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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
I've been following Disney's pursuit of their own streaming service and the process they've undertaken to get there. For starters they signaled their intention and then acquired the infrastructure of MLB's streaming group. That was a key and very schrewed move, as the MLB infrasructure was already supporting other companies, like WWE, and was a proven, battle tested and state of the art network. It also brought with it relationships and talent that understood how to stream and scale. Next they signaled again, telling the market that properties of theirs in the Marvel family would be coming to Disney+. This... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2019 at VoIPWatch
Pal and former client, Dave Gilbert, who led Simple Signal to their successful exit to Vonage is back in Telecom with his recent investment and new found role with BuyerMedia. The telecom world needs more media outlets, especially ones that are focused on the end user or buyer. Too much of what's left is mostly "announcement" journalism. Hopefully the new Buyer leadership stays true to their name and writes for and from the buyers' perspective vs. rehashing bland news releases, recycled b.s., and where much of the information is taken at face value. Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2019 at VoIPWatch
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For a long time I was a high volume, frequent buyer of wine. My collection at one point swelled to over 11,000 bottles and between on site and off site storage I never had a need for more wine. So even today, with my collection and the wines I make, and what is now a more modest sized stash, I find that buying wine in state is just not cutting it for me, as the wines I like are often not found on local retailers shelves, or when some are, the distributor has chosen not to stock the entire book... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2019 at WINESCENE
New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov gave an interesting interview on VinePair. When media leaders take the time to share their thoughts it's always a good interview to check out. Asimov, who may be the most populist style writer of wine critics talks about the trends in wine, the Natural Wine movement and supermarket wines. His perspective on supermarket wines, also known as mass market wines included a discussion about The Prisoner. He also talked about millennials and their impact on the premium wine world. My view on supermarket wines are rather polarized. Most of the wine on mass... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2019 at WINESCENE
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A new event is always a tricky endeavor. Take it from someone who has been involved in hundreds of events and thousands of event days through the years. But wine events, like a vintage is always full of unknowns. Will winemakers support the event? Will the trade buyers show up? Will the media care? How do you promote the event? Those are just some of the challenges that new event organizers will face. So do those repeat event organizers who have the beneft of reaching out to past attendees and a track record for what the event will be like.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2019 at WINESCENE
Avaya, the Phoenix that rose from the ashes and out of bankruptcy is reportedly in play to be acquired by an unnamed private equity player via an LBO. And that's great news for telecom startups and growing independent companies. Avaya has had their share of ups and downs dating back to even before Silver Lake was their paymaster. The company, which has been many things to many, has been forging ahead with their hardware and software for some time. But they have also been moving more and more to the cloud, and there lies the opportunity for the startups and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2019 at VoIPWatch
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Strawberry Fields Forever. My first thought was that I fell into a Strawberry patch. That was my feeling when I took my opening whiff of the the new 2018 Kaeana Grenache Rose made by Mikael Sigouin. Here's a Rose made in Santa Barbara County that could be easily dropped into a blind tasting and easily mistaken for one from Tavel. Sigouin is one of the Grenache masters in Santa Ynez Valley. He really understands the grape and how to get the most out of it, and he always has. He, Lindquist Family Wine's Bob Lindquist during his ownership of Qupe,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2019 at WINESCENE
The term "direct to consumer" or DTC is being bandied about the wine world more and more every day. Unfortunately, if you're not a winery shipping your wine directly to the consumer, you're not DTC. This means etailers, retailers, importers, wholesalers and brokers are not DTC as the whole idea behind direct marketing is to eliminate the middleman. Even being a direct importer, or an exclusive retailer doesn't make put them in the DTC camp as they are in the middle of the sale to the consumer. With all the buzz around Direct to Consumer, I fully expect some retailers... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2019 at WINESCENE
On the surface the Robocalling announcement about the efforts by AT&T and Comcast yesterday sounded like a big deal. Well folks, it really isn't. The move by the two is more of what can be labeled as a "pushback defense" ploy against the FCC telling the two giants to get moving on the robocalling problem than delivering a real fix. It PR terms it's grandstanding. In marketing speak it's "directional" but anyone with a B.S. detector, it's a more of a tactic to slow down the FCC by following the doctrine of the industry doing something so govenment doesn't (the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2019 at VoIPWatch
Voxbone, long known as the provider of numbers and carrier services to VoIP providers has packaged up and moved their services to the cloud, and are offering enterprises a Communications as a Service model. This move takes aim at the enterprise market and appears to make them a bit competitive to many of their own customers, while also paving the way for more parts of their communication stack to be made available to more customers worldwide. "Historically, Voxbone has provided its services under a resale framework, to sophisticated clients that are power users of the Voxbone core network and functionality.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2019 at VoIPWatch
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I've long been a buyer and consumer of wines by Domaine de la Mordoree. My first whiffs of their famed Tavel rose wines came at one of the earliest visits to Decouvertes du Rhone, where the line up of Tavel's at a tasting in the eponymous named wine's town showed how much more potential Rose has as more than an aperitif, but equally as a food wine. The Mordoree wines though are not only from Tavel ,or their home base in Lirac, as the family also has holdings on both sides of the Rhone, including in Chateauneuf du Pape. That's... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2019 at WINESCENE
Earlier this week I posted a 2017 Rose wines retrospective. One of those I also enjoyed more than a few times is one of the more price approachable wines from Provence, the 2017 Estandon Cotes du Provence Rose. This is not a rose like say Chene Bleu or Aupilhac, or even the Rose's from Bandol producers like Tempier or Pradeaux. So while I'm not drinking Roquefort Rose every day, this is a great example of what you would drink in Provence on a hot summer day and just enjoy. It's not big. It's not something you spend time disecting. What... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2019 at WINESCENE
With Enterprise Connect coming up next week, already the companies who are exhibiting there are sharing their news. One that sounds innovative, given the team behind the current iteration of VoIP Innovations, stands out as something worth checking out. The idea of a channel marketplace for CPaaS is not far off from what CEO Dave Walsh sought to do with his previous company Shango, nor is it far off from what Luis Borges-Quina, who sold ApiDaze to VoIP Innovations, had up his sleeve either. The reason this idea has legs is the "showroom" aspect of the concept. Anyone who ever... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2019 at VoIPWatch
As the USA Grenache Ambassador for the Grenache Association I take my Grenache very seriously. In 2014 I made a 100 percent Grenache wine from the 2013 vintage with Doug Margerum under the Comunicano Wine Company label dubbed the "Ambassadors Blend." It was a Californian's take on the Rhone Valley's best known region for Grenache, Chateauneuf du Pape. The wine stylistically was conjured up to be in the vein of the famed Chateau Reyas, as the bouquet reminded both Doug and I of that, and the body was silky and sexy. So while it's evolved nicely, I know it never... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2019 at WINESCENE
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As the 2017 Rose selection goes into the sunset, and as the 2018’s get ready to hit our shores in the USA, it’s time to reflect back on some of the best Roses of the year. This is never an easy task. There are so many to amazing Rose wines to choose from every year. So hopefully, this will help set the stage for what to look for from the 2018’s as they start to arrive this month and next, while also providing a guide for what may be some bargains as some 17s that remain on shelves are worth... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2019 at WINESCENE
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It was 2005 when I first visited Austria's Kremstal and Kamptal wine regions. With some help and advice from longtime Austrian wine importer Terry Theise, whom I first met at Jamey's in Philadelphia back in 1989 or 90, I visited a series of the Kamptal region's top producers, including Nigl, Brundlmayer, Heidler and Gobelsburg and dined like a king at Gasthof Jell and Landhaus Bacher. On Theise's recommendation, I went to Nigl on that trip, and a few others since, each time more wowed by the pristine style of wines they produce, and the ethereal, almost out of this world... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2019 at WINESCENE
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I remember the first time I popped a bottle of Corsican red. It was an Antoine Arena Patrimonio and came as part of a sampler case from wine hunter Kermit Lynch. In truth I have known Kermit since 1989 when he was on a book tour for his seminal tome, "Adventures Along the Wine Route" which has been updated and republished many times since. I met Lynch at my longtime friend, and now Kermit Lynch's head of restaurant sales, Steve Ledbetter's Odeon in Philadelphia on one of my usual after university classes lunches. Those meals, which included French country wines... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2019 at WINESCENE
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Old loves they say, die hard. And when it comes to wine, there's no older love of the rare, obscure or esoteric wine in my past than the wines from Cahors in France. Long before the Argentines were selling Malbec by the ton and making headway in the USA for well priced, well made and well aging reds, the region of Cahors was a mecca for Malbec (and merlot too.) My first exposure the famed "black wine of Cahors" was Clos Triguedina, a wine imported then and still now by Vineyard Brands. I recall buying a bottle in Manhattan Beach... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2019 at WINESCENE
I just read a fascinating and very logical article about contact centers and wait times published by Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management. If call centers or contact centers are core to your business, or if you've ever waited on hold to get help or support, it's a must-read. With algorithms and analytics at the core of so many businesses today, the challenge of wait times and hold times to get problems solved is directly tied to customer satisfaction and over time, customer retention. In the cases where there's a competitive environment the customer's ability to leave is directly proportional to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2019 at VoIPWatch
HBO's new chief Bob Greenblatt says Netflix doesn't have a brand. What a juvenile statement and one that is more fighting words than facts. Not only is Netflix a brand, its multi-generational, it's the brand that has replaced HBO as the "other place to watch." For starters Netflix knows more about its' audience than HBO does. Netflix has for years been using audience metrix to determine which content it puts on the screen. It is also way ahead of HBO on deployment of compression technology, and has figured out how to best work with the broadband and mobile providers. HBO,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2019 at VoIPWatch
Apple is repeating a proven strategy in it's move to add 1200 or more jobs to a new office campus it plans to build in San Diego, not far from Qualcomm. The decision to go there, and establish a mobile chip engineering team is well timed, as Qualcomm has been laying off and shedding bodies quietly for the past six years. This has been happening due to pressure from one of its investors a few years back, and while publicly they have denied it, the efforts in San Diego with people prove otherwise. The logic is simple. Qualcomm is suing... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2019 at VoIPWatch
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The 2017 Domaine Jaume Generation is another hit in the same vein as the 2016, 2015 and 2014's were. The bistro bottling from the small southern Rhone producer is the kind of easy to drink, approachable value priced wine that you find being poured in bistros, brasseries and cafes all over France. It has low alcohol (under 14%), is loaded with juicy fruit and offers up a non-stop bouquet that seems to never end. The Vinsobre grown blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre also has layer upon layer of fresh berry flavors making it a real crowd-pleaser that outshines wines... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2019 at WINESCENE
I've been a user of Google Fi for a few years now. I've also been a longtime user of Google Voice and Hangouts. Of late, I've been experimenting with Duo, Google's version of Skype meets Apple's Facetime. Like Skype, Duo let's you make outgoing calls, presenting your choice of numbers, much like Skype. Like Facetime you can make Duo to Duo calls without the chat. Somewhere, Android Messages plays into this. What I see is Google converging all the services, as they blend the OTT capabilities of Voice and Duo with the data centric service known as Fi. Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2019 at VoIPWatch
Maybe it's being able to view Mobile World Congress from afar, but after getting past the 5G hype and "foldable" mobile phone news, for someone who has been around mobile and telecom for over 20 years it feels like a hangover where the bartender drank up what wasn't. For starters the news felt really lightweight. But at the same time there was so much non-news generated by companies that anything that could be groundbreaking wasn't happening in Barcelona. Thankfully, other than missing the great food and wine, I was happy to not be there. Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2019 at VoIPWatch
Google and Sprint have a very interesting past when it comes to telecom, which is why the announcement about Google Fi and 5G via Sprint is really interesting. Looking back at history, Google and Sprint became friendlier when GoogleVoice numbers were first made usable as the primary mobile number on Sprint's wireless network. That ended last year but it was something that was really useful so its no surprise that Google and Sprint and teaming up again. When you look at Fi adding 5G radios to the next generation of Pixels phones and then other Androids is a smart move.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2019 at VoIPWatch