March 2006 Archives

Analyst Perspective - Session 2

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Today Angelo covers a ripe market ready for consolidation. We discussed Lucent/Alcatel, Juniper/Peribit and more. Who’s' next and why? Qwest/Vonage is discussed and Angelo uncovers some more evidence that might suggest that Qwest is looking at Vonage.

We talk about some private companies as well including Riverbed, a WAN optimizer appliance manufacturer. Angelo and I both like Riverbed but it is unlikely we will see anyone buy them anytime soon, more likely is an IPO.

Angelo touches on Vendor Competitor implications and some high levels thoughts on valuation. Stay tuned next week as we wrap-up VON Canada and provide some profiles on some of the Canadian players in the VoIP market.

As we hone this program we will begin introducing Angelo's Top 3 Picks and some deeper analysis on those companies. Stay tuned for that mid-summer '06.

Want to see some coverage on a public US stock in the VoIP space? Send an email to [email protected] or leave a comment.

Speaking at VON Canada

March 31, 2006 11:57 AM | 1 Comment

I will be presenting alongside Jon Arnold at VON Canada (on the SMB - The IP Market Opportunity session) this year and Trent Johnsen (Shift CEO) will be on the Show Me The Minutes - Voice Over Broadband panel.

Fellow bloggers, Alec Saunders is giving an Industry Perspective and Mark Evans, speaking, recently pointed to Skype's pending lawsuit as reasoning for their VON Canada with drawl and we already knew that Vonage wasn't participating, they weren't at Spring VON either.

Apparently Shaw has decided not to participate either as I do not see them on the speakers roster nor on the exhibit floor. I am not surprised, in conversation with one of their CSRs (trying to upsell me to Shaw Digital Voice) it was clear to me that they do not want to be associated with VoIP, even though they are doing POTs replacement using VoIP. VON or Voice On the Net show participation would potentially blow their cover.

Analyst Perspective
with guest Angelo Liberatore

This is the second half of the first session. The original posting is listed directly below this posting.

VoIP-Analyst-Perspective-1b.mp3 (Part 2)

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Analyst Perspective
with guest Angelo Liberatore

I have somehow managed to convince Angelo Liberatore to join me once a week for a podcast that we call "Analyst Perspective". Angelo will be reporting on current market activity surrounding VoIP and related technology.

In order to kick off this new podcast Angelo and I took the opportunity to talk about Spring VON '06 and some of the companies that were there.

We talk about the reality of IMS and how the various players are positioning for this. We comment on Nortel's current situation and how the Lucent / Alcatel merger will affect the market. This podcast is quite diverse and covers a great deal of ground. I have broken the segment into to parts for easier downloading and listening. Part 2 of this segment will follow soon.

Every week, starting today, you can look forward to the Analyst Perspective. Next Monday we will have a little more structure. Angelo will be reporting on specfic companies topics and we will try and keep it under 15 minutes. We hope you enjoy listening in as we peel the layers back on some of the industry's most interesting companies.

VoIP-Analyst-Perspective-1a.mp3 (Part 1)

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Wow, word travels fast in this townwink Here is a snippet from the article published in the Vancouver Sun today.

When it comes to Internet phone services for small to medium businesses, Trent Johnsen sees his Alberta-based company Shift Networks as the barbarians at the gate of the major telephone and cable companies.

And, as of today, Shift -- which previously only offered voice over IP (VoIP) service to firms in Calgary and Edmonton -- arrives in Vancouver, the home territory of telco giant Telus.

Shift's intent, over time, said Johnsen, the company's CEO, is to become the WestJet of the telecom industry with the company's offering of $25-a-seat-per month VoiP service to firms with from five to 200 phones.

Fellow blogger Carolyn Schuck recently quoted Andy and I in a published article in the San Jose Business Journal...

Shift Networks launched business class hosted VoIP service in Vancouver today. Not only are Vancouver businesses shifting to business VoIP, city hall is getting in on the action as well.

The Press Release follows...

Vancouver Businesses Can Now “Shift” to Next Generation of Telecom Service

Vancouver, March 27, 2006 - Shift Networks Inc. (SHF: TSX Venture) announces the launch of its unique new generation of business communications services in Western Canada’s largest business market: Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver businesses now have the choice to migrate their existing telephone numbers to Shift’s digital dial tone and virtual key system services, eliminating the need for traditional telephone lines and equipment and providing quality, control and cost benefits superior to traditional 20th century switch based telephone services.

Vancouver’s small-to-medium sized businesses represent a marketplace the size of Shift’s Calgary and Edmonton markets combined.

“We’re very excited to bemaking Shift services available to businesses in this dynamic city. This is the first offering of its kind in Vancouver. We have pre-signed clients, distribution partners, a tremendous Shift staff team, and a lot of interest in Shift’s business telephone services. Watch for some exciting client and Dealer launch events scheduled over the next few weeks,” commented Shift President and CEO, Trent Johnsen.

Shift Networks is a leader in next generation Voice over IP and related “On Demand” IP communications services for small-to-medium businesses. Shift trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "SHF". Please visit our website at

For Information Please Contact:

Press & Media CHF 
 Investor Relations Counsel 
Christian Darbyshire  Cathy Hume,CEO
(416) 419-9953 (416) 868-1079 ext. 231
[email protected] [email protected] 

Trent Johnsen
President and CEO
(403) 355-2703
[email protected]

The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy and accuracy of this release.

SMB VoIP: Interview with Rich Terhani - Part 2

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Rich Tehrani - Interview - Part 1

Listen to this conversation with a true veteran in the industry as I interview the President and Editor in Chief for TMC, Rich Tehrani. We spent nearly 40 minutes talking about the opportunity for SMB VoIP vendors and operators covering everything from Business Trunking to Multihoming WAN devices which ensure connectivity for IP communications. We also touched on IMS and what the impact that technology will have on the SMB.

We also taouched on VoIP Demo. You developers out there, make sure you take in this show. The world's first and only VoIP Demo event taking place in August in Santa Clara, put on by Rich's team.

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As an experiment at Spring VON this year I teamed up with Angelo Liberatore, a Public Equity Analyst at Credit Suisse. The idea was to derive additional perspective for not only ourselves but also for those who were either looking at using these products or investing in these companies. It worked out quite well as I was able to pin down the innovative / technical angle and Angelo covered the financial & investment aspects. The resulting conversations were dynamic and much more comprehensive than usual, which worked great for both of us.

Some information on your Analyst: 


Angelo Liberatore is an equity research analyst that has been actively covering publicly traded telecommunications infrastructure suppliers for the past seven years, most recently at Credit Suisse First Boston. Prior to joining CSFB, Angelo held similar positions at Goldman Sachs and Banc of America Securities. As an equity research analyst, Angelo's responsibilities include product cycle analysis, financial modeling and research publication, among others. Angelo graduated from Georgetown University with a major in finance and minor in theology. He is based in New York City.

We talked to many vendor companies operating in the IP Communications space including Sonus, Broadsoft, Sylantro and of course touched on the service providers. Angelo knows his craft well and covered the investor perspective while I put on my CTO hat and approached these talks as a potential customer.  

Our idea is to put together a weekly podcast on the industry players, from a tech and investor perspective. If all goes well we will have published our first tag-team podcast early next week. Stay tuned for that!

Jon Arnold (Principal, J. Arnold and Associates) and I talked today about what made this show the largest in VON history and what this frenzy implies. Some could say this is the peak and we are in for a slide, others say we are just reaching critical mass.

Tune in and listen to this podcast as Jon and I talk about our experiences at the show and our take on the market.


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Russell (pictured above) brings up some good points regarding the recent Comp USA SMB VoIP announcement. Shaw is confident that SMBs of the size targeted by CompUSA will go to VARs and alike for their solutions and not retailers. Time will tell, maybe CompUSA will prove him wrong but today I for one agree with Russell.

I know Shift Networks uses VARs and Integrators to drive our hosted VoIP solution into the SMB market. We have been having huge success with this and we are quickly ramping new Canadian dealers, VARs and Integrators daily, if you are one of these - let me know. There is clearly a place for hosted SMB, 5-60 subs looks to be the sweet spot. I attribute much of our success to our high level of service and commitment to our customers. I have a hard time believing that SMBs would receive that level of service from any retailer. Some believe that SLAs are crucial to delivering good service over IP, I don't believe that. Many of the enterprise mobile workforces use cellular phones and depend on them for doing business daily. No one expects an SLA from a cellular provider. What they DO expect is service. If they don't get the service they expect, they are onto the next provider. I can see much the same will happening in hosted SMB VoIP.

It would seem to me that the winners will be the providers/vendors who deliver the best services, features and benefits at reasonable prices.

Aksys to P2P VoIP

March 20, 2006 4:44 PM | 0 Comments

Martin Sundstrom of Aksys tells us all about his new SIP handset that uses SIP in P2P mode to add extra reliability in a hosted SMB and/or IP PBX SMB deployment. The handsets speak to each other and config is passed internally without touching the WAN. It's very Linksys One, minus the Linksys partwink


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I spoke wih Kevin Nehercott of LignUp on the show floor at VON. The LignUp story is pretty cool, technology from Japan that has been altered and reborn to create a new era feature server and extensive API for web apps.

From the show floor at VON.

Here is a podcast interview with David Bryan on the state of the union of P2P SIP. David goes into some detail on the current status and uses for P2P SIP.

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