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More Than Flowers

David ByrdI was reviewing a slide show of CTIA noting an array of people, activities and panels, and came upon a photo of the NTT booth, a pedestal and a vase containing flowers. NTT was not at CTIA. Due to the earthquake in Japan, NTT canceled their participation at CTIA.

It is difficult to appreciate the enormous difficulties that Japan is facing when we have seen the country as a competitor to the U.S. for global economic supremacy. However, Japan has been suffering from a slow economy and a growing list of competitors for along time. Yet, her situation today could not be direr. When the earthquake and tsunami first occurred I thought of Katrina and New Orleans. I thought of a city nearly destroyed and thousands of people displaced. In the aftermath of the hurricane that struck Katrina nearly 2,000 people died. but the U.S., as a nation, was hardly affected by the horror that the flooding caused. The situation in Japan is quite different. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced and more than 10,000 have died. Moreover, the tragedy is not yet done. Four nuclear reactors have failed and now a containment vessel may have been breached and millions are threatened.

Japan faces the most serious challenge ever for an industrialized nation. Some of us note this but most of us are absorbed by our day-to-day issues. Perhaps we are even diverted by the events in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain or Afghanistan. If we think those events are more important than what is happening to the third largest economic engine on the planet, we would be wrong.

I had planned to write about the new hires at Broadvox today and our optimistic view of the future. I had even considered name-dropping our exhibitors for the 2011 Partner Summit now that we have secured: Cisco, BroadSoft, AudioCodes, Digium and others. But the photo of a pedestal with flowers in a 40×40 booth brought on a wave of sentiment.

I have been to Tokyo and walked around the city and through the gardens of the Imperial Palace. I can envision the fear touching a city of 13 million people as the radiation danger from the failed nuclear plants increases. Yet, I am powerless to change the impending events. Japan will experience more deaths and harm to its citizenry and economy regardless of the charitable donations or assistance sent from countries around the world. Please, take a moment to think of the people that make up the country we call Japan and note the devastation and series of events that have followed. Our thoughts, support and prayers are important to the people of Japan. She must not face the future alone. We can and remain her ally.

A pedestal of flowers, a statement of a sad time.

David Byrd is vice president of marketing and sales for

Broadvox

, and is responsible for marketing and channel sales programs to SMBs, enterprises and carriers as well as defining the product offering. Prior to joining Broadvox, David was the vice president of Channels and Alliances for Eftia and Telcordia. As director of eBusiness Development with i2 Technologies, he developed major partnerships with many of the leaders in Internet eCommerce and supply chain management. As CEO of Planet Hollywood Online he was a pioneer in using early Internet technologies to build a branded entertainment and eCommerce website company partnered with Planet Hollywood. Having over 20 years of telecom sales and marketing experience, he has held executive positions with Hewlett-Packard, Sprint and Ericsson.


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