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Posts from June 9, 2013 - June 15, 2013

Need a Newsletter? FlashIssue is Awesome

Over the past week I've been working on improving both communications and education in my company so I felt an internal newsletter that could quickly be generated would fit the bill.

One of the tools I've discovered is FlashIssue, a very easy to use add-in that works with GMail, MailChimp or simply read as a URL in the browser. It works because there's a clipper tool that plugs into your Google Chrome browser, and then stores the clips you've made of articles or web site.

When you're ready to assemble the newsletter, what you do is simply add a graphical header, type in your title, then drag and drop the stories or items you've clipped. Once you've done that you can add in some text boxes, type in your own views and perspectives on the items you've laid into the newsletter and voila, you have a newsletter that ready to go.

Right now I'm sending out the newsletter via Gmail, but as I get ready to gear up the distribution beyond the company team, I'll be switching to MailChimp as it will provide list management, and opt-in, opt out management.

-- Andy Abramson


WebRTC Has Got to be Worrying the Hardware Oriented Players

I just read the transcript of pal Dave Michels UC Strategies Podcast on the topic of WebRTC and the Channel. Dave did a great job of asking questions that have got to be scaring the pants off of the hardware oriented players. Or at least, that's what Dave's line of questioning did to get me thinking.

If I'm Shore-Tel, which is trying so, so hard to pivot to software and the cloud, Polycom who has to announce things months in advance to get any kind of pulse of the market before putting hardware or software into the market by judging reaction to make plans, Cisco who can't seem to get past it's core business lines, or just any PBX vendor like NEC I'd be looking at Dave and wishing he didn't ask the questions he did, because the picture painted by the the respondents, well, lets just say, it's a browser based world ahead.

But the success of WebRTC is not simply going to be as endpoints in the voice and video biz, which is why I coined the phrase BV&V, short for beyond voice and video. That's where all the Unified Communications hardware guys are stuck. They have never really embraced the cloud, where WebRTC will excel. Instead they have "looked" at the cloud, and created lighweight links to it, or sold "hardware" through the service provider channel.

The channel players who will be winning first will be the software centric arms merchant folks like Acme Packet/Oracle, Broadsoft, FreeSwitch, client Sansay and others who are and have been already working their magic in a cloud environment, long before the desperate to pivot folks like Polycom will ever do. From my perspective, the winners are the companies that have already figured out that BYOD + Mobile + Cloud + WebRTC reduces the drag on things like software development, trim the need for licenses for softphones that are downloaded, and instead pay for services vs. hardware.

The "app" economy is best seen when you look at GoogleApps and the ecosystem that has sprung up around it. Just like eBay has a full service provider cottage industry that supports it and vice versea, WebRTC's supporting players who figure out that it's connecting services into the browser, ala GoogleApps, is where the money is, will be the channel players of the future. The GoogleChrome experiment of Pong with the Bear is an example of priming the pump in this direction.

If I'm one of the hardware merchants today, I'm looking first for an arms merchant to pair up with, and then buying up some compatible cloud/app based companies and putting it all together.

-- Andy Abramson

Vidtel Adds WebRTC Sharing

Vidtel, whom I am a shareholder in, continues to make moves in the WebRTC space with news today adding WebRTC-based screen sharing and content sharing. Now MeetMe participants can use their web browser to join and participate in videoconferences and with the news today, they can share content with other participants.  Because it's all software based and lives within the browser no hardware equipment, software plug-ins or downloads are required. 

This is one of the first of what I am calling "BV&V" for beyond voice and video involving WebRTC, so while many of us are excited about the browser replacing the phone, softphone or mobile phone because of it, the possibilities of what WebRTC brings to real time communications are just beginning to see their surfaces scratched. With Vidtel's news today, we're seeing a prime example of what more can be done in conjunction with it.

-- Andy Abramson 

Another WebRTC Day at Infocomm

I was scouring the news today and found some forward thinking companies are using Infocomm as the springboard to launch or help propel their WebRTC efforts. Who did? Well rather than a series of blog posts, here's a quick summary:

StarLeaf is promising video calling and conferencing hardware and software solution integration.

Vidtel and IntelePeer are working together to integrate the Vidtel MeetMe any-to-any cloud-based video conferencing service into its portfolio of SIP Trunking solution offerings.

BlueJeans Networks has finally gotten around to releasing their 2.0 version tied to their second anniversary.

 -- Andy Abramson


I'm Going to WebRTC World....Are You?

WebRTC's roadmapWebRTC's roadmap (Photo credit: Tsahi Levent-Levi)

WebRTC is hot. My agency already has 7 clients engaged deeply into the space as it is a disruptive technology that is changing the way the world communicates – While a benefit and threat to telcos, depending on how they approach it, already we're seeing that Enterprise companies are implementing approaches that integrate WebRTC into their sites, call centers and more.

If you haven't already starting to think about the conference that's now two weeks away, or beginning to plan your WebRTC strategy, you are running the risk of being left behind as communications moves to every device and becomes web integrated. Just like Skype changed the way we talk and see one another, WebRTC will do that too. And, the timing is right, as Skype is not what it was before Microsoft bought it.

So join me and many other "like minds" who see the future of WebRTC at WebRTC World Expo in Atlanta, GA June 25-27, 2013.

The organizers tell me that they expect attendees to:

  • Discover potential business impacts of WebRTC.
  • Find out how WebRTC may eliminate "Federation" and get you closer to your customers and partners.
  • Find ways to integrate your call center and your website.
  • Gain knowledge on how to develop with WebRTC.
  • Learn how virtually every web site can be a communications hub.
  • Meet with the technical leaders, the standards developers, the browser developers and teams already implementing WebRTC.
  • Understand how WebRTC changes the communications game.
  • Understand WebRTC features, functionality, challenges and benefits

WebRTC Conference & Expo is set to be the premier event for enterprises, service providers, Web application providers, investors and developers to gather together and explore how WebRTC is set to revolutionize the way we communicate by allowing true browser-to-browser communications. The exhibit area had to be expanded twice – and still sold out!

Event Highlights Include:

  • Keynotes By: TokBox, Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Google, Mavenir, Dialogic, Mozilla  [Keynotes]
  • Over 35 Live Demonstrations of WebRTC Platforms & Applications [Demo Event]
  • See and Test The WebRTC Products From The Top WebRTC Advocates [Exhibitor List]
  • 25+ Conference Sessions [Program]
  • Specialized Training Includes [Workshops]
    • WebRTC Technical Overview and Introduction
    • Google WebRTC Workshop
    • Priologic's WebRTC Pizza and Wing Night
    • Digium Demo & Eggs

So make your plans today to attend the event – it is the Global WebRTC Ecosystem Event, happening June 25– 27 at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Georgia. If you plan on going, please visit: and  use the code:WRTCANDY to secure a 25% discount.

-- Andy Abramson

Broadsoft Moves into WebRTC

With the upcoming WebRTC World Conference in Atlanta end of this month, we're already starting to see companies, both large and small begin to tip their hands, as they dip their toes into the WebRTC waters.

So it's no surprise that Broadsoft has moved WebRTC into their UC-One platform, as today's news announcement lays out. 

Clearly with the news and the statement in the release "beyond the confines of the enterprise -- to any customer, partner or supplier with a WebRTC-enabled browser. With the addition of WebRTC, BroadSoft will extend the fully integrated, seamless communication experience UC-One provides to include web browsers.." demonstrates that Broadsoft while supporting the service providers with the offering could be looking to go beyond their own service provider base of customers, and directly into the enterprise. 

Where this puts their service provider customers is a good question, as the whole idea of disintermediation can't be left out in an era where the cloud is upon us. 

I expect Freeswitch, the leading open source softswitch, to be in the WebRTC space very soon.

 -- Andy Abramson