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David Sims
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GrammaTech's Zairns, Sigma's Weissman, Voice Broadcast Center, Online CRM

September 27, 2010

Recently TMC CEO Rich Tehrani interviewed the VP of Products for GrammaTech, Mark Zarins. The company, a spinoff of Cornell University founded by a couple professors, specializes in software development, with their niche being static analysis tools, source code analysis tools.   One of the company's products is Code Sonar, a tool that analyzes code, identifies common programming defects. Tehrani noted that of all the various defects a programmer could make, what are the ones it detects?   Zarins said it doesn't work with design errors, but picks up things like memory leaks or buffer overruns, "what we would consider kind of generic programming defects that would bring down the application or crash the system, it can identify a set of those."   We have users using Code Sonar to identify problems that can lead to serious vulnerabilities too, he said, noting that buffer overruns can lend themselves to malicious attacks.   Read more here.
...   Recently Michael Weissman, vice president of corporate marketing for Sigma Designs, sat down for an interview with TMC's CEO, Rich Tehrani. The company is a semiconductor company, it makes chips used in IPTV, for media processing and in set top boxes, among other uses.

Altus' Hughan, M86 Security, Opswat, Mobile Unified Communications

September 27, 2010

D2 Technologies' vPort products are designed, company officials say, to deliver the voice quality, tuned system implementation and broad OS and IC support necessary for manufacturers to build VoIP products.

With vPort, OEMs and ODMs can develop a range of VoIP-enabled devices without being distracted from product platform design and branding, say D2 officials, adding that it's a flexible platform that supports multiple services, such as SIP-based VoIP and VoIM (PC-based IM/P2P voice such as Skype GoogleTalk, Yahoo! and MSN).   In addition, it's being billed as something to lower costs by enabling the use of "softDSP," which provides OS and IC flexibility by abstracting the software layer, and improves performance by eliminating latency inherent in other options.   VPort can be used for enabling networking, signaling and voice processing functions to execute as an integrated product on a single processor. This in turn offers substantial advantages in bill-of-materials cost, power consumption and ease of integration, company officials say.   Read more here.
...   Recently TMC's CEO, Rich Tehrani, interviewed Altus Learning's Director of Marketing, Tim Hughan. The company does searchable enterprise video.

Layered Tech, OPC Customer Service, Vocalocity Hosted PBX, Sensicast Systems

September 21, 2010

Layered Tech is a company providing IT infrastructure, including dedicated servers, managed hosting, and grid computing, to businesses of all sizes.   It recently added virtualization technology to its offerings, and participated in the Microsoft Go-Live program for the Windows Server 2008 operating system with Hyper-VTM virtualization technology, which permitted the company to deliver services based on Hyper-V to customers even before the product's official release.   Jeremy Suo-Anttila, chief technology officer at Layered Tech, said "With the advances in server hardware technology, each dedicated server is providing a great deal more resources than is generally needed. I log into many servers a day, and I often see that as much as 80 percent of a server's resources is not being used, which means that customers are paying for processing power, memory, disk space, and bandwidth that they aren't taking advantage of."   So the company wanted to adopt virtualization "because it can enable our customers to consolidate their hosted servers, which saves them money," he said.   With its new virtualization offering, Layered Tech can create a more efficient, easy-to- manage hosting environment, company officials say, adding that cost-savings as a result of virtualization are passed on to the company's customers, giving Layered Tech "a competitive advantage in the marketplace."   Read more here.
...   OPC officials have announced that their Technical Support Department "continues to be rated 'Excellent' by our customers month after month."   The company "understands the importance of service after the sale and offers a survey after each technical support session," company officials say, adding that January customer support surveys reflected a 90 percent "Excellent" rating along with 8 percent "Good," 1 percent "Fair" and only 1 disappointed -- "that turned into an 'Excellent' rating."   In fact, among the comments the company's received are "great! Eric fixed me in a matter of moments," "Nice to have someone that will work with you so fast and so friendly," "Excellent tech support, had a good conversation" and "The support technician was very helpful and the remote support tool is great."   The company sells predictive dialers, and lists several advantages of the product including the fact that it manages the process of dialing tens of thousands of calls or tens of millions of calls in its lifetime as well as detects the result of the call. As an example: no answer, busy, fax, bad number, answering machine without any presence of human expertise - consequently saving time by only transferring calls which are voice connects to the agents locally or remotely.   Read more here.
...   Hosted PBX phones are changing how small and medium-sized businesses serve their customers, grow their business, and support their employees.   According to officials of Vocalocity, a vendor in the space, delivering the same enterprise- level phone system capabilities large businesses use at a much lower cost, "hosted PBX is helping SMBs save money while putting their customer services on par with much larger organizations."   Large enterprises, of course, get to enjoy the cost advantages and capabilities of enterprise IP telephony.

Robot Cars, Plum IVR, Infonetics on Routers, BlackBerry Apps

September 21, 2010

Talk about your incredible journeys. This'd make a good TV series.   According to the Associated Press, a team of driverless vehicles are "on an 8,000-mile road trip from Europe to China," with the goal of covering arriving in Shanghai on Oct 28, for a final demonstration at the World Expo.   And what do they have to show for it so far? "A pair of fender-benders, two technology-loving hitchhikers and 22 hours blocked at the Russian border."   Italian engineers from the University of Parma are "testing sensory technology that allow unmanned vehicles to avoid obstacles on the longest-ever road trip of driverless technology," the AP says, adding that "one month into the three-month journey, most errors have been human."   When they steer themselves, "the electric, solar-powered vehicles use laser scanners, seven cameras, GPS sensors and plenty of computing power, to avoid obstacles," Digitpedia says.   Read more here.
...   Plum's data center products are built from fully redundant components, company officials say: "Each data center rack contains multiple VoiceXML IVR gateways, redundant data networking components, and telecom circuits from redundant carriers. Each data center component has been deployed in thousands of settings."
Plum uses server hardware from Hewlett Packard for "reliability, system redundancy, and manageability," company officials say, adding that "telephony gateway components have collectively handled billions of calls."   Earlier this year TMC's Susan J. Campbell reported that "Single-source IVR system provider Plum Voice has announced the immediate availability of its new automated transcription feature with the ability to transcribe open ended caller responses in near real-time.

iTunes U Milestone, Small CRM, Mobile Phone Users, Social Gaming Bubble

September 19, 2010

Sometimes CRM companies have to remind themselves just what business they're in. They can get so fixated on the delivery method or technical makeup - anybody up for another open source vs. cloud debate? - that they forget they're in the CRM business.

Industry observer Si Chen wrote recently of his friend, Phil Simon, who is writing a book called "The New Small" about how today, "small businesses are taking advantage of emerging technologies."   As Chen says, "we started talking about how open source software is affecting small businesses.

Cheating in Cambodia, BlackBerry in India, Nokia and Motally, Alcatel-Lucent

September 19, 2010

Here's a novel use of cell phones: They can assist you in cheating. On tests.   As the Agence France-Presse writes, it's common in Cambodia for students to bribe teachers to let them smuggle notes into exams, and even purchase answer sheets for tests from teachers. And some more high-tech cheaters have people read out answers over mobile telephones to them while they're taking national exams.   As the Phnom Penh Post, which no doubt is one of your bookmarks, reported last month, "around 108,000 Grade 12 students across the country took Khmer literature, social sciences, geography and chemistry exams, and exams in physics, morality, history and English" were taken later.   "What would happen if they fail?" asked Than Vichea, according to AFP. "We have to think about our expenses for schooling, part-time studies and fuel costs, and especially our time."   Students admitted to the AFP that they had "bribed teachers to allow them to use their mobiles to phone relatives for help during the exams, the results of which will be announced on August 20."   Read more here.
...   According to Reuters, India's security agencies "are testing ways to access corporate email on BlackBerry devices by obtaining encrypted data in a readable format."   Research In Motion "faces an August 31 deadline to give Indian authorities the means to track and read BlackBerry Enterprise email and its separate BlackBerry Messenger service," Reuters says, explaining that the government is "concerned about the potential for militants to use the secure BlackBerry network to carry out attacks."   And they're serious, as they've threatened to shut down the services if RIM fails to comply.
As industry observer Scott Canon wrote recently, it's a thorny issue for RIM in some countries.

Business Faxing, FrontRange's Focus, Indian Charity, Choosing Telemarketing Software

September 19, 2010

 Yaphank, New York's ECCT sells credit union technology, specifically IT services and systems integration, and provides full-time IT management for many financial institutions, typically ranging from 20 to 200 users.   Faxing, according to ECCT officials, is "the ideal method for handling business-critical and potentially sensitive information common in the financial industry."   Yes, faxing - it's still around. In fact ECCT uses the Open Text Fax Appliance, FaxPress Edition with their clients.   Since their clients usually deploy products that handle from 50 to 500 faxes per day, Fax Appliance was "ideal" for ECCT, company officials say: "Open Text's all-in-one approach to network faxing combines the hardware and software in one complete offering, which translates into cost and time savings for the client. Familiar Windows-based interfaces, as well as e-mail, address book and business application integration dramatically reduces the steps employees take in their fax transactions."
Because ECCT works primarily with financial institutions that deal with sensitive information, security is crucial, as you might imagine. With Fax Appliance, senders can fax confidential information directly from their computers, right from the application they're working in, ECCT officials explain, adding that for added security, "departmental computers receiving inbound faxes can be password-protected, accessible only to authorized individuals within the department, and configured with built-in security policies."   Read more here.
...   "Anything that makes IT faster, more efficient, or less labor-intensive is going to be a hit, both with IT professionals and their bosses," writes industry observer Holly Dolezalek in one of the least controversial sentences you'll read this week. 

Disagree with that and, well, you have issues you probably need to address.
FrontRange Solutions is building a software stable along those lines, Dolezalek writes, aimed at the makes service management, customer service, and asset management software markets.

Marvell's Network Processor, Verify Addresses Now, Satellite Optimization, E911

September 19, 2010

Linley Gwennap, principal analyst for The Linley Group, recently wrote a white paper entitled "The Untold Story of Marvell's Processor Development." It's an enthralling tale quite relevant to the network processor industry.

Gwenapp delves into the eight-year effort that preceded the recent launch of Marvell's Sheeva processors, explaining how the company became a leading CPU supplier without announcing a single processor product."

The paper also looks at these new processors and their applicability to communications, printers, storage, consumer, and mobile applications, and "provide a peek at some next-generation CPUs."   Marvell is a vendor in several markets, including hard-drive controllers, Ethernet chips, and mobile Wi-Fi chips -- and not comics. Different Marvel.   Read more here.
...   Confirming the quality of address data should be done as it is captured - not later. Using address verification software from the very beginning can reduce 
the risk of invalid information.
A recent white paper by Forrester highlighted this fact, delving into the intricacies behind effective address verification.
While "after-the-fact batch cleansing" is extremely valuable for scrubbing large volumes of legacy or acquired address data, it is a downstream process with no ability to request additional information. "The only way to guarantee that an address will be accurate and deliverable is to verify it during the data capture process -- while the customer is still engaged online, on the phone or in person."   Batch address cleansing is valuable, the paper says, when "high volumes of address data collected from a variety of disparate data capture systems need to be processed.

ESPN Gets Local, Cars and Whiskey, FM Radio Lifeline, Freedom Fone

September 19, 2010

Didn't have enough reasons to bemoan the ESPNization of the world? (Note to women: The sports world IS the real world. Deal with it.)   Well, ESPN wants to localize you now. According to Macworld, ESPN is rolling out a series of localized sports apps, targeting specific cities, currently New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and Boston.

VoIP Call Termination, Sizing Up SAP and Oracle, 24M Technologies, Zynga and Conduit

September 14, 2010

If you were wondering about the basics of VoIP call termination, a recent post on Boosh News might be helpful.

Those of us who use the Web like a Yellow Pages can "integrate our browsing experience with our Internet based phone service," according to the article: "Imagine not having to look up a phone number and dial it manually from a mobile phone or traditional land line - instead, just click to place the call instantly right from your computer screen."   Sounds good, we must say. Well, such click to call functionality is available in Mozilla browsers with a Firefox add-on that "turns any phone number on a Web-page into a link, allowing an instant connection." According to the post, all you have to do is configure your VoIP / PBX service "so that when you click on the phone number, a call is automatically placed using your SIP address."   When would this be really handy? One situation, the article suggests, is when you start the conversation "and need to bring in another team member for consultation, or a senior executive to approve a pricing agreement with a vendor. Since you are already using your Internet-based phone service, conferencing in a third person is simple." Well, "simpler," no doubt.   Read more here.
...     Industry observer Harshal Kallyanpur recently conducted an interview with Greg Corgan, president Global Field Operations, corporate senior VP, Infor on how his company plans to duke it out with the industry heavyweights, such as SAP and Oracle.
One way is by simply focusing on different competencies.

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