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The Letter

It has been almost six years since I was responsible for our corporate data network, and three years since I was last involved in telecom. To be expected, the landscape of this industry has changed and right now, as the new Group Publisher for PHONE+, I feel like a newcomer. Luckily enough, the underlying principals havent changed. What has are major advancements in technology, the union of different channels and the addition of several new acronyms. At the recent CompTIA conference in Las Vegas, I was amazed to discover the explosion of VoIP in the enterprise environment. Since all of the presenters spoke about enterprise applications, it wasnt until recently when I took a trip to Mexico did I grasp how widespread convergence has become.

Since Mexico borders Arizona, we Phoenicians can jump into a car and within a couple hours be sitting on the beach getting a tan. One of the major benefits of Mexico is most cell phones dont work, and finding a data connection is difficult. For those of us wired into the system, Mexico is a great place to unplug. Since I had a little unfinished work I decided to bring my laptop along for the trip. Needless to say, I was shocked when I found an IP phone with a data port and Ethernet cable on the kitchen counter of the condo. After doing some research, I found all the new condos in the area are wired for broadband access. And, to reduce the cost of delivering voice and data, the developers implemented hosted VoIP services. So, like an addict, I immediately booted up the IP phone, connected my laptop and starting playing. What a vacation!

With all these new developments Im very excited to be back in the game. Craig Drinkhall, senior vice president of product development and engineering for TelCove, recently said, Its clear that convergence means different things to different people. While I couldnt agree with him more, I can tell you what convergence means for the staff at PHONE+. Convergence means opportunity for the communications industry and, particularly, for the channel.

As I get reacquainted with the communications marketplace, I am eager to hear from you. Please contact me at mikes@vpico.com or call my direct line +1 480 675 8177. Stay tuned for some great things to come.

Mike Saxby
Group Publisher

P.S. As we go to press the Gulf Coast has been ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. We have been moved by the desperation of those affected and heartened by the efforts of those many in the telecommunications industry who have come to their aid with food, shelter and the vital communications infrastructure needed to reunite families, provide financial aid, locate jobs and more. We wish courage for those in our industry that have been impacted by the storm and strength to those who are working tirelessly to connect them to their lives and livelihoods.


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