Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

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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The Multimedia Enabled Cloud

October 9, 2012

When I was at IT Expo, I participated in a panel for the Cloud Communications Expo as part of the conference. The title of this panel was “Cloud Communications for the Enterprise.” We ended up having a good interactive chat with the audience which covered a variety of topics.

I had some material prepared that we never got to, so I figured I should discuss the concepts here. First of all, it’s important to know that just like there are different types of clouds up in the sky, there are different types of clouds that enterprises can use. There are private, public, and hybrid “in-between” clouds.

Blogging and Tweeting and Writing, Oh No!

October 2, 2012

Some of you may have noticed that a few weeks ago I entered the realm of tweeting. Some may ask “what took you so long?” Some may have just said to themselves, “You gotta be kidding me.” Well, to the point about what took you so long, it was really about making sure I would be able to follow through. If I do something, I want to make sure I will do it and I was worried about carrying through on the commitment. I already blog once per week like clockwork, and I frequently write articles on top of my “regular” job, so I was reluctant to enter the realm of Shaq, Kim Kardashian and the like. 

Who's Going to Deliver Mobile Video Services?

September 25, 2012

On October 4th, I will be speaking at the Mobility Tech Conference and Expo in Austin, Texas.

The title of the talk is called “When Visions Collide” and the abstract reads in part “Do service providers have the ability to make the transition to video calls or should we accept that these calls are going to be ‘Over the Top’?”

I’d like to explore that topic a bit in this blog prior to the talk next week.

Solving the Mobile Congestion Crisis, One Network at a Time [Infographic]

September 19, 2012

Lately, service providers have been facing an influx of subscribers who’ve been unable to complete phone calls or send text messages, or have experienced extremely slow data speeds, all the while having to deal with relatively small data caps! This poor mobile experience is partly due to the network congestion issues in the service provider’s mobile data networks. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced this one way or another by now. And if you think it’s getting worse, it is!

Video Communications as an OTT App

September 11, 2012

Two week ago, I explored Voice as an OTT App. Looking at the Cisco VNI report, I went a little deeper into the Voice as a type of data than the high level reporting provided. In the course of doing that, I found that video communications, which is basically video calling, is larger than voice communications. Given that an Exabyte is 1024 Petabytes, in 2016 video calling would be over 30x more prevalent on a mobile data network than voice!

The IP Network Interconnect Problem and the GSMA IPX Solution, Part 2

September 4, 2012

Two weeks ago, I introduced the concept of the IPX as a standardized interconnect service for IP networks.  But what is required to be IPX compliant? One good place to start is by reading the GSMA IPX White Paper.

Voice as an OTT App

August 28, 2012

I’ve been writing a lot in this blog about the wireless industry’s movement to IP and its impact. One obvious impact is the amount of mobile data predicted to be passed along the mobile networks. I’ve cited the Cisco VNI report one source of this data, which you can look at below. One realization from viewing this data is that the on-ramp to the internet is increasingly coming from mobile devices.

The IP Network Interconnect Problem and the GSMA IPX Solution

August 21, 2012

As the industry moves towards full-scale IP networks, the problem of interconnecting all these networks with the different service providers (each with their own IP networks) becomes glaringly important to resolve. And with discussions of a PSTN sunset happening in various countries around the world, full-scale seamless core IP network interconnection becomes ever more urgent. 

Additional complexity is added because we’re not just only talking about voice now. 

Talking About SpeechTEK

August 14, 2012

Yesterday, I attended SpeechTek in New York. With all the hype and bling in our industry revolving around video and data, SpeechTek makes no bones about expanding beyond voice to include “multimodal” self service. However, Siri has revitalized speech itself, and I found the show fairly vitalized because of this. This show is definitely different than it used to be.



The SpeechTek website explains this change best: “Smartphone and tablet applications provide convenient and intuitive interactions by allowing customers to use different input methods (talk, touch, and type) and see and listen to results.

The Promose of the African VAS Market

August 7, 2012

I was asked a question a few weeks ago about “the future” of value-added services in Africa. This question was deeper than it first appeared because the person asking me the question was really wondering whether VAS will be “required” once 3G services, and thus over the top services (OTT), become bigger over time in Africa. Before we really get down to answering the question, it’s important to remember that a value-added service is a service beyond voice that the consumer is willing to pay for. This does not necessarily mean that it has something to do with mobile broadband and smartphones.

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