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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
So late yesterday the news out of Twilio's Signal conference broke that Twilio was acquiring SendGrid. Most of the coverage is straight out of the news release, with very little critical analysis. From my perspective $2 billion for SendGrid, a company with a perceived market value of $1.4 billion is a nice premium, and a win for their shareholders. For Twilio it adds revenue to the books, and helps with sales and marketing efforts. Given Twilio has been developer focused until after their IPO while SendGrid is enterprise sales focused, the buy actually helps Twilio become more enterprise oriented, presuming... Continue reading
Posted 6 hours ago at VoIPWatch
I just read the NY Time account of what is happening in Florida’s Panhandle and just have to question what’s being done. We live in an era of all types of communications being available. Why not retask some Internet capable satellites, drop in some Satellite tranceivers, flood the region with bandwidth and start to reestablish some communications. Add in some diesel generators so there can be power, some power outlets so people can charge up their devices, and people will start to be more in touch. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at VoIPWatch
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Over all the years I've visited my dear friend Sylvain Fadat of Domaine d'Aupilhac, and his family, I've enjoyed a few events. In no particular order there has been his 25 years of Aupilhac back in 2014 which even Kermit Lynch attended. There was also the party in a year or two earlier that we celebrated his 50th birthday, complete with my gift of the Tour (Tower) d'Fadat which along with Bernard Bardou and the help of his wife, Desiree, we were able to collect bottles from all 25 years and build them into a tower which was unveiled before... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2018 at WINESCENE
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Here at my apartment building I have a Friday night dinner group who cook together, share what the week was like and now get to enjoy wines that I pull out of what seems to be a bottomless cellar. This past Friday I pulled some really interesting reds, all which have Syrah as part or as the only grape, and all that were so very different. The 2013 Sparkman Cellars Wilderness. This wine remains one of my favorite Washington State reds. As far back as the 2009 vintage, the oddball blend, that seems to change from year to year, just... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2018 at WINESCENE
Microsoft is making lots of moves these days. Their efforts in collaboration are going to challenge the usual suspects, but the biggest target is Cisco. This FastCompany article is worthy of a read, as it seriously explains Microsoft's approach with video conferencing. A lot of what Microsoft is doing now still doesn't justify the changes they have made with Skype over the past half a dozen years or so, but it does paint a picture of a company with a plan. Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I have Google Fi on a Pixel and my bill this month will be roughly $25.00. That's for unlimited voice and text, and a PAYG data plan. Since the Fi spends so much time on WiFi, and so little on 4G/LTE, the data that is being consumed is almost nothing so I pay almost nothing. Subtract $20.00 for helping a friend sign up for Fi, and my bill will be roughly $5.00 this month. Looking at the new iPhones, I realize I'll be able to use AT&T or T-Mobile (or both) as my eSIM provider in the USA, but I'll... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Longtime VoIPWatcher and close friend James Body and I were chatting this morning and he alerted me to an overlooked piece of news surrounding his former employer, and my former client, Truphone. The news surrounds Truphone being one of the chosen eSIM providers on the new iPhone. This is both massive news for the UK based global mobile operator, but also very big news for the global road warrior or multinational. Already available on the Apple SIM for Data, on a pay as you go basis, the eSIM changes the game and makes so much possible. And, given Truphone's global... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Skype is coming to the Amazon Echo soon. This is a big win for Amazon, and also at the same time could have massive ramifications to the entire voice and video calling industry. And it may also be the biggest boost to Skype resuming being a force in calling. Here's why Echo devices are becoming almost ubiquitous. They are also becoming dirt cheap. As low as $50.00 for the Echo dot. With the new in car Echo coming to mobile (2020) the ability to reach anyone, anywhere, will be easier. Imagine if Amazon and T-Mobile put SIM cards inside Echos... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2018 at VoIPWatch
In the telecom world, people come and go from companies all the time. But this week three major forces who have shaped VoIP have chosen to depart their companies. Longtime VoIP and Collaboration guru, and one of the fathers of SIP, Jonathan Rosenberg is leaving Cisco (for the second time). He'll be replaced by Cullen "Fluffy" Jennings....At Counterpath, CEO Donovan Jones has resigned and no successor has been named yet. His departure further makes Todd Carothers the go-to guy, while CFO David Karp will run the business day to day operationally.....and last but hardly least, Jeff Bonforte, one of the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2018 at VoIPWatch
We hear every day about a news leak, a photo leak or a video leak. It comes across like someone "discovered" something, found an image, heard a report, saw something. The reality is that in most cases these "leaks" are part of a strategy to build up interest. It's a lead up to the big news day. To give you background, I ran PR for the Upper Deck Company in 1991 and 1992. Granted social media wasn't around back then, but the so called "hobby press" was as aggressive about finding things out, especially about Upper Deck as we were... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2018 at VoIPWatch
The news broke yesterday what the cable operators and mobile operators will be doing surrounding the impending mother of all hurricanes and tropical storms. Florence. Like clockwork both Comcast (Xfinity) and Charter (Spectrum) announced they are making Wi-Fi free in the affected areas. From the cable operators perspective, the storm may be the moment of truth for them. Over the past decade they have been building out their own data networks, installing Wi-Fi access point and basically recreating the phone system. Opening the Wi-Fi networks and making them free is the right thing to do. Of course, there's more to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Two days ago I mused about the Google Disconnect, mentioning how big G has a way of just ending projects. Well Inbox is biting the dust under the guise of merging is best features into the GMail application. It's the right move. Having duplicate applications that basically are performing the same function leads to internal rivalry and customer confusion. It also divides the developer audience who have to pick which pony to bet on when it comes to building integrations. Lastly, it means divided loyalty amongst the users. Google isn't the first to go through this shedding and consolidation. Long... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2018 at VoIPWatch
A few months back AI got a swift kick in the pants with VoIP as Dialpad, 8x8 and RingCentral all made noise about their move into the Voice AI space. Clearly, in all cases, collaboration was not an afterthought, but a core part of the rationale as to why the three cloud communications companies were moving quickly in the direction of AI. Yesterday, ZDNet had a piece on this direction, quoting pal Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research. Lazar has always been a favorite of mine when it comes to collaboration, for as much as he muses about Unified Communications platforms,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2018 at VoIPWatch
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Google is my provider for so much these days. GSuite. Pixel phone. Pixelbook. The Google Cloud powers my phone service, Dialpad and my conference bridge, UberConference. I dumped cable for YouTubeTV. In my life, Google is like Santa Claus. It knows when I've been sleeping. It knows when I'm awake. It knows when I've been bad or good (by my search habits) and Google knows where I go, via Google Maps and Waze. Google knows my music likes via YouTube Music. It knows my questions, via Google Home. To me, if Google doesn't know me by now.....well you get my... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Online, nothing is really what it appears to be, especially when it comes to business, and the spectacle that surrounds "the business." Today, the term, "influencer" has become a blanket euphemism for everyone who has influence, and is getting paid for it. So while it is easy for FTC to identify the online influencers, the rules don't seem to apply to the analyst community. As blogging took hold, and as we some of us attracted clients, or patrons, the FTC stepped in to make sure we all revealed our business relationships. In my case, I started to use the word... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I grew up watching WWWF wrestling when Vince McMahon was the broadcaster. Actually, even before that. I would stay up late to watch Florida Championship Wrestling with Gordon Solie. The same with Georgia Championship Wrestling, even the AWA when Thunderlips pre-dated the creation of Hulk Hogan. In the 80's was at the Spectrum in the media conference for the first promotional tour for Wrestlemania and in the late 70's I interviewed Bruno Sammartino for the Philadelphia Journal (well promoter Phil Zacko did most of the talking). I'm also a music junkie and what is going on with the WWE and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Skype is catching up to what their users have wanted for years, especially newscasters. The introduction of cloud based video recording across all platforms Long wanted. Very much needed, Skype's decision to introduce this across the board is all part of Microsoft's reimaging what was once the most popular online communications service. Previously video recording was only available on desktop. Ironically, Windows 10 is not yet ready. We had video recording with SightSpeed and it was one of the most popular features. That was over 12 years ago and despite Skype following with video after SightSpeed's running start, it eclipsed... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Back in the heydey of VoIP, when Skype (former client via Skype Store and In Store Solutions) was fighting AOL's AIM, ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, Gizmo, GrandCentral (former client) Vonage and more, we all used to write about their latest developments because Skype was the disrupter. Skype Journal's Phil Wolfe and Jim Courtney, Alec Saunders, Jeff Pulver or his pals Carl Ford and others at VON, along with pal Om Malik on his blog GigaOm, Rich Tehrani , Erik Lagerway, Martin Geddes, James Enck and I, plus others would report, compare what each other had written, try to beat each other... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Back on July 31st I opined about CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) and why I felt it was important and how it would be coming to the forefront. A few days later Vonage snapped up TokBox, and folded it into Nexmo making CPaaS more relevant and timely to the telecom community. If you're not familiar with the idea of CPaaS think Twilio, Plivo, Vonage's Nexmo, BIC's owned TeleSign, SignalWire, MessageBird, Intelepeer (I named them that changing it from VoEX), VoIP Innovations, TeleStax and VoxImplant. Those companies are all CPaaS companies along with others. Many are built in full or... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I decided to resume sharing my newsletter with the blog readers. Of course you can subscribe by going to this page. September 3 · Issue #376 · View online Amazon’s Alexa is going EVERYWHERE…..Chromebooks are spelling doom and gloom for Apple, Microsoft….Google Express slows down…..Cord Cutting offers a better experience….DOJ cracks down on bench and switch visa workers….California fights FCC over net neutrality……Google pulling “scam” ads…..Skype kills off a useless feature….Apple going bigger into AR..How PR is done in the crypto world…..Why Uber for X companies often fail….those stories and more are all here, in today’s COMUNICANO for Labor Day….... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2018 at VoIPWatch
In the movie "Wall Street" the phrase, "Greed is good" has defined a culture for many years. The "Apple App Tax" where the Cupertino giant takes thirty percent of in-app purchases is a wonderful example of Gordon Gecko's now infamous line in the film. On one hand, Apple wants to make as much money as possible, and at the same time, by taking their cut off the top of every in-app purchase they are in effect holding back their potential competition from being as profitable. Or maybe not. What everyone forgets is that the 30 percent goes to fuel the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Verizon really has a fire on their hands reputation wise after the issue surrounding a fire departments' data plan being slowed down as their crews were helping with the massive fire in Mendocino. This underscore corporate customer service ignorance and product management stupidity at the highest of levels. Emergency services and first responders are invaluable to society, and to be lumped into the same class of service, and to be expected in a time of a natural disaster to have to be worried about data plan usage and plan management when the fire is raging is just plain silly. It... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Repurposed from LinkedIn It invariably happens. You are about to do something with software or a SaaS based service that you've never done before and you need help. You don't need the IT department or the IT Person to help you, as you're smart enough to know how to read instructions. You surf over to the help section of the product, service or app and search for your problem using the keyword search box. Up pops almost every article related to your needed solution so you page through them until what you need to know is presented. Then it only... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Longtime media maven Jeremy Wagstaff, who has done stints with the WSJ and other legit media, has penned a very insightful piece about Voice AI and Transcription. In the post, Jeremy highlights services that are doing decent work in the AI-assisted transcription industry. I read this with a keen interest, as my agency's very first technology client was a startup, MobileWord, way back in the mid-90s. A lot of what is now more than possible, and actually working, was envisioned back then by founder Bob Cox, but he was way too early, and the computing power to do what is... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2018 at VoIPWatch
While no one would accuse Telenor of possessing a legacy carrier mentality, as they did birth Appear.In and other VoIP based properties, they like so many of their fellow telephone companies have done for years, they're outsourcing VoIP and packaging it up, as a white label play. They've gone with San Diego VoIP innovator, VoxOx. Much like Vonage buying Nexmo a few years back, and now TokBox, these types of moves are done usually with the decision to buy vs. build. The buying can be an acquisition or it can be reselling under either the original brand, or in this... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2018 at VoIPWatch