Zafirovski Comes To Ottawa

June 19, 2009 3:44 PM

I attended a Canadian Parliamentary Finance Committee yesterday at which Mike Zafirovski, the CEO of Nortel, defended bonuses for execs, and Nortel Pensioners presented their case. One headline read "Zafirovski faces MPs, angry Nortel pensioners".

You can read Zafirovski's opening remarks yourself.

The stated perception from Nortel Pensioners was that all of Nortel will be sold off.

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UC Enhances Your IQ

June 17, 2009 6:41 AM

A few years back, a psychiatrist at King's College London University, monitored the IQ of workers in 80 clinical trials.

What he found is that workers distracted by phone calls, e-mails and text messages suffer a greater loss of IQ than a person smoking marijuana or losing a nights sleep. That's the down side of hyperconnectivity.

The upside exists in unified communications.

In simplifying and integrated a person's communications environment, UC can be viewed as an IQ enhancer, as compared to today's environment where employees need to juggle messages and work.

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The CEO of Siemens Enterprise Networks has left Siemens. The new interim CEO is from Gores Group, the private equity firm that owns SEN..

No reason has been given, but could it be due to a disagreement on details associated with potentially acquiring Nortel's enterprise business?

And if that happened, would this open the door for Joel Hackney, Nortel Enterprise's current President, to head the combined business?

I have already suggested this might be an interesting marriage.

Five months have passed without a word from Nortel.

Maybe Nortel is waiting the full nine months to announce who the father will be for its Enterprise business? I hope not.

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Nortel just released Release 2 of their Agile Communication Environment, communications integration middleware that can help create communications enabled applications across multivendor communications environments. In my mind ACE represents one of the crown jewels of Nortel technology.


Multivendor Hotdesking is highlighted as a key new capability, which had been developed for HSBC as a lead user.

Of course, single vendor hot desking is a feature of most IP Telephony systems, allowing users to walk up to any IP phone.

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Cisco Too Will Fall

June 8, 2009 7:05 AM

Who would have predicted a year ago that GM would be in Chapter 11? Nothing is forever.

Cisco too will fall... someday.

What might bring it to this state?

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GM vs Nortel

June 4, 2009 7:27 AM

Both GM and Nortel are in Chapter 11, but what else can we observe.

Firstly, GM has many manufacturing facilities and ecosystem suppliers in North America; Nortel out-sourced manufacturing years ago.This has attracted political action on behalf of GM.

Secondly, both have been spread too thin, in terms of brands for GM and products for Nortel. This has contributed to lower competitiveness.

Thirdly, Nortel has been, in general, better aligned with customer needs. This customer focus is a plus for Nortel, while changing the Detroit culture is a major challenge for GM.

Finally, in both cases, company executives have their hands full and are not in full control of their destiny.

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The Flying Carrot

June 2, 2009 4:34 PM

That's the name of what is the most technologically advanced row boat ever built.

flying carrot.jpg

"For what purpose?" you might ask.

Last January, Oliver Hicks, a Brit, set off solo from Tasmania on his 18,000 mile (29,000 km) journey around the world. If completed (Oliver is now in New Zealand!), this will be a world first and take between 18 and 22 months to complete.

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Friendly FiRe

May 29, 2009 11:46 AM

Nova Spivack, technologist and cofounder of one the first Internet companies (EarthWeb in 1984), spoke earlier in the month at the Future in Review FiRe conference in San Jose, CA.

He made the following observation: "We're moving from a web that was like a refernce library to a web that's increasingly like radio or TV".

Right on. This reflects a move from the Internet being a bunch of pages you surf to a set of self-describing objects that you 'tune into in terms of interest areas'.

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The Consumer Effect

May 27, 2009 7:06 AM

The "consumer effect' is hitting the enterprise.

This is happening in multiple ways and goes well beyond reaching out to consumer customers through the devices and applications they use, or accepting the iPhone as an enterprise mobility tool..

For example, music players such as iPods (and features of cell phones) are becoming important employee educational and communications tools. Netbooks are becoming business tools squeezing in on laptops.

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It's not a new cell phone or music player, but a DNA barcoder reader you might be able to actually buy in 10-15 years!


Why would you want one?

Let's say you are mushroom picking, and want to know whether a particularly delicious looking specimen you have found will kill you. Or you are fishing, and catch a fish that you are unfamiliar with.

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A while back, I commented on Cisco's Nexus announcement, challenging its capacity and reliability claims.

Well Nortel has responded to Cisco with its own solution: the Virtual Services Platform 9000.

Unlike the Nexus, it supports a reliability scheme that is not restricted to 10 GigE links; Nortel's approach is based on Multi Link Trunking technology that is a key differentiator of Nortel's entire Ethernet solutions. The VSP 9000's virtualization capabilities are second to none- Zeus Kerravala of the Yankee Group says.

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Siemens Enterprise Networking (SEN) admits it's thinking about acquiring Nortel's Enterprise business.

No surprise, as the rumors to this effect have been rampant.

Three things make this an interesting option.

Firstly, Nortel and SEN very much have complementary installed bases, with Nortel particularly strong in North America.

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IEEE at 125

May 15, 2009 7:07 AM

The IEEE, of which yours truly is a Senior Member, is celebrating 125 years of success.

In the networking space, the development of the IEEE802.3 Ethernet standard in 1983 has certainly been a key milestone for this worldwide professional organization.

Starting at a lowly 1.25Mbit/s, Ethernet has evolved to 10 Gbit/s in its wired mode and over 100Mbit/s in its wireless incarnation.

I would highlight three attributes of Ethernet:
1) It is a truly global INTEROPERABLE standard.

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Telepresence Can Disconnect

May 13, 2009 7:30 AM

Phil Edholm has been writing an extended blog about his concept of Communications Dimensions.

In his recent posting, Phil Edholm wrote that "telepresence systems have four distinct disadvantages; the cost of the base system, the cost of bandwidth and operation, the challenges to interoperability among vendors, and eye contact."

The first three are well understood, which is why telepresence solutions have become the executive jets of the board room.

But the last point exposed for me a key current limitation of these systems- even though they use HD full size video, the lack of eye contact creates a large barrier to effective interpersonal communications. In fact, my experience has been that a sense of lack of connectedness and aloofness is created when a remote speaker is talking to you with his eyes looking somewhere else.

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Nortel just published its 1Q09 results, and, in my mind, held its own in the highly competitive enterprise market. Why do I say this given that its enterprise revenues dropped some 40%? Consider: 1. Cisco revenues went down 20% in the quarter, so that's the new benchmark in these hard economic times. 2. New customers are generally not going to go with Nortel given it's in creditor protection, though there are some noted exceptions such as the M Resort, Las Vegas' latest resort. Applying the 80/20 rule, there goes 20% right there. 3. Continue Reading...
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