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Posts from March 2017

More VoIPWatch Coverage of Enterprise Connect

Wrestlemania is less than a week away in Orlando, and you would think that in the battle for enterprise communications market share that at Enterprise Connect there would be more rumbling. But the news isn't from the challengers as much as it is from the established heavyweights.....HMMM. YAWN...That's why what was done at TadHack Mini was so important. It's about what's NXT..(a pun of sorts)..So with that, ring the bell and let's dig in...

Cisco can't get away from hardware. It's in their aging DNA. So no matter how many new software companies they acquire, they still fall back to their knitting, and in their case it remains hardware, but smartly they are doing it with a twist. Hardware is the attractive attention getter, but really it's the connective tissue software that's making things so interesting and clearly worth a look.

Yesterday at Enterprise Connect Cisco made a flurry of announcements that Network World covered, and while some may look at the hardware as the key drive, much of the surrounding news was really from the software centric Spark-the group that is at the core of Cisco's next wave of workplace collaboration. 

To me, the Spark Hybrid Media Service and Spark Care are where the action will be, not the hardware centric Spark Room Kits. Today people use their own devices, even at work. BYOD has become the winner, but the connection to those devices seems to be really where Cisco is going.

Comcast put out some news about Voice Edge, a Chrome browser plug in that makes Skype for Business more friendly. The real play here is to get away from expensive Windows boxes and to have enterprise businesses start to deploy ChromeBooks and ChromeBoxes. 

RingCentral keeps adding more integrations and they also expanded into more countries in Europe, following a play a few years ago by 8x8. Honestly, they are becoming the kings of integration.  Here's my take:

RingCentral is using the integrations as a way to lure customers. Say you're using HubSpot, PipeDrive, Agile CRM or SalesForce as your CRM. RingCentral integrates with them and then says, "we're the best phone service to use with X, Y or Z." By integrating with more, they are opening up the door to the people using the services and giving them a reason to switch to RingCentral. Of course, switching can be painful, and doesn't happen overnight. But give them credit for being perhaps the most integration friendly telco.

As far as expanding into Europe....well, with roaming rates going away almost in June, and with rock solid broadband arriving in more places in more countries, the timing is very good. That said, this is a better play to sell to US companies who have operations there than to try to go up against the local incumbents. Vonage, 8x8 and others have all tried at times to build a business in other countries. It's an uphill battle.....and adding POPs isn't the same, nor is having a reseller program. It's not about selling in , it's about selling through, so unless these reseller can convert customers from their already embedded carriers, it's uphill.

That's it..One, Two, Three...

 


VoIPWatch Coverage of Enterprise Connect News

You have to love the conference industry. When one media company puts on a conference, the coverage from competitive companies is almost non-existent, despite the size of the advance press list.  So be it. There is news coming out of Enterprise Connect and here's a summary of what I think is cool...so far.

TadHack Mini-this is the future of Enterprise Connect.  The companies that had the foresight to sponsor and engage with the developers who are creating new technology to serve their fellow man. Some very cool ideas so give a read to Michelle Burbicks summary.

As for the rest--Genband keeps pushing Kandy like it's crack cocaine, offering tastes and samples, but not saying who the users are.....Voxbone adds CafeX to their customer base. For CafeX this is all about numbers. More numbers in more places. Telephone numbers that is. ...and for Voxbone, it is too now that Private Equity investment is really driving the business....Genesys, one of the largest providers of Contact Center solutions has taken the Pure approach when it comes to customer experience. And, Genesys seems to have had a revelation of sorts about WebRTC it seems. That means no Voxboning for them much longer.....as WebRTC eliminates the need for a phone number as all you need to do is click and call..For those of you old enough to remember Polycom and how they used to be BIG BIG BIG at Enterprise Connect, well, it's time for a changing of the guard it seems, as Jabra, a longtime pioneer in headset and earphone audio is making a BIG splash with a speakerphone for the Unified Communications sector.

And last but no means least, Masergy is opening up the pipes, the CloudPipes that is, and using a new fangled alliance to cross connect to multiple API's to enable workflow simplification. In many ways, this may be one of the most important announcements to come out of Enterprise Connect. The reason is, the Internet is running rocket fast. More new services, or as Jeff Pulver once called them, Purple Minutes, these new creations, or mashups like those created by pal Thomas Howe and other smart developers. With CloudPipes you can put your service in the cloud, any cloud, and be cross connected to Masergy via CloudPipes. This opens up a whole new rung of service delivery from core Class Five and SS7 functionality to more abstract features....

Got news from Enterprise Connect? Send it my way. 


Apple Really Only Does Two Things

Behind the big facade of their website, apps and very attractive stores what Apple does, and does better than all the other tech companies is two things. And only two things. They build hardware that everyone, including their competition, drools over. And they retail what they make.

Sure you can talk about their developer programs. You can talk about how they have a platform to sell apps, music, movies and television content, or how they provide a route for universities to share lectures, and others to deliver podcasts, but at the end of the day all that "content" does is drive more sales of hardware. And all that hardware drives more people into the Apple Store or to the online version.

This very binary approach is pretty much what built many industries in the USA. Take the automotive industry. They make cars and trucks. They sell them. Everything else they do is designed to support either one part of the business or the other. Airlines are the same. They fly planes and sell seats and cargo space. In many ways, Apple eliminated the computer store, while airlines have done a pretty good job at eliminating the travel agent and are on their way to get rid of more middlemen each year.

Now, let's compare Apple to the banking industry. The latter has expanded into so many different sectors that they have to have lawyers just to make sure they're not doing anything wrong, or to help get them out of trouble with one regulatory body or the other. It used to be banks did two things. Took deposits and disbursed your money. Then they got into lending. Then brokerage, then all kinds of "financial services." As they did they got deeper and deeper into the debacle of the last decade. 

If you think this binary approach doesn't work just look at Domino's Pizza whose stock is outperforming Google and others. Domino's does two things. They franchise/operate pizza parlors. They deliver pizza.  And everything they do, supports either operating a pizzeria more efficiently, or delivering a pizza.

Binary works.


Collaborating Better

Long time peer and friend in the collaboration sector, David Coleman, best known for his Collaborative Strategies consultancy, has launched a new website, CollaboratingBetter.com.

David is filling a few gaps in the collaboration sector with both news and insight, but it'z his testing platform that has me excited. With it he will help buyers understand which service is better and why, as well as assist companies in validating their claims.

Two big hits are the real time Collaboration Tools database is a dynamite resource and not found elsewhere all in one place. Think of it as Product Hunt for Collaboration services. So is the Collaborative Calendaring-Scheduling Tools database.

As with any new website, it's clearly a work in progress, but in a sector that is so much a part of everyday business these days, but only thinly covered with any depth on a regular basis, David's new site, and his own personal perspective, is one to keep on your daily reading list.


The Comunicano for Friday March 17 2017

 
MARCH 17 - ISSUE #45
Andy Abramson
 Happy St. Patricks Day…are you green yet? So to not delay things, like green beer, a shot of Irish whiskey and more, let’s get on with the news, in today’s COMUNICANO.
 

Here's why Irish entrepreneurs' eyes are smiling on St. Patrick's Day
Google Watch
G Suite Update Alerts: Improving video file attachments in Gmail with video streaming
Google reduces JPEG file size by 35%
Amazon Watch
Alexa on iOS: Siri's Not Even the Best iPhone Assistant Anymore
Amazon puts Alexa inside its main iPhone app
Amazon invades smartphones in war over voice-controlled computing
Media Watch
YouTube makes its biggest e-sports bet with FACEIT streaming deal
Report: Spotify considers restricting biggest releases to paid users as it renegotiates royalties w/ labels
Netflix Ratings System Changed From Stars to Thumbs
Comcast’s X1 leads cable video resurgence, even as cord-cutting reached an all-time high of 795K in 2016
In Motion Watch
Sleepy Behind the Wheel? Some Cars Can Tell
To avoid the high cost of car ownership Singaporeans are gigging as Uber drivers with rented cars
LimeBike Raises $12M From Andreessen To Solve The 'Last Mile' Problem
Amex GBT Launches Automated Air Rebooking Tool
Odds & Ends
Jessica Alba’s Honest Company is replacing its CEO after a sale to Unilever fell through
AT&T Blocking Facetime Over Cellular on the New GoPhone Unlimited Plan | Prepaid Phone News

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Carefully curated by Andy Abramson with Revue
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The Comunicano for Wednesday March 8 2017

MARCH 8 - ISSUE #38
Andy Abramson
 
Wednesday…HumpDay….middle of the week. Video is the news today. Actually immersive VR based video is in the news….The British Are Coming..well going over the top ( OTT)… Google makes a buy, Shazamthinks sale. 8X8 messages about a buy…Those stories, and LOTS, LOTS more….in today’s COMUNICANO!

Video Watch
CNN launches a virtual reality news unit
BBC and ITV’s BritBox Launches With ‘Prime Suspect,’ ‘AbFab’
Vimeo now supports 360-degree video
Buy or Sell Watch
Shazam CEO: Company could be acquisition target now that it's profitable
What 8x8's Sameroom acquisition says about cross-platform collaboration
8x8 Bridges Messaging Islands
Google is acquiring data science community Kaggle
Uber Watch
Actually, Uber’s PR disasters aren’t that great for Lyft
Lyft offers ride hailing for developers to use in their apps
Legal Watch
171 Groups Urge FCC, Congress to Protect Net Neutrality
Amazon gives up fight for Alexa’s First Amendment rights after defendant hands over data
Biz Watch
Apple’s enterprise success: Mac and iOS usage is climbing fast
This Is The Stunning Number Of Small Businesses That Have Turned Their Backs On Technology
Qatar Airways unveils new business class product
Odds & Ends
Telcos feed growing Aussie appetite for data downloads
Disney scraps free digital downloads with Australian Blu-rays
Local firm rolls out online translation service for multiple Asian languages

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The COMUNICANO for Thursday March 2 2017

 
 
MARCH 2 - ISSUE #34
Andy Abramson
 
 
Yahoo is on its way to being part of Verizon, but the soap opera in Sunnyvale seems to find a way to continue. And, the media, which now enjoys exposing errors made in Silicon Valley because the CEO’s and founders who want to be positioned as “rock stars” are going to be paying the price. People, not products and services, have become the news stories of late. It’s time for a media reset as it’s the product or service that the market eventually uses to decide a company’s fate.

On the subject of services, Facebook, is showing a very socially responsible side, has added a feature to help prevent suicide. As someone who has a friend actively involved in suicide prevention this is awesome news and follows the “safe check in” approach that FB likes to promote in times of disaster.

In other news Netflix is doing more and more with Artificial Intelligence (AI) while YouTube seeks to be Cable 2.0 but better.  Facebook adds an Apple TV app, Spotify goes Higher Fi, Medium goes Snap. All those stories and more are in today’s COMUNICANO.

Yahoo’s head lawyer is taking the fall for its hacking, while CEO Marissa Mayer is getting her pay docked
Yahoo cookie hacks affected 32 million accounts, CEO foregoes bonus
Snap Watch
Snap IPO Values Photo-Chat App Maker at Twice Facebook’s Worth
SEC advisory committee to question Snap's transparency for investors
OTT Watch
Cord-cutting pace quickens
Netflix uses AI in its new codec to compress video scene by scene
YouTube TV needs to nail technical performance
Launch Watch
Facebook Launches Video App for Apple TV
Spotify is preparing to launch a Hi-Fi music tier
Medium Launches Series: Snapchat Stories, But for Medium
Octane AI opens to the public, launches Convos feature to bring blog posts into Messenger
Allo now makes it easier to bring Google Assistant into conversations - The Verge
Odds & Ends
Why We Embrace Team Turnover

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