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Rich Tehrani
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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.

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

Tech Growth: It's all about the Arbitrage

October 15, 2011

Wikipedia defines arbitrage as the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets and I’m amazed at how it’s helped the world of tech grow through the decades. Now before I continue I should point out productivity and flexibility are also crucial reasons for tech growth. For example, the PC spreadsheet made it possible to not only perform financial calculations more quickly but more importantly to perform calculations you just couldn’t afford to have humans do.

But really, arbitrage is the hidden gem in the market because quite often it fuels the use of a new technology with paying customers who can justify the expense because they are saving money elsewhere.

Latest Trends in Speech Technology, CRM, IVR, Collaboration and Cloud Computing

August 14, 2011

Speech analytics in greater demand

At the recent SpeechTek 2011 conference in New York I gained some great insight into the state of speech technology. For example, Jeff Schlueter of Nexidia told me his company’s speech analytics solutions have been in greater demand in this current economy as the desire to control costs has led to increased adoption of speech analytics. In addition, the company has released version 9.0 of its Enterprise Speech Intelligence product suite which cuts the TCO in half and allowing for customers to handle even larger amounts of data.

Global Unrest is Tech's Fault

August 12, 2011

Protests, riots and flash mobs are popping up all over the world from Greece to London and Israel to the US. This past week we even saw a global stock market sell-off due to a Paris-based bank’s alleged financial problems – thankfully though the French people are still enjoying their 6+ week vacations and have no plan to strike until they return.

But seriously – what the heck is happening in the world? The answer is quite simple really, technology is continuing to make the world a better place for the “have nots” – at the expense of the “haves”.

Skype for iPad is Baaack

August 2, 2011

Skype for iPad is here!

It was much-anticipated, released, then pulled, then re-released and it works great. The company said there were problems with it causing them to pull and then release it a few hours later. (Update) TMC's Erik Linask thinks the problem is related to chat bug. There isn't much to say except it has better quality than the iPod/iPhone version but the front-facing iPad camera is certainly a major limiting factor in the quality of the video calls you will experience.



An additional feature beyond what you can do on the iPhone is the ability to chat while conducting a video call.





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