First Coffee for December 5, 2005

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for December 5, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra’s Come Fly With Me, rapidly becoming one of First Coffee’s favorite records:

First CoffeeSM is in his new home in Istanbul, boy it felt good coming back. This is where he lived in the early ‘90s, met Mrs. First Coffee here – yes, it’s the kind of city where Americans can meet New Zealanders – and has never really shaken the desire to come back. Now that we’re back here, moving from the Mediterranean city of Antalya over the weekend, it feels like we’ve come home.

Walking up Istiklal Caddesi, the great pedestrian boulevard-outdoor zoo that is the heart of the most fascinating city in the world (coffee shops along Istiklal should charge admission for those of us who sit at their outdoor café tables, hour by hour, watching all the world pass by) to the Union Church yesterday morning we met the pastor’s wife, a good friend of ours, and asked why the street was all torn up.

Well, they’re repaving. People walked past workers swinging picks, ladies dressed for church delicately stepping on the paving stones the workers laid in the mud thirty seconds earlier. Turns out they’d repaved the whole thing a month earlier, but it was a few inches too high and the trolley wouldn’t run, so they tore it all up and are doing it all again.

Welcome to Istanbul, kids. Believe me, you’ll never be bored.

Verizon Communications Inc. announced late last night that it is looking options to divest the company’s wholly owned directories publishing business, Verizon Information Services.

VIS is in the directory publishing business nationwide and controls, a local search portal. In the United States, VIS provides sales, publishing and other related services for approximately 1,750 directory titles in 44 states and Washington, D.C.

VIS had combined operating revenues of $3.6 billion in 2004. The unit is based in Texas and has 7,300 employees.

Company officials describe the move as an attempt to “sharpen Verizon’s focus on three core network-based businesses in the wireless, broadband and enterprise markets.” The Verizon Board of Directors has authorized the company’s management to check into divesting VIS through a spin-off, sale or other scheme.

Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg said what with the MCI merger expected to close shortly, “this is the right time” to get rid of VIS. He said Verizon remains “focused” on a strategy of operating networks to serve wireless, broadband and enterprise customers, and is “satisfied with the current levels of investment in our network growth initiatives.”

There is no change to Verizon’s previously announced operating guidance for 2006.

Seidenberg said he thinks that, given the “attractive opportunities developing in the local search and advertising markets for VIS,” a divestiture would give VIS “more flexibility to maneuver in the fast-changing environment of content providers.”

The company anticipates that it could complete a disposition in 2006. Verizon has engaged Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. and JPMorgan Securities Inc. as its financial advisors.

CRM Mastery, which does CRM tech research and software evaluation and selection assistance for small and mid-sized enterprises, has announced the release of its directory of CRM-related technology products on the Internet.

“Most CRM solution directories on the web are self-maintained by the participating vendors,” says Jim Berkowitz, the founder and CEO of CRM Mastery which bills itself as a completely independent, unbiased research firm.

Teledata Networks, a provider of access and network products for telecom operators and service providers, has announced a partnership agreement with NEC Neva, a provider of telecommunication products for fixed line operators in the Russian market, for distribution of BroadAccess Multiservice Access Gateways in northwest Russia.

The agreement encompasses the distribution of BroadAccess MSAGs supporting a flexible suite of services, from traditional to advanced next generation applications. The BroadAccess MSAGs will be managed by ClearAccess+, an Element Management System using client-server architecture.

The planned deployment of MSAGs will allow traditional broadband services in more outreach locations as well as modernizing existing infrastructure by enabling NGN rollout in towns and cities.

NEC Neva said they were impressed with Teledata Networks’ ability to deliver and deploy the BroadAccess MSAG and provide suitable broadband services. Teledata Networks has been working in Russia since 1997, doing business with a variety of carriers.

Also in Russia, Scientific-Atlanta will provide headend and optical transport equipment and systems to COMCOR (Moscow Telecommunication Corporation) to deliver cable programming in Moscow. Cable operators will access COMCOR’s signal delivered to fiber nodes in its backbone network via the Scientific-Atlanta equipment.

COMCOR has selected Scientific-Atlanta as the exclusive supplier for this two-year network expansion which includes what COMCOR officials describe as enhancements to its existing Scientific-Atlanta digital headend, new Vision 1000 analog headends, the deployment of the iLYNX backbone system and associated fiber nodes, and the installation of Prisma II analog optics.

Over the weekend Abstract Design Group announced a new Canadian VoIP store powered by their own e-commerce product. The online store carries an assortment of VoIP products and related services, which include server administration and software.

The new online store carries an assortment of Digium products and related services, which include server administration and software. will soon expand to offer more products from many more VoIP manufacturers, company officials say: “We want to be a complete VoIP source for our consumers… a one-stop shop for this technology,” says Ryan Price, CEO of Abstract Design Group. “This is why we also offer support, configuration and custom programming services via the online store.”

For those of you keeping your offshoring scorecard up to date, the Financial Times is reporting that JPMorgan Chase “plans to hire 4,500 graduates in India as part of its plan to shift 30 percent of its back office and support operations offshore over the next two years.”They’ll put most of the bank’s exchange operations in Mumbai and Bangalore.

Over the past two years the bank’s had roughly 200 employees in India, but are recruiting between 300 and 400 Indian grads per month, and hope to have 9,000 employees in India by the end of 2007, the newspaper said breaking it down to “3,000 in investment banking and 6,000 in commercial banking, the latter including 2,000 in call-center operations.”

And if you’re looking to buy fiber optic transceivers and processor components online, as of this morning there’s a new option for you:

Run by Gillaspy Associates, it showcases fiber optic transceivers from Finisar and processor components from PMC-Sierra. The site catalogs WDM and single wavelength transceivers, passive optical products and optical amplifiers from Finisar.

On the Integrated Circuit side lists MIPS-based processors, SERDES, storage, VoIP, printer and networking products from PMC-Sierra.

If read off-site hit for the fully-linked version. First CoffeeSM accepts no sponsored content.

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