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Greg Galitzine

April 2007

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Is Mitel Simply Building a Bigger IPO?

April 27, 2007

I just got off the phone with our good friend Ron Gruia who called to chat about Mitel acquiring Inter-Tel. (Ron is with analyst firm Frost & Sullivan, and he writes a column for our IMS magazine.)   Essentially Ron is wondering if one of the (as yet) unannounced reasons behind this merge is simply that Mitel wanted to increase the valuation of their company, and secure a bigger piece of the Unified Communications pie  before a long-planned IPO takes place. Adding Inter-Tel into the mix, complete with their robust channel and managed services business as well as the ability to increase their total geographic coverage (while there is some overlap, surprisingly the two companies seem to have a lot of area ‘to themselves’ so to speak) will do more than simply lift the combined revenues to around $800 million. The managed services business adds to the “recurring” side of the ledger and that’s often easier to buy than it is to build.   I for one thought that maybe there were some hidden “issues,” which were leading Mitel to continuously delay their IPO, but I certainly have no real insight into that. Ron told me that Mitel Chairman Terry Matthews told a group of analysts recently, that flat-out, the market was not at its most receptive for an IPO.   If Terry Matthews and his advisors at Merrill Lynch and RBC feel the market was soft, I am in no position to argue with them.

Paul Amery on Skype Extra News

April 27, 2007

Skype has announced that there have been more than 10 million downloads of Skype Extras since the Extras Manager in Skype™ 3.0 for Windows was launched in late December 2006. Extras are plug-ins written by independent third-party developers that let users expand Skype functionality and enrich their Skype conversations.   I asked Paul Amery, Director of the Skype Developer Program, to expand a bit on the announcement. Paul is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the upcoming Communications Developer conference, at 11am on Wednesday May 16.   The event takes place at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara from May 14–17.     GG: 10 million third-party plug-ins in 4 months… That’s a pretty big number. How does this activity measure up with your earliest expectations for the program? PA: We are really happy with the numbers.

Octasic's Bourget on Sangoma Deal

April 27, 2007

Yesterday, Sangoma Technologies and Octasic Semiconductor, Inc. announced a partnership in which Sangoma will bundle a free six-port license for Octasic’s SoftEcho solution with Sangoma’s standard A200 and A400 analog cards.   I had the opportunity to ask Frédéric Bourget, Director of Product Management at Octasic for his thoughts on the subject.     GG: Why did Octasic choose to partner with Sangoma on this deal? FB: We have worked with Sangoma in the past on a multitude of high-density hardware projects. They are a great company, with good quality products, so our high-quality echo cancellation solution is a nice fit. It has been our pleasure to work with them for as long as we have.   GG: Are there any plans to expand the relationship in the near future to include other solutions? FB: Currently, all Sangoma cards use Octasic’s echo cancellation software or hardware solutions.

Sad News

April 26, 2007

It has come to my attention that last week, Raghu Sharma, founder and President of Multi-Tech Systems passed away after a protracted illness. Sharma died at his home in St. Paul, Minnesota.   I had the pleasure of working with various members of the MultiTech family over the years.   The MultiTech home page features some very kind words on the passing of their founder and long-time leader.   Raghu had a great love for his family, his many friends, his company and the people who worked with him, people whom he considered to be friends and an extended family.   Dr. Raghu Sharma, a native of New Delhi, India, received a bachelors degree in physics from Delhi University, a bachelors degree and a masters degree in electrical engineering from India Institute of Science in Bangalore and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. In 1970 he designed a low cost, efficient acoustic coupler that was the forerunner of Multi-Tech System’s industry leading modem line.   In honor of his memory and ingenuity, the family has established the Raghu Sharma Scholarship Fund, a national award competition to celebrate the brilliance of young minds and offer the possible development of their ideas and inventions.     Donations can be made to the Raghu Sharma Scholarship Fund 855 Village Center Drive Box #384 North Oaks, MN 55127     The thoughts and condolences of the entire TMC family go out to Sharma’s family and friends and indeed to all our friends at MultiTech.

More Bee Trouble

April 26, 2007

Earlier this week, Rich blogged about Colony Collapse Disorder, or “disappearing bee syndrome.” In his story, Rich referred to a NY Times story covering the issue and how it has affected beekeepers and farmers in the US and Europe.   Well it looks like Asia is not immune from this strange but potentially costly affliction. Reuters is reporting that Taiwan’s farmers are feeling the sting as well.   Could it be the increasing use of cell phones? Could it be the WiFi?   This is definitely something worth keeping an eye on.

Atlanta Asterisk User Group

April 26, 2007

  I received this ‘heads-up’ from a friend at Sangoma.   If you're in the Atlanta area this coming Saturday, be sure to check out the Atlanta Asterisk User Group's Install Fest. This is a free, casual, open and friendly opportunity for Asterisk VoIP beginners and veterans to meet and share their goals, knowledge, and skills. Attendees can bring a computer and volunteers will install and configure a working Asterisk system on it.   Sangoma has provided door prizes and attendees will receive a coupon code that will allow them to receive 30% off their first order of Sangoma hardware through VoIP Supply. Terms and conditions apply.

VoIP se Developpe en France

April 26, 2007

Andy has posted the latest numbers relating to France Telecom’s VoIP growth and the news is indeed “bon.” It appears that France Telecom has surpassed 2.5 million VoIP users and is setting its sights on 3 million.   Vive le VoIP!

Cincom on Virtual Contact Centers

April 26, 2007

  TMCnet’s Stefania Viscusi recently spoke with Randy Saunders, Marketing Director, Cincom Systems Customer Experience Management products. The two of them discussed the growth of hosted and on-demand capabilities and how it's made the virtual contact center a beneficial choice for contact centers of any size.   I urge you to check out the interview here.  

What's Next on the Endagered Species List?

April 25, 2007

This morning as I was making my way into the office, I was listening to Mike and Mike in the morning, as they discussed technologies that would soon become extinct.   The conversation was sparked by Greenie asking Golic what — after the record player, the 8-track, and the cassette — would be the next technology to go the way of the dodo.   Several callers to the show responded with a number of creative thoughts as to what they thought would be next to become extinct, namely home phones and my personal favorite suggestion: keys.   We’re already living in a world where biometrics such as retina scans, and fingerprint readers are replacing keys for entry to homes, cars, and offices, so I thought that was a great call.   It got me to thinking what’s next on the endangered species in our own IP Communications industry?   Fax boards? CDs/DVDs? Session border controllers? Vonage?   I’d love to hear what you have to say on this subject. Submit your comments below. Let’s see if we as a group can’t predict: What’s the next technology to become extinct?      

RIM Files Unified Communications Patent

April 11, 2007

It’s pretty neat what you can find on TMCnet. I had a European patent application forwarded to me this evening, which I found interesting on a number of levels. For starters we have recently seen the importance of patents (Vonage) as well as witnessed the secretive filing for patents overseas under the names of ‘subsidiaries’ (see: Apple’s iPhone), etc… I also have been very much involved with the subject of Unified Communications lately as TMC has announced the launch of a new publication titled, surprise surprise… Unified Communications magazine.   Apparently Research in Motion has filed for a patent titled: USER INTERFACE AND METHOD OF VIEWING UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS EVENTS ON A MOBILE DEVICE (Appl. Data EP02787317 20021223).   Here is the abstract as it appeared on TMCnet this evening:   A method for viewing communications events on a mobile device which includes a user interface, a communications event handler, and a communications event database is disclosed herein.The communications event handler interfaces with the database and the user interface to provide a user of the mobile device with a communications event history associated with the correspondent of an incoming communications event. Additionally the communications event handler interfaces with the database and the user interface to provide a user of the mobile device with a communications event history for a specified correspondent. When a communication event is received, the communication events history associated with the correspondent is presented on the user interface.

Cablecos Set Sights on SMBs

April 4, 2007

Boonton, NJ-based Insight Research Corp has just released a new market analysis report titled: Cable Telephony: The Threat to Small Enterprise ILEC Markets 2007-2012.   The gist of the report, according to Insight, is that, “…fierce competition — long a hallmark of MSOs and phone companies that provide residential telephone and broadband data services — is now spilling over in the small business market.”   The fact is service providers can generate a 300–400% increase in revenue from a small business as compared to a residential customer.   As a result of cable companies turning their focus on SMBs, Insight believes the big losers are likely to be the phone companies.   “Recent announcements by Comcast and Time Warner Cable make it plain that the small enterprise is the next battleground in the cable versus phone company fight,” says Robert Rosenberg, President of Insight. “MSOs such as Comcast, Cox, and CableVision have the offers and the reach, and they are going to have a definitive impact on phone companies’ bottom line over the next few years,” Rosenberg concludes.   According to the report, the top 20 cable operators are setting their sights on the SMB market, and that could negatively impact incumbent phone companies to the tune of more than four billion dollars over the next five years.   For more information, Insight is offering a free report excerpt.  

FCC: No Cell Phones In Flight

April 4, 2007

  THANK YOU!   The FCC yesterday said it will not change the current rules requiring that cell phones remain OFF during airline flights.   (cue APPLAUSE)   Officially, the FCC tells us that the decision is rooted in technology, as they are unable to determine if the wireless signals from cell phones in use on planes would interfere with the control and command of an airplane.   My feeling is that even if the technology comes to pass whereby it is safe to make calls from planes, the concept should be grounded now, before it gets a chance to take off.   The thought of sitting next to someone who has nothing to do but talk for 2 or 3 hours or — heaven forbid — a 5–6 hour coast to coast jaunt is enough to make me bring a parachute with me as a carry-on.   Imagine sitting next to a harried businessman for several hours of:   “Dammit Smith! I needed the numbers on the Acme account yesterday! You’re all incompetent…! Stewardess!

Packet8 Redesigns Web Site

April 3, 2007

If you get a chance, you should check out Packet8’s newly redesigned Web site. I definitely think it has more of a clean look, and I believe it conveys more of a solid, professional feel.   The site also features a promotion of the company’s latest offering, the Packet8 Tango video phone, which began shipping last month. I’m hoping to do a review of the product sometime soon and post it to Packet8’s VoIP Services community on TMCnet.

SunRocket Surpasses 200K Subscribers

April 2, 2007

Here’s a bit of good news for residential VoIP:   SunRocket announced it has passed the  200,000 residential subscribers milestone. The company also launched or expanded service in several key markets over the past few weeks.   Check out their Web site for more.
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