Previous month:
June 2005
Next month:
August 2005

Posts from July 2005

A Better Call Center

Martin is right. I don't understand why anyone with customer service hasn't added a Skype feature. Other than the fact that Skype's ability to work in the enterprise isn't there yet.

But that's exactly what PeerioBiz is gearing up to solve from client Popular Telephony.

XTEN To Change Name After Great Quarter

XTEN will change their name according to Om who did his usual digging around for news. The revelation comes on the heals of XTEN having their best quarter ever.

The name change will be a good thing for them and announced at VON most likely according to the filings with the SEC. As for their earnings announcement, the company is clearly on a roll. I just wish they would get their Macintosh client working as well as Gizmo and Skype. Both of those don't have the echo cancellation issues that I hear with eyeBeam, but that's minor. Their product is still the best in my book.

Random Facts Point To Possibilities

I remember a conversation years back when i was told that one of the sons of Rupert Murdoch was charged with the role of looking into the future of all things digital. So unlike Cringe, I'm not at all surprised to see Murdoch looking into buying Skype. As a matter of fact I think his crew already has a hand in it in some way.

Back in the year 2002 out of the blue came Sharman Networks, run by a former executive Nikki Hemming, who has past ties with Murdoch's News Corp. Now, Murdoch and his crew have never been shy about being disruptive so when the story broke and the firm handling PR (since changed) also had a tie to Murdoch I was intrigued. Of course no one ever would confirm the theory, but in the back of my mind I've always suspected there was a stronger connection.

Now comes the Cringe story and it keeps me wondering, because the pattern fits.

Media. Disruption. An already existing market. The ability to shift the way things are done. Those are classic Murdoch strategies, and falls right into how Skype as an entity operates.

Oh, it's time to wake up.

Mark Evans has some thoughts today on my post and a few others.

How Cheap It Is

The New York Times has a wonderful piece that explains how VoIP is sorta cheap and sorta not.

In reading it, the story got me thinking about all the reasons why David Beckemeyer (aka Mr. Blog) invented PhoneGnome for people who already have a regular phone line and broadband. The value proposition PhoneGnome brings speaks directly to the audience looking to save money, and wants to avoid hassles. You don't eliminate the PSTN/POTS line you already have, but via the PhoneGnome you get all you want from them via VoIP.

Comcast Digital Voice Chooses AT&T

In what could have been perceived as a bigger blow to Level3, AT&T has won Comcast's Digital Voice business, in addition to all else they already have.


When one looks back at my comments when AT&T launched a friendly relationship for CallVantage with the cable companies about a year or less ago, it became apparent that AT&T was in this for more than just making sure CallVantage could grow.

The announcement also clearly helps delineate that SBC will be the retail side of the fence while AT&T the wholesale and B2B side of the merger.

For years the cable companies have worked with them. By having CallVantage serve as a example of what could be done. With this deal today AT&T just picked up lots of VoIP minutes, without the expense of having to support the customers. Now that's making money in VoIP.

To Robertson, Less Is More

Michael Robertson is the master of hype. No one can do it better, and he's so, so, good at it. Now he's trying to spin why a smaller client, Gizmo, is better than Skype because the file size is less.

Now we all know that in some cases Size Matters, but what I think really what is at work is that Robertson is trying to compare performance versus coding bloat.

First Skype does IM and file transfer. Gizmo doesn't. That said, my Gizmo to Gizmo or Gizmo to SIP calls have been perfect. Skype of course can't terminate on SIP endpoints without going through a PSTN gateway as of now, but I'm sure someone will figure that out. Lastly, Gizmo is also about being an onramp to SipPhone's network, and just happens to be able to do what Skype does, allow people to talk, but actually provides a more complete experience.

What Robertson is really doing is drawing comparisons to Skype so Gizmo is viewed as a competitive product, rather than showing how it's better or different. In marketing, it's what makes you different that matters. For Michael, it's only really about how he can increase the value of his ventures that matters, as everything is geared around doing just that, which is why I like him as an entrepreneur.

VideoFones Improper Approach

I think one of the biggest challenges to videophone's remains the lack of interoperability between them and their software. I mean, here you have Jeff with his new toy. I have a Packet 8 videophone, software from XTEN, Sightspeed, Yahoo, the last three of which are SIP standard all the way down the line, and yet the ability to be interoperable is not yet there. Motorola is sending me not one, but two Ojo's so I can have someone to look at. Maybe the company's product that Jeff has on his desk is a first and proper step in that direction for the mass market.

Right now depending who I want to chat with, determines which piece of software has to be used (or in some cases hardware). If email worked this way, it would be like AOL was until the mid-90's. They had lots of users, but no one could email to anyone on AOL from the outside or vice versa. That model eventually eroded and like the wall in Berlin, it eventually fell creating a whole new economy.

Pal Erik Lagerway at SipThat regularly stands on his head about following Open Standards. If e-mail's POP3 and SMTP standards aren't good enough as indicators for where Video and Voice need to go, then nothing is.

8x8's Numbers Are Out

8x8, the parent company of Packet8 released their first quarter financial report today showing an increase in subscribers to 73,000 and overall revenue, a reduction in their quarterly operating loss over the prior quarter, but a widening in their losses compared to the same period last year.

At 73,000 subscribers this gives them roughly one tenth the market size as Vonage even though they had a head start.

Columbia Gets Verizon Grants for Messaging and Presence

Verizon is working with Columbia University to gather research on both secure messaging and presence based packet switching technology.

The research is being conducted under the direction of the renowned VoIP

expert, Professor Henning Schulzrinne. The two projects -- funded by Verizon

Laboratories -- will be in areas related to the overall development of

packet-switched telephony.

I guess this is Verizon's way to try and compete with the AT&T Labs.

A college professor and two students. Right.

And why, if Yahoo is Verizon's partner on DSL, and Yahoo has IM, would the east coast telco need to learn more. Are they mistrusting of what Yahoo is telling them? Or is there something else going on here that hasn't yet been revealed?

Yesterday Verizon indicated a bigger DSL push is coming. That should in theory be good for Yahoo too