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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
Tsahi has a transcript of a really good interview with Vonage CEO Alan Masarek on his blog along with a video. In reading the interview, it struck me that Vonage has clearly moved into the business communications market fully, following the successful integration of all of their acquisitions which included two Comunicano clients, Simple Signal and Telesphere along with the purchase of Nexmo two years ago. Masarek's comments about microservices mimic what we hear from Dialpad's Craig Walker from his speech at IT Expo back in February. What also comes through is how consumer voice still is a significant... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at VoIPWatch
I had to laugh in a very twisted way as I read the Wired article today entitled "The Hustlers Fueling The Cryptocurrency's Marketing Machine." No not because in some ways with some clients past and present I could be easily cast in that lot, but more because of the similarities of what my agency, Comunicano, and I personally have done along the way in the world of Public Relations and Influencer Communications. If you Google search Andy Abramson Nokia Blogger Relations well, it all sort of comes back like Deja Vu to me. In VoIP, mobile and collaboration boom times,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Like many, I've been a Skype user forever. I also use WhatsApp, Facebook's Messenger and a host of other "calling apps." Many of my calls are scheduled, so it's UberConference or Zoom and sometimes GoToMeeting or WebEx. For some "personal" calls its a combination of Apple's FaceTime and Google's Hangouts. And as far as the idea of "dialing" a number, that's rare air territory, as I click someone's name, a number listed in an email or on a website or something found in a Google Maps listing. So, when I say the traditional phone call is dead, it really is.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Last week when 8x8 made an acquisition I remarked that there would be more. A day later Dialpad announced their purchase. Today, it's Microsoft's turn with the purchase of Semantic Machines. It's easy to speculate why its become a BUY vs. BUILD game surrounding AI. The smart money on the BUY side recognizes that there have been teams working on AI in many different discreet niches, and in turn those teams have developed massive understanding of those specific spaces. That knowledge and specificity is known as domain experience, so while 8x8's move is surrounding contact centers, and Dialpad's is around... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Today Dialpad announced the acquisition of TalkIQ. Just like yesterday's 8x8 AI acquisition this underscores my belief that VoiceAI will be as ubiquitous as collaboration. That means if you're a telco and you're not moving down the AI path and you offer functions like IVR, Voice recording, contact center or conferencing, not to mention regular calling you will be nothing more than PSTN 1.0, not VoIP 3.0. AI brings lots of new features to telcos, and as I also implied yesterday, Cloud+AI+Fast Network means smarter, faster and cheaper interaction. But all that said, there is the requisite need for human... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Today long time VoIP pioneer 8x8 (the company formerly known as Packet8) made another in their ongoing acquisitions to bolster feature set, capabilities and likely to acquire more talent. They purchased MarianaIQ (MIQ) a company which has been around since 2013 in the AI space. AI is the next battleground in telecom, and just like collaboration was to conferencing, AI will be the next rung on the ladder when contact centers, conference calls and even real-time one on one calls are being enhanced. With AI you get all types of use of the conversation that goes well beyond machine learning... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Tomorrow something very special is happening to. I'm being inducted into the AAHA's Hall of Fame. I'm already the youngest ever Director Emeritus since 1988 and now will become the youngest ever Hall of Fame inductee....but given how early I started, well, this should be no surprise. Thirty years ago I "retired" from the Philadelphia Flyers after almost 13 years of running what was first known as Hockey Central for the Philadelphia Flyers, and what later became the Flyers Office of Amateur Hockey Affairs. As I look back so much was done in the 12 1/2 years of my time... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2018 at VoIPWatch
A few days ago I wrote about the changes with Google search algorithm. The folks at Revvim have now come forward with a new video series called Workshop Wednesday, designed to help digital marketers uncover and better understand the challenges their facing. In this week's video Matt LeBaron goes into detail about the importance of relevance and how to set up web pages so they maintain their authority and page ranking, and not get lost in the listings. Give it a watch....and learn. Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2018 at VoIPWatch
A private equity firm, Searchlight, is buying Mitel for 2 Billion dollars reports TechCrunch. This is no surprise but clearly the buy of Shoretel helped as the cloud focus of Shortel is the direction where things are heading, while Mitel has a large list of legacy telco customers. It's an interesting buyout by a PE firm that has already taken out Rackspace and has a melange of holdings in tech and telecom. When a PE firm buys a company they look to see profits be maintained and grow. That means a few things to me. Programs get cut to make... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2018 at VoIPWatch
This weekend I ventured up to Lompoc and the 36th Annual Santa Barbara Vintners Festival. Having been to previous events as far back the early 90s the event, the participants and the attendees has clearly changed, as has the tone of the event over the years. The crowd was more local. The tone more subdued. The lines shorter. The location easier to get to than the old days out in the heart of the valley at I want to say Rancho Sisquoc. So what wines impressed me? Zaca Mesa's reds were fabulous. One of the early pioneers in the Central... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2018 at WINESCENE
Tercero Wines Larry Schaffer is a long time wine industry renegade. He doesn't make wine for critics. He doesn't chase scores and he epitomizes the spirit of a Rhone Ranger. That's why every time I get the chance to taste something that isn't only oh so Rhoney from him, I jump at it. Yesterday I popped by to taste some of his wines as I was in the area having grabbed lunch at Panino and then a hug from Maeapple Chaney at Refugio (can't miss a hug from MAC when I'm nearby). Larry took me through his wines, including his... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2018 at WINESCENE
My SEO guru friend Steven Ray Marshall shared something with me this morning about Google's search algorithm changing and what it means. It comes down to RELEVANCE...For all the years I wrote about VoIP, one of the reasons VoIPWatch ranked on the first page of Google for so long, which is how I got to know Steve when he consulted to 8x8 and then LifeLock was my content had authority. It had authority because of RELEVANCE. It's also why I don't write about Wine here, vs. on Winescene or why my attempt at remote working, called WorkingAnywhere were all different... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2018 at VoIPWatch
My SEO guru friend Steven Ray Marshall shared something with me this morning about Google's search algorithm changing and what it means. It comes down to RELEVANCE...For all the years I wrote about VoIP, one of the reasons VoIPWatch ranked on the first page of Google for so long, which is how I got to know Steve when he consulted to 8x8 and then LifeLock was my content had authority. It had authority because of RELEVANCE. It's also why I don't write about Wine here, vs. on Winescene or why my attempt at remote working, called WorkingAnywhere were all different... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I'm guessing that when the first horseless carriage arrived there was outrage by public officials, but I don't know as I wasn't around back then. I do know that each time something "new" in transportation comes along that sooner or later some group of public officials challenges their right to be on the streets and sidewalks. It happened, and continues to happen to UBER, and now it's happening to BIRD, LIME and SPIN in San Francisco. Let's face it. In the words of my 9th grade World History teacher, Royal Black, "history always repeats." So why is anyone, least of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I read, as many did, about the Starbucks caused arrest of two men in Philadelphia. Talk about a PR nightmare...but that's just another example of how Starbucks, like so many other companies today, are losing touch with their customers and their reason for being. Starbucks coffee shops were designed and built so people could linger, hang out, meet friends. For many, the locations are often known as "Conference Room S", a term once shared by a former Starbucks executive who many years ago lamented that was where so many people from many companies would go to meet when all the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Much to no one's surprise, Google finally got around to adding VoIP to GoogleVoice. Hmmm...Having been involved in the original Grand Central VoIP was something that was always on the roadmap. There was for a while even an integration I helped foster with Gizmo Project that sort of added it. Back story I needed to use GrandCentral in Europe as I was planning my wedding there so then co-founder of Grand Central Vincent Paquet and then head of Gizmo Jason Droege did a simple SIP interop and instantly Gizmo and GC were this day I don't know how many... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Tank aged Grenache, Carignane, Syrah, and Alicante from across the road from Chateauneuf du Pape for $15.00 and from 2014 and 2015. Darn right I would buy this wine by the case. And more importantly, these wines show they can age. The wines come from Chateauneuf du Pape producers Jean Royer, and his wines are no pushovers. If anything they are made "old school" CdP in style and show class, elegance and grace. And as VdF (Vin de France) wines, well they're bargains that drink well beyond their price point. Tasted side by side last night revealed an almost opposite... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2018 at WINESCENE
When I think of Provence Rose I think pale pink color and layers of strawberries on the nose. That’s what the 2016 Château Saint Rosaline Lampe de Medus is like. And to boot it’s crisp and dry. As far as what's in the wine, I nailed two of grapes on first taste and guessed that there was possibly some Tibouren so I was three out of seven in reality, It's made up of the first suspected Grenache and Cinsault, but it has more. Research tells me it's made up of Cinsaut : 35 %, Grenache : 35 %, Rolle 10... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2018 at WINESCENE
Saturday night along with a few friends we popped some wines I've been looking to open. Having been traveling and exploring Vermut (Vermouth from a tap) in Madrid, tasting wines in Spain - both Barcelona and Madrid - in wine bars and with meals, explored new wines from Portugal with Nelson Guerreiro and Iris Lorenzo in Lisbon as well as on my own there, plus of course time with Mark Williamson at Willi's Wine Bar and Tim Johnston at Juveniles, not to mention L'Entente - The British Brasserie, and at Millesime Bio with Sylvain Fadat and Désirée Alonso Sanchez plus... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2018 at WINESCENE
I just spent three weeks on the road, working remotely in Europe. Along the way, I stayed in hotels in London, Paris, Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona, and in my winemaker friend's Gite. Now I'm back in the USA and realizing that despite all the claims our Information Service providers make about being the best, it seems hotels still don't understand broadband like they do in Europe. For example, in the Intercontinental O2 in London I was seeing speeds of 50 megs consistently, both in my room and in the common areas. In Madrid at the Intercontinental it was 6megs, but... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I just had a conversation with my dear friend, Sylvain Fadat, the winemaker and owner of Domaine D’Aupilhac about his stunning 2015 La Boda Red. For those not familiar with La Boda, it means the union, as Fadat takes his best fruit from the Aupilhac and Cocallieres vineyards and makes a marriage of the two, producing his second to top luxury Cuvee that is second only to the rarely produced le Clos. Our discussion surrounded how I could put his 2015 La Boda in a blind tasting against Châteauneuf du Papes of the same Vintage and likely fool almost all... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2018 at WINESCENE
I've been a long time visitor to Paris for many years and remember my first experience on the #14 line, also known as the Meteor and how I was able to receive email on my Nokia 9000 Communicator. It was back in the 00's and the iPhone was not even in existence. Back then email and some web browsing at really slow speeds were the norm, but we were connected at least. Today, I rode the #1 Metro and as I looked around there were people talking, texting and of course using many apps on their smartphones. I had forgotten... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2018 at VoIPWatch
January is CES, the National Retail Federation and of course the run up to the Super Bowl. Not to be forgotten is the boondoggle of all boondoggles, the very well timed PTC gathering in Honolulu which is happening now, just before the NFL's Pro Bowl comes to the island. February brings TMC's IT Expo in Fort Lauderdale, while March brings Enterprise Connect in Orlando. Which shows are YOU going to be attending? Hit me up on Twitter @andyabramson so I know to find you.. Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2018 at VoIPWatch
On Friday the news came out that Cisco's purchase of Broadsoft had one more roadblock removed. That hurdle was the possibility of an anti-trust violation due to restrictive competition. In it's ruling the DOJ basically said they don't see this as restrictive in nature. With this decision the shareholders will vote on January 25th to approve the merger. Once that's done it gets interesting with some of Broadsoft and Cisco's largest customers, the telecommunications carriers and mobile operators who for years have had both to play off against, or offer as different options. This merger creates a vacuum there with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2018 at VoIPWatch
How come none of the media who are paid to know what's what have connected the T-Mobile USA and Google Project Fi outages today on an international level? After reading about the Fi outage, I Googled the words T-Mobile and outage. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to make the connection since Fi piggybacks off of T-Mobile. Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2018 at VoIPWatch