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Published: 2017-01-19T18:22:54-05:00


How ITEXPO Has Transformed into THE Communications Event

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:22:54 -05002017-01-19T18:22:54-05:00

Recently, we have had a great deal of feedback from attendees commenting that ITEXPO in Florida (Yes, Florida, in February – and airfares are literally dirt cheap) has evolved to become THE communications event – for the Americas and beyond. We are humbled by the comments but the credit goes to my team who tirelessly looks to improve each event with fresh new content. An analyst told me once that the show is so full of information that you run around like a chicken with your head cut off, except he said it Yiddish which made it sound more exotic. I wasn’t sure at the time if it was a compliment but in a way it is the testament that the show has so much important information that you really need a team to cover it all. Over three days – February 8-10 – you can attend workshops, sessions, keynotes, networking events and parties with the entire communications ecosystem. Most events take place at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. You really will learn all you need to about tech and telecom – all the trends, what is hot, what you need to sell and buy in 2017, etc. We expect between 8000+ people in attendance for the events. Here are some of the highlights. The 3-day ITEXPO experience is a carefully-crafted mix of education, networking, product research, and a little fun. You can attend laser-targeted courses - some free with an Expo Plus pass - that prepare you to ask the right questions of vendors on the show floor. Check out this list of workshops, seminars and presentations. These are in addition to the main ITEXPO Conference Program Content Marketing & Automation Telecom Reseller Week MSP Expo Conference Sessions ChannelVision Expo Sessions on Expo Floor Wireless Repair Roundup (Fee required) IDEA Showcase Startup Event Asterisk from Scratch Asterisk World (Fee required) The Blockchain Event (Fee required) All About the API (Fee required) Keynote presentations free with Expo Plus Pass To view the full ITEXPO agenda click here. Speakers are updated daily. In addition to the great topics, we have some of the greatest speakers around… Jonathan Adelstein heads up the PCIA and was a former FCC Chairman; IBM’s GM, Strategy & Development, Jamie Thomas; Sumit Dhawan is Senior VP and GM of VMWare; and Peter Bailey, President & CEO of Vertical Communications. VoIP pioneer Jeff Pulver joined us before at ITEXPO and we welcome him back again as a major speaker at the IDEA Showcase Startup pitch event. To be honest, I should list all the speakers because we not only have a great intersection of tech and telecom companies but we also have people who know their topics cold and are generally compelling. BTW – if you every find a speaker you don’t like – I invite you to contact me and let me know. But I digress – here is the complete speaker list. You won’t want to miss the IDEA Showcase where the startups are judged, the networking party or the $15,000 cash giveaway at the end of the show – must be present to win (see below for details). Drawing #1 - Thursday, February 9th, 5:00pm at IDEA SHOWCASE startup pitch event. Attend IDEA SHOWCASE, Floridian Ballroom, 3rd Floor. Giveaway winners announced just before IDEA SHOWCASE voting. Each winner selects from the available prize packages. Drawing #2 - Friday, February 10th, 1:45pm in expo hall. Includes $15,000 Grand Prize Giveaway! If this wasn’t enough, there is a complete IoT event happening at the same convention center – on virtually the same dates. It’s called IoT Evolution Expo and it too is loaded with content. For example, it’s the only IoT Event where you can do all of the following under one roof: Get IoT Certified Discuss IoT Standards with the body setting them – the Industrial Internet Consortium. Partake in the IoT Cybersecurity Track: Connected, Smart & Secure Witness the Business Impact Awards, given for real life IoT implementations – chosen by industry experts Industrial IoT Conference – Yes, the next Industrial Revolu[...]

The Deskphone Market... it's Alive; it's Alive!

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:59:38 -05002017-01-19T14:59:38-05:00

The deskphone market has been left for dead by many but there is still room in the space for the device to evolve and become become a more integral part of your UC strategy. The ideas is simple... What if your deskphone became a colleague of your mobile, allowing you to have the advantages of the deskphone and mobile while leveraging the best of each from the other.It may sound complicated but in reality, the idea is to allow calls to flow in either direction while allowing you to remote into your deskphone from anywhere. Allworx came by TMC HQ and showed their new phones off to us last week and we remain impressed. My colleague Erik Linask has more. Here is an excerpt: But, it doesn’t come with a typical executive phone price tag.  At a modest $369 MSRP for the 9312 and $299 for the 9308 (the key differences being fewer programmable keys and BT capability), the Verge line should fall well within an SMB budget.  Some may desire a touchscreen, which these don’t offer, but that’s such a minor tradeoff for keeping production costs down.  The magic is really in the mobility – and the Reach application on smartphones and tablets effectively turns the interface into a touchscreen. Tags: allworx, cloud, hosted voip, mobile, ub, ucaas, voip Related tags: deskphone market, deskphone Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries How ITEXPO Has Transformed into THE Communications Event - Jan 19, 2017 Conjecture: Covad to Acquire Small PBX Player - Jul 30, 2008 Congrats to TMC Customer - Jan 19, 2017 ShoreTel Connect Brings its Signature Simplicity to Hybrid Cloud Communications - Mar 24, 2016 Dialpad is Reborn from - Mar 07, 2016 DMI's Shows End-to-End Mobility Solutions at MWC16 - Mar 03, 2016 Fring Alliance Aims to Become Carrier VoIP Cooperative - Apr 03, 2015 What's the Future of SIP Trunking, IoT, Cloud and WebRTC? - Jul 02, 2014 Zennstrom Onto Next Big Thing: Wrapp - Jan 03, 2012 The Real Story on Grasshopper Phone Service - Jun 30, 2011 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: The Deskphone Market... it's Alive; it's Alive! Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Congrats to TMC Customer

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:37:41 -05002017-01-19T14:37:41-05:00

Hats off to for big customer wins in 2016. The cloud communications company landed new partners and clients like StructuredWeb, Liftmaster and The City of Newark.  In addition to an expanding clientele, the product suite augmented with a new and improved API to aid in iOS and Android apps, as well as Web collaboration, video conferencing, call presence and the phone system in general.Building on the momentum of 2016, this February, will be well represented at the The Communications and Business Transformation event of the year, ITEXPO. VoIP pioneer Alon Cohen will be participating in the panel discussion, “Bringing Telecom Innovations to Market Faster with APIs,” and Joel Maloff Senior Vice President at and industry veteran, is moderating several others.In addition, has been sponsoring the Virtual Office online community for many years (thanks!), allowing TMC to cover the news and happenings in the space and bring the UC, UCaaS and Hosted VoIP communities together online. Tags: cloud uc, hosted voip,, uc, voip Related tags: phone Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries AT&T Webinar Focuses on Hosted Market - May 20, 2008 How ITEXPO Has Transformed into THE Communications Event - Jan 19, 2017 The Deskphone Market... it's Alive; it's Alive! - Jan 19, 2017 T-Mobile Leapfrogs U.S. Carriers Again with Digits - Jan 06, 2017 Riverbed SteelCentral UCExpert Maximizes UC Quality on Avaya, Microsoft and Cisco - Apr 14, 2016 Dialpad is Reborn from - Mar 07, 2016 Zultys Upgrades its Communications Software - Dec 02, 2015 Mitel Analyst Event 2015 Live Blog #MitelNext - Nov 12, 2015 GENBAND Perspectives 15 Live Blog #GBP15 - May 18, 2015 Extreme Networks Puts the SDN in Skype for Business - May 13, 2015 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Congrats to TMC Customer Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Most Successful Woman in Tech Earns $41 Million!

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:45:19 -05002017-01-16T13:45:19-05:00

There has been tremendous emphasis on increasing diversity in the tech world... African American representation has been quite low, so has Hispanic and female participation. The reward however, if you make it to the very top can be quite good.A recent CNNMoney report highlights a handful of top female earners in tech and various other industries and the results are fascinating. It's really great news. Oracle CEO Safra Catz occupies the No. 1 position. According to CNNMoney, she collects total pay of $41 million. That includes $971,000 in cash compensation and about $40 million in stock and options, according to the report. Marissa Mayer, the top executive at troubled Yahoo!, comes in second on the CNNMoney list. Her total pay comes in around $36 million, according to CNNMoney. That includes $1.5 million in cash compensation and $34.4 million in stocks and options. Ruth Porat is third on the list. The Alphabet CFO collects $31 million annually. About $6 million of that is in the form of cash compensation. The rest is from stocks and options. The woman in tech on the list who ranked last - 19th out of 20 was Bridget van Kralingen, Senior VP of IBM Global Business Services who earns about $15 million in stock and direct compensation.There is another way to look at successful women in tech... Forbes rates women by power.According to the article: For the fifth consecutive year, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has been named the most powerful woman in technology on the Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women list, placing at No. 7 on the list overall. With a personal fortune of $1.4 billion, Sandberg is powerful not only as a billionaire and top executive at the world's fifth most valuable brand, but also as a voice for female empowerment in the workplace and shared responsibilities at home. After Sandberg, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki (No. 8 overall) took the No. 2 spot in tech followed in quick succession by HP CEO Meg Whitman (No. 9), IBM CEO Virginia “Ginni” Rometty (No. 11), Apple Senior VP Angela Ahrendts (No. 15),  Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz (No. 20), Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat (No. 27) and Ursula Burns (No. 34), the CEO of Xerox since 2009. Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer (No. 55), down the list 33 spots, is currently overseeing a sale of the embattled tech pioneer's core business amid falling traffic and ad revenue.The tech category extends beyond the U.S. borders. China's Lucy Peng No. 35) is a cofounder of Alibaba and CEO of affiliate Ant Financial Services Group. She is followed by Hong Kong billionaire-chair of Lens Technology Zhou Qunfei (No.61), Solina Chau (No. 81), cofounder of Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures and Jenny Lee (No. 100), managing partner of Singapore's GGV Capital. To learn more about tech trends related to the workplace, and to share your own story and potentially win an award for your pioneering work related to tech culture, check out the TMC Tech Culture Awards. We will be reviewing candidates for the Tech Culture Award, the Tech Diversity Award, and the Social Responsibility Award. For more information visit: Tags: diversity, employment, hiring, tech, technology Related tags: earns million, stocks options, compensation million, marissa mayer, million stock, million Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries How TaskRabbit's CEO Can Help Diversify Tech - Dec 19, 2016 New Award Helps Attract Tech Workers in a Competitive Market - Feb 01, 2016 Nokia, RIM, Skype, Cisco and ITEXPO News August 30, 2010 - Aug 30, 2010 Tech Culture Awards Status - Jun 27, 2016 EEOC Finds Silicon Valley filled with Racist, Sexist Criminals - May 27, 2016 Tech to Eliminate Fast Food Minimum Wage Workers - May 21, 2015 ITEXPO West 2010 Show Guide Available - Oct 01, 2010 Cisco Quad Points to Communications Future - Sep 13, 2010 Google Gmail VoIP, Cloud Computing and Other News August, 25 2010 - Aug 25, 2010 [...]

8x8 CEO Discusses Communications 2.0 and Going For the Win

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 20:36:04 -05002017-01-15T20:36:04-05:00

 Communications is often sold as a commodity. What once cost dollars a minute is often free today but everyone knows that if you can find a way to take a commodity product and alter it – even slightly, you can charge more and become very profitable. Starbucks is a great example and so are the numerous frozen yogurt chains around the country able to charge more per customer than analysts ever thought was possible.   In a recent conversation with 8x8 CEO Vik Verma, he explained his vision for the hosted voice company and the market as a whole. He said, “We are just scratching the surface on communications 2.0.” He continued, “Integrating with CRM and other back office systems is a key part of what we are doing.” He concluded, “We are bringing telephony and back office data together so you have context for the call.”  8x8 modified their business model from supplying equipment to VoIP providers to becoming one, around the time the communications bubble burst after 2001 and there were few carriers to go after. Smart move on the company’s part... They have since made numerous strategic acquisitions, many in the contact center and analytics spaces and have integrated it all into their hosted UC solution.  The 2.0 moniker is not new... We have written about VoIP 2.0 and Communications 2.0 before. Generally, the focus was on what's next after basic communications – the applications and services. Vik has a similar definition and it is compelling enough for us to share. He thinks we are in the cloud wars, part 2. He explained that companies want to get to all workers and everyone has a phone.  Surely, your next thought is more people at companies are abandoning deskphones for mobile phones – typically, their personal ones. Before we could even ask about it, he mentioned, to prevent leakage, companies provide a softphone on the mobile device as well as potentially a desk phone... He said, it is indistinguishable from the native app – referring to his company's soft client. Continuing, he said, it has access to the corporate directory, can message anyone, has document sharing, video and is tightly integrated with CRM.  What's leakage you ask? No, it has nothing to do with the political talk of the day, its when your employees leave you and take the customer relationship with them because customers call your worker's mobile number and not your corporate line.  This is where he started to talk more about analytics – being able to know that a specific sandwich shop is called often by your workers and subsequently offering them a kiosk in your company lobby. In another example, a hotel chain could be notified if a fire alarm is pulled in any of its locations.  The point is, you can predict human interactions within your company and moreover, take action as needed... You can get information on hold time, see the most common words being mentioned on calls and see call volume between departments spiking or fading.   He said this is what companies are trying to put into their predictive analytics. He continued, "Communications data with raw context is coming together. He added emphatically, " Whoever controls this platform for communications, wins." Finally, he said, "In order to control it, you need a tightly integrated solution."   I asked for more examples of exactly how this technology has helped customers and he told me a call center was having customer satisfaction issues and they were able to see two centers in different regions t[...]

Raven Guru The "Just Right" Marketing Agency

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 07:55:46 -05002017-01-13T07:55:46-05:00

Not too big, not too small. All the experience, none of the fat.David Byrd is one of the more experienced marketers in the tech space... He's worked at a large telco, a startup SIP trunking company, an RLEC, an MSP and more. He knows his stuff and is now out on his own with a unique offering for the tech and telecom space. Of course we had to interview him. We're looking forward to learning even more at ITEXPO where he will be speaking Feb. 8-10, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Fl.We hope to see you there as well. How did you come up with this idea? Raven Guru marketing is the result of years of watching how marketing agencies are set up and function. The big ones are expensive and slow. The small ones are faster but usually don't have the resources to support an integrated marketing campaign. The business community needs a marketing company that offers the skills and breadth of expertise of the large agencies while maintaining the personalization, speed and lower cost of a boutique agency. Raven Guru is that marketing company. I have brought together the best marketing talent that I have worked with and can call upon them as needed depending upon the project. Raven Guru Marketing includes some of the best and most experience skilled people in graphic design, branding, digital marketing, inbound marketing, public relations, website design and website development. And, of course, given my years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies, mid-markets and startups a prominent Fractional Chief Marketing Officer. Only Raven Guru Marketing can provide the expertise of a full-service agency while providing a boutique agency experience. Why does the industry need this new service? How can your organization help with the broad marketing needs of a company? The industry doesn’t need just another marketing agency. It needs an agency that can provide services that meet short-term requirements and, also, plan and execute long-term marketing campaigns to meet business and sales objectives.  A client can engage the Raven Guru Marketing Fractional CMO service for as little as a day to review strategic business plans or coach executive teams and managers on new marketing methods and technologies.  Or the engagement can be for a longer period to support a CMO vacancy or startup that requires product, marketing or sales strategy, organization plans or budget development but isn’t ready to make a commitment to a permanent position. Our other services, Marketing Communications and Branding, Digital Marketing and Inbound Marketing address the many changes that these disciplines are experiencing. Integrating Marketing Communications and Branding is required to rise above the clutter of messages filling traditional and digital media. Management and execution across all the various digital marketing elements of Search Engine Marketing, Social Media and Networking, and digital advertising develops greater market interest and understanding of the company and potential for new business. Acquiring qualified leads and new business is critical to the success of every business. With well-designed inbound marketing campaigns a business can use the Internet to find and interest of buyers who are searching for their products and lead them through the buying process to ultimately select them as the vendor. Inbound Marketing is supported by various sophisticated automation platforms and have become critical to successfully finding and closing business. We can help business to better understand the marketing automation platforms and develop the resources required to fully exploit the capabilities of Inbound Marketing. Raven Guru Marketing can build lead nurturing campaigns and content to grow and accelerate closing new business. Raven Guru Marketing provides access to these different areas of expertise at one agency with a boutique agency experience and price. What do telecom companies need to do to dif[...]

ERICA Wants to be Your Contact Center Agent, All of Them

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:11:59 -05002017-01-12T19:11:59-05:00

Automation is indeed sweeping industry after industry - Amazon just ordered 45,000 new robots, the U.S. Military is sending drone swarms from airplanes and AI is helping all companies become more productive and efficient. Recently we wrote about ERICA from Mobilize - an automated contact center solution which minimizes the need for live agents.We received numerous questions about ERICA so we reached out to Loris Johnson Vice President, Strategy and Business Development at Mobilize to learn more. Here is our interview: How did you come up with the idea of ERICA? Mobilize has been a major player in the infomercial industry for 20 years. We started supporting advertisers with contact center services, warehousing, and fulfillment centers. After a few years’ we began to think there must be a better way to take orders and process customer service calls without the massive staffing we had to maintain. We set out to look at IVR technology and what needed to be done to make it a viable tool for inbound order taking and sales calls. Developing ERICA became a 17-year evolution of learning what works best and repeating it a lot. Recently we looked at other market areas where we could take ERICA’s industrially proven technology. We know most call centers do work to some degree or another that ERICA can do more efficiently, like eliminating call abandons and excessive hold times. These problems are generally due to call spikes, and staffing capacities. It is purely a matter of economics.  We also know the primary reason these call centers don’t use ERICA-like technology is because of the enormous cost and development time required to get it into production. All we had to repackage our existing high volume IVR into a pricing model that virtually any contact center can afford. We think if we can help contact centers eliminate a lot of customer frustration, improve customer retention, and also add on new business, we might have something the industry can embrace. How did you develop it? We developed ERICA the way most technologies are done. We recognized a business problem and solved it. We saw the need for a more effective and cost efficient way to do business over the phone and developed the necessary technology. Having been involved with high volume call centers in the infomercial industry for 20 years, we recognized the difficulty in staffing, training, and having the right technologies to take orders over the phone with the highest levels of efficiency and accuracy. A primary requisite in the infomercial industry is a short project turnaround cycle.  Until now this short cycle could only be accomplished by a live agent in a call center. The main advantage to a live agent contact center in comparison to an IVR, is the shorter training cycle vs. the time and cost required to develop an IVR application. We started with a basic IVR platform and added speech recognition with other proprietary technology to create an intuitive process that anticipates the answer to questions and simplifies the verbal communication process. We needed to develop a system that would allow for extremely short development cycles and offer a high level of flexibility. In the end, we developed an object based development tool we call Agent Maker that enables us to completely develop integrate and tune IVR functionality to process incoming phone orders with a 90% effective rate without the aid of a live agent from design to deliverable in less than 10 days. We did all this a hosting environment so customers have zero hardware, software costs or maintenance issues to deal with. The cost to develop our hosted IVR through Agent Maker is a total of $1500. That’s about what it costs to train an agent. We also had to develop an inbound customer service agent with the same levels of efficiency and accuracy.  Both the sales agent and customer service a[...]

TMC is More of a Lead Gen Company than You Thought

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 16:56:52 -05002017-01-12T16:56:52-05:00

Apologies in advance for the commercial message but I wanted to thank the tech community for choosing TMC this past year as your lead generation partner. We've delivered tens of thousands of leads consisting of things like CIOs, CMOs, IT managers and other titles from the Fortune 100 on down.Of course we also want to thank the readers of TMC products and services who choose to learn more about the products our sponsors are offering. Things like cloud services, ERM, CRM, contact center, hosted UC, mobile UC, videoconferencing, headsets, cybersecurity solutions, etc.It's been a wild ride and aligns with our continued mission of bringing buyers and sellers together through community building. We invite you to learn more from the PDF. Tags: cmo, lead gen, lead generation, marketing, sales, technology, tmc, vp marketing Related tags: Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries TMC Seeks Product Marketing Manager - Dec 13, 2010 TMC is Hiring - Jul 17, 2009 Build Online Communities With Adonis DNA - Mar 07, 2011 TMC Looking for Sales and Marketing Interns - Apr 29, 2009 Podcast: Broadlook Technologies - Co-Founder Broadlook Technologies - Apr 20, 2008 Did AI Just Kill Your SEO Strategy? - Jun 06, 2016 A Business Lesson that Cost Investors More than $500 million - Sep 21, 2013 TMC Hiring Editors - Sep 13, 2013 How Steve Jobs Even Transformed Our Views on Management - Feb 09, 2013 TMC Looking for White Paper Writers - Jan 23, 2013 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: TMC is More of a Lead Gen Company than You Thought Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

We Called The Fiat Chrysler Emissions Cheating in 2015

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:58:26 -05002017-01-12T11:58:26-05:00

After we learned that Volkswagen had cheated on government emissions tests in 2015 by having the engine perform differently in test circumstances than normal driving mode, we gave our thoughts and analysis. This crime was especially egregious because Volkswagen saved thousands on the manufacturing costs of each car by eliminating the urea tank and related plumbing. They then claimed they had invented a clean diesel technology and actually became a darling of the green culture.It really was the auto equivalent of a Ponzi scheme in many ways.They simultaneously undercut competitor pricing while screwing customers and regulators.We surmised that something like this couldn't happen without CXO knowledge. There is no way your car claims to beat rivals Mercedes and BMW with better and cheaper technology and the CXO suite doesn't ask how it's done. It just isn't possible. Specifically we said: If management learned VW engineers were able to achieve the impossible… They found a way to burn diesel in a manner which literally saved billions of dollars for the company, they would naturally want to know how it was done. This was a breakthrough. It is inconceivable that all of management wouldn’t be interested in learning at least something about how the system worked. Basically this means all senior management could likely be liable if logic is a guide here. To date the CXOs have been off the hook.Moreover, we asked how it is possible for any other car companies to be oblivious to what VW was doing. After all, engineers like other people switch jobs and when they do, they are likely to share secrets. Moreover, if you learn your competitor is doing something better than you are and spending far less to do it, wouldn't you engineering department take the cars apart until you could duplicate their technique?Turns out, we were spot on. Other car companies were doing the same thing. Fiat Chrysler shares just plunged 13% as a result of it being discovered that they too used deceptive software to achieve similar results to VW. This is on top of the cheating by Mitsubishi outed by Nissan last year.It seems apparent more now than ever that cheating in the auto industry is widespread and part of how business is done. We pretty much explained this is how the industry had to work a few years back. In a sense, we called this scandal 16 months ago. We expect more to come from other companies - although we don't believe a Trump EPA will be as strict or punitive as Obama's. Tags: cheating, diesel, emissions, epa, industry, keiretsu, mitsubishi, nissan, outed, scandal, volkswagen, vw, wondered Related tags: doing, something, companies, cheating, management Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Nissan Outs Mitsubishi for Cheating. No one Outed #VW - Apr 20, 2016 The VW Diesel Scandal Smells Even Worse Than You Think - Sep 24, 2015 Politically Motivated Hackers Hit Nissan, Are You Prepared? - Jan 15, 2016 GENBAND Perspectives 15 Live Blog #GBP15 - May 18, 2015 How Poor Branding and Positioning Have Led to Tech and Auto Failure - Mar 27, 2011 Volkswagen Dealer Chooses Megapath For IP Communications - Aug 10, 2009 Good and Bad Green News - Apr 16, 2009 Fuel Cells Power Base Stations - Jul 27, 2008 Sipera Looks To The Channel - Jun 11, 2008 Dragnet 2.0 - Apr 12, 2008 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: We Called The Fiat Chrysler Emissions Cheating in 2015 Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Just 18% of Computer Science Degrees go to Women

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 20:01:25 -05002017-01-11T20:01:25-05:00

It seems, there are subtle messages we send to girls in school which may keep them from pursuing STEM study and careers. Yes, tech is considered by many to be nerdy and many women aren't huge fans of being called nerds... Who is? Silicon Valley Billionaires of course. Think about it though - how many women would excel in the tech space but never find out because they feel such a career path isn't for them? How many products didn't get created as a result of their absence? How many more didn't get the improvements they so desperately needed? In a recent study of 1.4 million Github code changes, such suggestions for change by women are more likely to be accepted by men – but that’s only if the fact that these suggestions are made by women who do not reveal they are women. “When their gender is identifiable, there is a decrease in acceptance rate by 16.1 percent, demonstrating a bias against the perceived ability of women in tech,” SWAG reports. More important stats... Women in tech are 45% more likely than men to leave the field within a year, SWAG notes, referring to a 2014 Harvard Business Review study noting this statistic. Sarah Noyes, Director of Diversity & Inclusion at SWAG says, awareness of such issues is the first step towards enacting change. TMC is working to raise awareness of such issues as well via its Tech Culture Awards program. It's dedicated to bringing this kind of important information to light and recognizing those companies that are effecting positive change in the workplace. We invite you to explore and participate in the TMC Workplace Excellence Award program including the Tech Culture Award, the Tech Diversity Award, and the Social Responsibility Award. Together, we hope to build a more inclusive tech community, highly motivated to develop excellent products and services. Tags: Related tags: awareness issues, women, award, study, change Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Just 18% of Computer Science Degrees go to Women Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Stay Away From Best Buy Geek Squad?

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 18:57:47 -05002017-01-11T18:57:47-05:00

Best Buy Geek Squad has been in the middle of a storm of media criticism as it seems the FBI has paid one or more of their workers for reporting information about illegal material on laptops. A child pornography image in a space on a laptop inaccessible by an unsophisticated user caused an indictment. In addition, the defense attorney in the case believes the Geek Squad search was “extracurricular” to required repairs. Best Buy says they are required to report illegal activity to the authorities. What is troubling is the taking of money from Best Buy employees. Even the company says this was a mistake if it was done. This news coupled with the fact that at least 70% or so of the U.S. population has done something that could put them in jail should be scary to many. If Best Buy workers know they can earn an extra buck searching computers for illicit activity, we may have a lot more people in our federal prisons soon. Should you stay away from Best Buy? This is a tough one. We really like the store… They really saved us this past December 26th by having the item we needed in stock and also allocating two salespeople to help us solve a technical question not easily solved. We do know however that Best Buy techs don’t get paid a lot. They are typically entry level. The concern here is if the FBI is indeed doling out $500 rewards, generally, those at the bottom end of the pay scale have the most to benefit. Bottom line… You often get what you pay for. Tags: best buy, fbi, geek squad Related tags: squad Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Thank You Amazon, Retailers May Now Merge at Will - Feb 18, 2013 Best Buy Tablet Doomed? - Oct 17, 2012 Best Buy's Best Choice is to Evolve - Jul 31, 2012 Beyond Amazon Price Match - What Best Buy Must Do - Jul 24, 2012 Ultrabooks Finally Get Needed Attention From Intel - May 04, 2012 Ultrabooks, Kindle Fires and the New World Apple Must Compete in - Dec 27, 2011 Massive Lines for iPad 2 - Mar 11, 2011 Sears Goes High Tech With Video Streaming - Jan 04, 2011 3G and 4G Group Data Plans Needed - Dec 20, 2010 FBI Director Almost a Phishing Victim - Oct 13, 2009 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Stay Away From Best Buy Geek Squad? Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

NYC or France, Where Would You Locate Your Company?

Sat, 07 Jan 2017 20:38:36 -05002017-01-07T20:38:36-05:00

New York City – whose moniker is “The City that Never Sleeps” has pushed to ensure your company never sleeps and in today’s connected and digital economy, this may be the difference between success and failure.If you had a chance to choose a western region to locate your company and you had the choice of just New York City or France, which would you choose based on recent events? Moreover, if you had to make your decision largely based on recent government actions – let’s the last few weeks or so, which would you choose? In other words, we are going to put aside tarriffs, currency, minimum wage, taxation, regulations, the availability of a solid slice of pizza, baguette or the availability of fine wine. As we reported on Christmas Day of last year, France has a new law which allows people working for companies with 50 or more people to negotiate to not work after normal business hours. No emails, calls, etc. We argued the law would lead to lower productivity and employment, more civil unrest and a breakaway from the EU by France. Within two weeks of France making anti-business news, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo announced New York subways will have cell service from all four major carriers – a year ahead of plan. This adds to the progress the subway made, adding WiFi to 40 stations in 2014. Once again, if you’re a business would you choose to locate your company where workers can act and react in real-time or would you locate your organization where workers might have to wait 48 hours or more to react to critical events? Increasingly, speed is the difference between success and failure in business and years of experience and reputation in business means less and less in a world of disruption from random upstarts. It took a matter of a few years for people to trust Uber drivers who may as well be strangers and trust houses owned by strangers thanks to Airbnb. Point being, the next startup is looking to disrupt every company and if you are slow, you are doomed. New York City – whose moniker is “The City that Never Sleeps” has pushed to ensure your company never sleeps and in today’s connected and digital economy, this may be the difference between success and failure. Sorry France.Update: Sunday, January 8th, 2017: Here is the counterpoint to NYC being a good place to do business... China Fun will close due to over-regulation. If you want to be on the forefront of communications and tech innovation, come to ITEXPO, Feb 8-10, 2017 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and the collocated IoT Evolution event. Tags: at&t, business, cuomo, email, eu, france, germany, government, new york, productivity, profit, regulations, sprint, subway, uc, verizon, wifi, workers Related tags: locate company, between success, difference between, success failure, ensure company, business Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries French Law Rings in New Year by Sealing EU's Doom - Dec 31, 2016 Google and Dish Were in Talks to Launch Wireless Biz - Nov 15, 2012 Boingo on Blackberry - Oct 27, 2009 AT&T, Google, The FCC and Net Neutrality - Sep 28, 2009 Retail Prices Dead - Mar 23, 2008 DiVitas Networks - Oct 28, 2007 TMCnet Searches - Oct 05, 2007 Why AT&T Should be Encouraged to Purchase Time Warner - Oct 27, 2016 Wireless Carriers Racing to the Bottom - Oct 12, 2016 Games: The Biggest Opportunity Carriers are Ignoring - Apr 25, 2014 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: NYC or France, Where Would You Locate Your Company? Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Serv[...]

T-Mobile Leapfrogs U.S. Carriers Again with Digits

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 12:43:23 -05002017-01-06T12:43:23-05:00

It was actually over ten years ago when we wrote about Mobile Stick from Bridgeport Networks (now part of CounterPath), an innovative device you plug into your laptop so you can take your mobile calls on your laptop. The idea was to allow carriers to leverage VoIP to add value to their core offerings. For some reason, the idea just didn’t catch on at the time. Fast forward to a few years ago, WiFi calling has come to most carriers allowing the cell call to be taken via VoIP. Now, T-Mobile Digits has taken the idea one giant-step forward allowing multiple phone numbers to be assigned to one device and multiple devices to take calls from one number. Yes, there are lots of VoIP and UC solutions which do similar things but being carrier-based, this service means you benefit from having your calls travel over a prioritized connection, not best-effort like most VoIP calls. Yes, this is similar to what Apple lets you do with its devices – taking calls on a Mac or iPad but this solution is cross-platform and goes much farther. Bottom line: T-Mobile Digits is real innovation. Sure, the ability to roll out such a service has existed for over a decade as evidenced by my Mobile Stick posting from over a decade ago but there was a lot of back office juggling that had to be done to bring this to successfully to market. T-Mobile’s COO Mike Sievert and CTO Neville Ray announce the T-Mobile DIGITS beta at T-Mobile US Headquarters, in Bellevue, Washington. (Matt Mills McKnight/AP Images for T-Mobile) Hats off to the company for making this happen. If you want to be on the forefront of communications and tech innovation, come to ITEXPO, Feb 8-10, 2017 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and the collocated IoT Evolution event. Tags: counterpath, mobile stick, t-mobile, tmobile, uc, voip Related tags: mobile digits, mobile stick, mobile, calls, digits, carriers Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries On The CounterPath to Success - Jun 30, 2008 AT&T Webinar Focuses on Hosted Market - May 20, 2008 How ITEXPO Has Transformed into THE Communications Event - Jan 19, 2017 Congrats to TMC Customer - Jan 19, 2017 Riverbed SteelCentral UCExpert Maximizes UC Quality on Avaya, Microsoft and Cisco - Apr 14, 2016 Dialpad is Reborn from - Mar 07, 2016 Zultys Upgrades its Communications Software - Dec 02, 2015 Mitel Analyst Event 2015 Live Blog #MitelNext - Nov 12, 2015 GENBAND Perspectives 15 Live Blog #GBP15 - May 18, 2015 Extreme Networks Puts the SDN in Skype for Business - May 13, 2015 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: T-Mobile Leapfrogs U.S. Carriers Again with Digits Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Apple's Reliable Trick is Failing, Blame Russia

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 19:10:15 -05002017-01-05T19:10:15-05:00

Minimalism, especially when it comes to ports is one of the reasons Apple computers and phones were more like artwork than electronics. They really took the best ideas of B&O and brought them to the mass market. Who doesn’t recall using the Apple iOS keyboards devoid of a delete key for the first time and thinking, hey, maybe Apple is right… We really don’t need this thing after all. This worked for the company… We thought we needed replaceable laptop and phone batteries… We were wrong. We thought our phones needed memory card slots… We were wrong. Apparently we wanted to spend hundreds of dollars on overpriced Apple memory instead. This sales tactic which we refer to as a trick for the sake of headline brevity was a reliable winner for the company for many years. Apple however seems to have gone too far with the new line of laptops that have just one USB-C port for, everything. Worse, they took away a power cord which was very useful – magnetic and quick release, in case you tripped on it. Now, users have to carry around a device, almost the size of a phone just to get back the connectors they really need in a laptop. In addition, Apple decided to do something which in our view is even less intelligent. The Microsoft Surface line shows us people do want touch enabled on their laptops. Here is the irony… We want touch on our laptops because Apple got us used to touching devices via the iPhone and iPad. For them to decide that the laptop doesn’t need touch is bizarre, especially after they trained us to use and love touch on so many devices. But they didn’t give up on touch completely – they added a touch bar on the keyboard for no apparent reason at all. Some will say the screen is too far on a laptop to need touch. We give them that… You probably don’t want touch as your primary input mechanism on a laptop. But is a touch bar located at the base of the screen that much more ergonomic?? For two stupid moves at once, the market rewarded the company with a five-year low in marketshare. Despite being the runaway smartphone leader, despite having the competitive Galaxy Note 7 literally blow up in user’s faces, they still were able to lose share to the PC. Put another way… They likely had even more traffic in their stores as a result of Samsung’s mistakes. It’s almost unforgiveable to cede marketshare in such an environment. Apple can fix these issues quickly by adding touch to the screens, getting rid of the touch bar. Perhaps they can blame Steve Jobs or hell, maybe even Russia. We seem to blame everything else on Russia these days. Apple still has the best distribution network of any PC vendor and they have steady traffic in their stores. If they can manage to not screw up too much more, they should be able to get their laptop sales back up and gain on the PC. PS: In another piece I am sure we’ll delve into the loss of the headset jack on the company’s latest phones. Tags: apple, dongle, laptop, macbook, microsft, notebook, pc, surface, surfacebook, usb-c Related tags: traffic stores, touch, apple, laptop, company, russia Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Surprise! Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Not Airplane Friendly - Jul 01, 2014 Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop - Oct 24, 2014 With Tablets and Smartphones Eating the PC, What Can Microsoft Do? - Apr 11, 2013 Gesture-Based Eye-Tracking, Hand-Sensing Tech Coming but What of Standards? - Jan 22, 2013 Ultrabooks Finally Get Needed Attention From Intel - May 04, 2012 CES, Ultrabooks and Lowered Expectations - Jan 08, 2012 Have Apple Laptops[...]

2017 to be the Year of Blockchain, Bitcoin and Fintech

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 18:24:00 -05002017-01-03T18:24:00-05:00

Cryptocurrencies are fascinating as they act as a commodity and are simultaneously a technology application. Bitcoin mining for example gets cheaper as Moore’s Law decreases the price of processors. With this in mind, in 2013, we gave you 15 reasons why Bitcoins were better than gold. Then something bad happened – hackers started to steal bitcoins – tens or hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth at a time. Investors lost a lot of money as a result… 36% in the case of the Bitfinex $71 million hack. If we look at Bitcoin as a technology, then we should be able to apply generally accepted tech principles to it – specifically the Gartner Hype Cycle. As a reminder, new technology goes through a peak of inflated expectations, a trough of disillusionment and then a slope of enlightenment.Peter Smith at TechCrunch has some similar thoughts worth checking out… Furthermore, we wrote about Bitcoin’s growth a bit more this past Christmas.The most recent move towards banning cash in places like Greece can only fuel the desire for global cash alternatives. If you use the hype cycle chart below it really is amazing how well it matches up with bitcoin prices. Hype Cycle By NeedCokeNow - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,   Bitcoin pricing   It's worth pointing out that part of this growth could also have to to do with the devaluation of the Chinese yuan. Regardless, the near perfect fit of the Bitcoin chart to the Hype Cycle one above tells us there is more at work here than just some large-scale actors in China.In order to help you understand and profit from this incredible new fintech opportunity, we have brought back The Blockchain Event to ITEXPO… We launched it there last year and it gained tremendous interest. Popular demand made us bring it back. Here are just a few of the topics to be discussed, Feb 8-10 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.: Blockchain Training Internet of Value Web 3.0, Decentralization & Cryptography Emerging Opportunities Regulations & Policy for a Decentralized World Speculating on the Future We are especially excited to be bringing this event to South Florida as we acknowledge the success mobile payment companies like Yellow Pepper are having in nearby Latin America. We hope to see you at the show in a few weeks in sunny Florida where we’ll get to experience the year of Blockchain, Bitcoin and FinTech together. Register now. Tags: bitcoin, blockchain, cryptocurrency, fintech, gartner, gold, hype cycle, investment Related tags: blockchain bitcoin, bitcoin fintech, bitcoin, cycle, blockchain, technology Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Bitcoin and Beyond: The Dawn of Currency 2.0 - Mar 06, 2014 15 Reasons Why Bitcoins are Better than Gold - Aug 09, 2013 PayPal CEO: More Change in the Next 5 years than Last 30 - Jan 20, 2016 Ruling Clears Way for Bitcoin Regulation - Aug 08, 2013 How ITEXPO Has Transformed into THE Communications Event - Jan 19, 2017 Will Bitcoins Really Crash Gold? - Dec 25, 2016 Tech helps e-Estonia Replace Delaware as Corporate Capital - Jul 29, 2016 Bitcoin, Blockchain and FinTech to the Brexit Rescue - Jun 24, 2016 API of the Week: Trulioo Provides Instant Identity Verification - Jun 13, 2016 The Opportunities of the Dark Web - May 13, 2016 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: 2017 to be the Year of Blockchain, Bitcoin and Fintech Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading I[...]