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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
Wine Bar Do Castelo R. Bartolomeu de Gusmão 11/13, 1100-000 Lisboa I am the first to admit that every since my first wine bar experience at Willi’s Wine Bar in Paris, my fascination with wine bars has been forever altered for the better. Years back in New York City there was this awesome wine bar down on Spring Street that offered wines by the glass and a placemat to take notes on, complete with crayons. Long gone now, it was a favorite of mine and some dear friends who loved to tip a glass or two. Visiting Wine Bar Do... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2015 at WINESCENE
Running in 4G/LTE and being a big "latch on" user of Wi-Fi as I wander around Europe, and for the next while, Lisbon has me staying in touch more and more by voice vs. email and text messaging with friends far and wide. Depending on the person, some still use their mobile number, but more and more of my travel buddies, those other nomadic types I know from Australia and the UK are far more reachable using other means. For starters I'm finding some like Viber while others like WhatsApp. Still others are massive users of FaceTime, and a few... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Here in Europe, other than Norwegian Air, Wi-Fi on flights is a missing link to my travel. It seems according to the recent Skift report, others feel in-flight connectivity is important too. Let's face it, I love to fly on Wi-Fi equipped planes in the USA because it keeps me "connected" and when I get off the plane my inbox isn't jammed, and I know more of what is going on around me where I land. That's why, when Virgin America first launched their service with Wi-Fi on every plane I pretty much stopped flying Southwest where I was an... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Over the past five weeks I've gone from living in beach community of Solana Beach, just outside of San Diego, to go on a quest to be a truly global nomad, working from anywhere and functioning, time zones aside, as if I was still there. This working elsewhere mode includes traveling through nine airports in seven countries and staying in 12 different "residences" or hotels, including three AirBnBs, two winery hotels, and seven traditional hotels. I can safely say that with planning and research, it's not hard to be working anywhere, but having experience sure helps. By experience, I mean... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Maybe it's me, but when I first heard the rumor of T-Mobile and Comcast getting together I had to look sideways and wonder how short the memories are of the reporters and editors who were quick to toss Comcast into the ring. Today, we're seeing Comcast do what they have to do. Stand down and stay away. And the why is Verizon and the sale of spectrum back in 2011, and with it, some rights and responsibilities tied to the sale that they and the other cable operators all agreed to as CNN's Money reported back in 2011. Beyond the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Often times we book flights on airlines that sell tickets under code share agreements with other airlines. Case in point my first of three "Lufthansa" flights to Prague at the start of the trip back in May was on United to Houston, while my two continuation flights were on Lufthansa. Check in on either airline, using the passenger name record (PNR) or what we usually refer to as our record locator, didn't work, and what's more, after some digging around and a call to Lufthansa it was discovered that there actually was a different PNR for the United leg of... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2015 at VoIPWatch
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 May 26, 2015 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 May 25, 2015 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 May 21, 2015 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