TalkingPointz Research Resumes

by Dave Michels

A funny thing happened to me on they way to my new forum.

I used to post on Blogger ( Blogger was simple, and with no real effort toward SEO I managed to develop an audience. Blogging was never meant to be a career, but turned into one (I sold my last business in 2010). As I expanded into my own published research, Blogger was no longer a sufficient platform. I also felt that PinDropSoup was only a clever name for a telecom folks. Since my research reports are intended for a non-telecom audience (mid market IT professionals) a new name was in order.

It all came together, at least in theory. was to be the new name, and it would be hosted on a WordPress platform. WordPress seems to be the favorite of the Bloggerati. Since I was not familiar with WordPress and I was concentrating on my first TalkingPointz Research Reports, I sought out a firm to create the new site. What could possibly go wrong?

The local firm I hired was woefully unqualified. Of course, this was not fully apparent until they walked away (fully paid) from the problems. The content import was done incorrectly, the 301 redirects were done incorrectly, and the new WordPress implementation was not setup properly. January blog traffic was about one fifth of the traffic in October.

I had planned to publish the Aastra TalkingzPointz research in January, but repairing the blog and rebuilding traffic became the priority. Some I could do myself, but finding and scheduling experts was trickier than I anticipated. Unfortunately, every time you make a change to please the Google Gods, it takes a few weeks to verify. There were so many problems that every time we thought we licked it – and didn’t – we found yet another configuration issue.

Well, I think it’s fixed now. The blog is working properly and traffic is returning. There is still tweaking issues regarding SEO and blog layout, but at least Google seems happier.

Welcome back and/or thank you for your perseverance. Now, it’s time to finish up the report on Aastra. Things are crazy now with the pre Enterprise Connect build-up, but I hope to finish it in April. Only four months behind schedule. Microsoft Lync was supposed to be next, but I had always planned on Digium being in June. I am anxious to see their new phones at Enterprise Connect. I think the idea of putting a computer – capable of running scripts – on an always on IP endpoint has some real potential. I do want to get to Lync, but I suspect they are about to change everything with both Lync Online and maybe Lync 2012?

Aastra is going to be a great report.

This is a fairly secretive company that buries information (try to find a bio any of its senior officers). The primary focus of the report is the MX-ONE platform which is not particularly well known in the US – but very strong in the rest of the world and the only platform Aastra offers globally. The MX-ONE has Swedish roots (Ericsson), and has evolved into a very powerful software based solution. Aastra also has some amazing solutions for mobility – including DECT radios and a strong stand alone mobility solution.

Aastra’s  current portfolio is largely a result of  acquisitions, but it acquired some highly innovative companies that are beginning to tie all these technologies together. This includes better integration among its solutions, and new packaging to better address verticals and segments. For example, the Aastra 700 is a simplified version of the MX-ONE for SMB.  Beyond its call managers, Aastra also has a compelling story regarding IP SIP phones, Microsoft Lync phones, and its wireless solutions (DECT and Wi-Fi). The new BluStar solutions for collaboration and video also deserve a look.

As with the Mitel and NEC reports, the key sections are the discussion around sales objections, the SWOT, and the broad collection of information in single place.  As with the other reports, it will also be made available to all members of the Society of Tecommunications Consultants.