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Posts from August 2013

RingCentral Files Their S-1

In an era where VoIP companies like 8x8 and Vonage are in the public markets, as is MagicJack, you don't normally see that many others throw their hat into the public market that often in the USA. But that's not stopping RingCentral from seeking an IPO of $100,000,0000 dollars, as their S-1 hit the SEC this week.

If they think they're worth this much, I have to think that Twilio is likely going to IPO for a much higher amount. The reason? Marketing expense for one, and infrastructure number two. Twilio can scale much leaner, and since they work with developers they don't have layers of marketing expense that RingCentral does.  While I have not read the S-1, it certainly means that the bankers are thinking with the success of late that 8x8 is having that there is money in the market for RingCentral to take. 

Time will tell.

IT Expo Heats Up Las Vegas with Jeff Bonforte of Yahoo

Many of us are traveling today and tomorrow for TMCNet's IT Expo in Las Vegas that runs the bulk of this week. For me, it's a chance to connect with friends and industry associates, moderate a few panels, and see what's new at Startup Camp, which to me, is the most exciting part of the event.

This StartUp Camp's Keynote is Jeff Bonforte, now at Yahoo (again) in a role of VP, Product. He was part of the acquihire spree that's going at Yahoo, under Marisa Meyer's leadership. Forget the fact that Jeff is one heck of a developer, he's also a killer leader at getting things done. My money is that Xobni was bought largely to get Bonforte and some of his team, but also to give Jeff back what he left behind when he left Yahoo to run Xobni. That was the leadership of their communications product line.

Bonforte's the ideal choice and now, as without any buffering (Brad Garlinghouse was over that group before) he can bring the kind of innovation into mail, messaging, voice and video by basically starting over or taking the pieces and parts that are there and doing things right.

A few years ago, after Bonforte left, Yahoo outsourced their voice platform to Jajah, now part of Telefonica. That opens up all kinds of possibilities as well, but Bonforte, who has never been into anything but software and the cloud, is likely going to cook up some very mobile, social and real time communications that draws upon all of the rich, untapped resources, or underutilized ones that Yahoo has.

He's a great pick for Yahoo, and a masterful pick to Keynote StartUp Camp...see you Tuesday.

Does L.A. Really Want Citywide WiFi?

The City of Los Angeles is considering building out a citywide Wi-Fi network. It's a good idea, but rumor has it that they are considering an anchor tenant model, similar to what Earthlink tried to be in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Anaheim and a few other cities. The model, which some former execs I know from Earthlink were not in favor of from the start, is fraught with the challenge of one backer who wants to be both the builder and then the manager which operates and maintains the network.

I'm much more in favor of the multi-tenant model that exists in France where the operations costs are shared by mobile and fixed line operators, who in turn provide access to their customers. In Los Angeles this type of model would be thus open to the likes of Time Warner and Comcast to market to their customers as well, much like what they are doing elsewhere. 

Given the size of Los Angeles, one also has to wonder if the whole City needs to be lit up, or if it would make more sense to build out the city and county in stages, where they gauge adoption, behavior and usage.

The 2011 Comunicano Wine Company "Single A Cuvee"

I now know how my winemaker friends feel as they wait to see just how a wine they have made tastes after it has been bottled. The anticipation, wonderment, trepedation and that nagging feeling of...what if it's not...well, safe to say, the 2011 Comunicano Wine Company "Single A Cuvee" is not going to suffer from the Sophomore Jinx. Quite the opposite, it's drinking out of the bottle like a champ. Hoenstly, I think it's going to be better than the 2009 Double "AA" Cuvee.  Which giving it's winning record in tastings, and how well it keeps showing is no easy feat. But it's a different wine. A very different wine.

If the 2009 with it's massive Syrah structure is very much like a Northern Rhone--St. Joseph or Crozes Hermitage, the 2011 is nothing like it. Quite the opposite, it's a Languedoc red, with the aromas and taste of a wine from Pic St. Loup. Think L'Hortus or La Roque of old. Already it's showing amazing concentration, minerality, fruit and depth. While the 09 has aromatics of olives and roasted bell peppers, the 11 is black raspberry, blueberry, wild cherry and garrigue herbs. It's also more concentrated, where the 09 is round and ripe. 


The bottom line...the new 2011 made by Doug Margerum, with some help from Penfold's Grange's Assistant Winemaker Jason Barrette is no slouch. Quite the opposite, it's a tour de force.

I'm Moderating At ITExpo, Jeff Bonforte Returns To Startup Camp

Later this month many of us in the telecom world will head to Las Vegas for the second ITExpo of the year. I agreed to moderate three panels and pal Larry Lisser is staging another StartUp Camp, and has wrangled Yahoo's Jeff Bonforte to handle the keynote.

While the panels are interesting, and mine will be highly charged as always, the social aspects of IT Expo and the networking is what does it for me.  With room prices and airfare to Las Vegas so low, this summer's IT Expo has to be the most expense account friendly event of the year in telecom.


Pleasantly Surprised United Has WiFi

Never trust the reservation system if you're flying United. Unbeknownst to me, until I was seated was the fact that my San Diego flight to Chicago would have WiFi on board.

While United is not using GoGo, or Row44, they are using their own system, and since they are part of the Star Alliance, I'm suspecting they are using he same technology as German partner Lufthansa. That means the Panasonic technology and a connection via satellite, vs. to the ground.

Only issue--I could not log on with my Java less Mac Book Pro retina, but I could with my iPad 4.

Speeds were good, but most of all i was Staying Connected.

Location:In The Air Somewhere