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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
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 12 hours ago 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 6 days ago 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 7 days ago at VoIPWatch
A series of stories about Facebook and their interest in banking all basically say the same thing. That banks may be willing to share information with the social media giant. One angle I didn't see come through was the impact on Yodlee. For years, Yodlee has been a key data interchange player in the banking world. With Facebook getting in the mix, Yodlee could end up the loser. Third parties have for years been beholden to Yodlee as the company has had almost an unbreakable stranglehold on the transport of data between entities. Now with Facebook entering the picture that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2018 at VoIPWatch
In what may be overlooked by some as "just another acquisition" former Comunicano client (right up to the IPO) Boingo made a very shrewd buy today that gets them into the growing apartment and condominium market quickly. Long the provider of choice in airports, shopping malls and office buildings, this expands their reach into apartment houses and condominiums which either rely on an IT company to wire up their building, or the cable or telcos to install Wi-Fi that worked in the common areas like hallways, gyms and lounges. With more new properties going mixed use, and the eventual arrival... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Uber, the ridesharing service has been making a ton of mistakes, but the biggest one is ignoring the most important asset they have. People. Recently they announced a deal with Cargo, to put snacks and other products on sale inside their drivers cars. There's only one problem with that. They never told the drivers. In three cities I've had Uber rides in since the announcement, not one driver has been told about the new way for them to make money, nor do they even know what a Greenlight Hub is. This tells me either the program is a test program... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I read Tsahi's well thought out post about the recent TokBox acquisition. Overall I found very little to disagree with, and appreciated the candor about the global carriers in ability to execute. Let's face it. The legacy folks have been making money off of services like landline and dial tone for years. The mobile folks make money from subscriptions and add on services. But neither have innovated. One key point that Tsahi brought up was how Vonage was dependent on Amazon Chime. My view is Amazon eventually enters the "phone" space and Vonage doesn't want to rely on a looming... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Over the past few years, largely spurred on by my friendship with the Rolet family, owners of Chene Bleu, I've been making wines of the Ventoux region of the Rhone something of a regular visitor to the area, and while most of my tasting of wines from there has been either as part of dinner parties or events, I have become a regular buyer and consumer of wines from what I feel is the next breakout region from the Rhone. Given the Ventoux is one of France's oldest regions where wine has been made and grapes have been planted, one... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2018 at WINESCENE
With everything going on surrounding my new Pixelbook, the Vonage/Nexmo acquisition of Nexmo I almost forgot to mention being on FreeSwitch's ClueCon Weekly this past week. It's been a while since I did video, let alone remote video, but the overall conversation with Michael Mavroudis, aka Jersey Mike. We spent almost an hour talking all about AI, the Vonage buy of TalkBox and telecom. Check it out. P.S. As part of transparency in journalism, FreeSwitch is part of SignalWire, a startup I'm a consultant to. Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I'm on my 5th Chromebook in about 7 years or so. I don't recall exactly when I bought a long gifted away Samsung Chromebook or the next one which has also been gifted away, but you'll have to pry the latest one, the Google Pixelbook, out of my hands. I LOVE IT. After 10 months of a Samsung Pro being the alternative to any one of always available MacBooks, MacBook Airs or MacBook Pros, I spent most of the last two months shifting between the Samsung Pro and a Dell Chromebook as I start to ramp up things again. And... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Two days ago I pointed out that CPaaS was the next big thing in telecom. About a month ago, I shared a comment with a client that it was time to watch out for Nexmo, as they were about to make moves. Yesterday, Nexmo, backed by Vonage cash since their acquisition, bought TokBox away from Telefonica for $35 million in cash and their liabilities. The sale though has to be considered a bargain for Vonage given how prior to 2012, when Telefonica acquired TokBox, the Bay area WebRTC pioneer had already raised $26 million in venture money. It was considered... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Over the past year during various conversations with telecom insiders including analysts and reporters there always seemed to be a question about CPaaS from UCaaS providers. At the present time, Twilio is likely the most commonly known CPaaS provider, quickly followed by Nexmo, which Vonage acquired. Plivo is another, and even has their own version of CPaaS they offer and Ribbon, the marriage of Sonus and GenBand offers KANDY. Even former client OnSip has their own CPaaS platform. In a nutshell, CPaaS provides a platform for custom development of applications and services that can hook into your telecom provider... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Yesterday Gartner released the 2018 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications, and to no surprise for the most part, the results are what's expected. Cisco, Microsoft, Mitel all made the top right quadrant, along with the surprising Phoenix like, Avaya, while Unify popped up in the visionary category. As GetVoIP explained on March 30th of this year, there's a big difference between the two MQ's from Gartner. The two different grids and reports separate out UC and UCaaS. The latter report is where the emerging cloud players like RingCentral, 8x8, Dialpad, Vonage and soon Google will all be considered for. That... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Oh, how I laughed as I read two news releases via Telecom Reseller this morning, one apiece from Vonage, and the other from their formidable competitor Ring Central. Back in 2005 here on VoIPWatch I coined the phrase "Me too, Me also, Me different" Every few years I would find a reason surrounding activities in the VoIP community that I've been "watching" and engaging in for now over 15 years (actually almost 20) to find more examples of that unimaginative behavior by businesses in telecom. I even strived to find differentiators and highlight them too, as thinking and doing different... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Slack, the workforce productivity platform and service that connects businesses and people the world over just acquired HipChat and Stride from Atlassian. For Atlassian it means Slack pays them for the next three years, while also giving the Australian company an equity stake in the business. For Slack, it means shutting down the HipChat service. What it means for Stride, a telephony offering of sorts, is going away as well. From Android Police: Those of you who use Hipchat and/or Stride shouldn't panic just yet; Atlassian will continue to manage its products and customers until February, at which point the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I've been a GoogleVoice user since the earliest days of GrandCentral. Back then not only was my agency handling blogger relations and social media for the disruptive startup, I was also an early investor and shareholder, just as I am today in Dialpad, so there's a lot of love for the service that is now at age 12 and also some conflict, so with the transparency out of the way, here's what I think. For a long time there has been scuttlebut about a new service called Wolverine that Google was experimenting with that would bring an enterprise grade telephony... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Yesterday in San Francisco Google held another day of NEXT, their cloud focused coming out party of sorts. The event, which was massively retooled over the past 11 months carries with it a renewed focus on bringing the Google Cloud eco-system more to the forefront that it has been. Appearances from CEO Diane Greene and others are hammering that point home. Previously, Google I/O, the more hardware centric event held each may had been the darling "showcase" event for the Big G, but now with a strong team, and some smart messaging, Google is getting ready to be a "fighting"... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Yesterday I was sent an invitation to join a conference call for "training" on a news distribution service along with a client. Given I'm attending ClueCon and that I need to get ready to be at the conference (i.e. shave, shower, dress, reply to morning emails, crank out The Comunicano newsletter, etc.) all before the "training" call would end, I politely replied with a decline, and also pointed out that my for my west coast client, the 730 AM start time would be a bit too early. Of course, I'm not in the senders address book, so this morning I... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Every day I receive an email from some "writer" at a "content marketing" agency representing some VoIP, mobile, collaboration, or fill in the blank company. Most of the emails are fairly direct, asking if I want a contributed article. For those who have been following me you know the answer is NO. For those who are new to VoIPWatch, let me repeat the answer. NO. I've been writing VoIPWatch for 15 years, with only one guest post ever so save your keystrokes...the answer is no. Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Hey Uber riders now Uber wants to you to dirty, soil and leave trash behind. At least that the impression of a few Uber drivers I spoke to about the deal with consumer products promotions company Cargo. I actually wish I had video recorded my conversation with Antonio, one of Milwaukee's highest rated Uber drivers yesterday. Think about this. You are being asked to either sample (Cargo is providing products from package goods companies and compensating the drivers) or buy something you may need. While things like car chargers, or power adapters are always needed by someone on the go,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I've been using Zipcar for almost ten years. When it first started the customer service was like what you experience with venture backed companies that want to grow. They lived by the rule that the "customer is always right" and their field force was on top of vehicle maintenance. Along the way, Zipcar proved how disruptive the car sharing model could be. It was to many of us, the long term rental alternative to Uber and Lyft, and it still is. Eventually AVIS bought the company, and unfortunately, the brand is not the same. The benefits of Zipcar that far... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Everyday, Monday through Friday, I put out a newsletter entitled, The COMUNICANO. If you want to subscribe, it's totally free, and you can easily sign up to receive it. The newsletter is an eclectic mix of stories affecting the changing technology landscape that effects us. Each edition can vary in length from about 8 to just over twenty stories that have caught my eye in the past 24 hours (72 for the Monday edition) and today, I ended it with an item from SPINSUCKS about Earned Media and company execs not taking time to talk with reporters. The article got... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Today Dialpad announced they raised $50 million more from a group of prior investors and one new one. Skype, which is seeing a flattening on user growth, announced a more mobile like version for the desktop, while giving the prior version an end of life date of September 1. At the same time 8x8, a perennial player in the VoIP world, announced the general availability of their new X Series platform. With all this news you would think that good old VoIP was back in vogue. But it's not. What we're seeing is the staging of the future unfold before... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Over the past half a dozen years or so I have gotten very familiar with wines that have the touch of "the Grenache God" Philippe Cambie. Cambie advises hundreds of producers, large and small, on winemaking and more, and while each maintain their own style, a credit to Cambie for not trying to make them all taste the same, it's his own Les Halos de Jupiter wines that always capture my attention. Recently a friend was tossing a party so I suggested she buy some of the 2016 Les Halos de Jupiter Cotes du Rhone and as a present she... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2018 at WINESCENE
I have a friend whose mobile phone died over the weekend. Another close friend had their phone drop into water. In both cases their mobile number was the way people stayed in touch with both, either by phoning them up or by text. And, since in both situations, their phones were dead, they were out of luck from the moment their phones stopped working, In the later case I received a Skype message telling me what happened followed by her asking what to do. Unfortunately going into the AT&T store to get a temporary replacement phone (i.e. a burner) led... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2018 at VoIPWatch