Wednesday, January 30, 2008

IP Convergence TV Updates Posted

One of the recent hats I've been wearing is the Portal Editor for IP Convergence TV. We've been doing quite a lot of work recently to get the next major update done, and things went live today. We're steadily building a following, and the content is getting better all the time.

There's quite a bit of new content there, some we've had ready for a while, and some that's fresh from last week's IT Expo. If you're interested in what we cover - IPTV, VoIP, FMC and IMS - then I think you'll find our updates very worthwhile.

Here's a short-form list of the new content that's there now:

- 2 video interviews I conducted at the show last week - Greg Galitzine of TMC, and Matt Lukens of Comverse. I did 10 interviews at the show, and the others will be posted in due time.

- 4 new Guest Opinion pieces, all from strong voices in their spaces - Ike Elliott, Markus Goebel, Bob Emmerson and David Hattey. Our roster of contributors continues to expand, and there are more new voices coming soon.

- 2 new feature articles - 1 from BEA and 1 from Comverse

- a few recent posts from me on the Convergence Blog, including my review of the IPTV roundtable I hosted last Friday

As always, I'd love to hear your feedback on the portal, as well as suggestions for new content any time.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Reminder - "IP Essentials" Webinar on Friday

Last week, I posted about a webinar I'm co-hosting with America's Growth Capital this Friday. Registrations have been strong, so we definitely know there's interest out there.

Am just getting my week in order after returning from the ITExpo last week, and have lots of interesting things in the pipeline, both on the business front, and things coming to my blog.

Again, if you're interested, the webinar is this Friday at 1pm, and it's by invitation. Here's the link for how to register and to find out more about what we'll be talking about.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

IT Expo - Day 2 Highlights

The show wraps up today, and I'll be busy moderating a panel on the state of IPTV. Got 6 companies speaking, and I'm sure it will be lively. Things wind down after that, and by 3, this place will be pretty quiet and by 4 am sure it will be deserted.

Wanted to share a few photos from yesterday. I had my hands full with briefings and video interviews, so I have nothing to report on the sessions. I was also involved in the reception hosted by the Government of Ontario and the Consulate General of Canada. That was a lot of fun, and it was great to showcase some strong and emerging companies based in Ontario, and get them in front of such a large audience. Of course the Apple/Bose prize draw had something to do with that, but hey, it worked, and I think everyone went home happy.

Dialogic's Jeff Dworkin showing us the next wave in how to be a 2.0 exhibitor - the "blounge". It's a cross between a booth and lounge. Notice how their space is just sofas and easy chairs. No bouncy balls or pens, and no boxes to touch or flashy lights to entice your inner geek. Just come in, sit down, and let's talk. Gee, why didn't I think of that???




Good crowd on hand....

Full moon on the beach - very relaxing way to walk off dinner...


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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Where's voice going? Ask Tom - Mr. Mashup

Mashups can mean many things, but in the world of voice and VoIP mashups, Thomas Howe is the guy. He's carving a great niche for his company in this space, and I want to point you to his latest thinking which was just posted the other day.

Thomas did a long, but thought-provoking interview (34 minutes) with Lee Dryburgh, the main force and vision behind the upcoming eComm 2008 conference. It's been posted to their blog page in podcast form, and includes some summary comments and excerpts from the interview. Definitely worth a listen. As an aside, the eComm event looks very promising, and you'll be hearing more about it from me soon. I should also add that Lee has posted an even longer interview there on the outlook for telecom and broadband with the renowned Martin Geddes, who is quite involved with the eComm event.

For those of you following the mashup space, I should note that this builds on another recent podcast that Thomas did a couple of weeks back with Iotum, on their inaugural ConCast. It's also worth a listen, especially since it's a group discussion featuring other notable and familiar voices.

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ITExpo - Day 1 - Dell and Fonality Team Up

Got time for a quick post before heading over to today's sessions. Had a full day yesterday at the show, and the turnout looks strong so far. I moderated two sessions - one on peering and one on hosted VoIP, and they went well. All the presentations were great, and if you're interested in any of their slide decks, let me know.

I also did a bunch of video interviews that are being co-produced by IP Convergence TV and TMC. Am doing these wearing my Portal Editor hat for IPCTV, and these interviews will be posted on both of their websites once they're ready to go - hopefully starting next week. Am doing a few more of these today, so we'll have a good backlog of thought leader perspectives to share in the next little bit.

Perhaps the most interesting news item from yesterday was the Dell/Fonality announcement. As you can probably surmise, Dell is incorporating open source PBX - via Fonality - into their PCs to support VoIP. As Russell Shaw notes, the Fonality VoIP Phone System is a PC-based, hosted SMB solution. Russell's post also has some great screenshots of the interface.

Totally makes sense, and it sure puts open source into the mainstream. Dell is a huge channel for Fonality (trixbox), and will give SMBs another reason to keep buying from Dell. Not sure how this will impact Fonality's existing channel relationships, but this looks like a great move all around.

Tom Keating has two in-depth posts about the news - here and here, and he also refers to Rich Tehrani's post, which includes a Q&A podcast with Fonality's Chris Lyman. Tom has some bang-on comments on the implication of this deal for Dell's relationships with Nortel and Microsoft, as well as the need for the Asterisk community to get behind SIP. This could be the biggest story of the show - let's see what unfolds from here on in.



Would you buy a car from this man? Nadji - Mr. T - and the Ford Mustang that some lucky person - not me - will win Friday afternoon.


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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Miami in January - What's not to like?

This may not mean much if you're in San Diego, but coming from Toronto, Miami Beach sure is a nice change of scene this time of year. Mind you, the weather was crummy here when I got in - cloudy and rainy. Am sure it will be much nicer in the morning.

Anyhow, just a quick note to say that that ITExpo starts tomorrow, and I've got a full day ahead - and for that matter, a pretty busy week. Here's a shot of the view from my hotel window - another hotel! The Sorrento, in fact. But if you look off to the right you can sneak a peek at the surf. Am right at the top of Collins Ave./A1A, so the ocean is very close by.

Sure hope I can find some walk-about time during the show. South Beach is Art Deco heaven, and I'd love to steal a few hours and take some pix. Otherwise, I'll update you on the show as time allows.


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Monday, January 21, 2008

Bloggers 1, Rest of World 0

On last week's post about Test the Nation, I posed the question - are Bloggers smarter than Backpackers? Turns out it was the right question to ask, and it turns out to be true, at least according to Test the Nation. Among the 6 teams competing on last night's show, we came out on top - whooo hooo - and those pesky Backpackers came in second. Take a hike, guys. We may be pale and enjoy the great indoors, and some of us have never kissed a girl, but on this stage, we da man......

It took a lot to give up a Sunday afternoon/evening to do this, especially with the Patriots game, but this sure was a fun experience and definitely worthwhile. Got to meet some other interesting bloggers, and it turns out that the guy who got me into this - Rick Spence - came away the big winner. He had the top score of everyone on the show, acing 57 of the 60 questions - way to go Rick! He won a great travel package worth $5,000, and I think the first word out of his mouth was "Disneyland!"

Live TV is such a bizarre experience, and the CBC knows how to do this very well. The show definitely has a fun format, and I can see more of the same for all kinds of variations on the theme - hockey players, gardeners, cops, robbers, etc., etc.

Anyhow, before the show we spent a lot of time hanging around doing nothing, and without the celeb look-alikes, it would have been pretty dull. Not much of a crowd around the cabbies or chefs, but the faux celebs were more than happy to have our attention and preen for the camera on a moment's notice. Why not?

So, here's a taste, courtesy of my Nokia N95.....



A bit like a seating plan at a wedding - nothing left to chance here - turn your gadgets OFF...


Oh, be-have.....


The pride and joy of the UK - Austin, Mick and a not-so-convincing Keith


Mick and Pamela - let's spend...some time together...


Borat and Shania Twain - very nice......


Kiss and their willing starlets - Pamela, Shania, Shakira and Paris - is that hot or what???


The Odd Couple - Man-Cher (and maybe a little bit of Howard Stern on acid) and Drew Cary


Down home country heaven - Elvii - husband and wife Elvis team, and Shania. The King was not happy last night - no peanut butter sandwiches in the dinner buffet....


And the best for last! A healthy dose of reality - Rick Spence, all smiles with the Test the Nation cup awarded to our team. Bloggers rule.......


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Friday, January 18, 2008

Upcoming Webinar - "IP Essentials" - with America's Growth Capital

This is heads-up post to tell you about an upcoming webinar that I'm pretty excited to be part of. Boston-based investment bank America's Growth Capital is hosting a webinar titled "IP Essentials", and I will be providing the independent analyst perspective along with their Senior Research Analyst, Catharine Trebnick.

Together, we'll be exploring, discussing and analyzing key trends impacting the communications infrastructure space. The target audience is the investment community, and is by invitation only. You can read more about the webinar and how to request an invitation at their website here.

The webinar is scheduled for Friday, February 1 at 1:00 pm, and we're anticipating a good turnout. If things go well, we may extend this to a regular series, which I think would be a great vehicle to inform and educate the investment community about the latest trends in our space.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

IT Expo - IP Convergence TV Interviews

One last post about next week's IT Expo in Miami.

This time I'm wearing my Portal Editor hat for IP Convergence TV, which readers of my blog be aware of by now. We produce content in a variety of formats, including video interviews.

During the show, I've lined up a series of video interviews that I'll be conducting, and will eventually make their way to our portal as well as TMCnet. Am really looking forward to doing these, as events like this are a great gathering place for smart people, and with a bit of planning, you can get a lot done and still have time for everything else.

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Next Stop - Miami - ITExpo

This is post 2 of 3 regarding TMC's ITExpo next week in Miami. I'll be pretty busy wearing a few hats there, and in this post I'm just letting you know what I'll be doing wearing my analyst/moderator hat.

I'll be moderating 3 sessions - 2 on Wednesday, and 1 on Friday. I posted earlier today about the Canada/Ontario pavilion reception I'm speaking at on Thursday, so I've got something scheduled each day beyond the briefings, meetings, floorwalking and catching up with people.

On Wednesday, I'm moderating a session on Peering at 11:00, and then one on Hosted VoIP at 12:30.

Friday's session is a bit more ambitious and should be a lot of fun. It's a roundtable on the State of IPTV, and runs from 12:30 to 2:15. We've got 6 speakers scheduled, so we'll be covering a lot of ground.

So, now you know where to find me, and if these sessions are of interest, I sure hope you come out - and better yet, ask some tough questions during the Q&A!

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Meet Some of Ontario's Best IT/IP Companies - in Miami

This is the first of a few posts I'm trying to get done today around the ITExpo that runs next week in Miami.

For this post, I'm focusing on a pavilion being run by the Government of Ontario and the Consulate General of Canada. It's a showcase for leading IT/IP companies based in Ontario, and on Thursday, they're hosting a reception that's open to all exhibitors.

I've been asked to be the host, and will be making some opening remarks to welcome everyone to the reception. If you can make it, I'm sure you'll come away with a good feeling about the quality of companies coming out of Ontario in our space.

To learn more about the reception and the companies being showcased, have a look at their announcement, which I've posted here.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My New Column - Service Provider Views

It's been a very busy week, and I've got a backlog of posts to get done and some new initiatives to update you on.

First is the launch of a bi-monthly column I'm writing now, and my first article just ran this morning. It's focused on service providers, and I'm hoping to develop this into a forum for thought leadership on the topic - not just from me, but readers and guest contributors as well.

I'll have more to say about this soon, but for now, I just wanted to get the word out. It's called Service Provider Views and you can find it here.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Are Bloggers Smarter than Backpackers? Find out Sunday Night!

I recently posted about how getting on TV was a nice benefit of blogging. Well, it's coming - this Sunday night - 8pm on CBC television. The show is called Test the Nation, and if you live in Canada, you can watch it then - it's live, coast to coast. It's a quiz show using a team format and I'm on the Blogger team! Don't ask how or why - it's happening, and it should be fun.

So, there are 6 teams squaring off - Bloggers, Backpackers, Celebrity Look-Alikes, Flight Crews, Cab Drivers and Chefs - and beyond that, I don't have much else to say.

Well - the only downside is I miss the Patriots/Chargers game - we need to be at the studio in the afternoon to prepare. And there's no live blogging onsite, so there won't be any posting on the fly.

Somehow, I think we're gonna win. Why? Well, the show has its own blog page and a Facebook Group. These are tools of the trade for us bloggers - not so sure about all those other folks - and the CBC people are pretty smart, and of course they look to us for all the latest in modern ideas...... hmmm, let me re-think that one...

Well, don't listen to me - you can vote any time for which group you think will win - the poll is on their site and blog page. So, speak your mind, tune in, and watch us prove what know - or don't know.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

New Coverage on Acme Packet and Veraz Networks

Just a quick post to draw your attention to some great coverage on two companies I've been a fan of for a long time - Acme Packet and Veraz Networks.

Colleague Catharine Trebnick has followed our industry for many years, primarily as a financial analyst. She knows it quite well and is currently a Principal at Boston-based investment bank America's Growth Capital.

They recently initiated coverage on these companies, and Catharine's reports have just been published. I've had a chance to review them, and aside from her strong company-based coverage, her reports provide a solid overview of the markets these two pure-play companies compete in. Basically, she's saying that Acme is still a good growth story, and Veraz is on it's way, but is definitely in a tougher environment.

Catharine has been nice enough to share her reports with those who are interested, and I'm nice enough to extend this to my readers. So, if you'd like to follow up, please contact Catharine directly by email, and she can take things from there. And if you do, I'd love to hear your thoughts on her coverage.

P.S. Look for another post in the next few days about something else I'll be doing with her firm...

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Is Video the next Killer App?

How's that for a teaser? I'm not going to get to the bottom of this right now, but maybe I can get some dialog going around this. It's late, it's Friday, we're all tired, but I'm determined to get this post out today and pass on some link love to colleague Peter Csathy.

Peter is the CEO of SightSpeed, a company I've blogged about quite a bit, and is getting a lot of well-deserved attention from many of the bloggers I follow and cite here.

CES was this week, and while not an event I've ever attended, it's hard to ignore all the noise around it. Peter was there, and having seen John Chambers's vision for video and all the noise around that, he's got a vested interest in having an opinion about this. Based on Peter's post - and other accounts I've seen about CES - Cisco's mantra about video being the next killer app was a highlight of the show, and has gotten a lot of attention.

Well, at face value, it's a strong statement, and even though I wasn't there, I'm definitely nodding my head. I heard the same story a few weeks ago at Cisco's C-Scape analyst conference, and video was certainly the biggest takeaway for me. Having seen a few things over those few days, I certainly saw a new side of Cisco and where they're going - and I think they have a pretty good story here.

The sub-story here is SightSpeed, and if video is the next killer app, then Peter's company will be there in spades. Peter's post makes the case for how SightSpeed is shaping up to be the Skype of video - but without the messy baggage around having a corporate parent. Desktop video is not really the focus of Cisco's grand plan, but that's what SightSpeed is all about. If Telepresence is the killer app for the Fortune 500 set, then SightSpeed will be the same for everyone else. Desktop video may not be as sexy, but it has a WAY bigger user base, and with a best-in-class offering, you have to like what SightSpeed is doing. I sure do!

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My 2008 Q&A with Rich Tehrani

Rich Tehrani has been doing a series of these Q&As with various industry thought leaders, and I think it's great way to get a collective read on what's coming in this market for 2008. My Q&A with Rich was published today, and you can read it here, on their VoIP Services channel. Hope you like it, and I'd love to hear from you if it piques your interest.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Iotum's Voice Mashup "ConCast"

Today, Iotum put a great idea into practice, and may have a new product on their hands - the "ConCast". I love it, and think they're on to something good here. This was their first ConCast, and is a great way to demonstrate their conference calling application that's been running on Facebook for a few months now.

The idea was this - a half hour scheduled concall/audio webinar - with a roundtable speaker format. Voice mashups was the topic, and the call was led by none other than Thomas Howe - who else? Joining Thomas was Alec, Andy Abramson and Jim Courtney. They all chimed in at various points, and about two dozen people were in and out listening to the discussion. You could tell they were doing that because in the background you kept hearing that "ping" sound that tells you when someone has joined or left the group.

I wasn't able to be on the call as I had a concall of my own going this morning, but I got a chance to listen to the replay, which you can do as well. You can find it on Alec's post, along with his post-game review. The session runs about 27 minutes, and if you're interested in mashups, this is about as good as it gets for listening to people who are living it.

Great going, guys, and I hope you have more of these soon! And, the faster you build up your numbers, the faster you'll attract sponsors and then you'll have a money-maker on your hands - that's the kind of mashup we're all after...

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Max's Palm Treo Review

It's been a while since I've posted something from son #1, Max. Priorities change when school starts up, but he's keeping pretty busy in his spare time, most recently designing websites.

We were recently given the Palm Treo 755 smartphone to review, but we only could keep it for a few weeks. Time flies, and we've given the phone back and have reverted to our Nokia phones - reviews on those are coming....

Anyhow, Max has posted his review to his blog, so for those of you who want to hear how a sharp teenager makes use of an adult product like this, you'll find his post a good read, as usual. He's pretty direct and quite savvy - lots of candid comments and keen observations - I hope Palm is listening....

I'm due for my review of this phone, and hopefully that will be by early next week. I only got to use it a fraction of the time Max did, so it won't be as detailed.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hey, I'm #26 on the Top VoIP Bloggers List...

VoIP-News is one of the best portals out there for tracking trends in our space. A couple of weeks back they posted their 2007 list of top 25 VoIP blogs. The usual suspects were there, and most of them noted the kudos on their blogs - why not?

As you likely know, I don't follow the news as closely as most bloggers do, and I post when I can and when it makes sense. So, true to form, I'm late to the party with this item as well, as the buzz is long passed for most 2007 lists.

However, at least I'm at the party, and wanted to share this update with you. VoIP-News updated their list the other day, and I've been added, which makes me #26 on a list of 25. Am not sure what that really means, but I'll take it, and am certainly very happy to be included in such stellar company. I guess this means I've got nowhere to go but up - if I want to crack the top 25 list, I'll need to improve/expand my coverage this year. Guess I'll put that on the to-do list....

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Alec Saunders' Privacy Manifesto

Really thoughtful post today from Alec Saunders that I want to draw your attention to.

Anyone who is concerned about what Facebook's Beacon initiative could lead to, or how they recently handled uber-blogger Robert Scoble should read Alec's post. Actually, it's a guest post on GigaOm, which is a great way for Alec to give back and support Om Malik as he recuperates - am not going to go there right now. I certainly wish a speedy and safe recovery for Om, and in his absence, people like Alec are stepping up and providing fresh content for his site.

I don't have much to add, and Alec does a great job laying out some of the key issues around Internet privacy, and more importantly proposes some rules of conduct and engagement - his manifesto - that would have prevented these from becoming bad situations.

As with any good blog post, the best indication of its impact is in the comments, and there are quite a few of them - well worth reading, and an indication that Alec has tackled this issue very well.

Furthermore, if you surf over to Alec's own blog, you'll see an updated post where he talks about the aftermath of this morning's post, and how the very comapanies he discussed are now part of, a working group to establish guidelines and best practices for porting data from one site to another.

Great stuff, Alec - all in a day's work....

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Need a cab? Dial #TAXI!

I do my best to fly the Canadian flag when I can, so here we go again.

Most of you would not be familiar with a Toronto-based company called Cellwand Communications. I've been working closely with them for years and happen to a shareholder. Ok, now that I've made myself totally transparent, let me get back to waving the flag. If it's not enough that our hockey Juniors won the Gold this with weekend, Cellwand finally has a U.S. story to tell.

They've been developing a suite of Location-Based Services for cellular carriers, and their flagship service is called #TAXI. Simply dial that on your cell phone, and their database will search and connect you to a taxi service that will get a taxi to you in minutes. This may not be an everyday problem for most people, but when you've been out clubbing and can't find a cab anywhere, the charge is money very well spent. Think of it as an intelligent 411 service where you only have to make that one call, and #TAXI does the rest.

Cellwand has been refining this service a while with all the major Canadian mobile operators, and now they are in the U.S. market, available today on AT&T and Alltel's networks. Other major mobile networks should also be on board fairly soon. I think that's great news, and it's what all Canadian startups dream about doing.

The story should only get better, as they have other services in the pipeline - which you can read about on their website - and represent exactly what all carriers are desperately seeking - new apps and new revenue streams. Winning the World Juniors is great, but I like this story just as much.

Right now, Cellwand is getting the word out virally, and I'm doing my part here to spread the news. Here's the news posted on Digg, and here's their PSA - Public Service Announcement - posted on YouTube.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

SIP Forum Management Announcements

I don't normally post much about industry news like this, but colleague Marc Robins was recently taken on by the SIP Forum to be their Managing Director. It's not often that indies like us get these opportunities, and Marc has been keeping me posted offline about this for some time. Well, the news was finally made public today, and here's the press release.

It's a great move for both parties, and I just want to amplify the idea that indie consultants have a unique perspective in the market, and being non-aligned, we bring not just our industry expertise to the table, but also add credibility and objectivity to the groups we're working with. In my own way, I'm playing a similar role as the portal Editor of IP Convergence TV, and so far I'd say it's working out quite well.

In my mind, industry groups like the SIP Forum need people in these roles who are vendor neutral, and I'd say they made the right choice with Marc. Congrats on both sides - especially to Marc - and if I have occasion to work with SIP Forum, I'll let you know how it's going.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

2007 Highlights - Part 2

Yesterday was Part 1 of my 2007 highlights, and here's my review for the second half of the year. Hope you enjoy these, and maybe you were at some of these.

That's it for my 2007 review. Time to move ahead and get going on 2008.....

My Kitchener/Waterloo Mini-Tour, Waterloo - with John Tennant and Mark Whaley (he was on the ICF panel from the PTC event that was in yesterday's post - and now winner of world's most intelligent broadband community!)


Telus/RIM launch of their worldphone BlackBerry, Toronto.


Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown. We all need a break, and this was one of mine this summer. The "Red Sox Holy Grail" was a personal highlight for me, and I just had to put it in here - the bloody sock, Curt's cleats (say that one 3 times fast), and the ball, all from their 2004 WS championship. I can die happy now.


Fall 2007 TMC ITExpo, Los Angeles. Chris Lyman, enthusiastically telling me the virtues of his company, Fonality!


IT Expo, Los Angeles - Andy Abramson's client/blogger dinner.


Ottawa Venture Technology Summit, Ottawa


BroadSoft Connections, Phoenix. Scott Wharton moderating a session, and a view of the grounds where the event was held at the Biltmore. I sure could get used to that...



Fall VON, Boston - Jeff Pulver's keynote


My Skype Mobility session

Happy Town - talk about being in the right place at the right time...


Nokia Siemens Mobile Experience Demo, Toronto. Very cool FMC apps, done here in real time.


Avaya Canada Analyst Day, Toronto. CEO Mario Belanger kicking things off.


Cisco C-Scape Analyst Conference, San Jose. John Chambers doing a Telepresence demo on stage with 3 different speakers.


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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2007 Highlights - Part 1

Am slowly getting back to a working groove, but really won't be fully back til Monday once everyone's out of the house and back at school. Don't know about you, but I've been using some of this down time to not just reflect on 2007, but also about where I'm looking to go in 2008. It's both easy and hard being an independent, and a priority for me this year will be to deepen many of the relationships that I built in 2007, and that's already happening in the first few days of the new year.

I'm also trying to find a better way to balance all the proprietary consulting work I do for clients along with the public things I do that keep me visibily involved - conferences, blogging, podcasts, etc. With all the back and forth with my recent posts about whether the Facebook phenomenon is good or bad for blogging, I've really got to consider this more closely and see if FB can help me manage that balance. All suggestions are welcome!

Ok,enough self-reflection - time to move on to the scripted part of this post. I've been off the blogs for most of the break, but have seen a few year-end summaries, predictions, etc. I could spend a lot time doing the same, but I've decided to do a photo review instead. Others have already done the same - really liked Jeff Pulver's photolog post - and I'm doing mine in two parts.

Over the course of 2007, I've mostly been using the Nokia N93 and Nokia N95, and that's what these photos were taken with. The fun part of being an indie is attending a variety of events - some are very analyst-centric, and some are very media/press-centric. I'm a bit of a chameleon, and work out of both camps, so I get to a wider range of things than a straight-up analyst or journalist would get to. And sometimes I get to go to things just because I'm a "blogger" - although these days I'm not really sure what that term really means.

This is especially true since I'm based in Canada. Most of the industry people my paths cross up here are only focused on the home market, whereas I try my best to keep on top of the U.S. as well. So, this is one of the few blogs where you'll see a healthy mix of what's going on in Canada as well as the U.S.

Whatever - listen - I'm just one guy. I don't have a company sending me places - it's up to me to make all this stuff happen, and I'm grateful to have been able to see so many things in 2007. I can only hope that the song remains the same in 2008, and I look forward to sharing my adventures with you as they happen.

So, in today's post, here's Part 1 - my year in pictures - basically the first half of 2007. It will give you a flavor of the events I participated in and the places I was lucky enough to travel to. I could tell you a lot more and show you a lot more pictures about any of these, but not here. By all means, feel free to search my blog for the original posts these came from for more. Otherwise, maybe there's a book in this somewhere.....

Aloha! Can't think of a better way to start 2007 being based in the Great White North, eh - the Pacific Telecom Council conference in Hawaii. And, yes, I got an authentic Hawaiian shirt there that I hope will come in handy one of these days...


The ICF panel at PTC. This is the Intelligent Communities Forum, where they were announcing the finalists for their annual awards. As it turns out, Waterloo, Ontario came out the winner, chosen as the #1 intelligent community in the world. Go Canada.........


TMC's ITExpo, Fort Lauderdale. I chose this photo of colleague Moshe Maeir (with Rich in the background)since he was nice enough to post it on his year-end review - thanks Moshe!


Deloitte's 2007 Predictions event, Toronto. Group shot of their team, including keynoter Guy Kawasaki. He's quite the hockey junkie - and he's from Hawaii - who knew?- so they gave him an customized Leafs jersey as a nice thank-you. I'm starting to see a Canada-Hawaii theme happening here - strange....


Launch event for, Toronto. This sure was fun, and Canada was the first market Israel-based BlogTV expanded to. Unfortunately, the project was canned in the fall - easy come, easy go. BlogTV is going strong in the U.S., but it came later. I guess we were the guinea pig, but didn't quite get it right - gee, where have we heard that before here in Canada?


Microsoft Canada's launch event for adCenter, Toronto. Don't mean to nitpick, but if this is for Canada, shouldn't they spell it "adCentre"? I'm told life is in the details.....


Cisco's Channel Partner Summit, Las Vegas. From what I've seen, nobody stages a big event like Cisco.


MetaSwitch Forum, Orlando, with Martin Taylor. If you're into Harleys, you should check out my post about this event - really...


IT360 Conference, Toronto. Don Tapscott talking about Wikinomics and his vision for our Web 2.0 world.


ANPI AGM, San Diego, with CEO Dave Lewis.


Canadian New Media Awards, Toronto, with Adam Froman, CEO of Delvinia

Microsoft Surface, Toronto. We were lucky enough to get a private, 1 on 1 demo of this very cool look at what being connected will really mean, and what the coffee table of the future is going to look like. Max got to have the fun, while I took the photos.


Aftermath of a heavy summer storm, Toronto. Taking a drive about our neighborhood following a very intense storm, I came across some of the damage and for 5 minutes, felt like a roving TV reporter. Here's one shot of a mature tree being fully uprooted and crashing on top of van in someone's driveway. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but as you can see, it also took down all the Hydro wires, and went a long way to explaining why our phone lines went dead - but of course, my VoIP lines were working fine...


Microsoft Canada's Unified Communications launch, Toronto. With Michel Burger, CTO and a glowing Microsoft blue cocktail....


Mitel Forum 2007, Las Vegas. Mitel's brain trust taking questions from the analyst community.


Part 2 is coming tomorrow, stay tuned....

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