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

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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Why You Are Going to Need The Channel

December 22, 2009

Hello, VoIP Providers. How are the sales going on your Hosted PBX? I'll bet you are selling SIP Trunking -- at a savings on regular PRI pricing, right? Nice. Lower the revenue while fixed costs increase.

Broadband Stimulus in the Middle Mile

December 21, 2009

What is the Middle Mile? It's the feeder system that delivers fat pipe to America outside of the top 8 metros - Dallas, Chicago, DC, Atlanta, LA, NYC, San Jose, Miami. Many of the top 70 MSA's have multiple fiber runs connecting them back to these 8 Internet hubs. It's the rest of America - outside the top 70 cities - that need some fiber in the Middle Mile. This is the fiber that will light up some POP's, NOC's, wireless towers.

New Year's Resolutions Going Social

December 21, 2009

In reading about Pat Phelan giving up smoking, I saw his mention of the Philips DirectLife is making exercise and weight loss a social thing. If you like the NordicTrac, the social piece is the "iFit® Live allows you to experience trails all over the world. Work out with Jillian Michaels, race against your Facebook® friends and receive automatic workout downloads every day!" 

By sharing your goals to quit smoking and lose weight with your friends and family, you can get support. Not everyone can afford a coach or personal trainer.

What Matters Now

December 16, 2009

Seth Godin released a free e-book titled What Matters Now. It is a collection of thoughts from many folks. Rich and I didn't get tagged to submit, but I'm following Seth's advice to add my thoughts here.

Seth begins by writing:

It's The Customer Experience Stupid

December 14, 2009

I'm flying today on AA. They will charge your credit card for everything -- even the unfiltered, warm, smelly air if we could - airline. You can speak to a human at the airport gate who will tell you to call the 800 number, who will tell you to do it online. 

This same airline will charge you for snacks (no free peanuts, but $4 for a bad cookie <-- who makes a bad cookie?!) and for checked baggage. And they still lost $359 million - while pissing off their customer base.
 
I watched as they told a passenger he was going to have to check his bag at the gate for $20 because his wheels put it 4 inches outside the box.



Why Should an Agent Rep Your Stuff?

December 13, 2009

Many telecom execs think that agents are a free sales staff. I get calls all the time from people that want me to rep their services. I'm certain other agents do as well -- and master agents more than anyone.

Here are 5 things to think about before approach an Agent:
  1. What is your Value Proposition? As an unknown brand, why would an agent sell your stuff instead of a branded quantity like Level3, XO, Packet8, New Edge, etc.?
  2. Do you have the marketing available to support an agent?



Cellular Blues

December 12, 2009

It's a blue holiday for the cellular networks. Apparently, AT&T would like you to use your iPhone way less than you are. It's abusing their already tired network. The funniest response to this was by Fake Steve, who also happens to point out that the only innovation is in financial engineering.

VZW has doubled early termination fees for smartphones. The FCC is looking in to that.

Sprint is raising fees (that look like taxes but aren't) because they need some profit.



Is Cable-like TV Almost Extinct?

December 11, 2009

According to Qwest (via GigaOM), Pay-TV won't be around in 5 years. With the tech  crowd, Hulu, YouTube, iTunes, NetFlix and other streaming media services are replacing TV. (NYTimes has an article about someone doing that here.) One of my ISP clients has a fat pipe to his house, an HDTV antenna for local channels, and then just uses AppleTV and online content for entertainment.

Why are we reading about this? (Why am I writing about this?) Because the music business was too slow, stupid and greedy to catch on to the Napster craze.

Will You Be Extinct?

December 9, 2009

Yesterday I had lunch with XO's Tom Gorey and Peter Davis. We spoke about the fast changes taking place in the channel space. Tom used to work for Ingram Micro, so he understands the VAR space as well. 

The big issue for both VAR's and Agents is that the price pressure on hardware and telecom services is shrinking margins and commissions fast. We all remember when Internet T1's were $1500.

A Few Words with ACC

December 3, 2009

While at the Microcorp One-on-One event I had a chance to sit down with the president of ACC Business, JD Baker.  We talked about the changes in the portfolio in 2009 (now that all the Baby Bells have transformed back into Ma Bell).

Baker thinks that the second half of 2009 will be stronger, since the first half of 2009 was kind of soft.

The next strong service will be Ethernet. EaMIS utilizes Ethernet transport to establish connectivity for a customer for managed internet service. This was rolled out in 2009 - at very competitive pricing - at a time when businesses were looking for Ethernet in place of TDM. (Businesses growing out of Broadband are used to a Cat5 hand-off and inexpensive switches).



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