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Greg Galitzine

June 2007

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All iPhone All the Time

June 29, 2007

  It’s 2pm on the East Coast.   The Apple stores are now closed, pending a 6pm (technically 5:50) re-opening and the first iPhones will be up for grabs.   I’m trying hard to keep up with the iPhone news that keeps flooding in from every conceivable direction.   Articles are going up on TMCnet, opinions are flooding the blog pages, it’s full-on iPhone OVERLOAD!   However, if you want a single place where you can check in and see what the deal is, then just click on TMCnet’s iPhone Snapshot page.   All the iPhone news you could possibly want. All in one single, easy-to access spot.   I know, I know…   You’re welcome.

iPhone Has Zippy on EDGE

June 29, 2007

TMC’s executive editor Richard “Zippy” Grigonis, offers yet another angle to today’s super-hyped (or as my kids would say, “super-duper-scooper” hyped) Apple iPhone launch.   Richard actually paints a scenario that shows that things are not altogether perfect when it comes to the iPhone and the AT&T service upon which it will run.   In an article called EDGE, the Fly in Apple's iPhone Ointment, he points out certain issues with the EDGE network offered by AT&T.   In fact Richard refers to a NYTimes interview with Randall L. Stephenson, the new AT&T CEO, who said that the fact that the iPhone offers faster WiFi networking would more than make up for the relatively slow pace of its cellular EDGE data network.   Check out Zippy's article here.

Art Rosenberg on UC and the iPhone

June 29, 2007

Art Rosenberg is taking a Unified Communications and customer service angle in his latest report.   According to Rosenberg:   I have discussed “Consumer UC” in the past as something that will require traditional telephone call centers to get ready for the “multimodal customer,” and the iPhone release is the tip of the multimodal contact center iceberg.   Rosenberg offers a series of insights and perspectives and discusses the:   “ripple effects upon enterprise customer contact/support requirements that will stem from the consumer adoption of the iPhone and other successful “smartphones.”   In any event check out Art’s latest submission, here in TMC’s Consumer Electronics Center.

Update on Queueing Up for the iPhone

June 29, 2007

Updating yesterday’s entry about queues forming for the iPhone…   I placed a few quick calls to the stores nearest my house and discovered that there about 40 people in line to buy an iPhone at the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, according to Travis at the Apple Store there.   At Tice’s Corner in Woodcliff Lake Brandon tells me that there are about 50 people in line.   The ifoAppleStore blog has truly up-to-the-minute info on how the hype is playing out in the real-world retail locations. They even have a link to a live video feed from one location (courtesy of Zoomr TV).  

RADCOM on Service Quality Monitoring

June 29, 2007

I just finished reading an article written by Ofir Michael & Jacqui McDonald of RADCOM.   The article, titled, “Is Video Encryption to Service Quality Monitoring like Lead is to Superman?” is a thorough look at video quality testing and monitoring.   If testing and monitoring is something you’re interested in, I highly recommend taking a look at this informative article.

Ovum on iPhone... Plus Fighting the Urge

June 29, 2007

Steven Hartley, senior analyst at Ovum issued the following comments regarding Apple’s iPhone, which is set to launch this afternoon.   “For the consumer the iPhone is expensive and technically not unique. It is a simple proposition of integrating iTunes and iPod functionality into a wider communications enabled device. However, it is being sold as iconic rather than simply functional, so the high price will have little impact in the short term.”   “Despite giving a massive publicity boost for AT&T Wireless after absorbing the more widely known Cingular brand, the benefits to AT&T are limited.”   “Apple benefits from an extremely high profile market entry. It will also most likely evolve the device in the future to add the features missing at launch, such as WCDMA.

Will You Wait In Line For Your iPhone?

June 28, 2007

The Apple stores nearest my house (Woodcliff Lake, NJ and West Nyack, NY) will be closing tomorrow from 2–6pm to “get ready.” The iPhone will make its debut at 6pm at those locations.   So far, no reports of would-be iPhoners lining up in front of the stores to get their hands on the first devices at these locations. However reports abound about lines in NY, SF, LA, Baltimore and other locations.   We’ll see how tomorrow goes.   Are you going to wait in line to get your iPhone?

War of Words Winds Down to the Wire

June 27, 2007

Steven G. Mihaylo, founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Inter-Tel, announced Glass Lewis & Co., a provider of proxy and risk analysis to institutional investors, recommended that Inter-Tel shareholders vote against the proposed buyout by Mitel Networks Corporation at the June 29th shareholder meeting.   Inter-Tel, for their part, announced that PROXY Governance, Inc., an independent proxy advisory firm, recommends that its clients vote for the company’s proposed merger with Mitel.   As readers of this blog are no doubt aware, on April 26, 2007, Inter-Tel entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Mitel will acquire Inter-Tel for $25.60 per Inter-Tel share in cash, representing a total purchase price of approximately $723 million.

Interactive Keeps Growing

June 25, 2007

Interactive Intelligence is bustin’ at the seams.   The company announced a deal to move into 79,000 square feet of a new 154,000 square-foot building being constructed adjacent to its current northwest-side headquarters office in Indianapolis.   CEO Don Brown pointed to the growth in the company’s head count as a primary driver for the increase in space.   “Over the past 20 months our head count in Indianapolis has grown from 244 to 367 employees,” said Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO, Dr. Donald E. Brown. “Largely fueled by the rapid adoption of technologies such as voice over IP, along with our software’s increasing capacity to serve the largest organizations worldwide, we expect this growth curve to continue and are executing on a plan to provide ample space to accommodate it over the long-term.”   Interactive retains the option to occupy all of the additional space in the new building in the future. Initial occupancy is expected in March 2008. This is in addition to the current 120,000 square feet they occupy at their headquarters.    

Inter-Tel/Mitel Update; Shareholders to Vote Friday

June 25, 2007

One thing to keep an eye on this week is any activity surrounding the Mitel/Inter-Tel merger that’s on the table as Inter-Tel shareholders meet to vote this Friday 6/29.   While there has been a counter-proposal/recapitalization proposal from Steven Mihaylo, Inter-Tel’s special committee recently recommended that shareholders unanimously vote for the Mitel merger.   Two weeks have passed since the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period had expired. That’s a standard anti-trust waiting period that companies must go through to satisfy regulators.   Inter-Tel CEO Norman Stout said at the time:   “Expiration of the waiting period without a second request for information represents a significant milestone towards the completion of our combination with Mitel. We remain on schedule to close the transaction in early July...”   Most recently, Mitel CEO Don Smith sent a letter to Inter-Tel stating that Mitel cannot raise the price of its offer, in response to a request from Inter-Tel to increase that offer price.   Smith cited a number of reasons supporting his belief that the Mitel offer is truly superior to any other plan or proposal.   Said Smith:   “We remain committed to delivering this premium valuation to Inter-Tel shareholders for 100% of their shares. The recent receipt of very favorable ratings from both S&P and Moody’s should provide you with further comfort around the deal certainty we have already committed to Inter-Tel and its shareholders.”    

Nortel's Press Event

June 21, 2007

So, when I was sitting at LaGuardia last week, waiting for my flight, I promised to write something about Nortel’s Global Connect event if I ever got there.   Well, much like the Hotel California, getting there turned out to not be the real issue. It was coming home that proved to be a challenge. Canceled flights, delays, bumps…suffice it to say, returning home wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had.

Covad's T1 Delivers Expected Bandwidth

June 18, 2007

As part of the Covad blogger relations program, I’ve recently had a T1 line installed at my home. Of course, as soon as the line was installed, I’ve been on the road non-stop, traveling all over to various places, and I haven’t had a chance to spend any “quality time” with my new broadband connection.   I was going to forego the standard speed test, since Ken Camp and Phoneboy have already covered it here and here.   Still, I decided to do the bandwidth check myself using the Speakeasy Speed Test. The T1 performed as expected, with 1,446 kbps down and 1,449 kbps up. That’s as close to1.5 MB as any reasonable person has a right to expect.   For comparison I decided to check out my Cablevision connection to see what I’d be missing. Either I’m the only one in my neighborhood who was online that evening, or Cablevision deserves some kind of award.   Over 10 megs down and 1.5 kbps up.   I certainly didn’t expect to have this kind of bandwidth using a shared connection that is cable, though I do feel a bit better about the 40 bucks a month knowing that I have a decent connection.   Once I get back from this next leg of my ongoing journey, I’ll baseline the two pipes again and see about testing a video conferencing app like Skype or Sightspeed.

Survey Results Keep On Rolling In

June 13, 2007

Over the past month or so, TMCnet visitors have been greeted with a quick survey form asking for their responses to a series of Unified Communications (UC) related questions. Recent surveys have dealt with the views, deployment plans and vendor preferences of TMCnet visitors regarding UC. In the latest research survey conducted in partnership with IntelliCom Analytics, we were interested in seeing how our readers would actually go about selecting their UC solutions once the adoption decision had been made.   To view the results of this latest survey, click here.

On My Way to Tampa, Storm Clouds Rolling In...

June 11, 2007

I’m sitting in New York’s LaGuardia airport watching the storm clouds roll in. My flight’s already been pushed back 15 minutes (last I checked) and it doesn’t look too promising.   I’m on my way to Tampa Florida for INNUA's Global Connect 2007 conference sponsored by Nortel. For those who don’t like to play ‘the acronym game’ INNUA stands for the International Nortel Users Association. The conference expects to draw close to 2,500 participants and more than 100 exhibitors.   I’m looking forward to hearing Nortel’s Ruchi Prasad, GM of the Nortel/Microsoft Innovative Communications Alliance speak tomorrow about the state of the companies’ Unified Communications strategy, as well as hear more about Nortel’s participation in the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Vancouver Canada.   Nortel recently announced that they will be the Official Converged Network Equipment Supplier for the 2010 Winter Games.

Covad Install Completed

June 8, 2007

At long last, I am the envy of my colleagues. You see, as part of the Covad Blogger Relations program, I have now been availed of a T1 line streaming into my house.   Verizon came out a few weeks back and replaced a box on the side of my house. Once completed, the installer, a convivial gentleman by the name of Darryl Richardson came by the house, ran the cabling from the box into the house, plugged in the Cisco 1720 router, and… nothing.   Turns out there was a problem with the Verizon circuit. So Darryl sent a trouble ticket and said he’d be back once the circuit was repaired.   Sure enough, the Verizon van rolled up two days later.   Several days afterwards, Darryl returned to finish the installation.

Oracle Solution Assists Roadside Dispatch

June 6, 2007

There’s nothing I like more than a case study of a successful implementation of technology. Especially, one where the technology in question better equips the company to help people in need.   A recent article by our own Stefania Viscusi highlights one such successful implementation of Oracle’s Siebel CRM Call Center On Demand solution. She writes:   With Siebel CRM Call Center On Demand, Continental Dispatch, a virtual call center operation, was able to provide Pop-a-Lock, a provider of 24/7 emergency roadside assistance and locksmith services, with the benefits of a hosted solution.   With the solution, not only were they able to better manage incoming call requests and better answer to caller needs, they were also able to allow agents to work from home. The solution routes calls to a virtual network of agents to collect information and get technicians out into the field.

Mihaylo Stirs the Pot, Vector Drops Bid for Inter-Tel

June 6, 2007

Inter-Tel is informing that the company has received a letter from former CEO Steven Mihaylo proposing a “recapitalization plan” for the company.   In the letter, Mihaylo is urging Inter-Tel stockholders to vote against the Mitel Networks Corporation buyout offer and outlining a plan to recapitalize the Company, which could provide “significantly” greater value to stockholders than the current buyout proposal.   Inter-Tel’s Special Committee of the Board of Directors will meet to consider the Mihaylo recapitalization proposal in accordance with their fiduciary duties and the provisions of the Mitel Merger Agreement.   In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, Mihaylo said that he is building a war chest of almost $500 million U.S.

Green Day

June 5, 2007

Dell announced a global effort to partner with its customers with the goal of becoming the “Greenest Technology Company on Earth.” The company’s Zero Carbon Initiative will “…continue to maximize the energy efficiency of Dell products and over time offset their carbon impact…”   The company also kicked off a 5-year plan to reduce the carbon footprint of its global operations by 15 percent and extended its “Plant a Tree for Me” program.   TMC today also unveiled its latest initiative. On his blog today, Rich writes:   At the next Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in Los Angeles, CA, September 10-12, 2007 you will find a full virtual track of green sessions which will be part of the first TMC Green Conference.   Click here for more info on TMC’s first-ever Green Conference, which is set to take place in Los Angeles, California, home to Ed Begley, Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio, and other like-minded folks.

Final Results of First Survey Are In

June 5, 2007

Last week’s reader survey revealed that the majority of responding businesses worldwide have no current plans to deploy Unified Communications Applications. The question of timing aside, we were also interested in seeing who our TMC subscribers and Web site visitors would look to as a preferred supplier at whatever point they did decide to deploy UC in their businesses.                                     The results of our latest research survey conducted in partnership with IntelliCom Analytics suggest that although the IP Telephony providers are perhaps the most vocal set of industry players in encouraging UC adoption, they are by no means the only game in town.   To see the results, check here. Keep your browsers set to TMCnet, for another survey coming later this week.

Tom Keating Previews Microsoft Office Live Meeting

June 5, 2007

Tom Keating has a post this morning about a preview of the new Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007.   According to Tom:   The new Live Meeting client integrates multiple communication channels for a unified experience. These channels include VoIP and PSTN audio, live and recorded video, screen and document sharing, chat, and audience feedback tools.   I urge you to check it out. As usual, Tom offers lots of insight and even a bunch of screenshots to illustrate his experience.

Investment Firm Nets Avaya for $8.2 Billion

June 5, 2007

Looks like it’s a go.   Avaya is announcing on their Web site that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement with Silver Lake, an investment firm focused on large-scale investments in technology-driven growth industries, and TPG Capital, a private investment partnership, for approximately $8.2 billion or $17.50 per common share.   The release quotes Phil Odeen, non-executive chairman of Avaya’s board of directors:   “After an extensive review of Avaya’s strategic alternatives with Avaya management and our financial advisors, the board of directors of Avaya determined that this transaction with Silver Lake and TPG provides the best value for Avaya’s shareholders.”

Unified Communications from CommuniGate

June 5, 2007

CommuniGate has announced the general availability of Pronto! — an Adobe Flash- and Flex2-based technology that brings together multiple forms of Internet communications and Rich Media, including e-mail, chat, calendar/scheduling, IM, music, video, and more.   According to the company’s official release:   Pronto! scales to support any deployment size, and flexible to meet the requirements of business or consumer subscribers. Pronto!

AVAYA Reaches Sales Milestone

June 4, 2007

  I saw the following headline in my Inbox today:     Avaya Achieves Milestone in Sale Of IP Telephony System For Small And Mid-Sized Businesses   My first thought was the early news of the day that Silver Lake was close to finalizing a deal for Avaya.   $7 Billion worth of phone systems would certainly be a milestone.   Fact of the matter is, Avaya announced that it has crossed a new milestone in the sale of its award-winning Avaya IP Office systems. Now more than 100,000 small and mid-sized organizations around the globe are using IP Office to serve an estimated 3.6 million users.   For more news on Avaya, click here.

Whale, Whale, Whale....

June 1, 2007

  Rich was all up in arms over a pair of wayward whales wallowing in the waters out West, this week, wondering why they were getting so much coverage.   It’s true the preponderance of whale news this week hit a fever pitch:   Whales slip out the Golden Gate   2 New Whale Sharks at Georgia Aquarium   Japan threatens to go it alone on whaling   Gray whale is buried south of Newport   Senator Stevens makes case for subsistence whale hunts   South Atlantic whale sanctuary bid foiled   Boy swims with Beluga Whale   With all this coverage, I’m surprised nobody thought of inviting the whales to do a podcast. Admit it, you laughed. A little.  
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