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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

February 2009

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IBM Finds Telco Changing with SoComm

February 27, 2009


Image via Wikipedia

  has a study out about how Social networking has co-opted many minutes of traditional talking.


People are communicating more things to more people than ever before, and not just by phone anymore. Internet-enabled communication models are gaining audience, attention and market share at the expense of traditional telecommunication providers (Telcos).

SAAS for Agents

February 25, 2009

The first SAAS vendor I remember seeing at Channel Partners was nGenX, a subsidiary  of Lightwave Group. nGenX was offering Microsoft Office on-demand as a white label product for agents to sell for commission.

Next up for agents and VARs is GreenAppx.
With branded SaaS marketplaces, telecom agents and VARs can help small to mid-size customers eliminate capital expenditures and licensing agreements. SMBs can access critical business applications such as Microsoft Hosted Exchange Server, BlackBerry Enterprise Server, GoodLink Mobile Email, McAfee Security, WebEx Conferencing, and IBM Data Back Up and Recovery.

Reignmaker Smashed by Standford

February 24, 2009

NENA 911 for Multi-Line Systems

February 24, 2009

In a follow-up to this article, National Emergency Number Association (NENA) announces model legislation for Multi-Line Telephone Systems  (in MTUs, like hotels, offices, etc., where the internal PBX has to add 911 info to the call about what room or suite number).

"On Thursday, February 19, 2009, the Executive Board of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) approved an updated version of model legislation designed to help states develop statutes and rules requiring sufficiently precise caller location information for 9-1-1 calls made using Multi-Line Telephone Systems (MLTS). The model legislation would ensure that 9-1-1 callers can be located when dialing from a business, shared tenant facility, hotel, or similar enterprise environment. Reflected in the language of the model legislation are technological advancements made in recent years that enable the implementation of Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) MLTS capabilities without imposing undue burdens on MLTS manufacturers, providers, and operators.

Currently, there is no federal E9-1-1 requirement for MLTS, and only sixteen states have taken on the issue, each with substantively varied prescriptions to the problem.

FCC is 75 Years Old

February 24, 2009

Acting FCC chief Michael Copps celebrated the 75th anniversary of both the FCC and the Communications Act of 1934 that birthed the agency. In a speech, Copps said, "How do we take this 75 year old agency, charged with implementing our formative communications law, and make sure it is up to the challenges of the 21st century? Born in the world of primitive radio sets, raised on plain old telephone service, now trying to manage high-speed broadband and orbiting satellites, can we make it an agency for all seasons? I'm glad you're thinking about this."

After that Copps kind of digs at Martin's feral grasp on the communications and free flow of information.

HD Medical Video

February 24, 2009

SMB Nation VoIP Survey

February 24, 2009

"SMB Nation is a community of over 35,000 small and medium business (SMB) technology consultants, channel partners, sponsors and resellers. With an impressive 10-year history serving as a trusted advisor and mentor to the SMB consulting and  reseller channel, SMB Nation has been able to consistently reinvent itself based upon changing market conditions." SMB Nation did a VoIP survey with NGT. 260 responded (results here).

These are the services they currently provide:

  • Networking infrastructure (91.1%)
  • Mobility sales, services, support (52.7%)
  • VoIP-specific sales, services, support (44.2%)
  • Telephony sales, services, and support (35.3%)
  • Line of business applications (35.7%)
  • Database development/programming/development (32.6%)
  • Web hosting (27.5%)
  • Host e-mail (26.7%)
These are the services they will add:

  • VoIP sales, service, support (56.2%)
  • Security (36.6%)
  • Telephony sales, services, and support (28.1%)
  • Web hosting, hosted services (25.5%)
It's interesting that Telecom Agents sell circuits and very few want to sell non-telecom services, but VAR's and MSP's are marching in to take over the Agent Arena.

Is Broadband No. 1 in America?

February 23, 2009

CircleID takes a look at America's Broadband Score

"Leonard Waverman, the dean of the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, describe a measure he developed called the 'Connectivity Scorecard.' It's meant to compare countries on the extent that consumers, businesses and government put communication technology to economically productive use. Even after deducting the untold unproductive hours spent on Facebook and YouTube, the United States comes out on top..."

What's interesting to me is the comments. How no one can find the US Broadband score is funny. (Heard of Google much?) It isn't so much the score as what the score represents.

We have a few problems to fix:

(1) ISP Competition for one.

6 Questions when Choosing a VoIP Provider

February 19, 2009

If you are a channel agent or a VAR or a service provider looking for a VoIP Provider to be your VoIP provider, there are 6 questions to think about:
  1. Do you want to White Label, wholesale or a retail package?
  2. Will you be serving consumers or businesses?
  3. Will it be POTS replacement or Hosted PBX?
  4. Will you be selling PBX, phones and other hardware?
  5. Do you want to do Tier 1 support?
  6. How will you sell it? (Or do you have a sales team?)
While many ITSP's (Internet Telephony Service Providers) can do all of it - white label, wholesale, retail, hosted PBX, analog replacement - it is difficult for each to excel at all of that. And you don't want to get half way down the road to have your vendor shift gears and the wheels fall off.

Support is key because "the blinking light" syndrome means that you will be getting calls about "how do I do that?" or "why can't I dial long distance?" So it's good to define responsibilities (and what is Tier 1 support).

Why know your market? Because most ITSP's have not designed an offering to compete against Vonage, Magic Jack or the cable companies.

Commission Dinging

February 19, 2009

Should an agent's commission get dinged when the carrier issues a credit over an outage or SLA issue? I have two cases of this happening right now.

In good faith, I sold a circuit that the carrier gave me permission to sell. But on a performance issue - months post-sale - the carriers ding my commission when they have to issue a credit for SLA violations.

Do they do this to their direct people?

Hot off the Twitter Press

February 18, 2009

Level3 Profits

February 16, 2009

L3 released 4Q08 numbers last week. Remember at Christmas, rumors swirled about a possible bankruptcy. Now it rings up a profit.

Level 3 Communications has recorded its first quarterly profit in six years for the fourth quarter of 2008.

TW Splitting Up with Cable

February 12, 2009

Time Warner has received approval from the FCC to spin off TW Cable.
"The separation of Time Warner Cable Inc. gets Time Warner out of the media distribution business altogether, something investors had been clamoring for. The company announced its decision to split up last month and said Wednesday that the boards of the two companies had agreed to financial terms.

Time Warner Cable is the second-largest cable provider in the country after Comcast Corp. with about 13.3 million video subscribers. It has been a public company for more than a year, but Time Warner had held on to an 84 percent stake.

Nuvox and Google Team Up

February 12, 2009

Nuvox says that they are all set for this economy. It looks like they have $30M in the bank, re-financed their debt, and are looking for a possible acquisition.

Nuvox is now offering Google Apps to its customers.

NuVox business customers can now access Google's popular Web applications on their own domain such as Google Docs to create, share, and collaborate on documents, presentations, and spreadsheets in real-time and can even gather a variety of business information in one place from Google Sites which brings forth videos, calendars, presentations, attachments, and text -- and easily share it for viewing or editing with teams or as a company intranet.

More Agents or Lift the Ones You Have?

February 11, 2009

If you are a carrier or a Master Agent, do you need more agents or do you need to give a lift to the ones you have?

There's a sales management theorem that when you use Pareto's Principle, you should spend you time with the Top 20% of your sales force not the bottom 20%. Why? Because the people bringing 80% of your sales are the ones you want to keep happy. Also, the more efficient and less bumpy you can make the sales process for them, the better for all the sales team, but especially the top dogs.

If you have a bunch of agents who signed up, what are you doing with them?

Video Calling Coming

February 8, 2009

8x8 tried the Granny Vid-Phone for a while. (Demo is here). At dinner at IT Expo, we were talking about Video Calling and Scott Wharton's name came up because he is rolling out video calling with VidTel.

A name that didn't come up was Nathan Stratton who is at BlinkMind.

Resellers on SIP Trunking

February 6, 2009

I moderated a SIP trunking panel at Microcorp's event in Atlanta in Sept. of 2008. The result was that the carriers were pushing SIP Trunking as a cost savings replacement for PRI. There was no differentiation among the 4 carriers - whose names I will not print. So then I am at the IT Expo in Miami for the Reseller panel on SIP Trunking titled "The Service Provider Perspective" hoping for something different.

The Voice of Megapath is a Duet

February 6, 2009

It's a Party! SUTUS, Megapath and Polycom are hosting a seminar about their combined offering on Feb. 24 in San Jose. (Email me for an invite!)

What offering? Well, you know about Polycom's IP Phones, even the HD Voice models. SUTUS offers a piece of hardware that is an office-in-a-box, which is more than just an on-premise IP-PBX. 
"The functionality includes wired and wireless networking, file server, email, VoIP PBX, auto attendant, voice mail, internet router, security and access to managed services.

Live from Miami

February 3, 2009

FCC Needs Change

February 2, 2009

AT&T is back together. The Telecom Act of 1996 has largely been a wipe-out. We have a Duopoly and we have seen more than trillion dollars spent on networks without wiring most homes with fiber - and way less businesses with fiber access. Imagine that.  (Let's not even talk about the Digital TV (DTV) Transition mess.
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