Friday, October 31, 2008

New 4G Conference Coming - TMC and ???

How's this for a how-could-this-be??? scenario?

TMC is partnering with some very familiar VON faces to produce a 4G conference in February. It's not clear how much partnering is actually going on, and at face value, this 4G event is just co-locating with the Winter 2009 IT Expo, which returns again to Miami.

I got wind of this Wednesday night, and shortly after, Andy Abramson went public with the news on his blog, so he's got the scoop, no doubt. For the official news, the press release is here, and Greg Galitzine adds some flavor on his blog. Rich Tehrani also has some thoughts, as well as a list of other places this item was picked up.

I'm just getting around to this now, and if this is still news to you, then you're in the right place.

It's always great to hear about new conferences, especially for something as important as 4G, but the real story here is how previous competitors are now working together. TMC and VON have always had a strong rivalry, and each show has its strengths. With VON's demise (although Virgo is now trying to change that - which is another story for another time), a lot of smart, experienced people need to find other gigs.

With the 4G event, we're talking specifically about Carl Ford and Scott Kargman. Readers of my blog may recall that Carl has been publicly forging his own path for the past few months, and has already crossed the floor, so to speak, and was welcomed as a moderator at the IT Expo last month. I haven't kept up with Scott, but the two are working together on this event, and now that the word is out, you can see for yourself what they're doing. As noted on Andy's post, the website for 4G Wireless Revolution is running now, so that should be your next stop.

Bottom line - work is work, and it's great to see Carl and Scott engaged with something they know an awful lot about. I won't be alone in following their progress, and I'll post updates as things progress.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Service Provider Views - Dealing with a Down Economy

Sooner or later this economy catches up to everyone, and telecom is not immune. My latest Service Provider Views article on TMCnet takes a look at what I think operators need to be doing to minimize the fallout in a down market.

There's a lot to explore here, and this article is Part 1. In light of Skype's strong Q3 numbers, I decided to focus a bit on them as an example of things going right in a challenging environment. Some service providers will fare better than others, and this impacts everyone in the food chain. I'll look at some of these implications in the follow up article. For now, Part 1 is online now, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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Videoconferencing News - GIPS and SightSpeed

Two companies I have some history with in the videoconferencing space had some news yesterday - GIPS and SightSpeed. I was set to post this yesterday, but we had a power outage at an inopportune time. After that, one thing led to another, and it just didn't happen as intended. Defeated by technology, again...

I'll start with GIPS - Global IP Solutions - since I have more history there. They've just published a white paper along with a video to demonstrate how far desktop videoconferencing solutions have come. I won't say any more than that since I'm the author of the white paper, and I'm not in the PR business. However, I am pleased to see how much attention this has been getting, so if you haven't come across this yet, you can find it in a few places - Fierce VoIP, Conferencing News, and an in-depth review/analysis from Jim Courtney on Skype Journal.

For more detail, you can read the press release here, and download the paper as well as view the demo video here.

SightSpeed had some very exciting news of their own on the same day, so there must be a trend happening. In short, they were acquired by Logitech for $30 million.

Aside from being a great exit for Peter Csathy's company (his third), I see this as nice validation for the good work GIPS is doing. I've got some nice history with SightSpeed as well - and have been a happy user - so it's personally satisfying to see a company I've been following for a while get a buyout like this, especially in such a difficult economy.

Finally, to tie things up nicely, colleague Alec Saunders featured both companies on yesterday's Squawk Box podcast. Guess I'm not the only one seeing a trend here!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

CDN Channel Elite Awards

Last night I attended the Channel Elite Awards here in Toronto. It was a nice gala to honor the winners from the annual awards organized by Computer Dealer News.

I was recently invited to be a judge for these awards and reviewed about 70 submissions along the way. It was a good experience, and part of the payoff was attending the gala.

Paolo Del Nibletto was nice enough to involve me in the event, so a big thank you there. To learn more about the highlights and winners, here's his wrapup piece.






When taking our seats for the awards, I spotted a table at the front and took a seat that would give me a good vantage point for photos. Not until I sat down did I realize I was totally blocked out by "the camera guy". Ugh. He got great shots and video, but my spot was useless, and I had to get up and get beside him every time I needed a shot. Nothing is easy...


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Monday, October 27, 2008

Bloggers versus Journalists

Got a pretty full week unfolding with new project work and some month-end deliverables. Just got time for a quick post now, and wanted to share this one from Pat Phelan.

We follow each other's blogs as best we can, and his latest post touches on a topic that's near and dear to my heart. It's an ongoing item for me, and is a great read on the fine line between bloggers and journalists. So much territory to explore here, and the comment thread brings many of these sub-issues to light.

I have enough trouble clarifying to people that blogging is not what I do, but like journalists, analysts are a different breed when it comes to getting your ideas across. For both breeds, there's an inherent expectation that your work is supported by the things that give it legitimacy - accuracy, validation, objectivity, professionalism, etc. It's just so hard to pin this on bloggers whose vocation is something else - software developer, product manager, PR, entrepreneur, investor, etc. Of course there are loads of people in these spaces whose blogs set the standard for everyone else - but those hallmarks are not necessarily expected in their line of work. Some do, and some don't. And to be fair, that's also true for my tribe - journalists too, of course!

So, you don't always know what to expect there, unless you really know the blogger as an individual. That's easy to do within your inner circle, but it sure gets a lot tougher to do when trolling the broader blogosphere. Plenty of diamonds in the rough out there, but it takes effort to find them.

I'll leave it at that for now - too many ideas to riff off of, and I got things to do - as do you, for sure. The main thing is to draw attention to Pat's post - and his blog - and by all means, join the conversation.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Videotron's Wireless Network Plans Announced

This is mostly a news item, and I don't do many of those. For many, it's an old news item by now, but not for everyone. I've been out of pocket almost all week, and this is the best I can do here, and didn't want this to pass unmentioned.

On Tuesday, Videotron announced their wireless network plans, and they're pretty ambitious. I was hoping to participate on the briefing call that day, but was too tied up at the Avaya analyst conference.

In the current economic climate, it's a huge deal to hear about spending like this. After spending $554 million to acquire spectrum during the AWS auction (which I've been following) - table stakes to get into the wireless game - they're now commmitting around $250-$300 million more to build an HSPA network. Videotron has said they were serious about wireless from the beginning and now they're putting their money on the table.

I can't help but think there's got to be a bit of political hubris at work here, as this is a Quebec story, not a Canada story. That message comes out loud and clear in the press release, especially with the proud claim how this investment will create 1,000 jobs for Quebecers. I'd be remiss to mention that the Bloc - their separatist party - fared well in the recent federal election, largely at the expense of the fading Liberals. I digress.

I should also note that Videotron is one of the biggest and best Quebec-based companies, and they are only in the wireless business to serve Quebec. Their population is a bit under 8 million, and I don't know if their Capex plans on a per-capita basis would be high or low relative to other markets. Regardless, it's happening, and that's the story here.

Anyhow, like Rogers, Videotron is a multimedia conglomerate, and have a lot of content at their disposal, so their plans extend well beyond voice. Bell diversified into content a few years back, but could never make it all work. However, networks are faster today, and we have smartphones now, so things will be much different for Videotron this time around. What also makes this interesting is that Videotron has a track record of being disruptive, most recently with their push into VoIP, which has been costly for Bell.

So, I'd expect similar things this time around with wireless. Actually, Videotron does offer wireless today, but over the Rogers network, which really limits what they'd like to do. Once they come to market on their own, Rogers will lose their traffic of course, but more importantly, they'll now be competing directly against each other.

Aside from this being a bold statement of investment in Quebec's communications infrastructure, it's great news for Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), who were announced as the prime vendor for their network buildout. NSN is on a roll in Canada, having also just been awarded the business to build a jointly-funded HSPA wireless network for Bell and Telus. Wow. Hard to believe how these two competitors are now working together, but it's a necessity. Rogers already has GSM, and once Videotron comes with HSPA, they would be at a huge disadvantage if they sat tight with their CDMA networks.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I guess. It's clear that the economics for each to build separate HSPA networks just don't work, and it sure will be interesting to see how they manage to share things once it's done and they go back to competing against each other. Or maybe - just maybe - they'll join forces to compete against the cablecos. How interesting would that be?

And just to complete the picture, today Shaw announced they were putting aside plans to build their wireless network. They're in a much smaller market than Quebec, but still spent $190 million to acquire spectrum licenses. Maybe they'll sell it to the highest bidder - if that's allowed - or maybe they'll jump back in the game if the market changes. Who knows?

With Videotron's news, the focus now shifts to what the other new wireless players plan to do - namely Globalive, Bragg/EastLink and DAVE Wireless. It's not easy raising money today for anything, let alone yet another wireless network. This sure sets the stage for an interesting 2009 in Canada's wireless marketplace, and I'll be back on this soapbox again soon.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Ericsson Experience Center Comes to Town

It's not quite the circus coming to town, but the Ericsson Experience Center isn't too far off when it comes to a very cool road show that only analysts and the media could love.

I was one of those analysts invited to attend the Toronto stop on their travelling roadshow today, and as vendor experiences go, this one was right up there. I've seen these types of roadshows before, and you really have to see it to appreciate how sophisticated the inside of a trailer can get.

It's a great way to showcase all the cool things Ericsson is doing with both wireless and wireline technologies. We started first with wireless, and got a look at some of the equipment they're using to support HSPA and LTE, both for in-home and backhaul. I'm not an expert in wireless infrastructure, but this has long been a strong suit for Ericsson. They made it clear that these technologies have utility in both emerging markets with little existing telecom infrastructure as well as urban markets that need higher speeds than what their wireline broadband connections can deliver.

On the wireline side, we saw some really neat demos of IPTV, some of which is in the market today, and some just in the lab. They did a nice job showing how well integrated video and wireless services can be. One example was demonstrating how live streaming video from a cell phone can be uploaded to television to report a robbery in progress. Citizen jouralism 2.0 at its best. Other examples included a more interactive experience for watching sports, and using all the multimedia tools while watching TV - voice, chat, email, ordering concert tickets, etc. If the IMS vision ever truly comes to fruition, it sure looks like we'll never, ever have to get up from the couch except to replace the batteries in the converter.

All told, it was a great way to get an up-close look at what Ericsson is doing. Since most of this happens under the hood, I can't think of a better way to understand and experience all the technology they bring to enable these cool services. Am sure glad they came to town, and even gladder they invited me.

Ericsson Canada CEO/President Mark Henderson





Amit Kaminer of Seaboard Group - thanks for modelling this to scale! He was at Avaya this week too, so we've seen a lot of each other the past few days.


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Avaya Global Analyst Conference - My Take

There was a lot to look forward to at this year's Avaya global analyst event, and on the whole, I'd say they lived up to expectations quite well. Yesterday I had a chance to post some photos, and now I'm set to share my overall impressions.

The big change is that being a private company now, there is less transparency in how they're doing. I'm not a financial analyst, so this is a bit less important for me, but still, this is a great opportunity to get an inside look as to how Avaya is faring since going private. The other development is in their leadership, with Charlie Giancarlo moving in from Cisco to serve as interim CEO. Lots of history there, but basically, Cisco's loss is Avaya's gain.

As with all analyst events, attendees are under NDA, either explicitly or implicitly. So, I'm not going to cite performance data, even though we did get a few glimpses. There was a lot of interesting messaging, and I'm just going to hit the high points here.

Charlie Giancarlo set the tone right away by stating Avaya's goal is to be 'the #1 global supplier of enterprise communications systems'. Take that, (enter any Avaya competitor here). While the definition of 'communications systems' is open for debate, the aim of being number one is not, so it's clear Avaya is intent on making the most of being private.

In terms of the grand plan, he shared Avaya's roadmap through 2010, by which time all the moves to refocus/reinvigorate the company should bear fruit. He didn't rule out going public again, and cited Seagate as a successful model to follow. They were taken private for $6 billion, and a few years later had doubled in value and went public again.

Some of the big initiatives underway to duplicate this feat include stronger regional alignment with corporate objectives to make Avaya more of a global organization, and a more channel-centric go-to-market model for driving sales. Another key Cisco hire was Todd Abbott, and I was very impressed with his vision for building the kind of sales organization to support these initiatives. It's all about sales at the end of the day, and he brought a lot of 'his people' over to Avaya, and this may well have as much bearing on Avaya's ultimate success as having Charlie Giancarlo on board.

It's clear that Avaya has worked hard to get the right management/leadership team in place, and it was really interesting to hear them say that this was easier to do as a private company. I never really thought about things this way, but when the stock equity of your employer gets weaker by the day, the harder it becomes to stay motivated. In today's market, the prospects of moving over to a company with a great brand that's just gone private and is in rebuilding mode become very attractive for all kinds of reasons. I get that, and now we're looking at a company with a top tier team, big money behind them, and free of the pressures of meeting quarterly earnings calls. That's a pretty good recipe for success, especially since the markets are not going to turn around any time soon.

Another interesting view from Charlie was the classic 'flight to quality' angle that will help drive growth. He took pains to point out that Avaya is one of only two financially stable vendors now ' the other one remaining nameless, but not hard to figure out. The financial mess we're all in has yet to take its toll, and sure, there will be casualties, and logic dictates that Avaya will be seen as a friendly haven for nervous customers and will get their share of business.

Fair enough, but he made another point that is probably more telling about the current market environment. That is, meaningful market share shifts happen in bad times, not good times. I've been out of MBA school too long to remember such things, so I don't have any empirical evidence to validate this, but it does make sense. If that holds true, and if Avaya executes well, then, sure, they are poised to capture market share. Whether it comes from above ' the other stable vendor ' or below ' everyone else, many of whom are in a weaker state ' I'm sure they're just happy to be growing.

There was a strong, recurring theme about focusing on channel support and moving away from the conflicts caused between direct sales efforts competing with the channels for business. In Avaya-speak, they call this being 'fulfillment neutral'. Okey dokey. More importantly, the new mantra is to become 'high touch, channel centric'. Let the channels do the selling, and provide more touch points to support them with things like training, certification, better order fulfillment and more marketing programs. This also means new compensation models to better incent them. Details weren't provided, but it was explained how some types of sales did not generate income for some channel partners, and they're moving now to address things like this. Sometimes it pays to build on best practices, and in this area, I'd say there's a lot of Cisco thinking here, which is not a bad thing. Todd Abbott summed this up best by saying this new focus on channels is 'a corporate strategy, not a sales strategy'.

Aside from being channel-centric, there was a lot of talk about becoming customer-centric. Really focusing on the needs of end users and getting beyond voice solutions. Karyn Mishima touched on how the consumer experience is now driving change and expectations around what Avaya has to deliver today in the enterprise. Not just new ways to communicate ' Facebook, Second Life, etc., but in new contexts such as retail kiosks in banks and telemedicine. There wasn't the Web 2.0 focus I saw at BroadSoft Connections earlier this month, but Avaya is playing in a different league, and are bringing elements of 2.0 in their own way. I saw some pretty interesting Web/voice mashups in their Demo display, but these are still in the lab. They won't be coming to market until next year, and what I saw looked very much like what's running today on BroadWorks Xtended.

I'm not an IT guy, and given Avaya's Bell Labs pedigree, there were a lot of technical presentations that I could only follow to a degree. However, it's clear to me that they're leveraging their Ubiquity acquisition pretty heavily, especially for their Unified Communications Solution. It was often mentioned how the majority of the installed base out there is still TDM, and to bring customers along into IP, they need to seamlessly support H.323 and SIP.

Other updates of note include One-X Mobile, which extends the PBX feature set to the mobile phone, with support for all the major handsets (and not just smartphones) and operating systems. For the broader Unified Communications solution, Jorge Blanco provided an extensive progress report, talking about how they've established a reference architecture to support enhancements across all touchpoints and applications ' the desktop, mobile phones, Web access, messaging and conferencing. Other developments of note include their Intelligent Presence Server which aggregates presence across multiple communication modes, and Session Manager, which among other things provides better interoperability for third party application developers. That said, there was not much about videoconferencing or social media/collaboration solutions, but there's plenty here for most enterprise uses.

SME is another key focus, and while Cisco has made similar proclamations, this space seems like a better sweet spot for Avaya. Geoffrey Baird runs this unit and pointed out how fragmented this market is. Nothing new there, but going into a down economy, this matters for both vendors and buyers alike. Avaya is profitable and well-capitalized, and not many of their competitors can say yes to both of these. Vendors with a focused offering who execute well and develop strong channel programs will do well, and that's the story we were being told/sold. I came away feeling pretty good about Avaya's chances here with IP Office, and Geoffrey cited some solid proof points to back this up (but I can't share those).

To get SMEs buying IP communications solutions in today's market, they really need to see attractive ROI metrics. I think there's a real opportunity here for vendors to tailor their ROI stories in the context of a business slowdown. SMEs will be looking to cut costs wherever possible, and while I didn't see any Avaya ROI scenarios, it sounds like they understand its importance for nervous business owners. SMEs also need manageable financing or leasing programs, and this is an area where Avaya's financial strength gives them a competitive edge. All else being equal, this can be the deal maker for SMEs deciding among comparable solutions from multiple vendors, and it looks like Avaya is playing that card pretty well.

I could go on, but will leave it at that. They packed a lot into a day and a half, but it felt about right, and it certainly was time well spent. Overall, I'd say Avaya is about as well positioned as one could expect, and I sure like their chances. The overall mood seems upbeat and energized, and based on my impressions from talking to people there, the move to privatization was the best medicine. It will be interesting to see who fills the full time CEO role, but the team in place today looks pretty solid to me, and next year should give us some strong clues as to how well this translates into growth.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Avaya Global Analyst Conference - Photo Highlights

Am attending the global analyst conference for Avaya in Boston this week, and it sure has been great. Got lots of impressions to share with you, but that will have to wait another day or so. Just been too much going on, and for now, all I can do is post some photos from today's keynotes. I'll have some commentary and overall impressions once I have time to gather my thoughts.


Interim CEO Charlie Giancarlo


Strategy/Tech SVP Karyn Mashima


Sales SVP/President, Field Operations, Todd Abbott


Executive Q&A


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Friday, October 17, 2008

Do You Believe in Miracles?

I do, and I saw one last night.

Either you saw the game or you didn't, so I'm not going re-hash what happened. All I know is that was the greatest comeback game I've ever seen, and that's saying something considering how high the Sox have set the bar with their ever-familiar Lazarus scenarios.

Just as expected, Dice-K was getting touched - and the Rays continued to do absolutely everything right. It's not like they were lucky or catching all the breaks - just like the ChiSox did in their series against the BoSox in 2005. No. They were just flat-out playing and executing better than us in every facet of the game. It really was hard to see how this could be anything but a humiliating sweep at home by a team with incredible potential.

That all changed when Ortiz hit his home run. The big swing we've been missing all series long. Just like Drew's grand slam last year. Finally, after looking so lame and overmatched, it all changed. It's the same team, the same players, but just like that, the momentum has shifted. For the first time in the series, there's a ball that Upton doesn't get to, then Longoria makes a rushed throwing error, keeping the ninth alive. You know the rest of the story, and here we go again.

It's one thing when you win an elimination game that's close all the way through. You know then you have a bit of chance to live another day. It's better when you win a blowout game to totally turn the tables and grab the momentum. But nothing tops a big-time comeback like this, especially after it looked totally over when our stopper, Papelbon, gives up 2 more runs in the 7th. What could we possibly have left with just 9 outs to go? Well, plenty.

We live to play later in the season than Manny did, and more importantly, we've got the mojo, baby. That's what really matters. We took it away from Tampa Bay, if you believe in things like this, you just know Beckett and Lester will do their thing this weekend. The mark of a champion team is coming back to win when you're left for dead, and with the Rays showing signs of weakness and finally making some mistakes, it's ours to win now. Isn't sports great?

This is one of those times where I'm happy to be wrong, and it's a whole new ball game now. Looks like my Boston trip will be more than just attending Avaya's conference. Sox in seven.

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Service Provider Views - BroadSoft as a Platform Play

My latest Service Provider Views column is running now on TMCnet. It's another variation on the platform play theme, and my focus this time is on BroadSoft.

This may not be what comes to mind right away for most of you, but you might just think otherwise after reading my article.

I've followed BroadSoft for ages, and after spending time with them last week at Connections 2008, I'm sure seeing a lot of Web 2.0 and mashups, and that says platform play to me. What do you think?

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

IT in Canada - 1 Year Anniversary

I want to do a happy birthday shout-out here for IT in Canada, which turns its first anniversary this week. This portal is the creation of Toronto-based colleague Michael O'Neil (a Boston expat like me), a veteran IT consultant/entrepreneur.

I'm an occasional contributor to this portal, along with one of the microsites, UCinCanada.

These initiatives have been a work in progress for Michael and his team, and as his communique explains, things are unfolding very nicely...

"When we launched IT in Canada, our vision was "to stimulate and support a national dialogue on IT issues that are important to Canadians." With the help of our network partners, this vision has progressed farther and more rapidly than even we had hoped!"

"We've made progress against our goal of providing a thoughtful and thought-provoking resource for Canada's IT community, and had the pleasure of engaging with a membership that now includes nearly 400 professionals from across Canada, and from all facets of our industry. In the year to come, you can expect to see more activity, and more expansion: two other "branded" sites are poised to join the public ITFX Network, and we are actively planning the rollout of at least two (and possibly as many as four) new microsites between now and the end of January."

For anyone trying get the pulse of Canada's IT market or engage with the community at large, ITinCanada is probably the best thing going. I'm not aware of any other forums or portals of this nature in Canada, and all I can say is that I hope to see you there at some point. So, congrats on your first year, Michael, and I promise to get a post done for you soon!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

VoIP Software Developer Job Opening in Toronto - Interested?

Think of this as a bit of a public service post.

Lots of things come my way, including recruiters looking for job candidates. In situations where I'm comfortable, I use my blog to help them by putting the word out to my readers. You never know, right?

So, here's a job opening that should be of interest to local software developers. What I can tell you is that this is a Toronto-based company that's "heavily involved in VoIP/SIP". It's a full-time position, and the pay package seems pretty good. I'm not a developer, so I can't really gauge the money thing any more than that. Hey, work is work - it's tough out there.

If you're interested, please drop me a line, and I'll be happy to put you in touch with the recruiter for the full story. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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Next Stop Boston - But Not What You Think

Early last night, with a full moon beaming out there, it looked like the stars were lining up nicely. I'm going to be in Boston next week for Avaya's global analyst conference, which is the news item in this post.

I last attended their global analyst event in 2006, but a lot has changed since then. Am not sure why I didn't go last year, but I did attend their Canadian Analyst Day last December here in Toronto.

I'm really looking forward to attending, with two reasons standing out in particular. First, they're a private company now, so these events become more important for staying informed and getting insights as to how they're doing as well as their strategic roadmap.

Second is seeing Charlie Giancarlo at the helm - which a year ago would seem about as improbable as seeing Carl Ford moderating at the IT Expo last month. That sure will be interesting - so will the flip side of things, when I attend Cisco C-Scape in December. Oh, and speaking of improbabilities...

Back to the stars lining up. Going into last night's game, there was reason to believe for the Red Sox. Wakefield would stymie the Rays, the bats would come alive, and they'd put the 9-1 embarrassment behind them. Clean slate - series tied 2-2, good momentum going into Game 5, and a chance to regain control over those "pesky Rays". Quick aside - I promise never to use that term any more. Johnny Pesky's number was just retired, but more troubling is the fact that it simply isnt' true any more. Ugh.

Well, that train of thought got derailed about 10 minutes into the game, and the beating was even worse than Game 3. Boy, do the Rays ever look good - just pick any "team of destiny" moniker from any major sport, and they fit the bill. Pretty hard to see them not going all the way. I love what the Phillies are doing, but how can they possibly match the Rays? They have dominated the Red Sox in every facet of the game, and they sure have youth on their side. In contrast, the Sox sure look tired and broken down. And awfully white. In this day and age, they really look like a throwback to the fifties, when there was hardly any racial diversity in the game. They sure could use a Carl Crawford or B.J. Upton. These guys are g-o-o-d.

I digress. Sure, they could eke out a 2-1 pitcher's duel with Dice-K tomorrow, and go to the Trop with a faint ray of hope. Sure, pull out another miracle like last year with Cleveland or the Yankees in 2004. Not gonna happen - even if Lester and Beckett pitch well. Last year they were clearly the best team in baseball from Day 1. They had home advantage and could win on the road. Gee, that sure sounds like the 2008 Rays to me.

This time the opposite is true. No way they can win 2 big ones on the road against the best team in baseball. Last year they had Manny and Lowell leading the offence. I don't care how good Bay is - he's not Manny. Unless Ortiz, Ellsbury, Drew, Kotsay and Lowrie wake up and take the weight off Youklis and Pedroia, it's over in 5, and Dice-K's luck will run out big time. Of course, you can still believe in miracles, but I think we're seeing a changing of the guard here.

So, had the stars lined up as I was hoping, the Avaya conference would have coincided with the beginning of the World Series. And should the Sox advance, they would open at home thanks to another AL All Star win this summer. Last year I was in Boston when they won the World Series, which was just great. This time around, it sure looks like I'm just going to be attending a conference, and casually watching the Patriots struggle to generate some offence against Denver Monday night. Oh, what could have been...

And just to tie this post up nicely, there are some notable parallels to Avaya and the Red Sox. Though not by design, Avaya's corporate color is a bold red, just like the Sox. They're also a long time team sponsor, and believe it or not, Avaya provides the telephony infrastructure to the Red Sox organization. Bet you didn't think there was a VoIP angle to this story, huh? How's that for convergence? There, I've covered all the bases now, and it's time to get my mind off of baseball...

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Video Interviews on TMCnet

During TMC's IT Expo a couple of weeks back, I conducted a handful of video interviews. As with the Spring IT Expo earlier this year, these were done while wearing my Editor's hat for the IP Convergence TV portal.

These interviews are a co-production between TMC and IP Convergence TV, and they will be available for viewing on both websites. Updates for IPCTV have been a bit slow lately, but TMC's Alan Urkawich has done a great job getting these produced, and they're now running on TMC's video page. Ideally, they would run on IPCTV the same time, and I could cover these in one post, but since they're up on TMC now, I'm posting today while it's fresh.

I did 5 video interviews during the show, with each guest talking about various aspects of convergence technologies and their impact on service providers. We've kept them short this time around, and each runs about 5 minutes. So, in no particular order, here are the links...

Rich Tehrani, President, TMC - talking about some of the more interesting solutions he's seeing on the showfloor, esp mobile VoIP and immersive telepresence.

Dan York - Dir. Emerging Comm. Technologies, Voxeo - good insights from Dan about how voice-enabled communications is becoming integrated with Web services, and what this means for both service providers and enterprises.

Bob Emmerson - freelance telecom writer - Bob brings his deep industry experience to bear in talking about the importance of QoE for video, and how poorly understood it is in North America. He also shares his views on Unified Communications and the trend towards integrating VoIP with business processes.

Eric Burger - Chairman, SIP Forum - Eric updates us on the SIP Forum, especially the SIP Connect initiative, which is enabling plug-and-play solutions across multiple vendors. He also explains why service providers of all stripes - wireline, wireless and cable - are now actively involved with the SIP Forum, and helping drive its recent growth spurt.

David Yedwab - Partner, Marketing Strategy Analytics - always one of my favorite interviews. David knows the SMB space well, and has great insights about the issues/trends/challenges around their adoption of converged communications services. He cites the Microsoft Response Point solution as a good example, whose launch we both saw at the show.

That should give you a good fix of video content for now. I'd love to hear your thoughts, and let me know which one you liked the best!

To close out, I should also mention that video is a big part of TMC's thinking these days, and these interviews have been posted to a TMC microsite dedicated to video. I think it's a great idea, and it's especially helpful for anyone who couldn't get to the IT Expo last month.

There's loads of video content there, starting with a daily news update from Alan Urkawich - not a bad way to get a daily digest on what's new. Search the tabs, and you'll find video from recent events TMC has been involved with. For the IT Expo, in addition to my interviews, most of the keynotes are there, as well as many TMC interviews conducted with various exhibitors. There's similar content there for Astricon 2008 and NXTcomm.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

eComm 2009 - Call for Speakers

As things develop with eComm 2009, I'll be posting, as will others on the Advisory Board who blog. Last week was tough on blogging for me, and I didn't get a chance to get the word out about the Call for Speakers.

We've been steadily reviewing submissions throughout the week, and they continue to come in. A handful are quite good, some are pretty good, and some are off the mark. It all comes with the territory, and our job is to pick the best of the bunch and make them all fit into an overall program.

There's a lot of interest to present at eComm, both from previous speakers, and loads of people just coming around to it who want to be part of the conference. We'll do our best to give fair consideration to all entries, but the roster will likely be set in the next week or two. So, if you're interested, you'd better get a move on, and follow the procedure here.

And if you just want to stay up to date with eComm, visit the website, and check out the blog for news.

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Is Jeff Back? Call for Speakers - Social Media Event

Very interesting post from Jeff Pulver on Friday. I'm not alone wondering about what Jeff is planning next, especially now that the VON brand has officially changed hands.

It's also interesting that I've got two posts today about calls for speakers. No sure what to make of that.

Anyone following Jeff knows he moved on from VoIP some time ago, and even a casual read of his blog shows that his focus is mostly in social media and video. However, Friday's post is the first public statement I've seen about any type of conference and event beyond Jeff's ongoing series of social media breakfasts.

As you'll see from Jeff's post, this is a modest one-day event, but it's definitely got all the makings of a mini-conference - a call for speakers, registration for attendees, and yes, an appeal for sponsors - and helpers to organize it. Part of the event will be broadcast live from the PulverTV studio, which tells me that he'll be staging this from the office in Melville.

It's hard to know what to make of this, but I know Jeff is passionate about social media, and the topics he's addressing are important - and need community-building. And given all Jeff has been through this year, you have to tip your hat to him for getting back up and into something he knows how to do - build communities.

I'm not really connected to his circle these days, so it's hard to know how well this will be received. We'll just have to watch for news on his blog.

Interested? Jeff would love to hear from you!

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Friday, October 10, 2008

DNCL - Canada's Answer to the Scourge of Telemarketers

Been trying to get this out all day - just one thing after another.

This post is more of a public service announcement instead of the usual trail-blazing thought leadership you find here - but still of interest, at least to Canadians! :-)

So, we finally have DNCL - our Do Not Call List - to keep those pesky telemarketers away. This just came out about two weeks ago, but it really only popped into my mind yesterday.

It's funny how I spend most of my time with emerging technologies and following trends that may disrupt the world of telecom as we know it - but something as pedestrian as DNCL in my own backyard completely eludes me. Why is that???

I've seen this mentioned here and there in the news and the blogs, but never gave it a thought for what it means to me as a consumer. Yesterday, though, I happened to catch a tiny item in the paper about it, explaining DNCL and how to register. Duh - well, OF COURSE I SHOULD DO THIS. It may get lonely working from home, but it's not so bad that I look forward to hearing about the latest time-shares or home security deals or adult dating services, etc.

So, it took all of about 2 minutes to visit the National DNCL website and register our number. Done. Seems like a good use of taxpayer dollars to me.

They say it will take about a month for this notice to take effect, so I'm hoping these calls will tail off by then. Working from home, I have to tell you, we get about 3-4 of these every day. For those of you working in offices, you have no idea what you're missing, and what goes on during this quiet time at home. Thanks to the magic of call display, any time I see a toll free number calling, you just know it's from one of those people. I always let it ring through to VM - I wonder why they NEVER leave a message??? Hmm.

However - and here's the rub - the DNCL only protects us from Canadian telemarketers. No surprise there. Did you know --- that a lot of these stupid calls come from the US? You know, those area codes from places you barely recognize, like Colorado, Idaho or South Carolina. Nobody I know is calling our house from these places - ever - and the DNCL isn't going to catch them. Not much you can really do there, but DNCL is definitely a step in the right direction.

So, for those of you who didn't know - and need to know - now you know - and I'd encourage you to sign on ASAP. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Jazinga Review

I�ve been trialing Jazinga for a while now and have waited for the most recent updates to get this review done. I�m really enjoying using it, and it�s become my default telephony system. I use that word loosely, since I work solo, and am not exactly a typical PBX user. I don�t have anyone to transfer calls to, but there are many other features that make my life better and my work day more productive.

Before sharing my thoughts about Jazinga, I didn�t realize the most obvious thing about Jazinga until sitting down now to write about it. I�m a marketing guy at heart, so these things keep me up thinking more than most other people. Jazinga is a catchy name for a company, and it�s just hit me that the product itself doesn�t have a name, so by default I don�t know what else to call it. Maybe it�s time for a name-that-product contest???

I�ve gotten to know the Jazinga folks pretty well now, and in case you�re wondering, yes, they�re very typical of a tech startup � heavy on engineering and light on marketing. That�s ok by me � at this stage it�s much more important to get the technology right, and in my books, they�ve done a great job there. The marketing and branding will come, and along the way, I�m sure they�ll come up with a clever name for their offering. I hate to call it a product � seems so pedestrian � and it�s only partially correct, so giving this a name will be trickier than you might think. I�ll leave that hanging out there for now, and move on to my review.

I�ll start by saying that other beta users have reviewed Jazinga already, and they�re more techhy than me. You can find these posted on Jazinga�s website, and there�s some good commentary about what�s under the hood. I�ll focus more on what�s outside and my everyday experiences.

As others have noted, Jazinga is an interesting a hybrid � the box is a both a router and an IP telephony system. You basically get all the features of a PBX and QoS, as the system is able to prioritize voice over your broadband connection. Not only does that give you reliable service, but the audio quality is noticeably better than regular VoIP. For small businesses, this strikes me as a very important selling feature.

From a buyer�s point of view, Jazinga is a great value. They�ve used a lot of open source, which helps keeps the price down, and provides flexibility for adding new features and self-provisioning. It�s about as end-user centric as you can get, and ease of use is another hallmark of Jazinga. The earlier reviews have all picked up on the ease-of-use angle, and I can certainly vouch for that. Setting up the system takes little time, and is largely self-provisioning, so it�s ideal for SMBs, as they typically don�t have much in the way in-house IT support.

Not only does Jazinga come with all the telephony options you�d typically want to see, but they are continually adding new ones. It�s very easy to set up an auto attendant with greetings for each employee, and then customize how each person wants to receive their calls. For me, the conferencing feature has the most utility. It�s easy to set up, and very handy for initiating concalls on the fly. The only downside is that callers have to dial in to a toll number, but these days, most people don�t have a problem with that.

Another great thing about Jazinga is that it�s extensible. It�s built to keep taking new features, and end users don�t have to pay extra for these. The most recent releases - beta 1.11 and 1.12 � have some noteworthy additions:

- Status screens in the Administration UI to monitor your Internet connection and system configuration

- Forwarding of voice mail to email

- Addition of portals for individual users. Previously, only system administrators had portal access. This means end users can now access their voicemail via the portal and update their personalized settings.

- System configuration and backup settings can now be saved to the desktop, giving end users more control and access to their communications tools.

- Two new calling features to make the telephony service more valuable to SMBs:

1. Dial around � you can now call into and through Jazinga from any phone, anywhere and save on long distance charges.
2. Callback � another way to do this, and works like other mobile VoIP callback services.

To use Jazinga, you need an IP phone, and they support all the major brands � Cisco, Linksys, Aastra, Polycom and Snom, so it won�t be too hard to get this going. Once you see it up close, you may wonder why anyone would need a PBX. Aside from being easy to use, you feel empowered right away, as each end user can customize their greetings and call control preferences - and just as easily change them as their needs dictate. It�s also fun setting up the front door, which is where you record your IVR greeting prompts for each extension and conferencing options. Then you can add your own music on hold and really make it your own.

Being open source, Jazinga has made it easy to keep adding features without increasing your costs. That�s a pretty strong driver, as the system always stays current and keeps getting more powerful with each release. SMBs have never really had it this good before.

This would be enough for most IP telephony solutions, but Jazinga is thinking further out, and this is where it gets more interesting for me. For SOHOs and some SMBs, many, if not all end users will be home-based. Jazinga can very easily be used as the hub for both home and business communications. No reason why your landline � analog or VoIP � can�t be hooked up, giving you PBX features in the house. How about that? Think of the fun you can have with your greeting prompts � �for the kitchen, press 7�, or �for Mom, press 6�. How can you not want to do this?

Let�s take this a step further. Once you�ve got home and business all running off Jazinga, why stop at voice? Here�s where the magic of open source comes into the picture. With wireless IP running all over the house/office, you could provision all kinds of other services � remote printing, FMC handoffs, etc. Let�s not stop there. As we start broadband-enabling all kinds of devices and machines, the possibilities really open up, especially around smart home-type services. Think about starting the roast remotely, controlling the thermostat or monitoring your home security or surveillance systems.

I�m getting a bit ahead of the game, but the likes of Microsoft are well along that path, and Jazinga could become a perfect hub solution sooner than you think. You just have stop thinking about this as just an intelligent telephony router. When you do, you then need to start wondering why service providers aren�t running to partner with Jazinga. Not just telcos, but anyone with a wire into the home � ISPs, cablecos, utilities, etc. Lots of possibilities here for sure.

It�s a very important part of the puzzle, simply because Jazinga isn�t a service provider. You could certainly buy the box retail or through a distributor channel and just go with the BYOB model. That works, but then it�s just a sell-through box solution for Jazinga. That�s ok, but then it starts to sound too much like Ooma, who I�ve written about � and still use. It�s a great service, but like Jazinga, it�s just another box on my desk, and I really don�t give it a thought. That�s too passive a model for me.

I�ve been saying this about Ooma from the beginning � the service provider is their best friend and route to market. Let them brand Jazinga and roll it out to their subscribers as a total package. That makes so much more sense to me, and is a real win-win for both parties. Think about how effective that would be for any carrier trying to break through the clutter in the SMB space. I know Jazinga is thinking this way too, so give it some time, and I�m pretty confident this will be a much bigger story going into 2009.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BroadSoft Connections - Day 2

Day 2 zoomed by, and I'm going to hit the high points with photos and some brief commentary. Things started with Show Me The Apps, which was a great showcase for how Web 2.0 style apps are being developed and integrated into the BroadWorks platform. Most of these were oriented to consumers and targeted at hot spaces such as Google Apps or the iPhone. This stuff sure is fun and sexy, but I'm not so sure carriers will make money there. Others like Tom Howe (the mashup competition winner)focus on business applications that solve specific problems and have identifiable value for subscribers. That's where I think carriers will want to look a bit more closely.

Regardless, I think this is a great direction for BroadSoft, and it shows the power and value of an open platform that can give any type of carrier a competitive advantage serving either business or residential subscribers. And that, of course, may be what really makes this work. As our home and work lives become increasingly blurred, carriers are going to need offerings that cater to our overall communications needs - not one thing for home and another for work.

After this session, I spent time at the Solutions Showcase, getting hands-on demos from both BroadSoft partners, and their own offerings. Otherwise, the day was taken up with meetings, and oh, blogging!

I should also add that I was briefed in advance on an announcement that BroadSoft released Tuesday morning about a partnership with Microsoft for an integrated hosted SMB Unified Communications solution. It's an interesting item in that it allows for a completely hosted offering with BroadWorks providing the hosted softswitch/UC solution, integrated with Microsoft's HMC offering - Hosted Messaging and Collaboration. The idea here is that this should be very attractive to SMBs who lack the infrastructure and/or resources to manage these pieces themselves. It gives them lots of flexibility in terms of scaling the services up or down, and adding features that will work seamlessly with their everyday Microsoft business applications.

So, here are some photos from both days, starting with Day 2...

Show Me The Apps






Now for some Day 1 photos....


Showing us how the Xtend platform can be used to build community - right in our midst...


Very slick video before the opening keynotes - fast-paced and highly visual - getting you in the mood for the new world of apps and their Xtend platform experience...


Mike Tessler (very tricky lighting - apologies for the poor photo - best I could get). Lots of good messages from Mike, with the driving theme for carriers being the need to open up your networks and see the value of what the Web developer community can bring.


Dr. James Canton (again, apologies for the poor photo quality). Interesting speaker - futurist - great look into how the mobile web will evolve and change not just communications, but the essence of business itself. Good food for thought about how important collaboration is in this new world, and how there is a great opportunity here for carriers to "lead their customers into the future".


Walt Mossberg - boy, what a treat. He talked mostly about how important the iPhone and Android are to the future of communications, and I couldn't agree with him more. I especially liked his take on the iPhone really being a mobile PC - the phone is just incidental. I've been of that view from Day 1 and as I don't hear many people talking this way about the iPhone, it was great to hear validation from someone like Mr. Mossberg. Plus, he's an avid Red Sox fan, so he's way up there on my list!


Solutions Showcase, including the 24 Hour Communications Experience. This was a guided tour walking us through how BroadWorks applications can touch our lives at every stage of our waking/working/walking day. I thought it was a great way to make all of this very real for carriers, who I believe need to see this big picture and how they are no longer in the business of just selling phone services.




Thanks, Tom...


Finally - what a great view - wish you were here...


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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

September Media Roundup

After a pretty quiet summer work-wise, new projects kept me busy last month, and will keep things going for a while yet. Project work aside, I managed to remain visible with the media, and turned up in a handful of stories.

Iristel's IP Mobility offering

Mitel/InterTel deal revisited

"Bell's Customers Left Wanting For Information"

VoIP market outlook

Note - soft copies available where online versions not accessible.

With conferences gearing up again, that means press releases and launches, and my comments were cited in a few places...

Jazinga's launch

Mobivox's PL launch

XConnect/Acme Packet SPIT solution

U4EA's wireless LAN launch for SMBs

I'm also a contributor to, and had a few citings in their Ask The Expert column...

Using VoIP for overseas calls

Mobile VoIP on smartphones

Why bother with VoIP?

Using Skype for business

Finally, both of my September Service Provider Views columns on TMCnet were well received, so I know people are reading these things...

Is VoIP Dead?

Making Voice a Killer App

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BroadSoft Connections 2008 - Day 1

This is my third BroadSoft Connections event, from what I�ve seen during Day 1, it gets better every year. BroadSoft is ten years old, and this is their sixth Connections event (my third, including last year). The events keep getting larger, not just because their customer base keeps growing (and with that, their partner network), but they also have a growing sense of confidence as a market leader.

Ten years is a long time for companies in the IP communications world, and BroadSoft is, of course, way past being a startup. I say that because this has been my world for almost as long, and I�ve seen lots of comparable companies come and go � some very good and some not so good. Industry events too, for that matter � and we can all name most of those.

In my mind, BroadSoft is in unchartered waters, and I�m not sure what this means. Most companies that survive this long have gone public by now � such as Acme Packet, Aastra or AudioCodes � or are on a track to become acquired by a Tier 1 vendor. I don�t see either happening soon for BroadSoft, especially in today�s financial market. They�ve been primed to go public for a while, but I�m not inner circle enough to say any more than that.

So, what�s a company like BroadSoft to do, especially with so few peers in their position? I suppose they could take private equity money like MetaSwitch or become a mid-market consolidator and grow via acquisition. Very few companies have had success with the latter, and I�m not so sure there are that many attractive targets out there aside from niche technologies � where I do think they�ll look, especially to strengthen their BroadWorks platform and Web 2.0 focus.

They are obviously in a strong position market-wise, have a stable core of senior management, and have adopted a leadership role for innovation and moving the market forward. This is not an easy thing to do, but they�re showing the way for how carriers � and their customers � can integrate Web 2.0-style services into their value proposition. To support this, they have really built up and diversified their partner network, and this is a key part of their success. So, for me, it�s not the network stupid, it�s the partner network, stupid. This was a key part of CEO Mike Tessler�s opening comments. The theme of the conference is to �xtend� your network. They talk a lot about the importance of having open networks that can support rich Web 2.0-style applications.

With open networks, you can extend your network and offer a more powerful communications experience for end users. This is certainly the BroadSoft mantra, as they have about 70 partners in the Solutions Showcase. They�ve opened up BroadWorks to a large ecosystem, and that�s helping them drive innovation and separate themselves from the competition by pushing the definition of hosted services beyond plain vanilla IP PBX features.

So, back to the question � how do they grow? Well, nothing wrong with organic growth, right? As Mike Tessler noted, they have over 400 service provider customers now, and are in 61 countries. That�s a pretty good critical mass of international customers, and while many have been Tier 2/3 carriers, they are certainly winning business from larger carriers, and with their Web 2.0 focus, are in a pretty good position to keep this momentum going.

As BroadWorks scales to support more applications and more communications touch points in both our work and home lives, I think they have a good shot at becoming the platform of choice for carriers of all size, especially those that see the value and potential of the �xtend� vision on tap here. There�s also some news coming today about how they�re working with Microsoft that further validates this.

As a sidenote, with so much difficulty in the conference business these days, it�s hard not to see that Connections is rivalling the trade events in size now. There are over 700 attendees here, and Connections is as good as any Tier 1 customer/partner event I�ve been to. They�ve put a lot of thought and money into staging this event, and it�s very slick, right down to the lighting, the music and the opening video which was very Cisco-like in terms of selling a strong vision about the future of communications, and of course how BroadSoft is at the epicenter of innovation for voice and web services.

What I like about Connections so far is that I don�t feel like I�m being sold on this happy vision. Everything about being here feels very real, and that BroadSoft is very much in touch with its customers and partners. More than the technology itself, this is why I think they�ve been successful, and hopefully they won�t mess with that recipe.

On to Day 2 now, and will post about that later, along with some photos.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

New Article - Social Media in the Enterprise

I'm an occasional contributor to Business Trends Quarterly, and recently wrote an article for them on the impact social media is having in the enterprise. It's a sprawling topic, with no easy answers, and hopefully you'll find my article a good starting point for futher exploration. I'm hoping to continue this theme with BTQ in upcoming issues.

The article has now been posted to their website, and you can read it here. Let me know what you think.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Loose Ends - Skype and the Great Firewall of China, VON/Virgo Deal, Oz/Nokia Deal

I don't get paid to blog, so when I'm busy with consulting work, I fall behind on the news. There is always interesting stuff going on, and before the week is out, I wanted to quickly draw attention to three stories of note. These are all of interest to me, but it's way too late to post about them. So, for the laggards out there, here are three items you might want to explore further.

1. Skype - China/censorship/privacy - you get the idea. Wow, this is an interesting - but not altogether unsurprising story. Barely a month after the Beijing Olympics, here we go again, with the dark side of state-run media rearing its ugly head.

You don't have to look far for coverage of this story, or think too hard about how insidious all this is, but it's another reminder of how the Internet is impacting our lives. Ultimately, it may be a borderless technology, but as they say, the "great firewall of China" isn't quite onside yet.

I'd start first with Phil Wolff's posting on Skype Journal, then Om Malik, and I'm sure you'll find many others from there. I should also add this is not a new problem, and Skype is not alone in this morass - other IM platforms have had similar issues. RIM too, by the way.

Aside from the coverage you've already seen on this, I wanted to add some local coverage that I thought was really great. It ran in today's Globe & Mail, and talks about how a lab researcher here at the University of Toronto - Nart Villeneuve - uncovered some online trails that led him to all kinds of censorship and monitoring in China with Skype traffic. It's a great read, and am pretty sure will add valuable first-hand insight for anyone following this story. I should add that local colleague Jim Courtney - a regular Skype Journal contributor - picked up on this today, as have others like Om Malik.

I'll end on that triumphant note, as it's great to see some homegrown investigative work getting to the bottom of a truly international issue.

2. Virgo acquires VON. This is a much smaller scale story, but still of interest to many of us in the space. Several of us got wind of this news at the IT Expo a few weeks back, but it's just becoming official now. Andy Abramson had a good wrap on this the other day, and there's not a whole lot more to say about it right now.

Well, there is, but it's end of the week, and I'm kind of done now. That said, I wanted to at least acknowledge the story because it's evident from my recent conversations that most people don't know this has happened. Now you do.

3. Nokia acquires Oz Communications. Yet an even smaller story, but also of interest to me. Everyone knows Nokia and how they're doing lots of cool things with Ovi and just launched their iPhone killer. But most of you don't know Oz - a bit like saying you don't know Jack.

I've followed them for a while, and it's another great Canadian success story. So, add a notch for our win column, which is a nice way to end the week as the weather gets colder and my Red Sox look to keep winning.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ooma No Go Booma

Well, this sure was interesting news on a few levels. I'm not going to rehash the history, but I've been following Ooma from the begining, and not long after, Tom Howe got into the mix and made a public wager they would not last a year.

Looks like Ooma has proven him wrong as they just raised $16 million, and not a day too soon with the markets being in meltdown mode now.

This has all unfolded in the past couple of days, and it's just bubbling up on my radar. It's newsworthy - not just because a company that most people I know are highly skeptical of in terms of staying power - but because fellow bloggers Alec Saunders and Tom have responded accordingly to make good on the wager.

And then you just have to wonder how Ooma can keep attracting capital while really cool startups like Iotum and Fonolo struggle to just get a few crumbs. Life doesn't seem fair, does it?

Anyhow, you can read all about it on Tom's post, and it will be one more thing for us to talk about next week at BroadSoft Connections.

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