Milan Direct Ranked No. 1 Online Furniture Provider in Australia

January 29, 2013

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

Milan Direct is an online designer furniture store in Australia offering custom furniture to call center, office, outdoor and home requirements. The company has sold over 500,000 pieces of designer furniture through its online store.

Considering this achievement, Milan Direct was recently recognized by latest IBIS World report as Australia’s market leader in online furniture sales. As per the report, Milan Direct holds a 6.1-percent share of the $300 million dollar plus industry in the country.

According to IBIS World, online furniture sales are expected to grow by 16 percent this financial year.

Online shopping not only offers customers the convenience of shopping from their home; it also enables great cost savings for both the buyer and seller. Over the past several years, online shopping has changed its dimensions.

The service is now considered more reliable and convenient for most customers.

Dean Ramler, cofounder of Milan Direct, believes online furniture sales will ultimately spell the end for traditional bricks and mortar stores. “The desire to visit a physical retail store takes on increasingly less significance as more people experience the ease, value and convenience of buying furniture online,� he said. 

Earlier, there were reservations on selling chairs and mattresses online as most people wanted to measure their size and get convinced of the features by testing them physically in the stores. Now, the scenario is totally changed. Customers can see every detail of the furniture with the help of high resolution pictures.

“In the end though it all comes down to price, service and quality and with a purely online business model these aspects can be exploited without compromise every time,� Ramler added.

“In addition, we knew that the key to true and sustained online success was removing any remaining risks the customer perceived through things like photos, videos and money-back guarantees. The success of our approach speaks for itself,� he said.

Milan Direct sells all types of furniture solely through its online store. All products come with a full 14-day money-back guarantee.

Looking to grow your channel opportunities? Then be sure to attend Channel Vision Expo (CVx), collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, happening now in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Channel Vision Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker

Belkin to Acquire Cisco’s Home Networking Business Unit Linksys

Last week, Playa Vista, Calif.-based Belkin entered into an agreement to acquire Cisco’s home networking business unit, including the Linksys brand. Linksys’ main office is located in Irvine, Calif.

According to PCWorld, Belkin isn’t just buying a prestige brand to enhance its existing home-networking product line. “It plans to market networking products under both the brands,� wrote PCWorld’s senior editor, Michael Brown.

Brown asked Belkin’s chief technology officer Brian Van Harlingen to explain how this acquisition was going to benefit consumers. “Belkin’s employees “strive to understand user needs, and deliver a good user experience,� he replied.

Per the CTO’s explanation, the philosophy at Linksys is similar, but its strengths are different. “While Linksys has done good work with Smart Wi-Fi, we have done great work in terms of quality of service,� Van Harlingen told Brown. “We think the ultimate outcome of putting the two companies together will be ‘1+1=3.’�

Furthermore, continued Van Harlingen, “Belkin sees Linksys as a premier brand. They brought wireless networking into the home. But our intention is to maintain both brands in networking; each has a unique appeal to consumers, and we think we can create differentiation for the two product lines.�

As a result of this deal, Belkin’s CTO sees an opportunity to gain some market share in the small to medium-sized business (SMB) market, one that Linksys had largely drifted away from under Cisco’s control.

Meanwhile, Belkin is working on a long-term plan and product roadmap. Concurrently, Belkin also hopes Linksys’ acquisition will help the company to grow its budding line of home-automation products, the WeMo brand.  

"The beauty of the WeMo line using a Wi-Fi network, as opposed to Z-Wave or ZigBee, is that you can buy a product that will perform a function without depending on another product. You don’t need a gateway as the Z-Wave and ZigBee protocols generally require," commented Van Harlingen.

Edited by Braden Becker

Huawei Home Gateway Leverages DSP Group’s Digital Cordless Chipset

As VoIP telephony gains popularity, Turkey’s telecom operator Turkcell SuperOnline is offering a cordless telephony-integrated home gateway and fully-featured CAT-iq 2.0 handsets to its broadband subscribers.

The Huawei home gateway HG253 and the Swissvoice handset IH250 are powered by DSP Group's digital cordless chipset.

According to the DSP Group, the Huawei HG253 fiber home gateway, combined with Swissvoice IH250 handsets, is enabling Turkcell SuperOnLine subscribers to enjoy HD-voice quality and value-added multi-line, multi-handset services.

In addition, Turkcell SuperOnLine’s the voice over IP (VoIP) service is being powered by DSP Group's XceedR family of chipset solutions.

In fact, combining the Huawei home fiber gateway HG253 with the digital cordless chipset, DSP Group has readied a reference design, enabling the development of a low-cost, small form-factor handset in compliance with the HD-supported DECT CAT-iq standard.

Zhi Hao, vice president of home device products line at Huawei, said, “We are seeing increasing interest and demand for integrating digital cordless telephony into home gateways as integrated access devices. The release of the HG253 has advanced VoIP voice quality to residential subscribers with HD-voice through DECT technology.�

“By working with DSP Group, we're able to deliver the best of wireless and cordless technology to operators, who are now moving to provide integrated broadband data and telephony services through the IP network,� he added.

In another statement, Swissvoice managing director Sebastien De La Bastie, said, "We are pleased to provide our IH250 handset to Turkcell SuperOnLine and are confident that users will benefit from cutting-edge cordless telephony functionality and outstanding audio quality."

“Our close collaboration with DSP Group is key to maintaining our leadership in the CAT-iq phone space," noted the managing director.

Edited by Braden Becker

NightOwl Discovery to Feature Kroll Ontrack’s ediscovery Platform

NightOwl Discovery has partnered with Kroll Ontrack to feature the company's ediscovery platform in its portfolio of ediscovery solutions for law firms and corporations.

By teaming up with Kroll Ontrack, NightOwl Discovery clients will be provided with robust processing and production, which will enable them to produce over 7,000 file types and scale more than six million documents daily; have access to a secure data center with strict security protocols such as bio-metric hand scanning to identify personnel; and access to award-winning intelligent review technology allowing for quick, consistent and accurate management of documents.

"This is an important strategic initiative for NightOwl; Kroll Ontrack is a long-standing leader in ediscovery solutions," Andrea Wallack, CEO at NightOwl Discovery, said in a statement. "Offering the Kroll Ontrack platform expands our ability to serve clients with a wide range of ediscovery needs."

Moreover, Kroll Ontrack's platform is said to provide customers with a beneficial experience.

"The flexibility and expertise that are the hallmark of NightOwl's client services group, combined with the Kroll Ontrack advanced software platform, will offer customers a highly responsive, trusted and cost-efficient option for managing ediscovery for any size matter," said Tom Palladino, president of NightOwl Discovery.

Kroll Ontrack is proud to eliminate the need for clients to have to pick between service and software providers.

"Too often clients are forced to choose between managed service providers they have great relationships with and software providers that offer choice technology," added Dean Hager, president and CEO at Kroll Ontrack. "Through partnerships, clients don't have to choose. They get the best of both worlds - leading software and support to exceed their expectations and needs."

In related news, Hudson Legal recently partnered with Kroll Ontrack to offer its clients quick, high-quality and low-cost ediscovery reviews.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, happening now in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker

Sierra Wireless Switches Focus to M2M, Sells AirCard to NetGear

Sierra Wireless is selling its AirCard business, the Canadian company announced Tuesday, and is looking to get out of the wireless modem business and focus instead on machine-to-machine (M2M) operations.

Sierra’s AirCard operations unit will be sold to NetGear for a reported $138 million USD, and will include all assets and operations, such as customer relationships, products, intellectual property, inventory and fixed assets, and the assumption of warranty commitments and other customer obligations.

NetGear will also gain 160 of Sierra’s employees who worked for the AirCard business.

The deal is not, however, evidence of any negative trend in Sierra’s business, as the company’s president and CEO Jason Cohenour explained.

“This transaction is the next step in our transformation into a company focused on enabling the ‘Internet of Things’ – a strategy we have been pursuing with great success since 2007,� he said.

Sierra’s stock was in fact up by more than 15 percent early Tuesday, while NetGear’s was down about 9 percent. 

Sierra will also continue its AirPrime embedded modules operations, which the company acquired in 2003, as well as its AirLink gateway and router business, and AirVantage, its M2M cloud product lines.

AirCard, then, seems to be the only sector the company wants to let go of, which suggests the move is more strategic than necessary.

“In addition to realizing a solid return for the AirCard business, this transaction will provide significant financial resources and capacity to accelerate our growth in M2M and connected device solutions,� said Cohenour.

As a result of the deal, Sierra expects to have $100 million at its disposal to put toward the company’s M2M division. The company has also reportedly been weighing options for potential acquisitions it could make with the money in the M2M space.

As for NetGear, said NetGear’s CEO and chairman Patrick Lo, the deal will help the company enter into the LTE device business. “We believe that LTE network technology represents a huge market opportunity, especially in emerging markets and rural areas where high speed broadband Internet access is currently limited,� Lo said.

Edited by Braden Becker

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TMCnet Wireless Backhaul Week Review

The wireless backhaul community has seen a compilation of new strengths; record high revenues and new products develop this past week.

Xirrus has launched important additions to its family, including, Xirrus XR-520, Xirrus Management System (XMS) and Xirrus Activation Server, which have been able to successfully strengthen its portfolio of wireless solutions. The new service solutions are improvements for smaller offices, spaces, classrooms, hotel guest rooms and hospital patient rooms. Since Wi-Fi has become some an important part of daily functions for almost every industry and state sector, Xirrus is dedicated to ensuring that its network solutions meet the needs of every consumer.

With the release of Skyfire’s video and data optimization platform, Rocket Optimizer 3.0, its networks will be able to better address increasing mobile traffic demand and improve quality of video delivery. The Rocket Optimizer 3.0 will include four editions: Real-time Quality of Experience (QoE) Assurance, CloudBurst Architecture, its third-generation algorithm and CloudCache capability.

Over this past week many wireless backhaul companies have made record breaking accomplishments in their revenue departments. Siklu Leads E-band Wireless Backhaul Market with its EtherHaul Radio SystemSiklu, a provider of wireless backhaul solutions, has tripled its revenue. According to Siklu its EtherHaul E-band radio system, which showed triple-digit percentage growth in 2012, had a lot to do with that. Polaris Wireless also had a great financial year, as it announced that its revenue grew 79 percent and had a six fold increase in 2012.

To help continue this positive fiscal year for wireless backhaul, Stoke (News - Alert) commercial services is trying to create new revenue-supporting ways of using Wi-Fi, with the help of its new Wi-Fi eXchange gateway. Service providers alike are helping Stoke in its mission to discover the advantages of Wi-Fi and the challenges created by the growth in mobile phone use.

With so many friendly relationships developing, it is nice to see that the competition that involved in any business doesn’t hinder technology working together to produce a more favorable outcome for its customers and users. Stay tuned for next week’s update in Wireless Backhaul.

Managed Service Provider Week in Review

January 26, 2013

A number of important mergers, agreements and partnership were announced in the managed service provider (MSP) and cloud services space this week. With more and more large and entrenched technology players buying up companies and technology that play in the managed services area, it is clear that these types of offerings are becoming mainstream and are being integrated into the core business objectives of many major tech companies.

In a huge communications services agreement, BT (News - Alert) has teamed up with MDSL, a provider of telecom expense management (TEM) and market data management (MDM) services. MDSL's portfolio of mobile TEM products and services will be included in the BT global portfolio of managed mobility expense services through the agreement, aimed at both public and private sector customers. The alliance opens up market opportunities for both companies and is indicative of the growing demand for mobile TEM solutions.

Cisco (News - Alert) also announced it has purchased a small share of cloud service delivery company Parallels, in an undisclosed equity investment. The companies will work on joint go-to-market activities and will focus on improving cloud service delivery capabilities. Parallels said Cisco has purchased one percent of the company, and that the deal does not rule out a possible future public offering. The announcement was made directly after Cisco announced it had purchased Israeli startup Intucell for $475 million. That company makes self-organization network (SON) software for mobile networks.

In other news for two major communications technology players, Ciena Corp (News - Alert) is providing its MSP partner Comcast Cable with next-generation 100G coherent optical technology. Comcast will use the technology in its core network to help satisfy customer demand for high-speed and high-capacity services and applications like HD video, mobile data and cloud computing. The deployment will also help Comcast (News - Alert) expand its network and will generate significant energy efficiencies as well.

Global Presence Alliance (GPA), the largest provider of audiovisual, videoconferencing and unified communications solutions in the world, will merge its partner program with the AV Global Alliance program from AVM Impact. The move will strengthen GPA's foothold in the industry and combine partners from more than 70 locations across five contents. The goal of the combined partner programs is to raise greater market awareness of the benefits of global collaboration.

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TMCnet Machine to Machine Solutions Week in Review

It was a busy week in the Machine to Machine Solutions sector. Here are some of the major stories.

Guavus, a provider of big data analytics solutions, is acquiring Neuralitic Systems. Neuralitic is a provider of mobile analysis and data intelligence that allows Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to generate new revenue by improving subscriber acquisition, conversion and retention.

In another story, Telefónica Digital, a large telecommunications company, has introduced Smart M2M, a Web-based platform for the connectivity, management and control of machine-to-machine communications. The Smart M2M Solution is equipped with advanced features such as real-time monitoring of traffic type, volume and consumption, technical supervision of lines (maps of connected devices and advanced diagnostics) and localization. It also offers innovative fraud detection.

TMCnet also reported that with costs of deploying RFID technology decreasing, more companies are showing interest in the technology. RFID technology can reduce warehouse and distribution costs and improve forecasting and planning. For instance, the famed British retailer, Marks & Spencer, has expanded its RFID supply contract with Avery Dennison to include home wares and clothing. Marks & Spencer has contracted with Avery Dennison for nine years.

Also, Quake Global, Inc., a provider of satellite and terrestrial asset tracking and monitoring technology to the M2M market, has acquired ODIN Technologies. ODIN is a major player in RFID software, service and solution development with more than 500 projects worldwide, 10 patents and more than $30 million invested in RFID software for the healthcare, government, aerospace and financial services markets.

And Trimble is offering a new feature for its Connected Farm app that can report how crops are faring—and how much fertilizer they need for optimal growth. The free app for smartphones and tablets can be used to enter NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) readings taken with the company’s GreenSeeker handheld crop sensor and then used to calculate nitrogen application rates. 

HealthTech Zone Week in Review

Welcome to the weekend, which means it’s time to take a look at the week’s stories on HealthTech Zone.

If you are a healthcare provider, your customers entrust you with very sensitive information and in return they expect you to use every tool available at your disposal to protect this information. As organizations migrate to digital formats to collect and store information, they become vulnerable to possible attacks. Companies in the healthcare industry are implementing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, mobile telehealth and other services requiring the application of computing devices and networks.

Read the complete article here.

Although the economy is showing little -- if any -- signs of improvement, various markets, such as technology and healthcare, continue to show growth. One market that has analyst forecasting an increase in demand through to 2017 is Orthopedics. Orthopedic surgery is a practice that helps patients with musculoskeletal system issues.

Find the full article here on the HealthTech Zone.

Over three decades ago, B. Braun Medical, Inc. recognized that some substances in its medical devices might cause health risks for both patients and the environment. The production, use and disposal of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) causes more environmental damage than the use of any other plastic, while diexylhethl phthalate (DEHP) has caused problems with the development of male sex organs in animals. B. Braun removed the substances from most of its medical devices and created the industry’s only line of IV containers that are free of both PVC and DEHP.

Read more at the HealthTech Zone.

The world of technology and sports has become increasingly intertwined recently as athletes find that high-tech devices help improve their training and conditioning. The Phoenix Suns, for instance, use heart-rate monitors on every one of their pro basketball players during practices. A chip can estimate heart rate, movement, direction and posture.

Read more here.

The health industry is not any different and as hospitals, healthcare providers and insurers are trying to find ways to cut costs, mobile applications and devices are increasingly becoming a reliable source for providing telehealth services. Authentidate Holding Corp. is the latest company to use mobile devices and application to improve certain tasks, and it has just revealed that it is going to introduce a mobile telehealth tablet and software app to meet the rapidly expanding mobile telehealth market.

Read more here.

Mobile health services provider Voxiva recently updated Care4life, its diabetes self-management program, in order to feature content from numerous American Diabetes Association publications. The new version of Care4life will provide healthy recipes, nutrition tips, weight and exercise and disease management information from these publications through the program's text messaging and mobile web services.

Read the full article here.

Prodea Systems, which provides economical and quality healthcare using the advanced e-health platform, plans to commence distribution of its European e-Health services, as part of the healthcare systems Action Plan by the European Commission. Accordingly, Prodea is teaming up with the Government of Cantabria, Spain to launch Digital Healthcare in Europe, which puts patients in control of their diseases and wellness.

Read the full article here.

That’s all for this week in the HealthTech Zone. See you again next week!

TMCnet Communication Service Week in Review

January 26, 2013

By Ashley Caputo, TMCnet Web Editor

It’s that day of the week again! Let’s take a few minutes to reconvene and review the latest developments in the CaaS community.

ConnectSolutions has helped raised 10 million dollars to help improve its services for customers and their communication needs across the cloud. This is a remarkable accomplishment for the CasS community and market, as this investment will help further developments and discovers to attract investors and customers across the world. Already ConnectSolutions is partnered with receptacle companies like Adobe (News - Alert), Microsoft and Cisco, so it will be interested to see where this new investment will take them.

Another partnership that has already begun its corroborating process is TeleSpace and Vyopta. TeleSpace is a provider of Cisco (News - Alert) powered cloud services and Vyopta is a developer of applications for Cisco business video. Together the companies plan on delivering innovative business video solutions to the marketplace to improve employee communications and productivity. The new partnership is expected to benefit cloud based learning capabilities, as Gartner (News - Alert) has already predicted the increase in demand for virtual and distant learning.

To bridge the gap between self-service and the contact center, Digital DataVoice (DDV) and Virtual Hold Technology (News - Alert) (VHT) have teamed up to offer better self-service options. By using VHT’s callback technology DDV will be able to pass contact data from next-generation communications channels existing routing and screen-pop systems. With VHT’s multichannel callback capability, DDV will be able to improve efficiency of business and combine automated support with access to live agents, regardless of the channel used.

En Pointe Technologies, a solution provider for IT products and services, has announced that its Collaboration Solution has been named a recipient of a 2012 INTERNET TELEPHONE         Product of the Year Award. En Pointe Collaboration Solution (ECS) was chosen because it delivers a secure, cloud based communication solution that integrates voice, video, web conference, message, mobility and customer care, it a per user pre-month subscription-based model. 

Stay tuned next week for the latest news in CaaS!

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert) (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

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