Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
Rich Tehrani
| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space


Major Flaws in Ballmer's Apple-Fighting Strategy?

October 11, 2012

It really is shocking that Apple has pulled so far ahead of every other device maker with designs that are more art than technology focused. For those of you familiar with Bang & Olufsen products (BeoSound 8 pictured above) you know in some ways Apple’s designs are a copy of this iconic audio manufacturer meaning Apple didn’t entirely invent cool looking consumer electronics devices and others should be able to compete effectively in the space.

I am sure Microsoft agrees but as they’ve watched Apple become the cool and fast growing computer company they used to be, they determined they need to be more like Cupertino. This of course is the reason the company decided it was more important to design new hardware than keep their partners churning out directly competitive products happy.

VCs disrupted by Angels thanks to Cloud, Apple, Google and Facebook

August 23, 2012

How too many investors can lead us to irrational exuberance 2.0

Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures is one of the most well-respected VCs around and does an amazing job with his AVC blog – it is in many ways a blueprint to starting a company. He has had so many good posts over the years it is tough to count.

In a recent interview with Technology Review he made some alarming comments which you should be aware of.

Not So Fast - Yes We Should Protect Innovation

August 20, 2012

The tech news of the day includes Google using its Motorola Mobility patents to sue Apple. Patent suits aren’t new but we are getting to a point where the news flow relating to patent litigation seems to be overshadowing the news relating to new products. The cost of these suits isn’t trivial and there is risk of significant distraction for all the companies involved. It seems like the industry would benefit from a tech patent truce.

Houston, We Have Disruption

June 4, 2012

When many of us think of disruption we think small. The client-server model disrupted the mainframe and mini market. Small hard drives in RAID formation disrupted larger hard drives. Tablets and smartphones disrupted PCs, etc.

Why Facebook Needs a Phone

May 29, 2012

Facebook as the dominant social network is becoming the replacement for the phone. Nowadays in fact it is fairly common to use Facebook as the primary way to stay in touch with others – especially among those under 30. The point here is that the phone is becoming the Facebook communicator.

And with mobile adoption continuing ta a blistering pace – many people have multiple mobile devices in fact, Facebook should be sitting pretty, right?

Pirated Music, From Napster to Kazaa and Now VPNs

May 2, 2012

I was at a conference some years back where one of the panels discussed how VoIP was blocked unsuccessfully in country after country. The point the speaker made was you can't stop IP. Users and developers are always one step ahead, masking their packets in ways (HTTP, etc) which gets through firewalls and other systems designed to thwart such communications.

I remember something similar happening when Airlines provided WiFi for the first time and blocked VoIP yet Andy Abramson found a way through.

So it should come as no surprise that music sharing which started with Napster, moved onto other services like Kazaa, Pirate Bay and has now evolved to use VPNs.

Now the challenge for record labels and others looking to determine who is sharing and what has grown substantially. The downside?

Is Skype Microsoft's Only Chance for Mobile Success?

April 26, 2012

If you are looking for increased competition in the mobile space, Apple’s recent and seemingly constant record earnings are bad news. Worse yet for the competition, Apple has transcended its original position of a computer and electronics maker to become a major force in the publicly traded markets and even the US economy. Its phones are status symbols the world over and its tablet is so far ahead of the rest of the market the company can charge hundreds more and consumers will pay for these products with a smile.

So news of Microsoft losing share to in the mobile space should hardly be considered news.

Microsoft Working on Skype Everywhere Initiative

April 20, 2012

The fact that Microsoft would want to integrate Skype everywhere shouldn't be too surprising, Office/Lync and Windows Phone are obvious areas and so is Xbox. That's why news of the company looking for engineers who can delve into the hybrid world of video games and IP communications shouldn't be too surprising.

When Microsoft integrates Skype into Xbox and bundles some free calling into the solution, what's to stop them from offering a DECT phone as well? With retail prices of DECT 6.0 phones starting at less than $20, the idea makes more and more sense.

Sure, you can use a cordless/wireless phone with Skype today but if Microsoft integrates it all seamlessly and video is added for free, what happens to the business models of Ooma, netTALK and magicJack?

And what about the cable companies, AT&T and Verizon? Sure, a Skype home phone calling solution will be inferior as it doesn't allow emergency calling due to a lack of E-911 support but still, if it is part of a bundle and has HD voice support, why pay for phone company or cable calling? Especially if it has video as well and other great Skype calling features, presence, etc.

Additionally, a benefit of the Skype purchase will be potentially becoming the phone provider for hundreds of millions of consumers.

The 7 Wireless Data Cap Losers

March 6, 2012

We are in uncharted territory when it comes to mobility as this year we will see a slew of productivity-boosting 4G, quad-core smartphones like the Ascend 4D Quad from Huawei which I saw at Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Moreover, while devices get more powerful, we will only want to do more with them and quite often this means relying on wireless networks from carriers.

The only problem is these providers are rapidly running out of bandwidth and this means they have decided the best course of action is to cap users and slow their connections once they hit a certain threshold. Their other strategy is to just charge for bandwidth being used.

Cisco Underestimated Skype's Value. Acts against Microsoft Acquisition

February 15, 2012

Cisco is far from the most open company in tech so it is ironic it is concerned about a monopoly over video conferencing a result of the Microsoft acquisition of Skype. The company’s Martin De Beer said, “For the sake of customers, the industry recognizes the need for ubiquitous unified communications interoperability, particularly between Microsoft/Skype and Cisco products, as well as products from other unified communications innovators.” This statement coincided with Cisco challenging an EU court over the acquisition.

One has to wonder however if Cisco underestimated Skype’s value. After all, the company has been sold twice in the last few years and the networking company didn’t close the deal either time.

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