One of the more respected analyst firms, Gartner, invited client iotum to their recent Gartner Symposium. At the event, Gartner Group ran their first ever Cool Vendor Shorts program and included iotum, led by Alec Saunders. He has a recap.
Now, here's the cool part.
They were chosen. Selected. Invited.
They didn't pay to be there.
What does this translate into for iotum? Exposure.
What's the difference between the "pay to play" events where your company has to fork over an "entry fee" to be up on stage?
At this conference, a neutral party, the Gartner Group, foots the bill, charging their clients with the cost of putting on the event. In doing so, this eliminates the spectre of the only reason why a company is there is because they can buy their way in. It also means that as researchers Gartner Group has done their homework first, considered many, and chose only a few who in their view are very deserving. It is really separating the wheat from the chaff, in my view, not because its a client, iotum, that got the props, but because in eliminating the pay to play aspect of the conference you really are seeing the opinion of Gartner brought to life. That's what firms like theirs get paid for. Insight and an advance view of what's going to be hot, not just whose got the money to say they're hot.
For VCs looking at companies to fund, or who have already funded companies, that went the pay to play route, taking a look at these may end up really being worth your while.
Personally I have it running on the new Nokia Nseries N95 that are now part of the Nokia Blogger Relations Program and also my brand spanking new Nokia E61i. For Crackberry addicts, it really shines too. Just bookmark your GrandCentral Mobile page and call away.
As long as you have a mobile data plan, GCM (GrandCentral Mobile) give you a lot of control over your voice mail. The coolest factor is the first thing you see are your NEW messages. You can also go into your never ending inbox, change your call destinations and most importantly place yourself into Do Not Disturb Mode or add a quick temporary call destination.
While GCM is still beta, my experience over the past few days has been one of catching one bug, that was fixed in seconds, and then enjoying setting up calls and triggering them easily, and making them at no cost.
So who does this impact? Well if you're traveling this makes it easy to return calls quickly, and to display your GC number. Eventually, GCM will be international, so it means you can bridge calls and take advantage of cheaper calling since calls received in many countries are free, and the GC legs of the call will be at bulk rate prices. Lastly if you're a Jajah or Rebtel user this pretty much gives you a reason to switch because the key attractor of making a call for less money is there, but now you have a higher degree of functionality as it's tied to your voice mail, so there's no longer the need to listen in one service and then return the call in another. And for me, that always was a hang-up!
The number of "Voice over IP" services customers totalled 2.624 million at 31 March 2007, compared with 1.207 million a year ago. The growth was particularly strong in the first quarter of 2007 with 543,000 new customers, compared to a quarterly average of 313,000 in 2006. The number of "Voice over IP" customers was 41% of the number of ADSL lines at 31 March 2007, from 25% at 31 March 2006 (35% at 31 December 2006).
That trend of people going IP in Europe is nothing to be overlooked. Pan National carriers, an improved competitive climate and a roll it out everywhere approach is very much evident. There are other interesting numbers in the earnings statement that show people adopting high speed data cards and mobile data plans.
In my view these are indicators that there is going to be increased demand for IP communications, but its just a matter of time.
For those of you in the mobile industry at any kind of senior level, you will know the name of my good friend and local San Diego telecom marketing guru, Jeff Belk.
For many years Jeff has been a fixture at Qualcomm, and while he's still there, he's actually on the move with his family for the next four to six months taking a sojourn around the globe seeing friends in the industry and also taking time to "smell the roses" as he visit some great sites.
Recently at dinner and then again at CTIA Jeff and I had a chance to talk about how he would chronicle all this, and I gave him some advice about TypePad, VOX and using mobile blogging tools like LifeBlog.
While I'm not sure if he's using Lifeblog, he's obviously taken my advice and is now blogging, providing friends and family with all kinds of updates in a very easy way.
Hats off to Rich Tehrani and the team at TMC for landing a big fish to talk to the developers at next months conference in Santa Clara.
They got the big Kahuna Paul Amery from Skype who is honchoing the Skype Developer's Program. With only a month to go before the big eBay shindig in Boston, where Skype will have a presence, this is a good way for those who just what Skype's plans are in the future.
I had a sense of DejaVU and did some sleuthing with the help of a friend after receiving a note from RebTel which directed me to a post on their blog about the Nokia N95 modifications being made by Vodafone and Orange that was previously reported here on VoIPWatch a few weeks back.