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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
Marriott, which is still backpedaling from their $600,000 fine from the FCC for blocking users of Mi-Fi's at their Nashville area Gaylord Resort and Conference Center, is now in the process of introducing content from providers like Netflix, Hulu and Pandora right to guest room tv's. For a fee. This begs the question, are retailers, hotels, motels, hospitals and shopping malls Internet Service Providers? Are they already that under the current FCC definitions, or will they be under what's likely coming either from them, or from a proposed set of legislation from the House of Representatives that's making the rounds?... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at VoIP Watch
Citrix, best known to many readers here for GoToMeeting and many other enterprise services is getting in the phone business. The are quietly inviting GoToMeeting users into a soft launch for Convoi and they are aiming it to be your second line on your mobile phone, but with features that are geared around business, all based on an Over The Top (OTT) approach. Key highlights include a second number, voice calls and text. Much like Line2, FLYP or the original pioneers in this space Truphone and TalkPlus (both at times Comunicano clients). What's interesting is that Citrix's Convoi is how... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at VoIP Watch
AliBaba, the Chinese eCommerce giant has launched a social business communications service called DingTalk in Beta (Translation required) bringing back memories of what eBay hoped to and failed to do with Skype. The dream back when Skype was acquired by the online marketplace pioneer was to connect the business to business ecosystem that powered it and the customers who shop. That's exactly what AliBaba is trying to do today with DingTalk. The Chinese market is rapidly expanding, and today, DingTalk is only available in Mandarin. But already AliBaba is claiming their multiple ecommerce platforms have 8.5 million users, so they... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at VoIP Watch
Marriott Hotels has reversed its position on Wi-Fi and will no longer pursue their lobbying efforts with the FCC when it comes to blocking. For travelers who use Mi-Fi's this is good news, but more importantly, it shows that Marriott is beginning to rethink their digital strategy, and are beginning to listen to the public and influencers. This may also mean that other member hotels who joined up with Marriott who are members of the American Hotel & Lodging Association will likely take the same perspective but continue to lobby the FCC for clarification. SKIFT has more on this. Marriott... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2015 at VoIP Watch
WebRTC is alive and well, and in reality all the AT&T announcement did this past week was move it from the world of early stage and forward looking companies like Citrix with their free version of GoToMeeting, to, Talko, Wire, iotum with Calliflower and a cadre of collaboration service providers like who all see what it means for them and their customers. At the same time Cisco, Ericsson, Firefox are sticking more than their toes in the water, each finding ways to want to swing their weight, while emerging companies like client Temasys, Telefonica Digital’s TokBox and Acision... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at VoIP Watch
Last night I popped two stunning, well aged and certainly, not close to being finished in life red Chateauneuf du Papes from Domaine du Pegau. The two wines, from the 1998 and 2000 vintages were about as different as different could be. The 1998 was a old school style Chateauneuf du Pape, loaded with black fruit, wild meat, olives and herbs, but was very much rustic in style and taste. It had the kind of flavors that matched up really well with a morels, cepes and wild mushroom risotto. The 2000 is a much more elegant, softer and smoother wine,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2015 at WINESCENE
Having been a fan of Tuscan producer Vignamaggio since their wines hit the shores in the USA back in the 90's it was a treat to discover them available again after some years of absence. Add to that with the fact that I love Italian wines that made the 2007 Vignamaggio Castello di Monna Lisa Chianti Classico Riserva an immediate go to for Paleo Pasta and Meatballs night. The Castello di Monna Lisa Chianti Classico Riserva is one of those wines where you realize that aging it makes so much of a difference. Last year the wine was tight and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at WINESCENE
One of my favorite producers in the Languedoc was always Pic Saint Loup's Chateau La Roque, back in the day when Jacques Boutin was the winemaker. For me, when I was discovering wines from my favorite region, La Roque was a great way to understand Mourvedre based wines, and in reality, were easily rivals to the great wines of Bandol, but at much lower prices. Thankfully, uber-importer, Kermit Lynch has been bringing in the wines from here since the 90's and quite honestly, I don't know of a more consistent producer in his stable that rivals La Roque for QPV... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2014 at WINESCENE
Re/Code is reporting how Marriott and other hotel operators want FCC approval to be able to effectively block the use of mobile hotspots. If the hotels provided reliable WiFi so work can get done, the need for mobile hotspots wouldn't be necessary. But they don't. What's more this is really a "wolf in sheep's clothing" move by the hotel industry to use Wi-Fi and in essence mobile networks as an excuse to justify how they are no longer making money on: Phone calls-people use their cell phones Movie rentals-iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu Room service Delivery-Grubhub,, Amazon Fresh Gift shop... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2014 at VoIP Watch
Today a story broke about Coca Cola, one of the largest companies in the world, and was all about why they are turning off voicemail in their Atlanta HQ. It made me think back to a call to my cellular company many years ago where I asked them to turn off my voice mail, and to take the cost of it off of my bill. They couldn't. And they still can't. My point was I was using GrandCentral and I didn't need their Voicemail so I shouldn't be paying for a service I don't use or need. But today, the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2014 at VoIP Watch
The Comunicano Daily Changes. Lots and lots of changes in mobile. T-Mobile rolls a stash of data. Doctors make video house calls. Sprint drops their sponsorship of Nascar. Those stories and more are all just below...So now onto the news.. T-Mobile Allows Subscribers to Hold on to Unused Mobile Data T-Mobile USA, the fourth largest wireless carrier in the United States, said on Tuesday that it would allow customers to roll their unused mobile Internet data into the next month's billing. Or, as John Legere, the company's chief executive, put it in a video broadcast: "What you don't use, you... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2014 at VoIP Watch
The Comunicano Daily Apple Pay is rolling along. And like iTunes and the iPhone, more and more people and more retailers are using it. What's funny is Google had Wallet long before Apple Pay, yet the attention being given to Wallet vs. Apple Pay is small while Apple gets the attention. Dozens More Companies Sign Up for Apple Pay The list of companies working with Apple Pay continues to grow. On Tuesday, Apple announced that in recent weeks the company had signed up dozens more banks, retail stores and start-ups to adopt Apple Pay, the company's new e-commerce product, which... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at VoIP Watch
The Comunicano Daily The news out of Sydney touched me immediately on Sunday, as it was just about a year ago that I was near the coffee and chocolate shop that is currently under siege. That and the fact that I have friends in Sydney on both personal and professional levels. Thankfully, all are safe, and thanks to iMessage and email I knew within seconds of asking. While not on the same level as 9/11 in New York City, when I think how far we've come in the ability to contact and confirm that people are safe one can quickly... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2014 at VoIP Watch
This past week the long awaited Brydge Keyboard and Speaker for the iPad arrived. And I love it. Sure it's adding weight to my iPad Air 2, but it's also giving me a real keyboard experience, and the audio that can't be beat. The Brydge has the fit and finish that compliments my iPad and basically gives me a Mac Book like experience. The keyboard is solid and responsive and has keys that are mapped to the most used iPad functions including brightness and audio controls, as well as the @ key, up, down, left and right cursors, Spotlight and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2014 at VoIP Watch
Saturday evening Ray McKewon and I got together for our usual wine and food sharing night at Pamplemousse Grille where the conversation flowed, friends stopped by the bar to say hello and the food continues to be about the best around. We both kept our Paleo friendly menu, with Caesar salad and bone-in rib eye. I pulled wines from the bottomless cellar, two from the Maury region of France and one from the area known as the Cabardes. The two from Maury were from Mas Amiel, a producer best known for the fortified late harvest wines. First up was the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2014 at WINESCENE
The Comunicano Daily Hello from a very wet and rainy, windy, blustery San Diego. Normally called Sun Diego, we're having one of wettest mornings on record with the wet stuff coming in off the coast and making driving rather trecherous. It was so trecherous, today's Breakfast With The Fire Chief, an event being organized by the great folks at San Diego Fire Rescue actually called it off. And I thought only baseball games were called off because of rain? That's given me some time to whip up today's news and share some really interesting tidbits of news...First up is two... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at VoIP Watch
Last night I played the role Wine Knight and ambassador to ex San Diego WinePal who relocated to the Emerald City area but was searching for wine and food like in the old days of her time in San Diego. One never to leave a damsel in distress, I put out the word I was looking for a BYOB friendly spot in Seattle and pal Lyle Railsback, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Super Sales Guy replied. Lyle knows my collection a bit, having now imbibed twice in Portland the last few years, including a memorable night with Domain Aupilhac's Sylvain Fadat... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2014 at WINESCENE
Back in the day of VON and VoIP the most interesting part of the conference was always the Carl Ford led Interop. Part of the fun was getting your company in, then bringing all the gear and watching Carl masterfully orchestrate the interrelationships between vendors. Now, it can and is being done IN THE CLOUD and virtually. This month a bunch of folks have banded together to organize what is described as the world's First Vendor Independent WebRTC Coding Fest, simply known as WebRTC Fest. The panel of judges reads like a who's who in WebRTC land that observes the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2014 at VoIP Watch
For the past month or so I've been aware of what became news today. I've been named "Business Traveler of the Year" by Business Travel USA Magazine. The honor, which I share with traveling Navy Wife, Heather Wilson, is just that. An honor. It's a "Red Badge of Courage" or in my case it really feels like winning the NHL's "Hart Trophy." So while I've been bestowed other awards like the Chevalier du Commanderie (Faugeres Conferie) which makes me a Knight (of wine) or being named USA Ambassador for the Grenache Association, this one carries the wounds of battle that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2014 at VoIP Watch
The Comunicano Daily Lots of news from different parts of the connected world this morning. For starters, IBM wants to take on the problem with email, via a new service called Verse. Hopefully, the song doesn't remain the same. Verse comes at a time when Google is also rolling out INBOX and services like Slack are taking a major foothold in the pseudo time communications sector. IBM Launching Web-Based Email Service International Business Machines Corp. is launching a new offensive against Google Inc. and others in the email market, offering a Web-based service that marks a rare direct appeal by... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at VoIP Watch
This statement in the ComputerWorld article about Sprint and AT&T Mobile offering next generation conferencing services from UberConference and Cisco is really all about. Net neutrality and parity. Because of this over-the-top services debacle, the net neutrality debate takes on greater meaning. If carriers can offer their own content and services on their own networks, they don't have to worry as much about whether they are throttling somebody's else's third party service, and they don't have to levy a higher charge on that third party to give its service greater priority on a busy network. What this also means is... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at VoIP Watch
The news surrounding Sprint adding UberConference so far has been as loud as a pin drop, but it is something to realize is clearly a tell for where pal Craig Walker is taking the company that is now known as Switch Communications. He's gunning for the enterprise, and with $18 million dollars of A16Z and Google Ventures cash, plus his own money, he and the team there have the pieces, parts and smarts to do it. This reseller deal though will now hinge on the concept of selling through, as Walker and Co. have accomplished the "selling in" but are... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2014 at VoIP Watch
The Comunicano Daily Today starts WebRTC World in San Jose, CA. Already Cisco has made news at their own event a few hundred miles south in Los Angeles with a new service called Project Squared (see a few stories down)....Nokia is back and at the Slush Conference in Helsinki with an Android based tablet to rival the iPad....Technology has moved so fast that some are claiming the smartphone is now passe and connected devices are the new "IT" thing....Better image recognition is alive and well, so watch for new cameras to hit the market that show even more.....NYC Lync's Up... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2014 at VoIP Watch
The Comunicano Daily You can always tell when the news cycle is starting to slow down. It's when dirt, rumors and soft news starts to take hold. That's what this morning feels like as I scanned looking for stories. The holiday period is here and the next few weeks will be more about Cyber Monday, Black Friday and all the offers, deals become very visible. The first story is really revealing about Facebook, and how they basically build their own technology after looking at everything else when they can. It helps them maintain a market lead, and they don't provide... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at VoIP Watch
The Comunicano Daily It's always nice to wake up to see Comunicano clients in the news. Today, GigaOm's David Meyer captured the news about Temasys launching the All AWS (Amazon Web Services) based Skylink for WebRTC developers. In essence, if someone is building services on Amazon's Web Services platform they can now quickly and easily use Temasys' technologies quickly and easily. Temasys wants AWS users to embed WebRTC comms using its platform The WebRTC company Temasys has released a platform called Skylink to help other firms build real-time communications into their apps and services. Because it is entirely built on... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2014 at VoIP Watch