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Tom Keating
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Google to Keynote at Super WiFi Summit in Miami

January 3, 2012

TMC's ITEXPO has had its fair share of high-profile keynoters, including Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, Bob Metcalfe, former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, former HP Chair Carly Fiorina, Digium / Asterisk founder Mark Spencer, and of course TMC's very own Rich Tehrani on multiple occasions. We've also had representatives from Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo, Avaya, Nortel, Polycom, and other telecom / wireless heavyweights. Now in 2012 TMC lands a Google keynoter! Google will keynote at ITEXPO's co-located Super WiFi Summit.

Richard S. Whitt is Director and Managing Counsel for Telecom and Media Policy for Google Inc. In that capacity, Rick is responsible for Google’s strategy and advocacy on all wireline, wireless, and media matters before the Federal Communications Commission, other Federal agencies, and the U.S.

ProtoSphere 3D Virtual World Combines Microsoft Lync, VoIP, Collaboration, & Social Media

December 20, 2010

ProtonMedia's ProtoSphere combines Microsoft Lync, VoIP, collaboration, & social media features to bring a 3D virtual world to life, enabling the enterprise to more easily interact and collaborate. One of their competitors is Avaya's (formerly Nortel's) Web Alive, which I wrote about back in 2008. Both products feature a 3D virtual world targeting the enterprise. Think Second Life virtual world meets business world.

I interviewed Ron Burns, CEO of ProtonMedia to learn more about their fascinating solution.

Tom: Talk a bit about what your solution does.

Ron: In our 3D environment you're in the room and you're moving the data around with other people.

UM Labs Brings 256-bit AES Secure VoIP to Mobile Phones

October 5, 2010

I met with Mike Wilson, VP of Sales & Marketing for UM Labs at ITEXPO today to learn more about their secure VoIP offering. At ITEXPO they announced their 1.5 release, which steps up interoperability amongst various IP-PBXS and now it works with Skype (Skype Connect).
Mike explained that a lot of independent dealers across the world who also use Skype, can now connect their PBXs to these Skype users and save a lot of money on conference calls. Their solution acts as the "glue" allowing Avaya to connect to Cisco, or Shoretel to Avaya, etc. They have a built-in scripting engine and can adjust paths between switch and trunking provider or two switches to ensure interoperability.

As part of this release they are stepping up encryption, which he claimed already had incredibly low latency.

Enterprise Unified Communication, VoIP & TDM Equipment 2010 (1Q10) forecast report

June 28, 2010

Infonetics Research released the 1Q10 results from its first quarter 2010 (1Q10) Enterprise Unified Communication, VoIP, and TDM Equipment forecast report. In it they point to how Cisco and Avaya battle for supremacy in enterprise telephony market with Avaya closing the gap with Cisco due to their Nortel acquisition. Could Avaya finally knock Cisco off their #1 IP-PBX perch?

Here's the news:

"We expected the acquisition of Nortel's enterprise assets to put Avaya in the clear lead for overall PBX equipment market share leadership, and while Avaya did receive a nice bump this quarter, softness in the acquired Nortel business combined with strong results by Cisco meant that Cisco and Avaya essentially tied for revenue market share, although Avaya is ahead in terms line shipments. This unfolding battle will be interesting to watch over the coming quarter, as both companies bring certain strengths and weaknesses to the table," notes Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research.

- Cisco maintains its lead in the overall enterprise telephony market in 1Q10, but only by a hair over Avaya, which saw a 25% quarterly jump in PBX revenue after absorbing Nortel's enterprise solutions business
> Both vendors posted their strongest PBX revenue standings since the end of 2008
- Manufacturer revenue from PBX and KTS system equipment hit $2.0 billion in 1Q10, a 4% sequential dip
- Despite the quarterly decline, the enterprise telephony market continues to grow from the lows set in the first half of 2009, and is up 7% year-over-year from the first quarter of 2009
- The North American PBX equipment market posted the highest year-over-year (1Q09 to 1Q10) growth among all regions
- IP phones continue to recover from their 1Q09 low point, up 32% year-over-year to 3.9 million phones shipped in 1Q10
- Sales of unified communication (UC) applications are temporarily down due to expired promotions
> The UC market, led by Cisco and Avaya, is expected to resume growth in 2010

Infonetics' quarterly Enterprise Unified Communication, VoIP, and TDM Equipment report provides worldwide and regional market size, market share, analysis, and forecasts through 2014 for the enterprise telephony market, including TDM PBX and KTS systems, hybrid and pure IP PBX systems, IP PBX by system size, VoIP gateways, unified communication applications (communicator, unified messaging), IP desk phones and IP soft phones.

Avaya Reveals Roadmap for Nortel Enterprise Assets at ITEXPO

January 6, 2010

Rich Tehrani and I are both excited to hear the future roadmap Avaya has in store for Nortel's enterprise assets that Avaya recently acquired. Will Avaya slowly phase out these Nortel enterprise products, continue the product line with the Avaya brand, integrate best-of-breed technologies from Avaya and Nortel and offer new SMB products? The questions are endless. IT managers, CTOs, MIS managers, etc.

Avaya Buys Nortel

September 14, 2009

Avaya has agreed to purchase Nortel's enterprise business for $900 million, which is much larger than the $475  million 'stalk horse' bid put out last month by Avaya. As part of the deal, Nortel will sell the assets of the Enterprise Solutions Business, and shares of Nortel Government Solutions and DiamondWare  to Avaya. Avaya will pay out US$900 Million in cash to Nortel, with an additional pool of US$15 Million Reserved for an Employee Retention Program.

But the bid is subject to approval. Both Canadian and U.S.

U.S. Social Security Blows $300 Million on Nortel VoIP system

February 2, 2009

According to CNN:
Nortel Government Solutions, a U.S. company wholly owned by Nortel completed the core network for the massive new U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) VoIP system within 180 days of initial purchase orders, an aggressive requirement of the 10-year, US $300 million Telephone Systems Replacement Project (TSRP) award.

Now I'm all for Social Security upgrading their phone systems and going VoIP, but $300 million? $300 million?

Nortel Fights On

January 15, 2009

Nortel - will they or won't they file for bankruptcy? Will they be chopped up into pieces and sold off? All the news these past few months leading to a crescendo of news yesterday stating Nortel is planning to file for bankruptcy. Certainly, all the rumors didn't help their stock any.

Avaya acquires Nortel rumors

January 14, 2009

With today's news of Nortel's potential bankruptcy flying, my fellow TMC team members have been trading emails back-and-forth about Nortel's future. (See also Rich's overview).

Brendan Read had an interesting take that I thought I'd share:
This could cause a political firestorm in Canada: Nortel being a Canadian company, Avaya being American, expected more job losses from consolidation, Stephen Harper's Conservative minority government being propped up by the center-left parties including a resurgent Liberal party under its US-educated new leader Michael Ignatieff, and the bulk of Nortel's jobs being in the battleground province of Ontario.

Parliament resumes later this month with a new budget--and his deal could add enough explosives to the mix to ignite another election. Harper is a superb political gameplayer which is why he stopped the sale of the firm that made the Canadarm to an American outfit.

He then pointed to an Industry Week article where the sale was blocked by the Canadian government.

So is an Avaya acquisition of Nortel in the works?

Nortel uses Unreal Engine and Lands Lenovo as a customer of web.alive

January 8, 2009

Apparently, my skepticism over Nortel web.alive was lost on Lenovo since Nortel and Lenovo today announced the first-ever customer to its web.alive Virtual World Application. Lenovo uses web.alive to let shoppers browse, demo and interact with other shoppers and Lenovo Staff in real-time 3D.

In addition, Nortel has licensed the Unreal gaming Engine for web.alive Engine which they claim will create more realistic, interactive 3D Environment for Web 3.0 Collaboration, Training and Commerce. Wow, I used to play Unreal on my old PC. If Nortel web.alive uses the Unreal Engine and looks anything like the video game I used to play, then maybe I'll retract some of my skepticism.

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