David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

IBM, Mitel, Wearable Tech round out Latest ITEXPO News

Its been an amazing ITEXPO so far - wow. In case you missed some of the happenings from day 1, here are...

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3 Reasons UC Deployments Fail

Just getting ink on a Unified Communications deal is just the beginning. So many deployments go wrong or worse the company...

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Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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WebRTC and the Enterprise

I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought...

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Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Craig Walker, Alon Cohen, Mike Tribolet, Andy Voss and Danny Windham at ITEXPO Next Week

Panel to celebrate 20 years of IP communications/VoIP and discuss its future. Next week at the 29th ITEXPO, I get the pleasure...

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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Ubiquity through Mobility

December 13, 2012

For years telecommunications has sought ubiquity of phone service globally.  A major impediment to such an achievement was the cost and complexity of building out the required network infrastructure. Cellular/wireless technology reduced the cost, complexity and allowed for phone service to be expanded into rural and third world geographies more rapidly than previously forecasted. For example, as wireline connections fall in the US, wireline connections now exceed the total population with an individual subscriber rate of nearly 250 million people.

What grows at 500% in 12 Months? LTE

December 10, 2012

Generally speaking, I haven’t followed the growth of wireless as it relates to 4G and/or LTE. Usually, I look at the total number of wireless subscribers either globally, 6.4 billion, or by region, North America with 320 million cellular connections. However, today I discovered an organization called 4G Americas and learned that this group tracks specifically the deployment and adoption of Third Generation Partnership Project technologies. These mobile technologies include GSM (Global Mobile Services), LTE (Long Term Evolution) and 4G (Fourth Generation) mobile.

RLECs ask to join the Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

December 6, 2012

The rules changes imposed by the FCC have caused a great deal of consternation for many RLECs. With the amount of funding or investment recovery uncertain, RLECs have begun to batten down the hatches and reduce their infrastructure spending and existing or future personnel. The Rural Broadband Alliance (RBA), consisting of 200 rural telecommunications service providers, has written a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders requesting that changes to the USF be put on hold until further review by congressional committees and the Federal State-Joint Board which was created by Congress in 1996 to review proposed changes to the USF rules.  Apparently, the FCC has not seen fit to submit the revised rules for review.

It would not be out of line for the RBA’s request to be considered since much of the debate surrounding the Fiscal Cliff includes discussion of the impact upon small businesses if we go over the cliff and much of rural America’s telecommunication infrastructure and services is provided by small businesses.

When the Bundle Talks Back

December 3, 2012

I may be fighting a losing battle in the defense of privacy. And I, also, recognize that knowing the habits of buyers is very important in determining what and when to market various products to improve the success of sales. Moreover, with marketing as my profession, I consider the collection of information on customers and prospects critical not only to selling but also to enabling the development of products and services that are more applicable to an ever-changing marketplace. However, as we surrender more and more personal information to marketers, I wonder about the apparent lack of boundaries by some companies.

When the Bundle Talks Back

December 3, 2012

I may be fighting a losing battle in the defense of privacy. And I, also, recognize that knowing the habits of buyers is very important in determining what and when to market various products to improve the success of sales. Moreover, with marketing as my profession, I consider the collection of information on customers and prospects critical not only to selling but also to enabling the development of products and services that are more applicable to an ever-changing marketplace. However, as we surrender more and more personal information to marketers, I wonder about the apparent lack of boundaries by some companies.

When the Bundle Talks Back

December 3, 2012

I may be fighting a losing battle in the defense of privacy. And I, also, recognize that knowing the habits of buyers is very important in determining what and when to market various products to improve the success of sales. Moreover, with marketing as my profession, I consider the collection of information on customers and prospects critical not only to selling but also to enabling the development of products and services that are more applicable to an ever-changing marketplace. However, as we surrender more and more personal information to marketers, I wonder about the apparent lack of boundaries by some companies.

PBX Market Dynamics in 3Q12

November 29, 2012

With all of the talk of cloud computing and hosted communications, it is easy to forget that there remains a fairly strong market for physical PBXs. Of course, the traditional TDM based PBX market is falling, but the Hybrid (TDM/IP PBX) and IP PBX markets continue to generate new sales in all geographies and regardless of business size. And the overall size of the market is increasing quarter over quarter over quarter and year over year. However, in addition to technology TDM transitions to IP, and premises equipment versus cloud/hosted communications decisions, economic conditions are also affecting purchasing decisions.

In a yet to be released report by Infonetics, it is reported that in the third quarter the global enterprise PBX market, (TDM, hybrid and IP PBXs), grew 2.8% for the quarter but a 5.6 percent year-over-year decline was observed in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Lessons from Lincoln

November 26, 2012

ANPI is based in Springfield, Illinois where the Lincoln Presidential Library is located. I haven’t had time to visit the library as yet, but I did watch the recently released film, Lincoln. Without a doubt, Abraham Lincoln deserves the recognition as America’s best president. However, in watching the movie, you learn that the phrase “Honest Abe” may not have been an apt moniker.

A Telecom Thanksgiving

November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and to note the blessings in our lives. I have been associated with the telecom industry and IP communications for over thirty years and have seen many changes. As an industry we have been through recessions, the Internet bubble burst, deregulation and a myriad of other challenges. Yet, we thrive.

Social Media Best Practices for Small Businesses

November 15, 2012

With only 12% of SMBs believing that they are getting the most out of their use of social media, I thought it useful to present some best practices and alternative social websites during this blog. While this blog considers service providers (ILECS, RLECs and Wireless) and channel partners (VARs, Agents) as the primary audiences, I believe it is our job to communicate to our SMB customers how they can better leverage technology and grow their businesses. After all, ANPI and you guys are the trusted advisors.

Best practices for social media begins with reputation management and that means setting up an account with Google to take advantage of Google Alerts.

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