The Comunicano Communique for Friday December 25th 2015

 
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Merry Christmas....While today is a holiday, the start of a three day weekend or the start of a ten day break for many, I'm still reading and curating news articles.  Today's Comunicano Communique features of course a story on Google's Santa Tracker, as well as a few hard news items about Kickstarter, IBM's Watson and Amazon, plus a bunch of lists to keep you well informed over the coming days of some of the best ofs...so have a happy, safe, sane and sincere holiday, wherever you may be.

Have a view on the news today? Please let me know what you think....Andy Abramson

 
 
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The engineering elves building Google's Santa Tracker 

SAN FRANCISCO---Google launched the start of its annual summertime I/O developer summit by championing Android's active user base of one billion and counting. It appears Santa Claus might be one of them. One of the internet giant's more charming projects, the Santa Tracker has become somewhat of a digital yuletide tradition over the last decade.

 
 

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Kickstarter hires journalist to investigate campaign that failed to deliver to backers

Failure is a part of crowdfunding. And Kickstarter is making a push to be more transparent about what that failure looks like and why it happens. Science and technology journalist Mark Harris announced this week that he has been hired by the Brooklyn-based crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to investigate and write an expose about why a crowdfunding campaign on its platform failed.
 
 

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IBM Watson: AI For The Real World

IBM Watson, the company's AI cognitive computing platform, has attracted an ecosystem of developers and users who are layering the technology on top of their own to make it even smarter. Here's an update on Watson's evolution and why IBM can confidently assure us it won't ever become HAL.

 
 

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Amazon Seeks to Ease Ties With UPS

As the clock counts down to Christmas, workers at United Parcel Service Inc. are busy hustling packages along loading docks and conveyor belts at its Louisville, Ky., hub-part of a costly, intricate system built in part to cater to Amazon.com Inc., its biggest customer.
 
 

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35 Cool Social Media Facts

Social media seems to have been with us forever. In fact Facebook has turned ten!...that is an eternity in tech. Social media is so old that the fun police have turned up and are threatening to ruin the party. The no rules and the dope smoking, beer swilling social media parties have started moving into the board room.
 
 

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13 Asian Startups To Watch In 2016

2015 was an eventful year for the tech industry in Asia. Funding started to flow in India, which is expected to become the world's second-largest Internet market soon, while many tech companies in China, South Korea, and Southeast Asia also hit key milestones.
 
 

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The European Startup Revolution has arrived

The following is my (slightly edited version) foreword of a new book that is being released today. Written by one of our co-founders, Croatian entrepreneur / writer Ivo Špigel, and co-published by Tech.eu, we're extremely proud to present you with 'The European Startup Revolution'.
 
 

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The 50 Best Podcast Episodes of 2015

A year's worth of highlights from an increasingly vibrant genre Please consider disabling it for our site, or supporting our work in one of these ways Subscribe Now > More than 300,000 podcasts exist in the world as of the close of 2015.
 
 

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12 Travel Apps Worth Keeping in 2016

Recently I deleted dozens of travel apps from my iPhone. Many are great. They allowed me to research unfamiliar places, listen to audio tours and turn my photos into postcards. But travel is about tapping the world, not a screen, so I'm ending the year with an app purge.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Wednesday December 23rd 2015

 
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It's Wednesday before Christmas. In looking for the news I found a few tidbits for travelers, an acquisition by former client Truphone in the IoT space, moves being made by Google, a spat between T-Mobile and YouTube, the fact that the Beatles are giving us all a long lasting holiday present, insights about the changing face of in store retail marketing, how Uber manages to win and more.

Have a view on the news today? Please let me know what you think....Andy Abramson

 
 
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Google Accuses T-Mobile of Throttling YouTube Traffic

Google Accuses T-Mobile of Throttling YouTube Traffic Google has accused T-Mobile of throttling YouTube traffic, even when customers are opted out of the company's Binge On service. As we noted last month, T-Mobile's new Binge On service exempts video services from the company's data caps, but throttles that content back to 480p.
 
 

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Google Plans New, Smarter Messaging App

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. Users will be able to text friends or a chatbot that will scour the Web and other sources to answer a question Google is building a new mobile-messaging service that taps its artificial intelligence know-how and so-called chatbot technology to try to catch rivals including Facebook Inc.
 
 

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Genius for Android Detects the Song You're Playing, Provides Lyrics

If you ever needed an Android app that could not only recognise the song playing on your phone, but also display its lyrics, you will want to check Genius. The app added the latter feature in a recent update. The feature is not available on Genius' iOS app.
 
 

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The Beatles Are Coming to Apple Music, Spotify and Everywhere Else on Christmas Eve

You can spend Christmas streaming the Beatles. The world's most famous band will finally be available on streaming music services, starting this Thursday, Christmas Eve. And they'll be available very, very widely: Industry sources say that the Fab Four's music will be on all of the obvious music services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and Tidal, as well as some you might not expect, including Amazon's Prime Music.
 
 

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New NBA Store Has an 'Endless Aisle' Thanks to E-Commerce Partner

E-commerce is increasingly invading physical retail, and the National Basketball Association is jumping on board. The league's new capabilities were on display on Monday - the grand opening day for the new NBA flagship store at 5th Avenue and 45th Street in New York City.
 
 

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Five Trends Ready to Disrupt In-Store Retail in 2016 | Xconomy

With 2015 coming to a close, retailers are looking ahead for the next wave of technology that will impact in-store innovation. While we're still waiting for some popular 2015 predictions to take off, including the merging of online recommendation engines with in-store visits, other trends such as e-commerce sites opening more brick and mortar locations and the increased focus on mobile continue to flourish.
 
 

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Data guru who changed baseball to help scientists

Economist Paul DePodesta, whose pioneering methods for evaluating baseball players were lionized in the movie "Moneyball," has been hired by the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla to find new ways to analyze medical data.
 
 

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Comcast installs DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit class modem on live network in Philadelphia

Comcast, the largest broadband provider by subscribers in the United States, has announced what it claims is the installation of the world's first live DOCSIS 3.1 modem on a customer-facing network. Having deployed the equipment in a property in Philadelphia late last month, the cableco said this represented 'the next important step forward in delivering Gigabit speed broadband over [its] hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) network'.
 
 

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UK Start-up Truphone Acquires IoT Connectivity Management Platform From CoSwitched

UK based global mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Truphone announced the acquisition of the Internet of Things)(IoT) Connectivity Management Platform from CoSwitched, an IoT start-up providing management platform for connected machines, such as connected cars, asset trackers or smart meters.
 
 

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Uber backed by competition watchdog in TfL regulation battle

Uber has been given a boost in its attempts to stave off proposed changes to regulating the taxi trade in London, after the competition authority said the reforms would not serve the public interest.
 
 

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12 Best Long-Haul Airline Seats in the Sky to Fly in 2016

Long-haul flight can be excruciating, but it doesn't need to be. Aeronautics engineers, aircraft manufacturers, designers, and airlines have collaborated to improve the choices available, introducing cabins which could make flying long distances bearable again.
 
 

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The Best Restaurant in America's 40 Biggest Airports

Because no one likes having to settle for the Spear O Mint Life Savers in the baggage-claim vending machines, we've painstakingly sought out the best restaurant and its precise location in each of the 40 largest American airports. Please adjust your travel plans accordingly.
 
 

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The Comunicano Comnunique for Tuesday December 22nd 2015

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It's Tuesday and the news is S L O W !!!! But yesterday Skype Microsoft made an acquisition of sorts, snapping up Talko. I played around with the HyperVoice based Talko when it first was released and understand the premise. For Skype think of this as an acquihire that includes some forward looking technology that they need to keep up with Cisco.

Have a view on the news today? Please let me know what you think....Andy Abramson

 
 
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Talko comes to Skype

I am pleased to announce today that Microsoft has acquired technology from Talko, maker of an innovative mobile app for on-the-go business communications. As part of the agreement, Talko employees will join the Skype team. Together, the new technology and talent will help us deliver great new features and capabilities in both Skype and Skype for Business.

 
 

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If you like Stephen Colbert's sense of humor or are a StarWars fan you have to watch his "Plot Summary" riff. It's too funny to miss.

 
 
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Stephen Explains "Star Wars" To China

When the first "Star Wars" came out in 1977, western media was suppressed in China. So to get his Chinese viewers excited about the new film, Stephen sums up what they missed.
 
 

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How APIs are Disrupting Business

Changing the world, one API Enterprise at a time. In today's installment of #BigIdeas2016, I'd like to take a quick minute to talk about how APIs are disrupting not just the tech industry, but all of business. Application programming interfaces or APIs, are one of the driving forces behind a lot of digital disruption out there.
 
 

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Zapier soothes BYOA woes, connecting APIs from enterprise apps

The story of how Zapier got its start is not dissimilar to that of many other startups. The company, which offers app integration and automation services, began when its founders started noticing a distinct trend in their previous work.

 
 

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The 10 Biggest Tech Trends for 2016

If you already feel like you are living in a sci-fi futuristic fantasy, just wait. Technology is getting exponentially faster, more immersive and intuitive. And as technology changes, so does the way we live.
 
 

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Hospitality Net - Are Virtual Reality Concierges Coming?

In the next several years, virtual reality is expected to see massive adoption. According to Digi-Capital, VR is predicted to grow into a $30 billion industry by 2020. Already, a number of large and small hospitality brands are utilizing this new technology to reach and engage guests. But what does this look like?

 
 

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Fact-Checking the Debate on Encryption

As politicians and counter-terrorism officials search for lessons from the recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, senior officials have called for limits on technology that sends encrypted messages. It's a debate that has repeatedly recurred for more than a decade.In the 1990s, the Clinton Administration directed technology companies to store copies of their encryption keys with the government.
 
 

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CES 2016: What Not to Miss for Marketing and Media Professionals

An informed look into the must-see brands, startups and events from PSFK's conference guide Virtual media environments, connected home ecosystems and emotion-controlled entertainment have shaped the media and marketing landscapes of today. The integration of such future-focused technologies into brand experience has presented ever more opportunities to reach an audience, allowing brands to design for more immersive and hyper-targeted conversations.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Wednesday December 16th 2015

 
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Google and Slack both took advantage of the news slowdown to make noise today. Yesterday Slack announced their $80 million dollar developer fund to generate more integrations with what is rapidly becoming the Enterprise and Small Business home screen for team and cross team collaboration. 

Google made ProjectFI very relevant for global data users. Today they announced the addition of tablet deployment. The key. International at flat rate as they are basically jumping on T-Mobile's global roaming partnership platform.
 

Have a view on the news today? Please let me know what you think....Andy Abramson

 
 
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Google brings Project Fi data service to iPads, Nexus and Galaxy tablets | ZDNet

Google's pay-for-what-you-use Project Fi phone service has a new trick and a new SIM card: One for adding data to tablets. New Project Fi SIM cards will soon be available for an initial five tablets although Google says that any slate equipped with a radio compatible with T-Mobile's network may work.
 
 

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The Slack Platform Launch

We live in an exciting time for work. Instead of three or four big vendors providing end-to-end software suites, we have a variety of top notch products at our fingertips ready to make us more powerful and productive in our jobs.
 
 

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Slack Launches $80 Million Fund to Boost Third-Party Development

Workplace collaboration company Slack says it has set up an investment fund intended to make early-stage investments in companies building apps that will enhance its popular application. The $80 million Slack Fund has been established in partnership with venture capital firms Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, KPCB, Spark Growth and Social Capital.
 
 

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The Ignored Generation: 25 Stats Brands Should Know About Marketing to Baby Boomers

The marketing industry is obsessed with millennials: what they want, how they think, how they buy, and ultimately, how to "engage" with them. Yet, while an important and influential consumer demographic, they have no where near the buying power of their seniors: the baby boomers.
 
 

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IBM Unveils Watson IoT Global HQ | Light Reading

MUNICH -- IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced the opening of its global headquarters for Watson Internet of Things (IoT), launching a series of new offerings, capabilities and ecosystem partners designed to extend the power of cognitive computing to the billions of connected devices, sensors and systems that comprise the IoT.
 
 

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4 Key Brands Changing the Face of Retail Trends

How national retailers like Starbucks and Target are evolving the shopper experience across channels and platforms Retail innovation is often credited to the little guys-quirky companies and specialized startups that invent technologies to disrupt an industry. However, several larger brands that have adopted a forward-thinking strategy are leveraging new technologies to enhance the shopper experience and establish a new paradigm in customer service.
 
 

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Pinterest To Open Promoted Pins For All US Businesses

The Pinterest waitlist waiting will soon be over. The company said today that starting in January all US advertisers will be able to buy Promoted Pins. The company officially launched Promoted Pins, its first advertising product, last January but limited access to partner advertisers.
 
 

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Thanks To Google, Your Phone Now Doubles As A Lightsaber

Every single time I see something else pushing "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" I roll my eyes. And then I try something else where I think "OK, that was pretty smart." Disney has teamed up with every brand known to man to promote the film, which premiered last night in Los Angeles.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Tuesday December 15th 2015

 
 
 
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It's only mid-December and the news is slowing down.....really slowing down. As the year ends we're seeing more "recaps" and "best of's" earlier and earlier. Given a long Thanksgiving week replete with CyberMonday, the last six weeks of the year are turning into a news graveyard of business deals and politics. And what's worse is the media is letting it happen. Instead of "looking" for stories, the media is basically letting itself be "fed' the news vs. finding the news.

That's why today's "Communique" is mostly tips and insight on topics that may interest you with a few pieces of news scattered through. 


Please let me know what you think....Andy Abramson

 
 
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Is Tech Innovation Transforming the Agency Industry for the Better?

For the past decade, the digital advertising industry has been singularly focused on one thing: building technology to make digital media smarter and more efficient. This activity has been touted as innovation, but what have we actually achieved as an industry? Not much, considering we devote a mere 20% of our time to tasks that improve performance.
 
 

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The Death of Bank Products has been greatly under-exaggerated

Since 2005 I've been predicting the decline of branch banking. For almost 10 years I fought bankers who decried my assessment that branches would cease to be the most important channel in banking, to be replaced by far more efficient mechanisms for revenue generation and relationship.
 
 

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How the Product Hunt community drove 1 million clicks in 10 days for AppAction.io

TL;DR Focus on conversations and you'll reap the rewards of launching on Product Hunt. Launch Day #1 On December 2nd, we launched AppAction.io on Product Hunt. It was a pretty average Wednesday and we were buried in the upcoming section of the site.
 
 

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A Beginner's Guide To Social Media Marketing From The 10,000 Small Businesses Program

In July, I had the privilege of serving as a social media panelist for the New Orleans cohort of Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Along with two other online marketing professionals from the area, I was to host an interactive session with the business owners and entrepreneurs about leveraging social media for their businesses.
 
 

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This Brick-and-Mortar Store Wants To Sell You the Internet of Things | CRM Daily

In a store under construction off the University Avenue shopping strip in Palo Alto in Silicon Valley, workmen tinker and tarps cover the walls. The new retail shop is unlike those around it and will offer unique items: It will sell the Internet of Things. To the layman, this may sound like tech garble.
 
 

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Salesforce Has Acquired An AI Startup Called MinHash To Build Out Its Marketing Analytics

Salesforce has made another acquisition to build out its big-data analytics for marketers. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed with Salesforce that it has acquired MinHash, a young startup based in Palo Alto co-founded by two data science engineers formerly with eBay and Avaya.
 
 

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Stephen Wolfram Aims to Democratize His Software

For nearly three decades, Stephen Wolfram has built software technology that has attracted an avid following among mathematicians and scientists. His Mathematica program for symbolic mathematical computation and its programming language, Wolfram Language, are favorites of the intelligentsia of the quant world in universities and corporations.
 
 

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Google updates Trip Bundles for road warriors using Inbox | ZDNet

Google may have given me another reason to use its Inbox app instead of Gmail: The company has improved its Trip Bundles functionality. Trip Bundles for Inbox rolled out in June, but I stuck with my tried and true travel planner: TripIt.
 
 

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The Best Wireless Carriers

After 90 hours of crunching numbers, poring over the fine print buried in plans, and making sense of complex pricing schemes, we found Verizon Wireless is the best wireless carrier for domestic use. It's the fastest, most reliable network in most parts of the United States, and while other networks may offer some compelling deals, Verizon remains the clear leader in most regions.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Friday December 11 2015

 

 
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The Comunicano Communique

 
 

The Comunicano Daily is no more. We've changed the name to the Communique.

The name has been changed for a few reasons. First, doing this everyday, especially when I've been globally nomadic the past seven months has been challenging. But also I wanted to mix up the content and bring to you more timely and insightful articles vs. only the news of the day. Lastly, the name is more in line with the business we're in. Communication and the delivery of it.

So as with any "experiment" the content mix will always change, but the premise will never as each time the Communique comes out, there's likely something every day you'll want to read. 


Please let me know what you think....Andy Abramson

 
 

More and more I find really well written and articulate content in MEDIUM. It's really a thinking persons' content trove. Today, this 13 minute read on The Mobile Growth Stackreally got me thinking about the changing landscape of communications. 

 
 
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2015: The Mobile Growth Stack Revised

(Disclaimer: I lead a growth team at SoundCloud. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of my employer) It's been just over a year since I published my original Mobile Growth Stack post on Medium.
 
 

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When VCs, especially respected ones start to talk about the availability of of capital it is more of a rallying cry to startup more, to invest more and to do more.

 
 
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Capital Is No Longer Scarce

Capital is no longer scarce. This is an assertion I made a while back in my post " Land, Capital, Attention: This Time it Is the Same. " Today I want to elaborate on that a bit. Estimates put global investible capital at north of $100 trillion.
 
 

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FanDuel and DraftKings are in trouble. This in my view is only the tip of the iceberg. What was once really fantasy sports is now fantasy gambling, and sports betting has never been really allowed in the USA on wide scale basis, as it has always been a staple of the underground economy. 

 
 
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Judge orders FanDuel and DraftKings to halt all business in New York

Online fantasy sports betting sites FanDuel and DraftKings will need to temporarily shut down operations in New York, as a judge today granted an injunction against both companies. State Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez sided with New York's attorney general, finding that the underlying model that's helped put these businesses atop a multibillion-dollar industry likely amounts to illegal sports wagering and gambling under state law.
 
 

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As a stats junkie from way back I always enjoy a good read on metrics and how they are applied. This article cites some pretty good resources and provides a nice primer to marketers.

 
 
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50+ Statistics Designed to Influence B2B Marketing Budgets in the New Year

It is that time in the year again. As we wind down 2015, marketing budgets and planning for the new year begin to take focus. Hopefully, the performance metrics associated with your organization's marketing programs have yielded success and validation for tactics proposed at the beginning of the year.
 
 

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FaceBook is taking aim at LinkedIn. Make no mistake about it. With Apple also going after the Enterprise, my view is the mobile enterprise will be where the money can be made, so this means have your social selling strategy aligned with your product and marketing efforts from the start with Facebook.

 
 
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Facebook at Work chief shares details on its new social enterprise tools

Facebook plans to release its Facebook at Work social network for business in the 'coming months.' The project's leader spoke with CIO.com about the motivation behind Facebook at Work, how the consumer-focused company prepares to take on business customers and how the tools enable new levels of productivity.
 
 

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IoT can't be ignored. It needs to be part of any company's strategy.

 
 
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IoT trends in the mobile carrier market

Wireless analyst Chetan Sharma rolled out his numbers on the US mobile market a couple weeks ago, with some indicators of where future growth might come for the carriers. Spoiler alert: It's not in the smart phone market. Sharma writes: Smartphone penetration increased to 81% and roughly 97% of the devices sold now are smartphones....
 
 

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We often hear about SalesForce but overlook their biggest rival, NetSuite. The company is making moves to simplify while they expand their offerings.

 
 
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NetSuite's OneWorld goes Centurion 

It may sound like it is a small step for a business, but NetSuite's announcement that it can now service the business management needs of global enterprises in over 100 countries with the latest set of upgrades to its OneWorld service is quite a significant step.

 
 

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The Intranet used to be a big deal in most large corporations. Today, the mobile app is the key to keeping everyone--CONNECTED and informed.

 
 
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Bye-bye Intranet, Hello Mobile App

Many corporate intranets are not well equipped for mobile usage. Application development platforms like APPrise Mobile offer an alternative. The corporate intranet tries to be a lot of things to a lot of people: a repository for workplace documents, a channel for social collaboration, an employee help desk and a content distribution tool.

 
 

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The calendar has been the same for many years, even with all types of apps to make it "better." But Future looks at the calendar in a new way...and it may be a better way.

 
 
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Future - Calendar events around the clock

Future for iPhone and Apple Watch puts calendar events around the clock. The 24-hour spiral timeline gives an all-day overview at a glance.
 
 

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Catch me today at 245 PM Pacific Standard Time on Business RockStars with Ken Rutkowski. I'll also be on again Monday at 1:45 PM. Each day I'll bring you and the nationwide audience in 185 markets and in 31 million cable TV households the newest in apps, services and cool technology.

 
 

Microsoft Wants To Be Your Voice Company

When Microsoft acquired Skype, Skype was an awesome product and a very viable challenger to the traditional telcos. Many pundits would say it's not as good today as it was before and they are likely right, and that's due largely to integration into the rest of the Microsoft platform. But the real story about the Skype purchase continues to be playing out month after month, as Microsoft reveals what many of us have suspected for some time. They want to be your phone company. And they are doing this by working with the telcos, not against them as the Register UK points out.

After the purchase was announced former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met with CEO's of telcos to assure them that Microsoft wasn't their competitor, and that instead they were a valued partner, beginning to engage more with the telcos to be a vibrant sales channel for them for services like Office 365, Xbox as well as the new line of smartphones that eventually came about with the now failed Nokia acquisition. It was in in those meeting that Ballmer laid out the plan of how Microsoft would be using Skype to make them more money by providing them an enterprise offering that would allow the telcos to not see defections to the likes of 8x8, Switch, Mitel and others. Because Skype's growth was occurring on the mobile platforms, Ballmer started with the wireless side of the house at the operators and with the latest move, Microsoft is moving more deeply into the enterprise market by appealing to their broadband side. In essence Microsoft is doing what it always has done. Sell through channel. License its software and be the technology supplier. In this case, its going after the lucrative voice market. The carriers dumb pipes carry the data, which in this case is the voice packets the same way they carry Outlook content, Word or Excel or PowerPoint files.

Basically, Skype already proved that as an Over The Top provider of decoupled telephony services that it could use the telcos pipes to deliver reliable and feature rich telephony services without the carrier selling those, as long as the customer had broadband access. So this is really a full circle play, but with one change. The efforts are now with the operators support and blessing vs. where Skype was the enemy. With the news about Skype For Business and their newer Skype Meeting Broadcast, Microsoft is readily taking on the established players and saying again to the telcos, be our pipe, be our distribution partner, sell our services, carry our packets, but get out of the business of carrying voice...because with the Skype core, MSFT can do it better, cheaper and innovate faster, as video calling, something the telcos have tried to do since 1964, points out.

With the recent news, all the so called "partners" of Microsoft who are telcos, VoIP providers or conference providers may have to start to worry. If  Microsoft was your so called friendly partner, are they now your frienemy or even enemy? But as carriers like AT&T, BT, Verizon and others want to be less reliant on voice revenues, sell more data and networking solutions in the Information Services sector, is this really bad for them? I think not. It's good for them, as long as the pipes are level for everyone.

P.S. And if you wondered why Citrix is looking to dump GoToMeeting, all you have to look no farther than this news.

 

 


AT&T and T-Mobile's Wi-Fi Calling Blocked By AT&T's Wi-Fi Division

I travel so much and as a result naturally have to address the many issues that can get in the way of  "staying connected" while on the road. The biggest one has always been reliable cell coverage in hotel rooms, especially when I'm in a high-rise hotel that hasn't installed a neutral or carrier specific DAS system. The DAS allows for the cellular coverage to be extended, which is why at airports Boingo's other business, that of operating DAS systems is so important to travelers of all types.

The second is reliable broadband. One that not only downloads fast, but uploads fast as well and is free of any port blocking, deep packet inspection or firewalls that disrupt real time communications. 

Recently though, I ran into the most hilarious and serious condition of all. I was staying in an AT&T Wi-Fi powered hotel (formerly called SuperClick) the hip Hotel Indigo in San Diego when I realized that not only was my cell coverage on both AT&T and T-Mobile powered iPhones poor, but that while they were both connected to the Wi-Fi network, neither of them had Wi-Fi calling working. 

My call to AT&T Wi-Fi support, yielded no support as they put the burden on AT&T Wireless. AT&T Wireless support were clueless as to why it wouldn't be working (ironically the same phones on another AT&T Wi-Fi/SuperClick property in Miami worked perfectly for both operators on the 32nd floor of the Intercontinental.) They promised to look into the matter but two weeks later, no one has called. What's worse is I sent a LinkedIn message to the former CEO of SuperClick who now works for AT&T --no reply, as I wanted comments before I penned this. On the other hand, a friend at T-Mobile was very interested in hearing that an AT&T Wi-Fi powered hotel was blocking their traffic, comparing it to the situation at the Opryland Hotel and Conference Center were Marriott was blocking third party Mi-Fi's from working. And we all know what kind of fine that levied.

Oh, and as for being connected. My Verizon LTE coverage was good, not great, but at least I could place and receive phone calls.  That's why I call the game "Cell Phone Roulette" When you're in a hotel. You never know which mobile operator will work or not.


Speeds, Modems and Wi-Fi

Recently I moved into a flat in Los Angeles where I be, well, for a while. The network is supplied by Time Warner Cable, a company that has reportedly some of the worst customer service in the industry. Hopefully their acquisition by Charter will change that. 

Here are three examples. The landlord upgraded to the 300 meg service, something that not everyone usually signs up for. Time Warner had been under delivering to the landlord, so a quick call with him before I moved in revealed that the cable modem was one of the older types that wasn't capable of speeds faster than 50 megs. Score one for TimeWarner Cable. Charge for service that can't be received.

Yesterday, with the "new" Time Warner supplied Arris Cable Modem I was trying to make VoIP calls using Switch and OnSip and found myself challenged. Some calls on some iOS devices with Bria and OnSip would work. Others wouldn't until I played with ICE, STUN and Turn settings. Switch and Bria would only work on the Mac with a VPN.  The testing revealed something was blocking the network, and thanks TR Missner, a long time friend and the Chief Network Architect at Switch I was able to quickly ask Time Warner Support to turn off the firewall, give me access to the back end of the Cable Modem and voila, no more blocking of SIP signaling and media with the Firewall turned off.

Today, I solved the third problem. Speed. Using the Arris Wi-Fi the best speeds I could get over Wi-Fi using 802.11n was 100 megs. I added my own Apple Time Capsule (latest model) which offers 802.11 ac and here's my speeds now.

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The funny thing is the rule of thumb that TWC is telling customers is that if they want to get their full speeds they need to be hard wired. The reality is they are providing equipment that doesn't have the capability to deliver the Wi-Fi speeds, yet my Apple Time Capsule does the job. 

Here's the rationale. Just as when I was younger I never bought an all in one stereo system, preferring components instead, the same applies to Internet connectivity. By using the cable modem as just that, and as a router, but my own Wi-Fi gear I'm taking advantage of the gigabit capabilities of the router, Time Warners super fast network to the premise and getting what's being paid for, all without the overhang of the carrier imposed restrictions.

It feels good to be home, as this was the same setup I had in San Diego...

L.A. Now it feels like home.


Selecting Sansay Seems Synonymously Successful

My fellow San Diego pal in VoIP Andy Voss, founder and CEO of what was really the first Linux based Session Border Controller (SBC) company, seems to be on a roll that seems to equate with customer success. The role, is being the SBC to companies which seem to get bought, something I'm somewhat familiar with also as pal Alec Saunders once pointed out five years ago (the number is now 39.)

Let's look at some recent history where a Sansay powered company has been acquired:

 

  • Sansay customer M5 acquired by Shoretel, now branded as Shoretel Sky.
  • Sansay customer Simple Signal acquired by Vonage
  • Now this today. Sansay customer iCore acquired by Vonage for $92 million.

 

Voss quipped in an email to me, "I am concerned that rumors may start to circulate among service providers that selecting Sansay is closely correlated with success ;) "

Perhaps the most successful one out of this may be Voss and his Sansay team. Perhaps Oracle moving in the direction of Boston based Acme Packet was more the work of smart banker than the smarter technology because while Vonage bought Telesphere which uses Acme Packet, they have also bought more companies that don't, including Vocalocity. Add in the smarties at Shoretel who bought the gem of the group in M5 and it's no surprise the common thread in the bigger deals is Sansay.