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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
I came across a note letting me know about a new mobile app from Panisonic that ties into their business phone system. When I read the note, it was full of just enough information to encourage me to look through the web site about the smartphone app. What I found was more than interesting and a more than smart approach to business communication. What stood out most of all was the ability to keep the calls only between team members, and the ability to reject non-Panasonic originating calls from even reaching the customer. This helps kill off spoofed calls, outside... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at VoIPWatch
Back in the early days of VoIP, there was a horrific incident involving a death, a baby and Vonage. This led to regulatory oversight of VoIP by the FCC. This was something that then fellow VoIPWatcher, Om Malik, had pretty much predicted while my archives show that there were efforts being taken earlier by Vonage and others. So when I read the Wall Street Journal's piece about Alexa and E911, I could only think back to what was a PR nightmare then for Vonage, but more, a tragic situation for the family. Let's face it. 911 in general sucks. Call... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at VoIPWatch
The Wall Street Journal has a great story about the decline or if you believer, the continuation of the use of the deskphone. As someone who has not had a home or office phone for so many years the story is mostly old hat. Given how voice over IP use and acceptance has steadily grown, there's less and less need for the old-school deskphone, especially in what is rapidly becoming a mobile first society. Apps, and cloud services, simply work better in software based endpoints like a smartphone or tablet vs. an endpoint which now have so many buttons and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at VoIPWatch
For many years I've used the rule of 3x to stop buying wines that have just gotten too pricey. A great example these days are Chateauneuf du Papes which are now at that point. Given I was buying them at under $20.00 and now many of those are now over $60.00 I'm back looking for the future finds in the sub $25.00 range. As a fan of Rhone varietals you can start in the Rhone and find some hidden gems. Let's start in the Northern Rhone. Producers like Patrick Jamin make sensational wines from the Cote-Rotie. But their third leaf... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2018 at WINESCENE
In what has to be more about intellectual property and gap filling, and a bit of an acquihire in nature, 8x8 has acquired Jitsi from Atlassian. You'll recall how HipChat was sold off to Slack a few months ago, so this seems to be the next step in trimming non-core assets by the Australian company as they focus. It's a good move for 8x8 as it gives them a proven team and access to technology that is mostly built upon WebRTC for their Meetings product as this will help shore up the 8x8 Meetings product, and also provide some additional... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at VoIPWatch
This is belated news and still sad. I just learned via the Kevin Tofel and Matt Miller's podcast that James Kendrick passed away. I will admit that after James departure from GigaOm that my interaction with James had been reduced. While we periodically exchanged some messages in social media, James and I hadn't really spoken in three years but he was one of the real pioneers in tech reporting, especially in the gadget realm. James was one of the first of the "unknowns" who I pulled into the Nokia Blogger Relations Program back in 2005. We became online friends, would... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at VoIPWatch
In what has been a long time coming, Uber, the world's largest ride sharing service, has added VoIP to their mobile apps reports Engadget and RedmondPie. There's a couple of benefits that come to mind almost immediately. First is the fact that those of us who have multiple phones and phone numbers will be more easily able to reach the driver and vice versa. Right now I use my Google Voice number but with changes to Google Voice it's not as easy to redirect the calls as it used to be to an international number (my GV number is enabled... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I have for years loved spending time in Lyon. The city is walkable. Has a great transit system and without question some of the best dining of any major city in the world. In many ways as much as I enjoy Paris, I find Lyon much more to my liking as the old school meets new school happens here. And it's also a great wine town. At Les Halles de Lyon de Paul Bocuse you can eat and drink to your heart's content. In one afternoon I had Oysters in one place, hanger steak and bone marrow at another and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2018 at WINESCENE
Given the meteoric rise of Twilio stock and all the noise they have been making I was looking forward to groundbreaking news out of their Signal conference in San Francisco this week. I didn't hear it or see it. Instead what I saw was largely the ongoing management of the message, via the media, in order to demonstrate to Wall Street and investors that all is going as planned. And maybe it is. But underneath all this I'm concerned. Let's look at why I'm concerned: The IoT SIM news is largely a rehash of their ongoing efforts to automate and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Years back I had the ability to memorize just about anyone's phone number. Part of the skill was pure memory tricks. Associating the person to an area code reduced the need to memorize 10 digits. Then there was repetition. The more you called someone, the easier it was to remember their number. Next was we had a dialer, then touch tone buttons, All that created touch memory. But with the arrival of the smartphone, integrated address books on our PC's and more, we lost the need to keep the numbers in our head, as it became easier to just simply... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2018 at VoIPWatch
So late yesterday the news out of Twilio's Signal conference broke that Twilio was acquiring SendGrid. Most of the coverage is straight out of the news release, with very little critical analysis. From my perspective $2 billion for SendGrid, a company with a perceived market value of $1.4 billion is a nice premium, and a win for their shareholders. For Twilio it adds revenue to the books, and helps with sales and marketing efforts. Given Twilio has been developer focused until after their IPO while SendGrid is enterprise sales focused, the buy actually helps Twilio become more enterprise oriented, presuming... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I just read the NY Time account of what is happening in Florida’s Panhandle and just have to question what’s being done. We live in an era of all types of communications being available. Why not retask some Internet capable satellites, drop in some Satellite tranceivers, flood the region with bandwidth and start to reestablish some communications. Add in some diesel generators so there can be power, some power outlets so people can charge up their devices, and people will start to be more in touch. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Over all the years I've visited my dear friend Sylvain Fadat of Domaine d'Aupilhac, and his family, I've enjoyed a few events. In no particular order there has been his 25 years of Aupilhac back in 2014 which even Kermit Lynch attended. There was also the party in a year or two earlier that we celebrated his 50th birthday, complete with my gift of the Tour (Tower) d'Fadat which along with Bernard Bardou and the help of his wife, Desiree, we were able to collect bottles from all 25 years and build them into a tower which was unveiled before... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2018 at WINESCENE
Here at my apartment building I have a Friday night dinner group who cook together, share what the week was like and now get to enjoy wines that I pull out of what seems to be a bottomless cellar. This past Friday I pulled some really interesting reds, all which have Syrah as part or as the only grape, and all that were so very different. The 2013 Sparkman Cellars Wilderness. This wine remains one of my favorite Washington State reds. As far back as the 2009 vintage, the oddball blend, that seems to change from year to year, just... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2018 at WINESCENE
Microsoft is making lots of moves these days. Their efforts in collaboration are going to challenge the usual suspects, but the biggest target is Cisco. This FastCompany article is worthy of a read, as it seriously explains Microsoft's approach with video conferencing. A lot of what Microsoft is doing now still doesn't justify the changes they have made with Skype over the past half a dozen years or so, but it does paint a picture of a company with a plan. Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2018 at VoIPWatch
I have Google Fi on a Pixel and my bill this month will be roughly $25.00. That's for unlimited voice and text, and a PAYG data plan. Since the Fi spends so much time on WiFi, and so little on 4G/LTE, the data that is being consumed is almost nothing so I pay almost nothing. Subtract $20.00 for helping a friend sign up for Fi, and my bill will be roughly $5.00 this month. Looking at the new iPhones, I realize I'll be able to use AT&T or T-Mobile (or both) as my eSIM provider in the USA, but I'll... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Longtime VoIPWatcher and close friend James Body and I were chatting this morning and he alerted me to an overlooked piece of news surrounding his former employer, and my former client, Truphone. The news surrounds Truphone being one of the chosen eSIM providers on the new iPhone. This is both massive news for the UK based global mobile operator, but also very big news for the global road warrior or multinational. Already available on the Apple SIM for Data, on a pay as you go basis, the eSIM changes the game and makes so much possible. And, given Truphone's global... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Skype is coming to the Amazon Echo soon. This is a big win for Amazon, and also at the same time could have massive ramifications to the entire voice and video calling industry. And it may also be the biggest boost to Skype resuming being a force in calling. Here's why Echo devices are becoming almost ubiquitous. They are also becoming dirt cheap. As low as $50.00 for the Echo dot. With the new in car Echo coming to mobile (2020) the ability to reach anyone, anywhere, will be easier. Imagine if Amazon and T-Mobile put SIM cards inside Echos... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2018 at VoIPWatch
In the telecom world, people come and go from companies all the time. But this week three major forces who have shaped VoIP have chosen to depart their companies. Longtime VoIP and Collaboration guru, and one of the fathers of SIP, Jonathan Rosenberg is leaving Cisco (for the second time). He'll be replaced by Cullen "Fluffy" Jennings....At Counterpath, CEO Donovan Jones has resigned and no successor has been named yet. His departure further makes Todd Carothers the go-to guy, while CFO David Karp will run the business day to day operationally.....and last but hardly least, Jeff Bonforte, one of the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2018 at VoIPWatch
We hear every day about a news leak, a photo leak or a video leak. It comes across like someone "discovered" something, found an image, heard a report, saw something. The reality is that in most cases these "leaks" are part of a strategy to build up interest. It's a lead up to the big news day. To give you background, I ran PR for the Upper Deck Company in 1991 and 1992. Granted social media wasn't around back then, but the so called "hobby press" was as aggressive about finding things out, especially about Upper Deck as we were... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2018 at VoIPWatch
The news broke yesterday what the cable operators and mobile operators will be doing surrounding the impending mother of all hurricanes and tropical storms. Florence. Like clockwork both Comcast (Xfinity) and Charter (Spectrum) announced they are making Wi-Fi free in the affected areas. From the cable operators perspective, the storm may be the moment of truth for them. Over the past decade they have been building out their own data networks, installing Wi-Fi access point and basically recreating the phone system. Opening the Wi-Fi networks and making them free is the right thing to do. Of course, there's more to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Two days ago I mused about the Google Disconnect, mentioning how big G has a way of just ending projects. Well Inbox is biting the dust under the guise of merging is best features into the GMail application. It's the right move. Having duplicate applications that basically are performing the same function leads to internal rivalry and customer confusion. It also divides the developer audience who have to pick which pony to bet on when it comes to building integrations. Lastly, it means divided loyalty amongst the users. Google isn't the first to go through this shedding and consolidation. Long... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2018 at VoIPWatch
A few months back AI got a swift kick in the pants with VoIP as Dialpad, 8x8 and RingCentral all made noise about their move into the Voice AI space. Clearly, in all cases, collaboration was not an afterthought, but a core part of the rationale as to why the three cloud communications companies were moving quickly in the direction of AI. Yesterday, ZDNet had a piece on this direction, quoting pal Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research. Lazar has always been a favorite of mine when it comes to collaboration, for as much as he muses about Unified Communications platforms,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Google is my provider for so much these days. GSuite. Pixel phone. Pixelbook. The Google Cloud powers my phone service, Dialpad and my conference bridge, UberConference. I dumped cable for YouTubeTV. In my life, Google is like Santa Claus. It knows when I've been sleeping. It knows when I'm awake. It knows when I've been bad or good (by my search habits) and Google knows where I go, via Google Maps and Waze. Google knows my music likes via YouTube Music. It knows my questions, via Google Home. To me, if Google doesn't know me by now.....well you get my... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2018 at VoIPWatch
Online, nothing is really what it appears to be, especially when it comes to business, and the spectacle that surrounds "the business." Today, the term, "influencer" has become a blanket euphemism for everyone who has influence, and is getting paid for it. So while it is easy for FTC to identify the online influencers, the rules don't seem to apply to the analyst community. As blogging took hold, and as we some of us attracted clients, or patrons, the FTC stepped in to make sure we all revealed our business relationships. In my case, I started to use the word... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2018 at VoIPWatch