IT Expo Follow-Ons and Other News of Note

I'm not alone in saying that this week's IT Expo was a great success and exceeded expectations on a few levels. That's saying a lot in this economy, and it's a testament to the TMC organization, and their continued focus on a market they know very well. I was pleased to be a part of it, and can definitely say being there was worth my while.

I only had a chance to post about the Expo once, and it's been totally go-go today following up on new leads from the show and fulfilling existing client work. A lot has happened since I last posted, and am going to round up a few notable items for you now in this post.

First, some buzz around the show itself. TMC's Tom Keating had a solid round up today of commentary about how the Expo was. The headline of Tom's post made me smile, as his writeup was a nice vindication of my TMCnet columns a few weeks back proclaiming that VoIP is not dead, which sparked a healthy debate on both sides of the argument. No doubt in my mind that the IT Expo places another checkmark in the "alive" column.

Second, continuing with the IT Expo theme, TMC's Greg Galitzine posted the Best In Show winners the other day. Lots of familiar names there, and I just wanted to wave the flag to acknowledge the Canadians in the mix:

- Phybridge - best Large Enterprise Solution
- Industry Dynamics - best Large Enterprise Solution
- Pronexus - best Development Tool
- Sangoma - best Development Tool
- TelcoBridges - best Onsite Product Launch

I'm especially glad to see the first three on this list, as they were all part of the Ontario/Canada Pavilion trade delegation, which had a prominent presence on the show floor, and a ridiculously popular reception on Tuesday. I don't get to say this very often, but their initiative to support emerging Ontario tech companies is a great example of our tax dollars being put to good use!

Third, Fierce VoIP had strong coverage throughout the Expo, and it was nice seeing Doug Mohney popping in and out of the sessions. They posted a nice slideshow of the Expo, including a couple of me during my SIP Trunking presentation.

Fourth, Response Point/SMB Phone launch. Microsoft had a healthy presence during the Expo around Response Point, and they seem bound and determined to become a player in the SMB IP telephony market. Building on their launch with Packet 8 at the previous IT Expo, the news I want to focus on here is the launch of SMB Phone. Huh? Ok, SMB Phone isn't a household name, but many of you will know Erik Lagerway. Aside from his blogging activity, he's a classic serial entrepreneur, and SMB Phone is his latest venture along with partner Trent Johnsen. Erik and Trent most recently ran Shift Communications, and SMB Phone looks to be a bigger and better story. At the Expo on Monday, they announced the launch of their Digital Voice service for the Canadian SMB market. SMB Phone is solely built around the Microsoft Response Point product, and they are the first and only service provider partner to support it in Canada. For now, they have the market to themselves, and I sure hope they can lock Canada up before the space gets too crowded. Congrats, guys - nice to see you back in the game.

Fifth - Iotum's iPhone news. Gee, this Canadian theme sure is strong. Don't let the cold winters fool you - we don't just hibernate in our igloos, y'know. Iotum has been on a good roll lately with its Calliflower conferencing platform. The latest news came Tuesday, announcing their availability on the iPhone. While not an IT Expo item, it's another good news story out of Canada, and CEO Alec Saunders provides a graphic walk-through of how Calliflower works on the iPhone on his blog.

Sixth - more Apple news. Another item that got a lot of attention today was Jajah's announcement of their latest service that gives the iPod Touch the voice capability of the iPhone. Their platform provides a turnkey solution enabling any operator to offer a service for iTouch users to make calls or send SMS. It's great news for Jajah, and it helped make my day, as they were nice enough to quote me in their press release.

That's enough news for one day. Back to work now...