Ken Camp's Year in Review prompted me to write this. It's been an interesting year. SIP, UC, Cloud, Merger. That's really how I see the blur that was 2009. I attended so many conferences this year. The highlight was speaking at so many. So to the organizers, like TMC, thank you so much for letting me have a podium.
Ken points out Voxeo. I point out Ifbyphone.
Many regional CLEC's and VoIP Providers had positive moves this year. A round of applause to Hunt Telecom, Socket, PBX-Change, FreedomIQ, Sonic.Net, Kinex, Smoothstone and Telesphere. (Full disclosure: I worked with many of these companies so I saw the growth first hand).
I saw so much M&A activity this year despite the economy. We also saw XO clean up its balance sheet.
We saw Agents get cut and get mad - even as the Channel seats at the carriers became musical chairs in 2009. So many Channel folks moving around, I got dizzy with all the business card exchanges at the shows. (Reminder: keep your LinkedIn profile up to date and with a non-work email so you can stay in touch). I don't know if it is growth in the Channel, but lots of carriers and master agents were hiring channel managers this year.
TCA had a good year, seeing agent numbers increase. The TCA is currently working on a Code of Ethics and a Best Practices Guide for Agents for 2010. (Join in! It's a work in progress that can use your input.) Is a Certified Agent coming?
We never saw the BTOP and BIP money. Well, ConnectedNation saw the mapping money. This probably hurt gear makers more than carriers.
The FCC got bogged down in Net Neutrality and Broadband Policy without revamping a single thing. I was hoping the "new" FCC would actually do something. Guess not.
SIP Trunking seemed to be all anyone was selling in the VoIP space. Dis-a-ppointing in a Big Way! Why? PRI replacement is like Toll-Replacement -- it's cost savings not productivity improvement. We have all this technology -- and we just can't message it or sell it. (And believe me I have been writing and talking about it all year!)
Amidst all the M&A, we saw Charter, Nortel and Fairpoint file BK (bankruptcy) in 2009.
UC - more people tried to define than use it this year. Just so you know, Telepresence is NOT UC. It's shares components though. Again lots of buzz about this - like there was buzz about HD Voice - neither one likely to hit the big time soon due to the fact that the networks aren't ready yet.
One valuable lesson this year: cheaper bandwidth does NOT mean a good thing. I had many clients get cheap bandwidth - and they got what they paid for.
Lots of outages at data centers too. After Katrina and other disasters, you would think that reliability and redundancy would be the key questions.
Also, so many big data breaches this year, that when you combine it with outages and lack of redundancy, spell a problem for Cloud, Virtualization, or whatever else you want to call hosted server architecture. The highlight would be SalesForce.com reaching a billion in revenue. It sort of proves out the SAAS (hosted app) model.
It was the year of the apps too. Aside from SAAS, iPhone, Blackberry, Google, Broadsoft - everyone got an app store. I don't know if that resulted in revenue, but it probably helped many folks waste a few hours per week. I'm wondering when the IP Phone will become more than just a desktop phone and more like the mini-computer it is today. If you have all these apps on your mobile, why not on your phone on your desk?
This was the year that Twitter took off. I mean, once Oprah got on, that was it. It being the peak. Social media is a time suck without discipline and goals. (Something most people don't have in real life let alone online). Two quick things on social media: it's about conversation and it's just a bunch of software programs that let you publish your message, so engage and be interesting.
WiMax, 4G, LTE - yawn!
Nothing really rocked this year. Did I miss something?