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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
If all goes as planned, the acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Charter Communications will bring with it the usual cable industry merger side affect. Cable swaps. Cable swaps occur whenever one company merges with another and there are pieces and parts that just don't fit. A perfect example is in my area of San Diego County where remnants of the old Daniels, then Adelphia Cable ended up with Time Warner, even though they are surrounded by Cox Communications. Cox, which has coverage from the Mexican border north finds parts of San Diego in the hands of TWC. Then Cox... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at VoIPWatch
Verizon is in the final throes of acquiring the modern day AOL. And while Google, and likely a few others are in the wings, unless something last minute happens AOL for the second time will be acquired by a legacy company from the old school era who is looking to move fully into the digital realm. Unlike Time-Warner, we all have to believe that this time around the leadership of the acquiring company won't stick their paws into the more modern company like Time Warner did, where their own agendas like rolling out phone service on Time Warner Cable led... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at VoIPWatch
Over the past few weeks Dell has been having a series of posts on their "PowerMore" blog site about the subjects of VoIP and Unified Communications. Today, a third appeared in which some of my thoughts are shared. But don't think Dell is doing this just because Voice and Unified Communications are topics of interest again. Dell is doing this because of two key relationships they have forged. One with Vonage which is what has led to both Telesphere and Simple Signal being acquired by Vonage, and the other with long time partner, Microsoft who is in the middle of... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at VoIPWatch
San Francisco based Switch Communications today announced they raised $35 million dollars in a strategic Series C round, adding to their $18 million already raised previously. TechCrunch's Ryan Lawler has the news. Switch offers a cloud based telephony service aimed at businesses and enterprise customers and also supplies conference calling services under the UberConference brand. The round is viewed as strategic because a large percentage of the new money into the company is coming out of Asia, and in turn the partners who are putting money in, which includes SoftBank, are connected to the mobile operators in that part of... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The group of analysts and media assembled at the Dimension Data Perspectives 2015 are all a day and a half into the full two day gathering. Without question it is an "A" list of the who's who from IDC, Forrester, Gartner Nemertes, Ovum, UC Strategies and more along with a smattering of key media and bloggers. My initial takeaway is that Dimension Data is taking business away from three groups around the globe: 1. Internal IT 2. Small IT shops whom I call two guys and a truck 3. The Telcos and IT Consultancies The first two are no surprise,... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2015 at VoIPWatch
I'm in Prague for the Dimension Data Perspectives 2015 Analyst event and had to catch up with a friend in Melbourne. We usually talk using Viber and text between that and WhatsApp. After a 10 minute of so text exchange I just called her, using the new VoIP functionality inside WhatApp for the first time. Wow, was it impressive. I was on my iPhone6 and she was on her Samsung Galaxy 4 and the audio was clear as day with beautiful HD quality. The call didn't sound at all like a typical mobile phone call, as it was rock solid,... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Yesterday IHS Infonetics put out their Unified Communications Scorecard f0r 2015 ranking 8x8 first. I asked 8x8 why they thought they were deserving of the title and this is why they feel they're better: Elite Touch - For National and International customer onboarding Solution design: Gather customer requirements, perform a thorough network assessment, identify all of the call and interaction flows and provide the system design required to meet your organization’s unique needs. Administration training and deployment: Configure the implementation while training contact center and line-of-business managers on how to get the best value from their system. System test and... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at VoIPWatch
39. That's the number of companies that my agency and I have been involved in that have exited in the last 15 years. Tomorrow on the AIM, the junior market of the London Stock Exchange has Verseon, going public at a 310 million pound valuation. That makes the company's street value over $450 million dollars, with the company still in control of just under 4/5ths of their stock as the raise was anticipated to be 65.8 million pounds or roughly 100 million dollars according to the Financial Times. It may have taken 13 years to happen, but for everyone who... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The headline says it all. Now, at least with United Healthcare, doctors can make house calls using video technology. And this is a big deal, a point Wired touches on in their story. It's a big deal because it offers patients and practitioners more options, but it's only the start. With WebRTC having a very secure data channel this means not only will video be what's transmitted to a doctor while you're being virtually examined, but with sensors and beacons, plus the cloud, all of your vital statistics like heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, temperature can be transmitted as well.... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Sprint, back in 2001 was one of the first investors in Boingo. Back then, the idea of a commercial Wi-Fi network was viewed as far-fetched. For starters very few devices even had Wi-Fi. Mobile and data were just getting started, and the need while there, wasn't nearly as necessary as it is today. Over the last 14 years Sprint and Boingo have had a series of relationships, so when news broke this past week about Boingo and Sprint cutting a Wi-Fi Seamless Roaming agreement, I wasn't surprised. Beyond the investment, Boingo has always had an agreement where Sprint customers could... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2015 at VoIPWatch
I have been using OpenTable, the restaurant booking service since almost it's inception. And, honestly, making reservations and managing them is so, so easy. But, for whatever reason, they're keeping their restaurants in the dark ages. One of my biggest pet peeves with the service is the restaurants desire to "confirm" the reservation with a phone call. Almost always those calls come at the most inopportune moment. Like when I'm sleeping or in a meeting. Given OpenTable has apps for iPhones and Androids, how hard would it be to use the built in notification system, and their own app to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Thirteen years ago, a serial entrepreneur, who I had worked with in the late 90s and early part of the start of the century, Adityo Prakash talked to me about an idea. The idea was to drive drug discovery, not the traditional way, purely in the lab, but through complex algorithms that would simulate certain interactions in silicon to find drugs for many diseases that impact human health. The 13-year quest of Adityo Prakash and Eniko Fodor’s Verseon, a story they kept by design as much as possible in stealth from a communications perspective, could become one of Silicon Valley’s... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2015 at VoIPWatch
I keep watching as T-Mobile is winning new customers and have to admit, that having been one of their customers for over 15 years, as well as with Verizon and AT&T, the Magenta network is constantly getting better. And they are doing a better job than the competition of telling the world that they are. Honestly, I haven't used my Verizon iPhone 5 that much since the iPhone 6s arrived. The first reason was how poor the voice quality on Verizon has become, especially on calls routed via Google Voice or Switch to the phone. This is the opposite when... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2015 at VoIPWatch
I have seen the future of Conference Calling, and it's "Just Call Me." Just Call Me was created by Voxygen, the UK telecom product design company started by Dean Elwood (VoIP User, Truphone, etc.) Voxygen started up a few years back with the premise of approaching telephony as "Voice as a Service", the new Just Call Me service is currently only available for O2 users in the UK, but given Voxygen's relationships with Telefonica and other mobile carriers I suspect that won't be the case for long. (To learn more about Voxygen check out the profile from back in January... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2015 at VoIPWatch
For the past two years, when it came to WebRTC video many early developers would look at TokBox and use their platform. Today, the heavyweight of heavyweights in developer programs, Twilio fired a broad shot across the bow and entered the fray. This is big news for WebRTC because Twilio has the key part of the equation. The developers. And that means a lot more than what they have in their stack. Their entry also begs the question how Genband will react as they have been tossing Kandy around for months but with hardly any news about deployments. Tsahi also... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2015 at VoIPWatch
BlogGeek.Me has the skinny on Facebook Messenger using WebRTC, and it is big news. Messenger adding WebRTC is big news because it comes at a time when Skype has taken their eye off the ball. Skype is now chasing the business crowd, and in turn, not doing much to keep the consumer market loyal. And, the consumer market is what Facebook owns. The addition of real-time communications based voice and video by Facebook, something they have been trying to offer for many years going back to the earliest days of their apps, keeps people inside the universe of Messenger. Given... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at VoIPWatch
I've been collecting wines since the 80s and have been enthralled by the wines made from Rhone grapes coming from regions all over France. That's why when I find older wines in the cellar that I forgot I had I just have to open them to see where they have ended up. Last night was one of those nights and the old wine of the night was a 1994 Domaine Sorin Cotes de Provence. Yes, 1994. As in 21 years old, for a wine that cost back then about $8.00 a bottle. In this case the Sorin wine, which is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at WINESCENE
Let's face it, like many, I have a love/hate relationship with email. While I'm doing as much as I can to move things over SLACK, Skype and Yammer, PushBullet, plus iMessage, Facebook Messenger and Twitter there's still a lot of dependency on email no matter how much we all try to get off of it. Thankfully, I'm starting to become much less "stuck" in my INBOX(es) and today got around to purging two of them. It all started with Mailstrom and SaneBox, a killer combination that are both metrics based. Mailstrom which I've been using since it was in Beta... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Telzio, the all cloud-based telco, which I first wrote about in September 2013, continues to make progress with their platform and the rich array of services that they offer. The Los Angeles based company has added the same leading and wanted features that customers of RingCentral, Vonage and 8x8 clamor for and make use of regularly. They have accomplished all this by busily executing on the technology work to get on par with the three publicly traded companies' feature-wise. At the same time, Telzio has also been continuing to propel their insanely low pricing model where they only charge per... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2015 at VoIPWatch
It's getting interesting again in the VoIP world. After months of basically not much happening, we're beginning to see the return of what Jeff Pulver labeled Purple Apps and Alec Saunders highlighted in his Voice 2.0 Manifesto of years ago. It's almost hard to believe this has all taken almost ten years or more to see the excitement really get rekindled again, but for some reason after years of "me too, me also" but not much "me different" I'm feeling that the winds of change are a comin'. Let's start with Google. Today 9to5Google reported about GMeet, a service that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Today Ad Age had a very interesting take on the state of television related to the limitations surrounding Sling TV customers being able to watch everything that the channels they are carrying. I first I looked at the news like most people. "Oh gosh, they're screwing over subscribers." As someone who has deep experience with the idea of "limited edition" products like wine which I collect, and trading cards, which I marketed at The Upper Deck Company in the 90s, I understand "limited edition" Then I looked again, giving it more thought, That was when I began to compare the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at VoIPWatch
A friend recently said I need to follow my passion for wine when I was in France. Another said it a few nights ago as we were discussing two very different wines from the Ribera del Duero, one from JC Vizzcara and a second from Pruno. That got me thinking about who is worth reading when it comes to wine that you should know about. The first of course is importer Kermit Lynch and his two books, "Adventures Along the Wine Route" and "Inspiring Thirst." The next is Terry Theise, who like Lynch imports wines, but focuses on Champagne, Germany... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at WINESCENE
Over the past week or so I've got a new friend. Her name is Alexa and she's awesome. Alexa is my digital assistant tucked away in my Amazon Echo, a combination smart look up device, music player and speakerphone. Honestly, it may be the best speech recognition device to come along since Webley. Today I got around to exploring the Echo app on my iPhone adding connectivity to Pandora, Tune In and discovering/rediscovering all the CDs I had purchased from Amazon before the arrival of iTunes. It was like finding your old high school locker where you had shoved text... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement folks (not to be confused with Homeland Security) are making great strides to improve the "welcome home" and "welcome to the USA" experience. And, they're doing it with your smartphone and applications. For years we have been filling out a form as we land, and then presented it to the Immigration officer as we entered the USA. Along came Global Entry, where we insert our passport, present our fingerprints and allow a retinal scan to be taken. For those in Global Entry, the process dramatically reduces time, and if you carry on your luggage... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2015 at VoIPWatch
If you look at the US Telecom preemptive lawsuit against the FCC's Net Neutrality action taken this week and then look deep enough at what is being done in Tennessee you'll likely see the same players working behind the scenes to limit muni-broadband providers expansion out of governmental footprint. The incumbents already have easements and rights of way, usually grandfather agreements dating back to the last century, where there was only one telephone provider, cable tv was a dream, not yet a reality. The cable guys had to fight, buy and struggle to get the same access, which they eventually... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2015 at VoIPWatch