Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring VON.x Preview

I don't often post about shows I'm not attending, but the buzz around Spring VON - now VON.x - is starting to build. As readers of my blog would know by now, I'm only able to attend one event over the next 2 weeks, and the way the calendar falls, it won't be this one. I feel badly about that, so the next best thing is to blog about what's coming.

There are two items I want to draw your attention to about the show. First is the news the other day announcing the VON Magazine Innovators Award. This is the inaugural award under this banner, where a panel of VON Magazine contributors selects the top 65 innovators, all of whom will receive formal recognition at the show. Am not sure where the number 65 comes from, as this intiative succeeds the Pulver 100, which I have posted about in previous years.

Anyhow, the press release lists the winners, and there are lots of promising companies in there. A few that stand out for me based on what I'm familiar with include BroadSoft, Dialogic, Intelliverse, Iotum, LifeSize, M5, MetaSwitch, Pactolus, Sangoma, SightSpeed, Sonus, Sylantro, TalkPlus, TalkSwitch, TelcoBridges, Thomas Howe Company and VoIP Logic. Special kudos to the Canadian companies which are underlined in this list!

Now I'll make a clever segue to my second item around VON.x. Iotum is one of the Canadian companies I follow closely, and most recently, they've been focused on their free conference calling application - Talk-Now - that runs on Facebook. It's been a nice success, and to keep this visible and valuable for the IP community, CEO Alec Saunders has recently initiated an ongoing concall forum called Squawk Box. He's been building this into a really nice forum for everyday commentary and thought leadership about the latest IP/telecom news and events. I've been wanting to contribute to these calls, but just haven't found the time yet. Hopefully after eComm.

Anyhow, on his March 6 Squawk Box segment, Alec's guest included Jeff Pulver. They had a great chat, and you won't find a better way to get a preview of what to expect at VON.x, as well as where Jeff is at in his latest thinking and projects. Jeff is Jeff, and he never stands still - if you don't know why, then you need to give this a listen! Sorry I won't be there, and after listening to this, I know I'm going to miss being there even more.

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