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Posts from March 16, 2014 - March 22, 2014

Giving Entrepreneurs A Boost

I hope you're 2014 has gotten off to an amazing start. For the last few months, I've been helping bring a very cool idea to market. It's called Velocity Kick. We're building a tool to help people get their small businesses and ideas funded. You can click on the link above or visit our own campaign page if you want to help.

Net Neutrality Argument Heats Up

The net neutrality battle is heating up and is already one of the top news items of the day today. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings can be found speaking out about the money the company now has to pay to some ISPs in order to insure smooth delivery of their video content to subscribers.

My concern though is more along the lines of how this impacts VoIP, Video conferencing and collaboration providers. As a heavy user of all three I have long been wondering if one day we’ll see the services such as Skype, WebEx, GoToMeeting and others being treated the same way as Netflix, before and after the toll costs.

Why is this a concern? Let’s start with the lack of choice of suppliers for Internet access, for one.  In almost all situations in the USA residential broadband users, even work at home types, have the choice of usually a cable operator, the local phone company or a wireless connection. 

And, in reality the choices are even more limited as the difference between the telco and cable operator in most markets isn’t really a choice. The cable company offers the better speeds, but the telco can sometimes bundle in wireless. While there may be some heavily concentrated areas where newly constructed high rise buildings are, the building manage may work with a private high=speed fiber provider but for residential home dwellers, its pretty much take it from either the cable company or the phone company.

Dan Rayburn has some thoughts on the subject, basically saying that Hastings and Level3 are still pulling punches, looking for someone else to throw more oil on the fire. To me, the issue is simple. More choices of broadband providers and limitations on what the incumbent in the ground giants can charge them. Once we have more options, we’ll have really receive better service.

CounterPath Simplifies Things-Makes Getting Bria Working Easier

Image representing CounterPath Corporation as ...Image via CrunchBase

Last week CounterPath made an announcement that in my mind makes it easier for enterprise IT leads to install and manage Bria. In essence they have brought Skype like username and password signup/configuration approach to get more users online faster.

Here are the key facts:

1. Bria Cloud Solution suite- It provides a fully provisioned, unified communication solution for small and medium businesses.

2. It's a subscription-based offering that enables IT managers to easily deploy, manage and provision softphone clients across all desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

3. CounterPath’s Bria Cloud provide's a fully featured softphone software client that is always up-to-date with the latest product features and updates

4. Bria installations are automatically provisioned on the CounterPath Client Configuration Server (CCS), and can be managed directly from the cloud via the a cloud based customer subscription portal store.

The big benefit is getting Bria installed more quickly onto mobile smartphone and  tablet by simplifying the distribution and emulating the requirement for individual employees to pay and expense the Bria.
This also enables managed deployment of Bria via the CCS – because history has shown that the majority of users do not know what a SIP login, codec, NAT setting, etc. is and want to simply have a Skype like set up experience. There, all they do is enter “user name and password”.  
Todd Carothers' EVP at CounterPath summed it up:
  • The IT person in charge goes to the CounterPath store and purchases on a subscription basis the number of clients needed for their SMB/Enterprise
  • Via the CCS – the IT person sets up a template and specifies what users have access to the clients and CCS (we can set device limiters too - i.e. Only one client per user (or user group) vs. another group that can have three).
  • Users download the Bria CCS app for free on iTunes / play.
  • Users just enter their user name and password – and the client downloads the settings and just works.
That’s it. Everything is managed via a subscription portal. 
Todd also tells me that next on the list is to open to VARs so they can fulfill their own customers via CounterPath's store fulfillment. No other client vendor is doing this giving CounterPath a big advantage to reach into a new market – the SMBs.