First Coffee

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the 2003 three-CD set Swing Brother, Swing, 54 big band favorites from 1925 – Fletcher Henderson’s “Sugar Foot Stomp” – to Artie Shaw’s “The Continental” in 1950:

Qwest has lost the bidding for MCI to Verizon’s $26 a share (or up to $27.70, depending on triggering clauses) offer for a $8.44 billion package, as everyone knew they would, and First Coffee© wishes they’d be more of a man about the whole thing.

Qwest has been issuing self-pitying statements ever since, claiming the whole process “seems to be permanently skewed against Qwest,” “MCI never intended to negotiate in good faith with Qwest” and that MCI had allowed Verizon to “impugn” Qwest.


First Coffee© would like to remind Qwest that they’re a company with $17.5 billion in debt and a measly $14 billion in annual revenue, they’re one of the most highly leveraged carriers in telecom, that their stock price has fluctuated wildly the past year – dropping from $4.85 to $3.42 since their takeover bid, that many analysts believe the stock price was illegally manipulated Friday just to keep their bid for MCI alive, and that they still haven’t resolved shareholder lawsuits from $2.5 billion in overstated earnings.

Verizon, on the other hand, is the country’s largest communications company, the country’s No. 1 phone company with more than $70 billion in annual revenue and a majority stake in Verizon Wireless, the No. 2 carrier behind Cingular.

MCI looked at the relative financial strength of the two companies, the achievability of the projected cost savings, the expected competitive position of a combined Verizon/MCI vs. a combined Qwest/MCI, Qwest’s lack of its own wireless network operation and stockholder lawsuits stemming from Qwest’s accounting scandal and, to their credit, did right by their fanatically loyal customers, who were almost unanimous in preferring a Verizon takeover to Qwest.

Some analysts have suggested Qwest consider bankruptcy reorganization. First Coffee© suggests they consider reality immersion therapy.

Stockholm-based TeliaSonera is starting tests in Denmark of a new concept integrating mobile telephony with IP telephony at home. TeliaSonera’s self-confessed ambition is “to lead the migration from fixed to mobile and Internet-based services.”

The aim is to integrate mobile and IP-based telephony so the customer only needs a single wireless phone for all telephone needs. The phone will serve as an IP phone within the four walls of home, and when the customer leaves home, the phone will automatically switch over to the mobile network.

This is the first test of an integrated mobile telephony and IP telephony service, and they’re based on the international standard Unlicensed Mobile Access, making it possible for a mobile phone to communicate over the Internet via Bluetooth or WLAN. TeliaSonera’s looking at a possible 2006 launch.

First Coffee© wonders why they had to test it in Denmark – what, it’s too risky to test at home? Isn’t that why France conducts nuclear tests in the South Pacific?

Coors Brewers has handed some of its digital customer relationship marketing activity for its Carling brand to Newcastle-based agency Mobious, who won a three-way pitch to try to sell beer to consumers recruited via Carling’s website, who are typically 18- to 24-years-old – and hey, good luck trying to convince 18- to 24-year old Brits to drink beer, guys.

The site has been revamped and now includes content from the former music-based Carling Live site, as well as new lifestyle and gadgets content. Lots of British soccer tie-ins, of course.

First Coffee© thinks it’s great a company from northern England won the business over those toffee-nosers down South.

Nicola Young, head of relationship marketing at Coors notes that the majority of Coors’ “relationship marketing budget” goes to electronic media. Coors Brewers has upped its digital spend for its Carling and Grolsch brands by up to 35% to an estimated 7 million pounds, about $13 million.

Display graphics chip designer Pixelworks Inc. is to acquire privately held circuit maker Equator Technologies Inc. in order to gain entry to the Internet Protocol Television market.

Tualatin, Oregon-based Pixelworks will purchase all outstanding shares of Equator for approximately $109 million in cash. All outstanding options to purchase Equator stock will be assumed by Pixelworks. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.

Founded in 1996, Campbell, California-based Equator Technologies makes integrated circuits for broadband communications, and has 75 employees. There was no word on any job losses or whether Pixelworks will close the Campbell office.

Pixelworks is hoping that by acquiring Equator it will be able to cross the connection from the TV to the IPTV set-top box and “open up new market opportunities and customer relationships.”

The company wants to provide “programmable technologies to Pixelworks customers in order to create a new generation of digital televisions, including those that might integrate Internet Protocol television, or IPTV, decoding technology to allow viewing of digital video directly over the Internet,” said Allen Alley, president, CEO, and chairman of Pixelworks.

First Coffee© is aware that the actions of the Federal Reserve matter in some way to some people, and hence feels duty-bound to announce that they’ll raise interest rates by a quarter-point today, the eighth such increase since the central bank embarked on the current credit-tightening campaign last June. For those who care, you’re welcome.

When Delmar, New York computer programmer Steve Relles found his job had been outsourced to India, he started a new business, the Delmar Dog Butler.

Relles, a 42-year old married father of two, scoops dog poop out of Delmar yards. He says he can clean four to five yards in a hour “if they are close together.” He charges ten bucks a yard and has over 100 weekly clients.

He competes for business with another local company, Scoopy Do – First Coffee© wonders on what competitive points. Business is growing by word of mouth.

First Coffee© recommends an Italian-style stovetop espresso coffee maker. Be sure to use a low heat setting.

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