here is an excerpt as a subscription my be required to view.





Death of the PSTN a Major ITEXPO Topic in Austin, TX

August 18, 2011

In 1997 when TMC announced the launch of Internet Telephony Magazine – the world’s first publication on IP communications I met with dozens of skeptics who told me emphatically that the technology was a hobbyist toy and not something you make a magazine out of. People at the COMDEX event I attended were sure it wasn’t the birth of a new industry. Fast forward about 15 years and now because of VoIP and wireless (which when 4G goes mainstream will also be VoIP-based) – not to mention social networking, there is serious talk about killing the traditional circuit-switched telephone network or PSTN by 2018!

This is huge news and the ramifications are massive – not only for investors but for companies in the telecom and datacom spaces looking to figure out how to navigate a changing telecom landscape.

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