Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

VirtualPBX Invented the UCaaS Space. This is What They're Doing Now.

In 1997, years before Skype, Vonage and before Cisco discovered VoIP, VirtualPBX was invented. To say the company was early is an...

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MasterStream ERP Expands Carrier Offerings

MasterStream, the complex quoting engine of many of today's carriers has been successful at working with enough carriers that they provide 15...

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Why We will need Voice Services

  Last week I wrote about Fax.  I figure I should write about Voice.  Not because I’m leaving voice out, but because I...

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How Nuance is Powering the Voice Economy

It's no secret that voice interfaces have become one of the most successful product categories in recent years. With the price point...

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FCC and FTC Co-Host April 23rd Expo on Robocall Blocking

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a Stop Illegal Robocalls Expo on Monday, April...

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Why Not Move to Cloud Fax?

  The last couple of weeks I explored the topic of SIP Trunking.   One of the benefits I discussed is that cloud...

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Jabra Responds To Evolving Workplace with Engage 65, 75

After exhausting interviews with 400 call center professionals and IT administrators, Jabra set out to design headsets for the evolving workplace. Respondents...

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Doin' the HD in Washinton, D.C.

December 16, 2009

Last week, some members of the HD Connect group went to Washington, DC to trumpet the advent of HD. We just wanted to get HD voice known and understood to some people down there. While we couldn't say hello to President Obama, since he was busy accepting his Nobel Peace Prize, we did meet with some interesting folks.
  We definitely took some first steps toward broadening the community of understanding of HD voice. Jeff Rodman of Polycom was the demo-master and tirelessly did his impressive 50-second demo over and over.

The HD Train

December 9, 2009

I'll be speaking at the HD Voice Summit at CES in Las Vegas in early January, but right now I'm heading to Washington, D.C. to take part in an HDConnect steering committee meeting.
  And then we'll head over to the FCBA Chairman's Dinner to spark conversations with the participants about the power of high definition voice -- both the improved speech characteristics and the potential positive economic impact involved in upgrading the networks. This should be an exciting day.
  In the meantime, I'm still reveling in the excitement of the New York Giants beating the Dallas Cowboys. I wish I could have called someone who was not there on my cell phone -- it was HD enabled through an HD-enabled infrastructure, so they could hear and, better yet, feel the excitement from the stadium emanating right through that phone!

Telecom as Green Engine

December 2, 2009

In my last blog, I spoke about seeing some metal object on top of one of the pyramids in Egypt. I joked that I hoped it wasn't a cell tower. Come to think of it, I did have five bars though...
  Anyway, during my marathon tour through Europe a few weeks ago, I was in Zurich.  I was struck by the "global citizenship" aspect of the town. There are many ads touting a 10 percent or 15 percent drop in energy and carbon emission savings made possible by a particular company or device (for instance, elevators and automatic walkways don't move until you step on them, and many travelers are probably familiar with the need to put the door key in a device in the room to turn on the electricity, thus insuring when you leave the room and take the key the electricity goes off).
  The Telecom Geneva show in October also resonated with this theme.

Egypt's 3G Surprise

November 25, 2009

I arrived here for a customer event and there was no car traffic. I was surprised since I had heard how horrible it was. It turns out the country was virtually shut down when I arrived, since there was a World Cup qualifying match with Algeria going on. I have since understood well the traffic issues here, including how the lane lines are apparently there for "suggestion" purposes only.
  3G is also making big inroads here - I saw signs advertising 3G quite often.

T-Mobile and a Hamburger in Hamburg

November 18, 2009

I am in Hamburg to meet with customers - my first visit to this city. I finally ate a Hamburger in Hamburg! Previously, I have eaten a Frankfurter in Frankfurt, Peking Duck in Peking (Beijing), Buffalo Wings in Buffalo, Philly Cheesesteak in Philly (actually quite a few, considering I went to college there!), London Broil in London, and Parmigiano cheese in Parma. To complete my food city journey, I just now need to have some Genoa Salami in Genoa.

WalMart & Prepaid: The Ultimate Commodization of Mobile Services

November 11, 2009

I should not have been surprised, though somehow it still struck a chord with me. And especially since Christmas is right around the corner, I should not have been surprised. But when I read the press release that Wal-Mart is launching Straight Talk, prepaid mobile plans including voice, messaging and Web access, I was surprised. The industry is officially commoditized. 
  I certainly do not associate the Walmart brand with prepaid services, but then again I'm probably not the target audience.

You're My Blue Sky, Youre My Sunny Day

November 4, 2009

Nope, this blog has nothing to do with blue skies, though I have to say that when I was in Seoul, the weather was gorgeous. The title has to do with the actual writing of this blog. In order to have the Korea memories fresh in my mind, I wrote the blogs on my way back home, while I had a connection in Narita airport. During this blog, which is really about MMS as you'll see, I had my iPod going and "Blue Sky" from the Allman Brothers was playing.

The Best Contest Ever in the Entire World

October 28, 2009

Back in April, Dialogic launched an Innovator Contest. Given the convergence of the web with traditional telephony, and given the rise of 3G networks allowing more bandwidth for video, the time seemed right to see what innovation was going on out there on Dialogic platforms.  
  I wanted to call the contest the title of this blog, because, truly this was the best contest ever, but couldn't get approval for that name.  I guess it's hard to "prove" that.  But, really, it's the best contest ever in the entire world that I was a judge for
  During my long tenure at Dialogic, I've seen many innovative applications come through - some that changed an entire industry such as VoIP, some that made a lot a lot a lot of money for a lot of people such as debit-cards and SMS, some that made a lot of money for a lot of people such as Color Ring Back Tones (CRBT), some that are innovative ways to make a better (more cost effective) solution such as improvements to architectures primarily because of an open system approach, and some that are "cool" but in the end don't make too much money, such as...ah, not that important, but I've seen some really "cool" apps.  But it doesn't mean they are any less innovative.  They all start with someone with a bright idea.
  I was not disappointed.  We received applications in both the enterprise space and service provider space, and we received applications that married social networking apps, including Facebook, with voice and video, and we received applications with iPhone apps based on Dialogic platforms.  This was especially encouraging for me since Dialogic has great voice, video, and fax engines that I know this community of developers can take advantage of.  And we also received applications that I'd categorize in the category of improving some kind of existing application, such as advancing LBS.  
  As I said above, all are innovative in their own right and I thank all the companies who submitted an application.
  I have to say the judging was hard.  I was 1 of 4 judges, with the others being Rich Tehrani, President & Group Editor in Chief at Technology Marketing Corporation, Doug Mohney, Editor in Chief, HDConnect and Bertrand Gatellier, President, VMA - International Association for Enhanced Voice Services.  We probably all judged a little differently - "innovation" means something different to everyone - and some might have leaned a little more on the "cool" side, some might have leaned a little more on the "someone is really going to use this" side, some might have leaned a little more on the "this is going to really help someone" and some might have leaned a little more on the "I don't know anyone else doing something like this."  Or some combination thereof.  That's why we had 4 judges - to get different perspectives.
  At any rate, we've announced the winners.  To read more about this, please view our press release.  Here is a synopsis:
  The grand prize winner is Almira Labs from Spain. They won for an application that allows 3G mobile phone users to take as many videos as they'd like and then retrieve them by video calling the Video Notes service.  A variation of these applications allows 3G mobile phone users to quickly and easily send video messages to multiple recipients at once.  This application is ideal for the hearing impaired community or helpful in countries where patients live far from their doctors so doctors can "see" the symptoms.  
  The runner-up was CreaLog from Germany, who developed an application they call  "Cabfish," a location-based taxi ordering application for the iPhone.  This Voice Portal application is available in more than 40 languages and allows a customer to order a taxi by simply pressing a button on his or her mobile phone.







Listening to You, I Get the Music

October 21, 2009

Last week I wrote about the iPhone coming to Korea. I was in Seoul for one of the Dialogic Executive Summit events. Korea is an interesting place, one that to me, is always thriving with mobile innovation. Color ring back tones originated in Korea for instance around 2001.

The Korean Golden Mile

October 14, 2009

Ah, the Golden Mile. The words conjure up visions of grand hotels on beautiful beaches. Or Beverly Hills-like shopping experiences. But a few weeks ago in Korea, I experienced a different type of Golden Mile. I had never seen anything like it. There was at least a mile of office furniture stores, all with the wares on the sidewalk!
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