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Ask the Expert: The Value of Conferences: Seminars vs. Web Searches

January 13, 2010

By TMCnet Special Guest
Jonathan Fuld, Chief Technology Officer, SIP Print,

I ran a Google (News - Alert) search using the term: How many telephone manufacturers are there in the United States. It returned 70.2 million results, nothing usable but some ads. I ran the exact same query on Bing.com and received 10.4 million results, but nothing I was looking for. A simple answer to a simple question. If I were to spend the time paging through all the results, I wouldn't be done for a couple of weeks. Google suggested I go to Ask.com. One of the first returned advertisement links from Ask.com included a suggestion of gifts.flowers.bestprice.com.
 
I am not suggesting Internet abstinence but rather a reasoned approach to finding out information necessary to run your business better. A search of the internet is a good place to start, quick and dirty. 
 
Touch and Feel.
 
I am from Missouri – The Show Me State.
 
When I attend a conference, I can touch and feel the technology. I can see the latest models. Someone can show me how it works. I can speak to a human being who can answer my questions immediately, and if not then, at a later point in the near future. I have made a human network connection that can get me closer to the answer for my question and for that matter many of my questions than can a simple internet search. 
 
While the internet search engines make their money through advertising, Seminars and conferences make their money through direct sales. One on one selling; one on one human interaction regarding technology. One on one involvement with the human and with the technology. I will be attending the ITEXPO East 2010 in Miami starting January 20, 2010 – one week from today. Hope to see you there!
 
Question from a reader: 
 
You made a prediction last week that Avaya (News - Alert) would buy a portion of Motorola. Why would you say something like that?
 
Dear Reader: It was a wild prediction I admit, and just a prediction, with no inside knowledge, but you have to think back a few years when TPG and Silverlake took Avaya private. Now they have made a play for Nortel (News - Alert).  The deal is about consummated. You will hear about some of the ramifications at the ITEXPO in Miami next week. 
 
Avaya had to buy Nortel for the market space. And that market space is condensing quickly. Avaya needs to diversify outside of the PBX market. Their competition is Microsoft (News - Alert) OCS, Google Voice and of course the wireless handset such as cell phones and PDAs. The PBX market is missing the integration of the consumer based wireless handset into the business office PBX. Who better to have a grasp on the hardware than Motorola (see the Droid)? This also allows Avaya to connect with Google and merge their Droid OS onto some of Avaya's PBX's for true “inside the company” unified communications.
 
Again, a wild speculation, but a $7 billion private undertaking requires integrating your business of old with those companies that have the latest technology.

To find out more about Jonathan Fuld and SIP Print (News - Alert), visit the company at ITEXPO East 2010. To be held Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Fuld is speaking during “Reducing IT Costs with VoIP Recording Strategies.” Don’t wait. Register now.

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Edited by Kelly McGuire

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