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Rich Tehrani
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Skype

Top 20 VoIP Innovators

June 13, 2011

8x8 Speaks Out About Skype Deal (Video)

June 13, 2011

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.







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.













VocalTec adds magicJack to Name

May 22, 2011

In Life and Internet Telephony, Timing is Everything

VocalTec will now become magicJack VocalTec Ltd. – a nod to the fact that most Americans see more magicJack ads than they do even McDonalds and name recognition for VocalTec is virtually zero – except for the handful of us in the VoIP space in the nineties.

The personal irony for me is that Microsoft NetMeeting was an Internet telephony software package which was given away for free by Redmond shortly after VocalTec announced a paid product. As a result, VocalTec had to refocus completely on hardware gateways and Microsoft became the leader in VoIP.

Should Carriers Charge Less for Pipes to Get More For Services?

May 17, 2011

In Wake of Skype Deal, Will Microsoft Investors Revolt?

May 9, 2011

In 1997 when TMC decided to launch a magazine focused on IP communications named Internet Telephony, the nascent market had VocalTec, a software manufacturer charging around $50 for their software and Microsoft with their NetMeeting software which was free. Overnight, Microsoft took over the VoIP client market and became the reference software for H.323 calls - a standard which is rapidly losing out to SIP for most applications.

NetMeeting was clumsy to use - it had a GUI but was clunky and not friendly to users. Microsoft lost interest and reallocated most of its telecom developers to its newly formed Internet strategy.

Likewise for Microsoft's wireless phone strategy - the company was way ahead of the market in developing phones which could do so much but the level of complexity kept the company from becoming the market leader.

In the first case Skype became the winner of the easy to use VoIP software wars. Not that there was really a war - there was a massive vacuum in the market when Skype launched.





3Jam Purchased - is it Skype?

May 4, 2011

The news just broke on TMCnet that 3Jam was purchased - and potentially by Skype. Interesting news as I have written about how TMC uses 3Jam at ITEXPO to coordinate our management team and communicate rapidly between groups. The beauty of the service is it allows you to text to a group and have a single virtual SMS number you respond to which forwards messages to everyone in the group.

Interestingly David Gurle of Skype - General Manager and Vice President of its Skype for Business unit is keynoting the next ITEXPO in Austin, Texas Tues, Sept 13, 2011 at 4:30 PM. It will be interesting to get his thoughts - of course by then the details of the purchaser will most likely be out.

Oh and one bit of concern is the news that the service will soon be shut down - hopefully the acquirer will continue it.



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