• Dave and Evan chat with Amy Barzdukas about her fascinating year of launches as the CMO of Poly. We learn that friends don't let friends conference with earbuds, her Spartan approach to glamping, and the world needed the Poly Studio. 

    Amy Barzdukas is an EVP and CMO at Poly. She is responsible for Poly’s global marketing strategy and execution. Barzdukas has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry. She joined Polycom in 2015 as Vice President of Global Solutions Marketing and was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer in 2017. She retained the CMO role after Plantronics and Polycom merged into the new Poly. 

    Prior to joining Polycom, Barzdukas served as VP WW Marketing for HP’s Business Personal Systems group and had a successful 16-year career at Microsoft with multiple leadership and GM roles.

  • Dave and Evan meet with Rowan Trollope, the CEO of cloud contact center provider Five9

    Rowan has a billion things on his mind, yet found time to share his some of the recent organizational changes at Five9, what comes next for the contact center after the cloud, how is background helps him at Five9, and he also confirmed he doesn't ski with OJ Simpson. 

    Rowan Mehail Trollope was named the CEO of Five9 in May 2018. Previously, he headed the Collaboration group at Cisco. Rowan also held several leadership positions over 20 years at Symantec, where he helped grow it to the global leader in consumer security.

    Rowan has completed the Executive Institute at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, and the Stanford Directors College at Stanford Law School.

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  • Dave and Evan meet with Vasili Triant to better understand how and why contact center has become such a priority at Cisco. Vasili brings a tremendous amount of sector experience to Cisco. He shares what's changing in the industry, how collaborative Cisco is in terms of its R&D, and why all the execs left ShoreTel. 

    Vasili Triant serves as Vice President and General Manager of the Cisco Contact Center Group. Vasili brings Vasili resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and family of eight kids. He volunteers with the Lake Travis Youth Sports Association where he is a Board Member and has coached football and baseball for the past six years. Vasili has a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of San Diego.

  • Dave and Evan meet with Praful Shah, the Chief Strategy Officer at RingCentral. We discuss recent acquisitions, life as a pediatrician, and stadium names. Praful is responsible for defining RingCentral’s business, product, and marketing strategy. He brings more than 20 years of experience with major technology companies in the software and cloud industries. Before joining RingCentral, he worked at WebEx from its founding days until its acquisition by Cisco in 2007. 

    Shah holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology in India and a master’s degree in computer science from Pennsylvania State University.

  • Dave and Evan meet with Ilya Bukshteyn, the Partner Director over Teams Devices at Microsoft. We discuss how Microsoft is changing, new types of devices, and of course Tesla cars. 

    Ilya was there when real-time communications started at Microsoft. Actually, he was there when most things started at Microsoft as he's been there for about 25 years. He made the transition from SfB to Teams and wants to make sure you can too, so works to make sure that you have an ecosystem of high quality, certified devices for desktops and rooms. 

  • Dave and Evan meet with Bryan Martin to discuss the history of VoIP, UCaaS, video,  the cloud, and 8x8.

    Bryan Martin is 8x8’s technological visionary, leading the company’s drive to patent a range of disruptive and innovative technologies. With an excellent sense of how cloud communications transform enterprise communications and customer service, Bryan led 8x8 as CEO from its early days as a VoIP pioneer. Before becoming CEO in 2002, he held the positions of Chief Operating Officer, Chief Technical Officer and Senior Vice President, Engineering Operations.

    Martin holds 64 United States Patents in the fields of semiconductors, computer architecture, video processing algorithms, videophones, and communications. Internet Telephony magazine named Bryan one of the “Top 100 Voices of IP Communications.” Bryan also served on the California Broadband Task Force for the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, and later became Chair of the task force’s Emerging Technologies and New Applications Working Group.

    Bryan is a member of the IEEE and Tau Beta Pi and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

  • Dave and Evan meet with Tsahi Levent-levi to discuss WebRTC, video, and IP-based communications. 

    Tsahi has over 15 years of experience in telecommunications, VoIP video, and networking technologies. He has collected numerous titles in his career including CTO, Entrepreneur, Analyst, Engineer, developer, and more. Titles aside, his main role is to align a communications strategy with business objectives. 

    Tsahi is one of the most well known thought leaders on the subject of WebRTC. He’s published numerous articles and training materials related to WebRTC and believes it’s one of the most significant recent communications developments. 

    Tsahi holds an MSc in Computer Science, and an MBA. He has been awarded three patents and advises clients on  the patent processes. 

    In this podcast we get into WebRTC as well other communications technologies and applications such as healthcare and travel. 

    Tsahi stays close to industry standards and the standards making process. He has previously acted as chairman of various activity groups within the IMTC (regarding interoperability of multimedia) and now holds the position of W3C Evangelist for all things WebRTC.

    Visit Tsahi's site: BlogGeek.me

  • Dave and Evan meet with Alan Lepofsky of Salesforce to discuss the object of his evangelism, Quip.

    With almost two decades of experience in the software industry, Alan helps companies understand how to develop and/or implement collaboration solutions that help employees get work done. He prefers to focus on how organizations can improve their existing business processes by providing access to the colleagues, content and communities that can help people get their work done more effectively.

    After over seven years as a collaboration software analyst, Alan became the newest VP Evangelism for Business Productivity at Salesforce last February. Specifically, he is working with the Quip division to showcase the benefits of uniting content, collaboration and business objects. Quip is a digital canvas that empowers people to bring context to their conversations.

    Learn more about Quip, collaboration, and how nothing has changed since Lotus Notes. 

  • Dave and Evan meet with Michael Quinn of Q Advisors about mergers and acquisitions in enterprise communications.

    Michael Quinn is a founding partner of Q Advisors, and shares his insider views on industry M&A activities. With more than 25 years of international operations and investment banking experience in the telecommunications industry, Michael has originated, structured, and executed more than 100 deals totaling more than $4 billion in transaction value. 

    Michael has led transactions for Q Advisors' clients including: Arkadin, Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc., Broadcore, Grande Communications, Hudson Fiber, Masergy Communications, Neverblue, One Source Networks, NuVox, Inc., and WildBlue Communications. 

    Prior to forming Q Advisors, Michael was a founder of and Chief Corporate Development Officer for VeloCom Inc., a Latin American wireless services provider, where he was responsible for capital raising and acquisition activities. Michael began his career with the New York-based law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. He later became a partner in the Denver-based law firm Holland & Hart LLP, guiding their international corporate finance practice.

    Michael received a B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law. He is currently on the Advisory Board of The George Washington University School of Business and on the Board of the Elliot School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. 

    Michael is currently on the Board of the Cloud Communications Alliance (CCA), also serving as Secretary.

  • Dave and Evan meet with Zoom CIO Harry Moseley.

    Harry joined Zoom just about a year ago to be its CIO. Formerly the CIO of KPMG, Blackstone, Credit Suisse, and UBS, Harry brings considerable expertise in solutions development, infrastructure, security, strategic planning, and building technology teams to Zoom.

    Harry is responsible for creating business value at Zoom through technology innovation, supporting business growth objectives, and ensuring its technology platforms and procedures give the business outcomes customers expect.

    Before we get into video streaming, we talk about streaming video. Harry shares a few things he's learned in the past year, a few things about millennials, why video is the new voice, and what it is like in the fast lane.

    From Zoom:
    Harry brings to Zoom a blend of transformational leadership, disruptive innovation, and corporate growth strategies. As the former CIO & Managing Director for KPMG, Harry was responsible for technology and innovation to support the firm’s competitive growth. Over five years he identified and replaced legacy technology to dramatically improve productivity, security, and reliability. Before joining KPMG, Harry served as CIO & Senior Managing Director − Partner for Blackstone, where he led the company’s transformation to the world’s best digital alternative asset manager. Prior to Blackstone, Harry was a Managing Director for Credit Suisse, where he served as the CIO of Global Investment Banking, and Global Co-Head of Application Development / Co-CIO of the firm. Before Credit Suisse, Harry served as CTO & Managing Director for UBS Americas.

  • In this TalkingHeadz, Dave and Evan hangout with Scott Johnston, Director of Product Management at Google. Among Scott's responsibilities are the communications and collaboration applications within G Suite which includes Hangouts Meet, Hangouts Chat, and Google Voice. 

    We discuss all of those as well as other things G including new leadership, Chromebooks and the Jamboard. 

    2019 is expected to be a big year for Google with regards to enterprise communications and collaboration. The Hangouts Classic app will be replaced with two separate apps: Hangouts Meet (for conferencing) and Hangouts Chat (for messaging). Additionally, Google will be launching Google Voice as an integrated, optional UCaaS service. 

    Google has quietly become not only an enterprise vendor, but a comprehensive one. The anchors are Google Cloud services for workloads and G Suite for workflow or office productivity. G Suite communications includes Hangouts and Voice. Google also has a number of additional communications services including Google AI for Contact Centers, room systems for conferencing, Duplex chatbots, Google Fi wireless service, and an arsenal of endpoints (Chrome browser, ChromeOS, and Android). 

  • In this podcast, Dave Michels and Evan Kirstel chat with Colin Berkshire, a regular yet mysterious contributor to TalkingPoitnz.

    Colin has an opinion on a lot of things - possibly everything, but especially Apple, Asia, 4G/5G, and Bell Labs. He's been a regular contributor for several years now, yet no one has met him. He guards his privacy and "Colin Berkshire" is a pen name. He does not use social media and doesn't directly respond to comments.

    He does read them, and he's been known to indirectly respond with a separate, new post.

    In this podcast we cover a lot of ground and air too. We get right into 5G and Colin explains that if you exclude cell phones, it's a great technology. We learn how to ascertain the proper amount to bribe, and why Tim Cook isn't a thief and doesn't want Colin's money. 

    Many people inquire if Colin is real. He finds that humorous and responded directly in a post titled: Do I Exist? He does. And now, for the first time, you can hear him in this podcast.

    Here's a few of his greatest hits:

    I Beat Apple
    Betting on Magenta
    The Best Money Government Can Buy
    Reflecting on Bell Labs Era
    AT&T and Verizon's Towers

    Colin is technical, analytical, opinionated, historical and sometimes hysterical. He's mostly retired and enjoys rolling his eyes at just about everything, but does so with piercing accuracy. Colin is genuinely surprised that he enjoys writing posts, and even more surprised that anyone reads them. 

    One of the benefits of changing TalkingHeadz from a video to an audio format is that Colin agreed to participate. 

  • In this podcast, Dave Michels and Evan Kirstel chat with Mathilde Collin, CEO and co-founder of Front

    While there's a general consensus that we have evolved past email, there's little agreement what to do about it. Many vendors are looking to replace email with workstream collaboration apps. Mathilde and Front are taking a different approach, and are reimagining email to better accommodate group collaboration.

    Front offers an email client for effective team collaboration. It can be used with Exchange or Gmail -- though Mathilde makes a few comments that suggest a bigger plan. 

    Momentum is on her side. Email is growing, not declining. It's a problem because the universal inbox wasn't designed for today's volume or workflow. Can Front fix email before email breaks us? The original app of collaboration is indeed due for a makeover. 

    Mathilde Collin moved her company of 17 people to Silicon Valley and now has thousands of enterprise customers including Tesla, Shopify, and Dropbox. Front can be used by departments, and in some cases gets deployed enterprise-wide. 

    Front is a graduate of Y Combinator. The company recently raised millions from Sequoia Capital and investors such as Alexis Ohanian of Reddit and Stewart Butterfield of Slack.

  • In this TalkingHeadz, Evan and Dave learn that Joe Manuele moved into video because he likes watching.  We also learned discussed contact centers, and Teslas.

    Joe was recently named as the first non-founder CEO of video conferencing provider Highfive.

    About Joe Manuele 
    Prior to joining Highfive, Joe Manuele ran the global Collaboration and Customer Experience practice at Dimension Data. An Enterprise Sales and GTM veteran, Joe’s background includes leadership roles at Cisco, Adtran, Actelis Networks and Avaya. Joe has a Computer Science degree from Control Data Institute in Montreal.
    Prior to Cisco he was Chief Technology Strategist for Skype.

    Highfive is an innovative video conferencing provider. The solution uses open WebRTC technology and offers room system hardware as part of its subscription offer. 

    Cross posted at https://TalkingPointz.com/th-highfive

  • In this TalkingHeadz, Evan and Dave ask the legendary Jonathan Rosenberg if SIP was a mistake. We also manage to discuss WebRTC, robocalls, Facebook, and fine dining.

    JR was joined Cisco in 2013 where he a chief architect of what Webex Teams.

    About Jonathan Rosenberg
    Jonathan Rosenberg is the outgoing VP, CTO, and very fine Fellow of Cisco Collaboration. Having worked in IP communication and collaboration for 18 years he has some hang-ups on disconnects. He has authored many of the Internet standards that define modern telecoms, including SIP, SIMPLE (SIP for presence and IM), and ICE. He has held numerous leadership positions in the IETF, is the fourth most prolific author of Internet standards of all time (with 70 RFCs), holds 52 granted US patents, has served on advisory boards of numerous startups, given nearly a hundred industry talks, and has received several industry awards, including being named to the Technology Review TR100 in 2002 – the 100 most innovative young technologists in the world.

    Prior to Cisco he was Chief Technology Strategist for Skype.

    In 2002 JR was named one of the most innovative young technologists in the world by Technology Review magazine. He also was named a "Top Supergeek" by CRN and won a Pulver Von Pioneer award for contributions to the VoIP industry. In 2015 he was presented with the Ohio University Strowger Award for transformational innovation in the telecommunications industry.

    Rosenberg holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from MIT and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Columbia University.

    Cross posted at https://TalkingPointz.com/th-jr

  • In this TalkingHeadz, Evan and Dave discuss the UC channel with SVP Todd Abbott at Mitel. Todd joined Mitel in April of 2017, and before that he worked everywhere else. He is in the complex role of encouraging UC channel partners to both sell and evolve as industry evolves toward cloud-delivered services. Todd takes us on a channel evolution safari.

    About Todd
    A seasoned executive with more than 30 years of experience in the computing, networking, and business communications industries, Todd Abbott develops go-to-market strategies, sales models, and channel programs. He is currently Mitel’s Executive Vice President of Global Sales & Services, and oversees global sales operations, including cloud and enterprise sales, professional and support services, and channel programs.

    Prior to joining Mitel, Todd has held senior executive positions at several business communications companies, including Symbol Technologies, Seagate Technology, Avaya, and Sonus Networks. Earlier in his career, Todd spent eight years at Cisco Systems. Todd began his career in 1982 at IBM Corporation.

    Todd has a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Finance and Marketing from Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts).

    Cross posted at https://TalkingPointz.com/th-todd-abbott

  • Dave and Evan ask Jason What's Next? Jason is a very technical, UC/VoIP/CPaaS industry pioneer, and he's currently in a free agent mode, We took the opportunity to ask him what's on his mind - and the answers range from cameras to Twitter. 

  • Ooma is suddenly on the enterprise UCaaS stage. Like Vonage before it, Ooma has broken free of its consumer VoIP roots and expanded into enterprise UCaaS. Perhaps suddenly is the wrong word, it had Ooma Office, but last March expanded its footprint with the acquisition of Voxter:

    SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ooma, Inc. (NYSE:OOMA), a smart communications platform for businesses and consumers, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Voxter Communications Inc., a provider of custom UCaaS solutions for mid-market and enterprise businesses.

    Voxter will complement the Ooma Office solution for small business, giving Ooma a business communications portfolio that can meet the needs of organizations of all sizes.

    Founded in 2005 and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Voxter provides its clients with fully hosted VoIP solutions, taking productivity to a higher level through a voice architecture that’s feature rich and highly customizable to meet the individual needs of each business. Beyond telephony, Voxter offers instant messaging, videoconferencing, contact center capabilities, integration with mobile devices and more.

    Voxter provides its advanced UCaaS solution to leading businesses, including Slack, Optimizely, Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort, Hyperwallet and Grafana.

    Suddenly, Ooma has a set of larger enterprise customers and some pretty slick back-end processing technologies. Slack is quite the reference customer too. In August, Ooma announced (featured in Quipz) a new GTM partnership with Talkdesk. It shows a commitment to expand its enterprise business with a broader, integrated portfolio.

    Another interesting tidbit about Ooma is its DECT know-how. I've always been a fan of DECT wireless technologies, though they are not that popular in the US. Since Ooma's premised-based gateway device has DECT for wireless phones, they also expanded into home security. DECT has better range, requires less power, and offers better security than Wi-Fi.


    Published October 3, 2018