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Etisalat in India, VoIP Supply, Google Maps and Ford, Phybridge, Voxeo IVR

June 28, 2010

India's Reliance Communications has "approved a plan to sell a minority stake to a bidder like Etisalat, AT&T or MTN Group," according to the Associated Press. The news sent its stock up as much as 6.5 percent in Monday trading. Reliance's board has "approved selling up to a 26 percent equity stake to strategic or private equity investors, and gave the go-ahead for other strategic combination opportunities," the AP reported, adding that talks with "Dubai-based Emirates Telecommunications Corp., or Etisalat, for a 26 percent equity stake to strategic or private equity investors, and gave the go-ahead for other strategic combination opportunities," the AP reported, adding that talks with "Dubai-based Emirates Telecommunications Corp., or Etisalat, for a 26 percent stake sale valued around $4 billion," were the most advanced now. Bloomberg BusinessWeek cites Kamlesh Bhatia, a principal research analyst at Gartner, saying that besides aiming to reduce its debt and raise more capital, Reliance will also be looking for an investor that will bring expertise in the area of operating 3G services. Read more here. ... VoIP Supply, a division of Sayers Technology Holdings and a vendor of Voice over IP equipment and systems, has announced the release of its VoIP Phone Buyers Guide, the second guide to be released from its "Learn More" series of educational guides to VoIP equipment. "As VoIP technology hits the mainstream prosumer there is a great need for educational resources that help demystify and explain the various components that comprise a complete VoIP solution so that solid purchase decisions can be made," stated Garrett Smith, Director of Marketing and Business Development at VoIP Supply, adding "The VoIP Phone Buyers Guide is that type of resource." Written in what VoIP Supply officials say is "a vendor neutral and straight forward style," the VoIP Phone Buyers Guide is a free download. Read more here. ... Ford will add Google Maps to its Sync in-cabin application system, according to industry observer Larry Dignan, who characterized it as "the latest cloud computing service that the automaker is adding on to its IT stack." Industry observer Sharon Gaudin says the Google Maps update, dubbed Send to Sync, "is designed to enable people to send Google maps and directions from their computers or smart phones directly to their vehicles."

Google Maps is expected to be available by July 1 on all 2010 and 2011 models equipped with Sync.

Ford, according to Dignan, thinks a technology stack inside its vehicles is "a way to set the automaker apart from its rivals. Microsoft's Sync platform is the base layer and Ford handles the integration with the hardware and safety and middleware." Read more here. ... The Phybridge UniPhyer, company officials say, is "the only product in the world to deliver Ethernet and Power over Ethernet over a single pair with reach of over 1,200 feet. " We're sure you can find a lot of uses for that kind of capability. Hoteliers sure have - "the unique capabilities of the UniPhyer enables hoteliers to use the existing voice infrastructure to extend Ethernet ,maintaining their current phone system or allowing simple migration to IP telephony with fast Ethernet at the same time," according to Phybridge officials. Deployment is "low cost, quick and easy," they say, with "no disruptions, and can be deployed quicker than you can change the linen in a room." Well, maybe quicker than you can change the linen in a room.

Parature, Network Messages, CustomerThink, Key CRM People, Mobile CRM Apps

June 28, 2010

In a recent white paper from customer support software provider Parature, customer service guru Shep Hyken identifies what he sees as ten ways to provide great customer service. Here's a quick re-cap:

Customer Service is Common Sense: Let's say that you are taking your car in for some maintenance work. Would it be unreasonable to expect such things as prompt appointments, a nice greeting you when you come in and the garage knowing your car's service history? In other words, common sense.

CBX 2010 and QTS, Alcatel-Lucent, Cloud Computing, Providea, Softlayer

June 28, 2010

At the recent CBX 2010 show in New York City, TMC's CEO Rich Tehrani had the opportunity to interview the chief marketing and business officer of QTS, Tesh Durvasula. "QTS is real simple," Durvasula said, "3.5 million square feet of the most secure, reliable data center space in the country. We're currently the third largest provider of data center services, we've got offices in New York, Richmond, Miami, Atlanta, Santa Clara, and we've got some cities in the Midwest - Indianapolis and Wichita." The company has twelve centers in eight states overall, and "we're busy expanding," he said. "We've just received $175 million of equity capital from General Atlantic, a large global growth fund headquartered in New York and Greenwich, Connecticut. So we've got plenty of money and a lot of new centers." Tehrani observed that as cloud computing's positioned to take off, the company seems to be positioned well.

Host.net, Telehouse, CBX 2010, Hibernia Atlantic, Global Telecom and Skyworks/Earthware

June 28, 2010

Recently at the CBX 2010 show in New York City, TMC's Group Editorial Director Erik Linask had the opportunity to interview Host.net's Lenny Chesal, EVP of Strategic Sales and CMO. Chesal discussed the company's virtual private data center product, which he described as an enterprise play.

"We have distributed platforms across the country," he said, "and we're getting tremendous play on the server side, and amazing take on the storage side, with folks placing their storage requirements on our platform, either locally within our data center in a hybrid environment, which is unique because we're both the cloud provider and the co-location provider, as well as being in Florida in the hurricane zone." Chesal pronounced himself "pleasantly surprised" with the take rate as well. Read more here. ... Recently at the CBX 2010 show in New York City, TMC's (News - Alert) Group Editorial Director Erik Linask had the opportunity to interview Telehouse America's Fred Cannone, the company's sales and marketing director. Cannone noted that the company's moving to be more of a total provider. "Traditionally, most people recognize Telehouse as a data center co-location provider, in nine countries on five continents, but we're moving beyond that.

iPhone in Japan, Spectrum Corp., BP Call Centers, RadiSys, Gomez and Sorenson

June 28, 2010

The "gotta have it first" geeks are at it again. Call it a reunion of the introduction of the iPad, or the last Star Wars movie line. In Japan, PCWorld reported, "hundreds of people queued to place reservations for the new Apple cell phone." The iPhone 4 won't go on sale until June 24, but that isn't stopping these guys from camping out -- and yes, somehow you just know it's a guy thing. Not even incompetence can deter people from the latest shiny thing from Apple. "Despite a disastrous preorder process Tuesday morning," as CNET notes, "enough people were able to place iPhone 4 orders that much of Apple's initial U.S. supply has already been accounted for." Read more here. ... Spectrum Corporation recently issued a white paper explaining the cost benefits of its call center reporting solutions, of which there are many.

Redcom's Summer, Spacenet's Douglas, Chinese Internet, Exchange 2010, Sorenson Media

June 21, 2010

In April Forbes printed an interesting article about a major problem surprisingly few people have heard of - the possibility that China's intentionally hijacking the world's Internet traffic. As Forbes columnist Trevor Butterworth explained it, "On March 24 Mauricio Vergara Ereche, a DNS administrator in Chile, noticed something distinctly odd in the routing of requests for Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and up to 30 other sites. Instead of retrieving the authoritative '.com' site, the Web users retrieved IP numbers located in China, which turned out to be completely different sites or error messages. It didn't happen with every request, but it did happen with three requests originating from Chile and one from California that were routed through a server in Sweden." As Butterworth said, "Suddenly four people had been transported into China's rigidly controlled Internet, although by whom and whether by design is unclear." Read more here. ... According to a recent survey by analyst firm Osterman Research, nearly 65 percent of IT decision makers are likely to consider deploying Exchange 2010 within the next six months. But for most IT professionals, going from "determining a need" to "implementing something" on any IT project usually has the same sticking point: migration. For many, according to a recent white paper from Intermedia, migrations are daunting processes that require long nights and weekends at the office and endless hours of testing and validating data: "IT professionals know that email systems are complex, layered applications and users' important data can easily be altered, tangled or completely left behind in a migration." Performing complex migrations efficiently and effectively with little-to-no end-user impact requires experience, the paper noted: "Many professionals question how they will migrate their company's entire environment -- without hassles, failures, lost data or anxious end-users." Plus, on top of this major concern, IT professionals want to learn what they gain with respect to return on investment, SLAs, architecture and experience. Read more here. ... You were hoping the format war was over? Sorry - according to officials of Sorenson Media, the format war is still going on. "The majority of Web video today is in the Flash format," they noted, adding that "Flash can use a few codecs to work including  H.264.

Singapore Fiber, Nintendo 3D, Twitter Location, Facebook Credits, Web Lawyers

June 21, 2010

Singapore could soon get complete fiber optic infrastructure 'so fast that it would enable the contents of a DVD to be downloaded in only a few seconds.'

The New York Times is reporting that telecom analysts Pyramid Research 'expects the revenue of Singapore telecommunication operators to rise to $5.1 billion by 2014 from $3.8 billion in 2009.' The new network is stimulated by an investment of about $700 million from the government, the Times said, adding that Japan and Hong Kong 'have been leading the way,' in government investment in such networks, with 'private companies already offering speeds as high as one gigabit per second, or 1,000 megabits per second -- many times as fast as the 35 megabits per second required for streaming high-definition video.'

Yes it all sounds wonderful, but its benefits still aren't crystal-clear to all. 'Nobody's sure what's going to happen,' said Neil Montefiore, CEO of StarHub, which offers mobile, Internet and cable television services, speaking to attendees on the opening day of Singapore's CommunicAsia telecommunications exhibition, as reported by industry observer Sumner Lemon. Read more here. ... Now this is good news - getting to play 3-D video games without those dorky-looking special glasses. Agence France-Presse is reporting that Nintendo has unveiled DS handheld videogame system "that lets people play in 3-D without using special glasses." They quote Nintendo chief executive Satoru Iwata saying 'I can't wait for you to try this,' as they report "he held a 3DS above his head at a press conference in the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on the opening day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo." Industry observer Nigel Kendall got to take it for a test drive, and notes that after a quick ten-minute session backstage at E3, "I have to say I was impressed." The 3.5 inch screen "has remarkable definition, and the 3D effect is subtly different from that found on TV sets," he says: "The depth of the picture seems to lie inside the screen, rather than jumping out of it, but the effect on distances and the feeling of reality is remarkable." Read more here. ... Oh joy. More ways for Twitter to insinuate itself into our national consciousness. Industry observer Mikael Ricknas is reporting that Twitter 'has announced the addition of Places on twitter.com andmobile.twitter.com, letting users tag their messages with their location, the company said in a blog post on Monday.' Get ready, folks: Twitter is rolling out Places to users in 65 countries around the world, according to the blog post., as Ricknas say: 'Users should keep an eye out for the 'Add your location' link.' We're wondering if that might not be overload. InformationWeek notes that this week Twitter 'combated site availability issues 'resulting from the failed enhancement of a new approach to timeline caching',' and that users also 'reported incorrect tweet counts and bursts of elevated errors.' Read more here. ... Boy, invent a new currency and people are going to complain. It's not exactly a new form of money, the last one of those was airlines' "miles," but as The Wall Street Journal reports, Facebook "has been rolling out its own currency, to be used by members to buy virtual goods in games and other applications." Who can't like that?

EMEA Network Report, Cloud Explained, Twitter and Facebook on Bing, Alcatel-Lucent, Service Provider Networks

June 21, 2010

Market research firm Infonetics Research has released the 2010 edition of its Optical Network Hardware in EMEA: Europe, Middle East, and Africa report. "While Alcatel-Lucent is the market share leader for the overall EMEA region, Huawei is the leader in every sub-region except Western Europe," the report's authors say, adding that Huawei is "especially well positioned in the fastest growing sub-region, Central and Eastern Europe." Andrew SchmittInfonetics Research's directing analyst for optical, said that Infonetics forecasts a 12 percent revenue gain for the EMEA optical network hardware market in 2010 over 2009, "led by incumbent telco investment." And over the long term, growth in the EMEA optical network hardware market will be driven by a spending recovery in Western Europe, access network deployments in the Middle East, strong growth in metro WDM for wireless backhaul in Central and Eastern Europe and a shift toward WDM and away from SDH in Africa. Read more here. ... We'll let you in on a little secret here: All this talk your techies throw around about "cloud" this and that, then look at you, grin and keep talking? It's not really that tough. The cloud is "a set of services and technologies that enable the delivery of computing services over the Internet in real-time, allowing end-users instant access to data and applications from any device with Internet access," according to a summary on Novell. Basically what that means is that the actual computers you're accessing your information from aren't located in your building, but the ones you're connected to via the Internet. Read more here. ... Microsoft's search engine, Bing, will now "pull up the latest updates from Facebook and Twitter on your search terms," according to industry observer Lance Whitney. Tech News Daily cites Bing Senior Vice President Yusuf Mehdi as saying Bing Social "is the first search experience integrating the full Facebook firehose with non-pages content." Mehdi "talked about the value of recommendations from friends and contacts on consumer decision-making," Tech News Daily reported: "Bing search will now include social data from both Twitter and Facebook on its homepage and on search results pages." The Register notes that it's "unclear how much Microsoft will be paying for the privilege of switching on Facebook's stream of Web2.0rhea. The software maker has of course already sunk $240 million into Zuckerberg's stalker empire, which gave Steve Ballmer's firm a mere 1.6 percent of preferred Facebook stock." Read more here. ...  A recent piece written for Alcatel-Lucent by Willem Verbiest discusses multiscreen's "multiple opportunities," kicking off with the observation that "consumer demand for multimedia is exploding. It is no longer confined to the home TV and has become pervasive across devices in both fixed and mobile telecom networks." In fact, Verbiest says, "research suggests that by 2014 video will become the dominant source of global telecom traffic." Naturally this leads to the desire for constant content anywhere and on any screen.

InContact IVR, Star2Billing, Cloud Computing Concerns, Revitalizing CRM, Skype Banned

June 21, 2010

Hosted call center solutions provider inContact has released an 'eBook' including a list of five IVR best practices, which they describe as "methods have been developed by call center experts with years of experience in the call center space." Here's a quick summary of the main points: The IVR Road Map: One Internet service provider had big plans for their IVR. Instead of tackling everything at once, they prioritized what things could help them the most and tackled them one at a time. They started by implementing a simple IVR process that informed customers when there was an outage in their zip code. With that little piece of functionality, callers could quickly determine whether they simply needed to wait for a regional issue to be resolved or had a service issue that needed to be proactively addressed. Keep it Simple: One inbound sales contact center tried to put their entire product inventory in their IVR system.

Netronome's Proch, Network Instruments, Anue Systems, Lancope, Aprius' Thompson

June 21, 2010

  At the Interop 2010 show in Las Vegas, TMC's CEO Rich Tehrani had a chance to interview Steve Brown, Product Manager at Network Instruments. As the name might suggest, the company makes products that help with network testing, and otherwise deal with network or application issues, Brown says, including performance issues. Network Instruments' approach is to monitor networks, and alert its owners before any serious issues crop up, Brown said, especially before it might impact the end user; "For example, if you notice that e-mail is down, ideally you would notice that before the end user would be impacted, and with the same tool, be able to solve that issue." Brown also made a news announcement at the show, revealing that as part of their observer platform, the performance management platform, "we've announced a dashboard-level view designed to provide that view of your critical applications, and in particular cloud-based applications." He gave examples of "things like Salesforce, or understanding what the performance of any other cloud-based application might be." Read more here. ... At the Interop 2010 show in Las Vegas, TMC's CEO Rich Tehrani had a chance to interview Anue Systems' Vice President of Marketing, John Delfeld. Located in Austin, Texas, Anue (pronounced uh-NOO-ee) sells visibility tools, products "that help companies have visibility into their networks," Delfeld said. "In particular, we help companies monitor their data centers." Tehrani asked what sort of information a client could get using Anue's systems. "We don't actually have the monitoring tool," Delfeld explained, "we help you use it more effectively. Typically, the problems our customers come to us with, the problems they have, there are typically a couple big ones." First, he said, in their data center, they have all these different tools - security tools, data performance tools, "and to get coverage, they have to have these tools in many locations.
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