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Rich Tehrani
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Will VocalTec and Skype Merge?

November 22, 2010

One of the major factors that led TMC to decide to launch Internet Telephony magazine back in 1997 was that we saw VocalTec launching products in the space which allowed telephony to travel over IP networks - and just like that the IP communications market was born.

Prior to this point, voice over frame relay was the preferred way to transmit voice over a packeted network.

When we launched Internet Telephony, we invited VocalTec co-founder and CTO Lior Haramaty to write a column in the publication - after all, no one knew more about the technology he helped invent than well, him!

Getting back to present-day Vocal-Tec, the company has merged with magicJack parent Ymax Corp. and recently raised its revenue guidance slightly and is looking to officially launch magicTalk - a PC-based service offering free US calling.

Back in August, TMC ran a piece on magicTalk and now the company says it has 100,000 beta users and 10,000 downloads per day. The magicTalk one-month Alexa rank is 386,430 up from 893,141 (lower numbers correspond to higher rank) and their Alexa chart is certainly improving as the chart below shows.

My two cents are it is tough to compete with Skype and Google in the VoIP space with a new offering but magicTalk has used television advertising to sell VoIP service in a way which turned an unknown company into a household name overnight. They used marketing well and although they have had some controversy surrounding them, I have always considered Ymax to be great promoters.

One of the past issues the company had was when they launched, they made some claims about their technology which were a bit over the top and many industry bloggers went ballistic in response. Moreover, the company has been called out about its inability to provide live voice service calls - but in reality if live support calls cost about $15 per interaction, how can you expect to get these bundled into service which costs about $40/year?

I reached out to the company for more information about what they're up to but they weren't immediately available for comment.

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Impresses

November 14, 2010

TMC’s Tom Keating reported the fact that Microsoft OCS will be called Lync going forward and the name is much more conducive as a Skype alternative as asking someone to Lync you sounds much better than asking them to OCS you. Tom and I recently went to Manhattan with a group of analysts and other media to get a demo of the system at Microsoft's Technology center and put it through its paces. We had a chance to see about a dozen or more machines with various endpoints and spent time listening to Jamie Stark the Senior Product Manager walk us through what this new release will do for customers.

Facebook, Microsoft Kinect and Yahoo News of Note

October 18, 2010

Here are some stories worth reading on TMCnet today:

Jaclyn Allard explains Microsoft has a $500M ad budget for Xbox Kinect and in my opinion this is one of the best new products I have seen in many years and creates a new paradigm (yes, I used the P word, what's wrong with that? ) in human interaction with a computer and it has the potential to be more important that gestures used on smartphones today. Cameras aimed at users translate movements of hands and body into computer input - no wireless controller needed. Very cool.

Ashok Bindra reports that Gartner believes information will be the oil of the 21st century - a resource running the economy.

ITEXPO West 2010 Show Guide Available

October 1, 2010

The ITEXPO West 2010 Show Guide is here and if you are flying to the show - you may want to download it to your Kindle/laptop/iPad/netbook/smartphone or print it. I am on the plane now and we have the equivalent of a 300 baud modem's worth of bandwidth so I can't download it but as I recall it is over 100 pages and gives you a solid overview of the dozen conferences taking place next week.

In addition it shows you the exhibit hall with over 200 exhibitors and which sections correspond to which technology.

I have this dream that I will have enough time to go through the directory and point to some of the interesting highlights in a blog post.

We'll see how that works out.

Here is the PDF and it is fairly compressed down to 5 Megs as I recall - we may be getting a higher res one soon as well in case you have the bandwidth.

ITEXPO West 2010 Information Update

October 1, 2010

The following ITEXPO welcome letter and update on important components of the multiple shows next week in Los Angeles was sent by my operations team. I hope you find it useful:

October 4-6, 2010
Los Angeles Convention Center
It's Time for ITEXPO

Largest B-to-B Communications and Technology Trade Show Opens Monday in Los Angeles.

Dear Rich,

The final stages of preparation are being completed over the weekend - conference presenters tying together their slides, exhibitors readying their booths, and our TMC team putting the pieces in place for a great week of learning, networking, and business-building.

Your registration is confirmed.

Can't wait to see you Sunday night at Avaya’s Kick-Off event at the Westin Bonaventure, then on Monday at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the official start of ITEXPO.

Once again, here are some details and information that will help make your experience at ITEXPO great. As always, if you have any questions before the show, please check the event site or contact Frank Coppola.

Registration: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Keynotes: 4:00 – 5:00pm
Welcome Reception: 5:00pm, sponsored by Aloe Systems

Tuesday, October 5
Registration: 7:00am – 7:00pm
Luncheon keynote: 12:15pm
Keynotes: 2:00 – 4:00pm
Exhibits Open: 4:00 – 8:00pm
Networking Reception: 6:00pm in Exhibit Hall, Sponsored by Aculab

Wednesday, October 6
Registration: 7:30am – 5:00pm
Exhibits Open: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Mustang Convertible Giveaway at 4:45pm – Must Be Present to Win
See below for a complete, updated schedule or visit

Keynote Schedule: (Open to all attendees) Monday, October 4
4:00 pm: Alcatel-Lucent: Jean-Pierre Lartigue, CTO and VP
4:30 pm: CA Technologies: Adam Famularo, General Manager Cloud Computing

Tuesday, October 5
12:15pm: Phil Edholm, Vice President, Avaya
2:00 pm: Alex Dayon, Executive Vice President of CRM
2:30 pm: Ribbit Corporation: Crick Waters, Co-founder, EVP Strategy and Business Development
3:00 pm: AT&T: Hank Hultquitst, VP of Regulatory
3:30 pm: ShoreTel: Kevin Gavin, VP Marketing

Wednesday, October 6
10:15 am: Xirrus: Dirk Gates, Chief Executive Office
10:45 am: Level 3: Nigel Williams, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Sales

WORKSHOPS at ITEXPO – Open to All Attendees

StartupCamp2: Communications Edition
Monday, October 4, 5:30pm
Room 153

Ingate’s SIP Trunk-UC Summit
Monday, October 4 – Wednesday, October 6
Room 403A

Reseller Solutions Day Workshop
Tuesday, October 5, 8:30am – 1-day Workshop open to all Resellers and Agents
Room 153

MegaPath’s MPLS University
Tuesday, October 5, 4:10pm
Room 153’s Innovation and Excellence for the Small Office
Wednesday, October 6, 11:00am
Room 150


Los Angeles Convention Center
South Hall K
1201 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90015
Phone: (213) 741-1151

Detailed Schedule of Events:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 4 9:00 am . Ingate SIP Trunking Professional Development Program
10:00 am .

VoIP Market up 13% This Year

October 1, 2010

Infonetics says the VoIP/UC space will be up 13% this year over last. It is no secret that the current business environment is very tough and this growth in a single and relatively mature sector of the market reminds us there are many sectors of tech and communications which are even younger and subsequently hold promise for even greater growth rates.

4G, M2M, backhaul, optical, smart grid, cloud - these are only a few sectors of the market which are poised to continue growth - even in a very challenging macroeconomic environment.

The timing of the report is good as Tom Keating points out - since ITEXPO takes place next week and numerous industries will converge in Los Angeles to learn more about communications and technology - virtually every important sector will be represented via numerous vendors.

We hope to see you there Oct 4-6, 2010.

Overview of ITEXPO West 2010 Events

September 30, 2010

Hi all, my marketing team was good enough to provide me with this comprehensive overview of ITEXPO and all the related events and content at the show which takes place Oct 4-6, 2010 - yes, next week. I hope this snapshot is something you find useful.

From Grids to Clouds, ITEXPO Has It Covered. So Much Value for Your Investment. Free Workshops, Great Networking, Amazing Keynotes, 12 Collocated Events.

Avaya Flare and Tablets at ITEXPO Next Week

September 29, 2010

Avaya Inc., on Flickr" href="">

The Avaya Flare interface is designed to be your enterprise social network and I recently witnessed it in person and running on an Avaya tablet which had a video camera, stereo speakers and more.

Avaya, Cisco and RIM want to be the enterprise tablet provider of choice and in Avaya's case their strategy revolves heavily around collaboration and video - they really see their solution as more of a competitor to the entry-level telepresence and other video endpoint companies.

I could go on but I am sure you've seen my live blog from the launch event by now and you are likely just as excited as I am to hear Avaya's Phil Edholm speak at ITEPO in LA about these exciting new developments. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, Oct 5th at 12:45 PST. Here are the details.

Special Offer on Optical Education

September 29, 2010

Latest ITEXPO West 2010 Show Daily

September 28, 2010

The latest show daily for ITEXPO in LA is out and here are some headlines you may find of interest:

ALOE Systems to Exhibit Carrier Grade Softswitch Solutions at ITEXPO'Meet the HD Handset Vendors' Loaded with Chances to Win an IP phoneHD Voice - U.S. vs.

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