The Death of the Office Telephone? (Revisited)

It was over two years ago I posted something regurgitated from Avaya of “cord cutting” office telephones. I feel the office telephone has been murdered by “technologists”, i.e. people who live at universities or corporations who don’t even work in a real office, lecturing about the future. They are often dumb when it comes to the common sense things – you know the “end users” perspective.

To this day I still defend the office telephone. And all the features that you can find on the major vendors offerings. “Hosted VOIP” or “Cloud PBX” systems are just IP Centrex with a more h—-ier branding. Buzz/priority calling, call appearances more than 6, IP phones that can support nearly 60 buttons on one set without the need of external BLF modules. It’s ridiculous that Polycom or Cisco can sell a customer a $400 telephone can handle 6 lines or monitor up to 6 telephones, and no page down or up features, while an Avaya Red or Blue set can have up to 12 to 24 lines, feature statuses, or what for the same price.

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Ask before Reuse

The Museum of Telephony receives a lot of referrals on a daily basis. The average hits is normally 100, often occurring two to three times a week. Just recently the site celebrated it’s 35,000th hit since the launch in 2012.

Given WordPress’ ability to see referrals (however unlike other sites, I can’t get location, specific URLs, etc) there has been questionable links.  Some sites I have asked to remove to protect the brand, and quality of this site (some have described this as a “weblog” for an example.)

No worse, is some websites that are trying to tinker with it’s URL and see what it looks like on mobile. Even better, there is a website that has been taking the content and using it for an alleged syndication.

I am going to be direct: The Museum’s layout will never change. It’s the makeup and identity of what makes this site special. If I go all minimal to please the engineers of the world to not look as sexy, then The Museum goes down.  Also in a mobile world, editing is more complex and often more typos occur.

I put a lot of hard work to be accessible to a wide audience. You can’t easily learn the history of the telephone on a small fat tablet.

I need to be honest here: About 99.9% percent of the content is my own work, therefore it’s been liberally copyrighted, but I need to put an end to people who are linking my site with a questionable quality standards; and worse these open source sites . MY CONTENT IS COPYRIGHTED. ANY USE FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S SHARING WILL BE PROHIBITED. IF I HAVE TO FILE A DMCA CLAIM, THEN I WILL SURE AS HELL DO!

Be warned, this site will be on higher and elevated surveillance monitoring the incoming traffic and  other unauthorized use of syndicated content

This site is getting better in terms of traffic, chatter, and other things. You want mobile? Well there’s an Instagram and a Facebook page. That’s all. You don’t need to rip my stuff and post it on an open source site and violate my work and treat it as public domain. And if you do not know English as a Primary Language, talk-to-me first! Click on the contact link.

In short, don’t steal my content without permission, second The Museum will never go to mobile primarily, there are other portals for that. If you call me old fashioned, then so be it! It’s the purpose of this site to begin with!

~The Content Management Team at The Museum of Telephony~


Rant: Unintended Consequences with Unified Communications?

I am not a drinker, given my mental state, and the medications I’m on – its not my thing. There is no coffee house where I live, sadly to say except for the Starbucks. And Starbucks is not a place to meet people. The customers are always business folks doing their work remotely (I’ve done that for me to get away from home) the problem is how they communicate. They typically use earbuds and use some VOIP app to connect. The problem I see is reminiscent to Wall-E where people are skyping people who are far way and they aren’t paying attention to other prospective customers (or hell even friends or lovers) in the same room.

Now before you call me a hypocrite I’ve worked on a UC project for scores of users, but since the system is not owned or licensed to our users, we can put a ban on where they can have a conversation on our systems. Flexibility is OK, however if one is talking about non public information in a public place; and is on a crappy WiFi – yeah, I’m sorry to be the meanie IT guy, but we need to put a Group Policy Object (err. “Profile”) for that VOIP app. It’s not only unprofessional to have a crappy phone connection via the Internet pipes, but to talk wherever you want because it’s all about you, not the employer is just wrong on so many levels. And it makes you the “professional” even more “unprofessional”.

I guess I should say, if you want to talk about corporate as- kissing, to steal a cliche “GET A CUBE!!!”

Unravelling Avaya’s Many Mistakes

NOTE: The original post did not include specific financial information related to Avaya as it requires more research time to gather and publish. I also will have to gather Nortel information to put together for an analysis. The original post features the overall history of Avaya from spinoff to bankruptcy.

I wanted to quote the once pop song Breathe (2 AM) from artist Anna Nalick of “unravelling my latest mistake” however Avaya unravelled one too many mistakes instead.

In preparation for this post; I went to the basement in my house, the office where I have a file cabinet of old periodicals. I have a collection of annual financial reports from AT&T to every known spinoff because I have a living grandmother who got shares of AT&T around 1988 when my nana (great grandmother) passed. AT&T was known to be the widow stock because of it’s dividends, but when my great grandmother passed, I was a year old; and four years after Divesture. Even before 1984, AT&T’s stock was under pressure, even as a regulated monopoly.

So my gram owned AT&T, NCR, Lucent, Avaya, Agere, and a couple of others. I believe the Avaya buyout of 2007 was her last dump of all the individual stocks that no one would envision twenty years prior would occur. (In fact, there was a surprise for me, my family was in talks of transferring the ownership of AV from my gram to me. But it all went away when they were bought out by the PE firms.)

I feel the Avaya spinoff in retrospect after the bankruptcy was a blessing in disguise – when you look at the numbers. In 2007 around the time of the buyout, Avaya’s stock was around $10 a share. Nortel was in the pennies (even after a reversed split), Lucent merged with Alcatel (the word on Main Street was the merger would raise the stock price) and it went nowhere; Agere was bought out in 2007 as well.

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POTD: Local Papa Gino’s

Sadly, where I live, Avaya or Nortel isn’t “alive and well” unlike another site I follow. Nortel has disappeared in my state in public and private entities in lieu of Cisco years ago and Avaya Red has slowly disappeared too.

On a Christmas Eve tradition before I was born, my family would order pizza out at the local Papa Ginos, that is local chain with more than one hundred stores around the Greater Boston region, basically in four of the six New England states. It’s reputation is fresh quality pizza of with quality ingredients. Over the years Papa’s has had exclusive marketing deals with the local Boston teams such as the Red Sox and currently the Patriots.

The chain has used AT&T products going back to the days of Western Electric. This location I had frequented growing up had used one of those 10 line 1A2 wall mount Key telephones till a cutover around 2001 to a Partner ACS system. The only ComKey I’ve ever seen in production was another store nearby, and that had cutover to a Partner circa 2001 or 02.

I’ve been to mostly the New Hampshire stores, and D’Angelo the sub shop, is a sister brand to Papa Ginos. I don’t recall them using any phone systems, the one nearby me, that I took a few years back with an Avaya van uses POTS phones.

But today, just the next block away from that same D’Angelo, I noticed  this phone. Nope, its not a 9600 Avaya IP or 9500 DCP set. No, worse a Polycom VVX 310 set. (I haven’t been here for a while, some days I normally walk here because it’s not that far away from my home.)


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Why I’ve Been Forced to go to Unified Communications as a Consumer, Part Two

Back to me, myself and I: Why did I have to jump to consumer UC services?

Over the last couple of years, I have done more texting, chatting, emailing over voice; because the people I talk to have desk phones that are VOIP based. Of the few, they are using Allworx. They are just lousy phones! Once these cutover, the heartless IT admins who hate their users and get paid to hate, will not touch any of these phones. (Don’t get me started with security risks and reliability issues.) So as a result, I email. Until the email servers go down on the other end because the Exchange admins think patching a server at lunch time and not understanding customers emailing their to that organization while they are on their lunch is most likely occuring.

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