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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
It’s head scratching time. Or, as the Ben Grimm character would say “it’s clobbering time.” Why both? Well Ericsson bought Vonage today for an immense about of money. More than they ever paid for any company and which clearly helps set a new high bar in value for cloud service companies which focus on the enterprise market globally. The price is high and that’s the scratcher. The clobbering means someone will be. It may be the Vonage customer base which will have to endure integration and transition, vendors to Vonage who are used to their payment and procedure processes, employees... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2021 at VoIPWatch
There's a lot being written today about RCS (rich communications suite) from Google/Android and how the three major U.S. mobile operators-AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, have all embraced it and are rolling it out. Well, they're clearly not doing it to replace the legacy SMS platform on Android devices because it's the greatest invention since the iPhone (which it doesn't currently work on). And, if you think about it, the whole encryption thing being bandied about is another red herring. Any mobile user wanting to use encryption is using Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp or any of the many other apps that already... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2021 at VoIPWatch
As the Covid-19 Pandemic continues, and as the world starts to reopen, the wine industry finds itself in a very different position than it has been experiencing over the past 15 months as businesses far and wide sort of are returning to normal. But with all the changes that the Corona virus caused to so many industries, the wine world, like those others, has seen things change too, and there may be no going back to where things were like in 2019. First, travel is still not back to the pre-Covid levels, but it's getting there. This is impacting international... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2021 at WINESCENE
This week is IT Expo, one of my favorite conferences of the year. And for the first time in a long time, with the last time being due to a cancelled red eye flight over ten years ago, I'm not going. And, unlike that aborted trip, this time it was my choice, and that choice was despite offers from clients to pay for my room, and offers from friends at TMC to continue my moderating streak of many years. Did I want to attend? Yes. But a series of factors weighed in, and given this is a personal choice, I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2021 at VoIPWatch
Wow. As I look at winners of three star Michelin restaurants in France and elsewhere, I'm blown away. No, not by the number of newcomers but by some of the memories I'm having from dining at these places, long before they even earned star one. You can find the list here. As someone who plans trips around restaurants and wineries, I'm often digging into the local news, best of articles what's new and reviews about a town or region long before I even look at the Michelin Guide these days. Sure, the Red Book has always been a data point,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2021 at WINESCENE
It's been a while since I've written here on VoIPWatch. A lot has changed and yet in many ways the song remains the same. In the hey day of blogging I would post three to four items a day, share my opinion and the cabal of other bloggers like Om, James, Rich, Jeff, Martin, Ted, Alec, Jim, the late Russell, all would also be posting, linking and sharing. Here, I chose to take a perspective based on the core ideas of blogging-I offered insight, perspective and opinion, which I referred to as IPO. I did this, often with a cadre... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2020 at VoIPWatch
Today Bandwidth announced they are acquiring Voxbone, a company I'm very familiar with from years of working with them in their early stages before becoming PE-backed. I've always admired their foresight, and recall how they always had Bandwidth in their sights, first as a customer, then wearily as a competitor, and even as a possible merger candidate. The deal makes a lot of sense, as for Bandwidth, as this removes a layer of supplier/co-opitition in North America, while expanding their footprint globally. The obvious layer it removes is the battle for the supply for telephone numbers, a service both have... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2020 at VoIPWatch
I've been giving a lot of thought and time to Rose lately. You know, the slightly pink or light salmon red colored wine that fills your glass during summer, and serves as a great accompaniment to charcuterie and cheese as well as salad and grilled dishes too. Rose has really become en vogue as the perfect poolside sipper during hot days all over the world. It also happens to be a great way to “break the ice” with new friends who are just getting more serious about wine, as well as being something you can drink all by itself. Rose... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2020 at WINESCENE
I've been a fan of Tom Krazit since his days at the original GigaOm, and my pal Om Malik introduced me to him. Tom has been "in the cloud" as a journalist from it's earliest days, and his work at Protocol Cloud has continued to be some of the most insightful and spot-on writing in journalism today. His no B.S., non-shill style of reporting is in the Om style, so when he wrote today that "Microsoft wants to be the phone company," it hit the same cord that I heard when I read Microsoft's own unveil. Couple this with the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2020 at VoIPWatch
Over the past few weeks I've been thinking more and more about how much tech jewelry I've been carrying around. In round numbers it's like this: Mac Book Air 2020 $1600 or Samsung Galaxy Chromebook $1000 iPad Mini w/LTE $ 700 iPhone XS $1150 One Plus 8 $ 700 That's over $3,500-$4,000 in tech I'm carrying around when I travel-and well, that's just insane. Add in headsets, chargers, battery packs, plus a nice bag, and I bet I'm not leaving the house with less than $5,000 in tech gear when I travel or even just jet around town on meetings.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2020 at VoIPWatch
The existence of the three-tier system has been around since the repeal of prohibition. As a result, sales strategy, especially for fine wines that are imported, or more limited production domestic wines are significantly handicapped today due to the three-tier system and how it impacts distribution. But with COVID--19 we have seen a steady erosion of the three-tier system in many parts of the United States and at the end of the day all the three-tier system is limiting is where wine can be sold and who can buy it. Let's first look at the situation overall. 1) Wine distributors... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2020 at WINESCENE
The headline on the news release read "Allegiant Stadium to make history as the first American pro sports venue to open cashless" so being a reformed sports marketing executive brought a smile to my face. It was also in a real way, a true to life dejavu for me. You see, 32 years ago when I was working with the Denver Nuggets we were one of, if not, the first arena's to incorporate credit cards at the concession stands. Back then, cash was king. You bought your beer with cash. Paid for your popcorn with dollars. You picked out merchandise... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2020 at VoIPWatch
Google Voice, originally Grand Central, continues to be around and used by many people. While Google doesn't put the same effort behind it as they are with Meet, it remains a very useful and viable front end number for many people who have multiple phone number, or devices, when they wish to be reached. For many, it's the second number, often used by people who don't want to give out their personal cell or home phone, but still want to be reached by customers. Today, with one of their iOS updates that they regularly produce, and without much fanfare, they... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at VoIPWatch
To be always transparent, unlike many in the tech reporting or analyst world, I'm a shareholder in Dialpad and have in the past consulted on various projects and programs to the company. That means, I'm openly biased to see the company succeed. But then again, I'm supportive of the telecom industry, and never hide my affiliations or who I work with or advise. That's why when I learned this morning about the Dialpad acquisition of HighFive, I couldn't have been more ecstatic as it shows a steady path forward for the company that is really one of the few born... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2020 at VoIPWatch
Zoom just took the first step to create the video calling switchboard. This may not seem like a big deal, but it really is because right now, video calling and video conferencing, like encrypted communications, is a dystopia of balkanized efforts, where each provider does things their own way, and for users it means having multiple services to subscribe to and use. Not only is this unwieldy from a cost control standpoint, it is downright confusing. It's as confusing as the days of ICQ and AOL Messenger being owned and operated by AOL but not being interconnected. Now, so many... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2020 at VoIPWatch
Apple has made a bold move in the world of privacy. They are cutting off the IDFA at the knees. Some may call it digital castration, as John Koetsier points out in his Forbes story. But I think there's more to this. While Apple does sell ads inside the app store, Apple is really the only one of the giants - Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft which has never really leveraged its' own user base or platforms for ads. So here's a concept that may come true. Right now Apple has radio inside iTunes. It has TV. It has News.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2020 at VoIPWatch
2020 was supposed to be the breakout year for the Ventoux wine region of France in the USA. The region, that has lived in the shadow of the Rhone Valley, was poised to be at the April Hospice du Rhone, the trendsetting wine event, held every other year in Paso Robles California. While a lesser known here in the USA, the Ventoux, like Beaumes de Venise, Rasteau and the Plan de Dieu, is one of the real hidden wine gem producing regions in France, where Rhone grapes grow, with intense concentration, stylistically correct fruit and vibrant intensity. They also offer... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2020 at WINESCENE
I've been on WhatsApp for so long, I can't remember my first message or call on it. As someone who was traveling the globe on a regular basis from 2004 until early this year, overtime I found more and more people I was coming into contact with outside the USA were on the free app that did the basics better than just about anything on the planet. For the past few years I've been using Signal, which is just about the best encrypted app for text, voice and video around. I've dabbled with Silent Circle, only to find that not... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2020 at VoIPWatch
Google just redefined sharing in a very powerful. It's called text fragment linking, and it works really well for a first time out of the box. For me, it's like having a highlighter and sharing the copy of the page with others in color. With the text fragment linking extension added to my Chrome browser I simply highlight the section, click on it with the alt key, and then copy the link. Then I'll share the link with someone, and if they're using Chrome, or another browser that supports text fragment linking, they will be taken to the web page... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2020 at VoIPWatch
Sad news department ---I was about to write a few overdue wine notes today, but I wanted to catch up on things about ClueCon and Dangerous Demos with long time Truphone exec turned Not Spot maven James Body in the UK. While VoIPWatch is not the obituary column, it is a mode of communication for now 16 years that has the eyes and attention of the VoIP and Telecom community paying attention to it. I just reached James a short few minutes ago, as he's been a friend and colleague of now over 15 years, to only be saddened to... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2020 at VoIPWatch
When the news broke yesterday about the pending Microsoft acquisition of MetaSwitch I was going to write a post outlining why, but pal Rich Tehrani did such a good job with his, by providing a first glance analysis, I decided to hit pause and let my thoughts settle in. Pain and Suffering First, I wanted to look at who this hurts. This is a big blow to Ribbon who had been rumored to be deep in talks to supply Kandy with the telecom functionality that Microsoft lacked. Ribbon is/was one of two SBC providers already certified to work with Microsoft... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2020 at VoIPWatch
WiredUK has a drill down on how Microsoft's SKYPE lost the video calling war to ZOOM. Long time media voice turned VC, and friend, Om Malik, is quoted heavily in the story, and Om's right. While pointing to the rise of Microsoft Teams as a contributory factor due to Microsoft's internal decisions, both Wired and Om missed one of the key contributors to SKYPE's demise; that's also the reason why Microsoft put its bets on Teams while letting SKYPE wither in the wind. SLACK. Before Slack, for many workers, SKYPE was the way they messaged one another, and people outside... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2020 at VoIPWatch
As we live through the new normal we need to reassess our plans. And when it comes to 5G there's a lot of room for reassessment. Here's why. Already we're seeing reports that due to Covid-19 and impact on people and the economy globally, 5G rollouts may be slowed down. While the 5G conspiracy theorists will revel in the pause button being hit, that's not why this is good news. It's good news because all the plans for 5G rollout had to do with where people, and their mobile devices were, not where they are today and likely where they... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2020 at VoIPWatch
Last night I did something I don't normally do. I opened a bottle at home, and drank it. The whole bottle. Maybe it's the Coronavirus. Maybe it was the evening at home. Maybe it was just the fact that the wine was so darn good. But I'm thinking it was the fact that the wine was a 13 percent, at the most, low alcohol wine. As someone who prefers Grenache and Syrah, both of which are usually higher in alcohol, the Rhone red known as Tire Bouchon (the Corkscrew) from Domaine d'Ourea in Vacqueyras was about as opposite of any... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2020 at WINESCENE
Life on the road is never as great as some who don't travel. Here are some observations from being on the road more than at home. Q. Why is it that the morning of daylight saving time (DST) hotel clocks are not updated the night before I go to bed. How hard is it to adjust the clock before the guest arrives, or returns for the evening during turn down service and leave a note that the clock's been adjusted so when you wake up it's the right time? A. Because the hotel staff hasn't been around long enough to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2020 at VoIPWatch