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Archive for April, 2007

Is 2007 the year of Resignation?

Posted by tggokul on April 27, 2007

Atleast that is what Thomas F. Anglero thinks. To prove his case he takes the recent departures of the respective CEOs of Orange and Siemens. And I believe he must have some inside information, since he is pretty confident that Telenor’s CEO will join the bandwagon as well. Add Vonage’s recent CEO departure to this as well, and Thomas kind of has a point here.

I have a strong feeling ( and I am sure lot of critics are going to be on my back for this) about another major CEO quitting by the end of this year. None other than Steve Jobs. The backdated stock option is going to get back to bite him and he would be forced to quit.

This might be a good time for him to quit voluntarily (rather than being pushed out)considering that Apple has announced phenomenal quarterly earnings and I am sure he would like to be remembered as a person who brought glory back to Apple, rather than as a person who lead them through a scandal. Now is the right time for him to quit. Though I think he would wait for iPhone’s release and then quit to avoid the zing being taken off from the much awaited iPhone release.

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Rendezvous in Chennai

Posted by tggokul on April 26, 2007

Thanks to Vijay’s initiative, some of us who are in the Telecom domain (VoIP, Wimax,IMS name it all) are going to meet to exchange and bounce off some ideas. We have planned it for next weekend (the 4th May weekend) but have not zeroed in on that.

The idea behind this meeting is to delve on the different perspectives each one of us bring to the table. It would be a good start to discuss how the Telecom industry is going to shape up in the future and where the opportunities lie.Hope is, that this will turn out to be a regular thing, and a good foundation for a strong telecom professionals group in Chennai. And trust me, some of the people who have confirmed their presence are quite remarkable people.

If you are passionate about Telecom and you are in Chennai ( or will be in Chennai next week) drop in a note here and we will exchange information as to when and where we plan to meet.

Posted in General | 7 Comments »

Cisco’s Achilees heel

Posted by tggokul on April 25, 2007

I have meaning to write about this for sometime now, but have been caught up in my day job.

After I had blogged about Nortel winning the Telmex deal, one of my regular visitors to this blog (whom I respect a lot for his insightful thoughts) was telling me that Cisco tried hard to get this account, but failed eventually because of the huge overhead that came with their proposed solution. The many servers approach (Call manager, Hosted Unified contact Center) is just one of the reasons killing Cisco in this space.

Cisco’s hosted solutions have quite a few chinks in their armour. Most hosted services look at browser based agent desktops and though CAD ( Cisco Agent Desktop) is available in a browser based edition, there are a few shortcomings. It does not have support for call control, very limited integration touch points with external applications, agent state is not available, supervisory monitoring is not available and outbound ( Dialer) is not supported. It can easily be argued that these can be built  using Cisco’s CTIOS Toolkit, but the fact remains that the existing out of the Box CAD don’t have the needed features. Add to this the fact that Supervisor Desktop (CSD) is not web based ( it’s a thick client) and CAD  cannot work with the traditional TDM ACDs, it pretty much closes a lot of doors for Cisco.

Now as I mentioned earlier, there is a whole lot of overhead cost that comes with this. There is no inhouse Voice Recording product and this feature has to bought from a certified third party. SQL Server licensing is high. IPCC Hosted requires 3 machines with processor licenses, 6 machines with Server and client licenses and Informix license is further needed for a CVP reporting server. Add to this, the huge number of servers that needs to be managed.

These will make any CIO nervous and that is what is happening. Cisco’s hosted solution is little too complex and they need to build a single server solution ( say IPCC Hosted Express?) if they are going to have any kind of an impact. One thing is for sure. Any company which could help Cisco in this domain is a sure target for acquisition 🙂 ( Will Webex fit this bill?)

Posted in Cisco | 3 Comments »

Proto.in : Nominations Invited

Posted by tggokul on April 24, 2007

It is finally out. Official word is that nominations for the second version of Proto.in is being accepted right now. This is the latest release from the organizers of Proto. Go ahead and nominate your company. I was there the last time around and the people you meet, the exposure you get and the smart guys you shake hands with is unbelievable. Here is the release.

We have certainly been a little behind schedule in terms of the nominations opening up. But we decided to do a complete and fulfilling task and rather took the extra time to iron out all the requirements that we will need to make this event a successful one. A lot of effort has gone into talking to the stakeholders of the event in terms of what sort of details they are looking for, and also to make sure that we distribute printed handbooks of the participants at the event for everyone to take home this time. We will be doing our best to make it all come together.

Without further delay, I officially declare the nominations open. The form will be open for the next 45 days, starting today.

If you are not a company, but just want to participate as a delegate or attendee, then do wait for sometime. There is a much exhaustive website coming up soon, which will have all the details and the registration form for the attendees. Registrations for participants will open 45 days before the event. The startups are the core focus of this event and we want to make sure that they get ample support and the concentrated focus of our team to serve them. So I hope and do request the patience of the attendees until then.

If you know of any VCs, Angels or Business Analysts, or Journalists, or Bloggers for that matter wanting to confirm their participation for their event, do get in touch with us via the contact form and we’ll stay in touch.

If you are a company looking at sponsoring the event, do get in touch with the contact person Ravi Shankar, at +91 9444923443. He will make sure that all your queries are answered and the sponsorship spots that are still available.

We do strongly and kindly make a request to all of you. We would like your support in getting the word out to the prospective companies that could benefit out of Proto.in. If you know of any such companies, do let them know and ask them to nominate. If you do keep a blog, we would very much appreciate if you could make a post about proto.in there. If you require a logo of Proto.in, you can download it at

There is no nomination fees for making their entry. But should they be selected as one of the 30 companies that will be on stage, there is a fee of Rs. 10,000, which will go towards covering the cost of the event.

As of now the confirmed VC firms for the event include, Sequoia Capital, Clearstone Ventures, Canaan Partners, NEA-IndoUS Ventures, Gabriel Ventures, Mentor Partners, Ventureast, Silicon Valley Bank, Plus Ventures, Matrix Partners, FootPrint Ventures, Bluerun Ventures etc. (I am sure I did miss a few names here)

We have invited some prominent members of the Industry to be present for the event and help in terms of providing their feedbacks, support and networks. Confirmation on that end have come from Samir Sood, the head of Google India M&A in the region, Sekar Vembu of Vembu Technologies, Ashim Roy of Comat, Subho Ray of IAMAI, Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwala of TeNeT, IIT Madras, Sean Blagsvedt of Microsoft Research, and the active participation of TiE.

There has been support from associations such as IAMAI, TiE, TeNeT, ASES (Incubation Cell Network based out of Stanford University), The Knowledge foundation, The Technopreneur Development Division of Malaysia (TeDD), IDA of Singapore and so on. We would like to very much partner with Entrepreneurship development agencies, and with NEN. So if anybody does have contacts, do let us know and we would like to talk to them on this regard.

In the front of Bloggers, we have Richard McManus of Readwriteweb, who has shown steady support for us since the inception of having the idea of taking Proto.in to an asian level, Webyantra run by Amit ranjan, Pluggd.in run by Ashish Sinha, WATblog by Rajiv Dingra who will be covering the event in depth and also being the voice of the companies that will be participating. We are actively looking for a podcaster who can interact with these companies and give a “sneak preview” of what is to come. If you are one, do get in touch with us.

Tariq Krim of Netvibes.com and Chris Messina, an active initiator of open initiatives (such as Barcamp and Open Source), Shel Israel, the author of Naked Conversations and one who is well known as a business coach for companies to make their presentations in DEMO, have expressed interest in attending the event. We are trying to sort out the logistics of having them with us. Vishal Gondal of Indiagames.com will also be present among the crowd.

We are certainly making an attempt to bring a more quality audience this time, and to make professionals, veteran entrepreneurs and well-known technologists as part of the crowd, so that the startups on stage can benefit the most in these two days of participation and networking.

We are looking for partnerships from the Print and Web media side.

This update surely has gotten quite longer than anticipated. I’ll write another update soon, with the rest. In the meantime, do pass the word that the nominations are open.

I would very much like torchbearers in different cities and localities across the country and in the asian region for this event. If you would like to promote this event in your locality, by activities as simple as making an annoucement in your local user group, barcamp, or a poster in your coffee day/barista/second cup, do get in touch with me.

Proto.in is about making India more than just an outsourcing destination. It is a proclamation that there is more to India than meets the eye. it is about supporting and leveraging great ideas and innovation and providing the right contacts, connections and feedback to make dreams a reality. I welcome you to actively be part of that vision, to take it forward – just as you have been so far.

Expressing a warm thank you, from the entire team here at Proto.in (spread across India) for your continued support thus far.

Regards,
Vijay Anand
Key Organizer – Proto.in

Posted in PROTO | 1 Comment »

HP’s Enterprise Server and Storage Bootcamp

Posted by tggokul on April 19, 2007

HP is organizing a two day Bootcamp to showcase their enterprise server and storage capabilities. It is going to be held on the 26th and 27th of this month in Neemrana Fort Palace in Rajasthan ( close to Delhi).

You can register for this event here. The agenda for the bootcamp is as follows.

Day 1: 26th April
04:30 pm : Assemble at HP Gurgaonoffice – 6th Floor, Tower D, Global Business Park, Gurgaon**
05:00 pm : Departure from Delhito Neemrana via coaches (3 hours drive)
08:30 pm : Dinner at DARBAR MAHAL

Day 2: 27th April (Session at DARBAR MAHAL)
09:00 – 09:30 am : Key Note by Pankaj Mathur, Country Sales Manager, CME
09:30 – 11:15 am : ISS Track – Proliant & Blade Servers, Proliant essentials, Demo
11:15 – 11:30 am : Tea Break
11:30 – 01:00 pm : Software Session – HP OpenCall Voice Signaling and Video , HPBTO/BIO Products
01:00 – 02:00 pm : Lunch at DARBAR MAHAL
02:00 – 03:15 pm : BCS Track : Itanium 9000 dual core CPU based HPIntegrity Server Family, Architecture, Product Roadmap & Features, HP-UX Version 3 Features, AOTP Blade Servers
03:15 – 03:30 pm : Tea
03:30 – 04:45 pm : Storage track : Storage Product positioning , Architecture,
Why HP ? Product Roadmap, Key Features
04:45 – 06:00 pm : Break away Sessions – 3 tracks to explore GTM initiatives.
07:00 pm onwards : Entertainment followed by Cocktail & Dinner at DARBAR MAHAL

Day 3: 28th April’07
08:00 – 08:45 am : Breakfast at DARBAR MAHAL
08:45 – 09:00 am : Assemble at lobby for departure to Delhi via coaches

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Soundbite files for IPO

Posted by tggokul on April 19, 2007

One of my acquaintances pointed me to Soundbites’s official filing for IPO. Soundbite is a very interesting company and I have been following them for sometime now. They have been innovating in a big way in the call center space and have come out with some very cool products.

Soundbite has an extensive suite of products when it comes to automated customer contact solutions and can enable automated voice messaging campaigns. Some of the features of SoundBite’s automated voice messages includes one-way messaging, alert-based messaging or even better; direct interaction to a contact center or an IVR for agentless transactions. Soundbite’s solutions enables notifications, reminders and alerts to help customers better manage their time and prepare for unexpected events.

Needless to say, Soundbite is SIP enabled ( you can’t survive otherwise these days 🙂 ) which in turn helps in quick turn around time for developing multi-modal applications. They provide solutions for hosted contact center, hosted presence management, best-time to call, best debt to collect, best alert to send etc.

They have a very impressive clientele in almost every vertical boasting of names like Wall Street Journal, Nationwide Credit etc. From what I hear, they will be going IPO sometime this summer and this would be a good yard-stick for companies in the VoIP/Call Center space who are looking to go IPO later this year or early next year.

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Content rights is a two way street

Posted by tggokul on April 18, 2007

Some parts of the recent Virginia Technology massacre was captured by a student on his cell phone and posted on Youtube. I am not giving a link to this video since I think it is deplorable that a person actually videoed this to get his 15 minutes of fame.

What was curious is some of the news channels showed this (Disclaimer* : I did not see it, but heard this from a friend of mine) video from Youtube. My question is, if Youtube is reprimanded for having videos whose content is owned by the traditional broadcasters, can Youtube get back at these guys for using their videos on their channels. Right to content is a two way street and Youtube should get back at these guys.

But if Youtube wants to be more dignified, it needs to remove the video that has been posted. Now that would be a class act. 

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Nortel wins over TELMEX

Posted by tggokul on April 18, 2007

I am posting a release from Nortel about their latest win, TELMEX for enterprise hosted IP PBX offering. Though it is not earth shattering, it is a good start for Nortel in the hosted space. As days go by, the SMBs will stop buying IP PBX solutions directly since it is not cost effective and will most likely use the services of Hosted platforms. With that in mind, this win of Nortel has given it a huge filip.

Nortel Signs Agreement with TELMEX for
Enterprise Hosted IP PBX Offering

Tuesday, 17 April 2007  

Nortel has been selected by TELMEX, the leading telecommunications company in
Mexico, to provide hosted IP telephony and multimedia services for delivery of a new Hosted IP PBX offering to medium and large enterprises nationwide.
Under an agreement announced today, Nortel is supplying a complete, end-to-end IP services solution from the Nortel Global Services portfolio using network equipment owned and managed by Nortel.

This defines a new services delivery model for secure communications, reliable infrastructure and advanced applications in Mexico’s corporate market,” said Pablo Vázquez, president for Mexico and Meso America region. “This model is technology agnostic, leveraging a broad spectrum of advanced, vertical applications while helping to protect customer technology investments.”

TELMEX Hosted IP PBX allows enterprises to benefit from unified communications, audio and video conferencing, collaboration tools, mobility applications and other productivity-enhancing services without the expense of installing, operating and maintaining a network.

The Nortel solution for TELMEX is based on Nortel’s Communication Server 2000, an IMS-ready, carrier-grade superclass softswitch that supports a wide range of voice and multimedia business features based on the open, industry-standard SIP multimedia protocol. Nortel’s Global Services portfolio offers a full range of network application, implementation, management and support services for end-to-end, multi-vendor, multi-technology networks.

Nortel provides network managed services for more than 100 enterprises, carriers, service providers and cable operators worldwide through specialists at network management centers in Europe, Asia and North America. These centers maintain 24/7 management vigilance, monitoring customer networks for potential problems before they happen and taking the necessary corrective actions to maintain operational integrity. They also monitor and update network defenses to maintain security against viruses, hackers and other threats.

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Attack of the ‘s’

Posted by tggokul on April 16, 2007

I was having a light conversation with some people during the weekend and one of them had a very interesting observation. The last names of leading top executives end with an ‘S’. Example: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, John Chambers. So I might be changing my name to Gokuls 🙂

Btw, if this trend continues our good friend Alec Saunders will make it to the top pretty soon 🙂

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Cisco – For the Cool Dudes.

Posted by tggokul on April 12, 2007

Red Herring’s  article on Cisco and its ambition to take over from Google as the innovative leader got me thinking as to why are they doing what they are doing.

Cisco was always at a disadvantage compared to Microsoft and Google when it came to interacting with the everyday Joes and Johns. That is one of the bane of being an infrastructure company. You don’t interact with the masses and the ‘word of mouth’ marketing is not that relevant. So Microsoft/Google are known to more people than Cisco even though the irony is that there is no Google without Cisco’s technology.

I assume Cisco got annoyed with this obscurity tag. So they made a conscious decision to invest in ‘Human Networking’. Their whole Unified Communication solution revolves around it. Throw in some ‘Wow’ factor through Telepresence and they become the ‘cool’ company.

I guess in today’s world you need that tag to attract smart talent in all parts of the world. ‘I work for Google’ has such a zing to it and Cisco is looking for something similar. And trust me, they are almost there. People associated with Cisco these days have a swag that probably was not there, say couple of years ago. Cisco will soon be THE place for the cool dudes.

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