Communications and Technology Stories August 14, 2008

Please enjoy some communications and technology stories while having your morning (or evening) tea or coffee. My thoughts in brief — Extreme is smart to jump on the energy efficient bandwagon, Jajah claims to have over 10 million users in the story below which is substantial. They also have a service which translates short English phrases to Chinese. Very cool but I am not sure this can be monetized.

Virtual PBX now allows callers to be pulled out of voicemail — this great news and not easy to pull off for a hosted vendor. BTW, Virtual PBX was years ahead of the competition in this market but they are being rapidly eclipsed by companies that started years after they did but focused on building their brands. The company should be the Avaya of the hosted communications space.

I was just up to see PAETEC last week and Tim Gray who wrote the PAETEC story was with me. There is insight in Tim’s article not found elsewhere.

Another story worth mentioning is Gartner recognizing Digium. Digium really doesn’t need the recognition as they already had millions of people download their software before many of the analysts realized what they were doing. Still, corporate decision makers like to have blessings from analysts to keep them from getting fired for making bad decisions. This story is good news for Digium and hats off to Gartner for recognizing the growing momentum of open-source communications solutions.

The last article here focuses on Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his Cramer interview on CNBC. First of all, many people have commented to me that Cramer acted buffoonish during the interview while Schmidt was polished and professional. As challenging as Cramer is to watch at times, his style has caused thousands (millions?) to take a serious interest in investing. For this he should be given great credit but in the end should everyone be investing their own money? We will leave this discussion for another day. For his part, Schmidt was polished and quite matter-of-fact and even acknowledged Google is not perfect.

I did catch him saying in the interview that his company is not responsible for the loss of revenue at companies like the New York times as his company sends them so much traffic. This is true but half the story. News aggregation services such as those supplied by Google do allow companies with far less reach and quality coverage to compete on a semi-level playing field with the New York Times.

Depending on perspective, this could be good or bad. But the fact that Google sits between customers and media sites means they have wrestled at least some control from media companies. In some ways the search giant is responsible for audience amplification… If your site does well — Google makes it do better. If your site does not do well, Google ensures few will visit it. perhaps this is the role they should play.

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