Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Rich Tehrani - Rich Tehrani

Wynn Las Vegas


I went to an Avaya reception tonight and after a few minutes of listening to an eloquent VP of Avaya, Steve Wynn took the stage to speak to the crowd about how his hotel Wynn Las Vegas will excel in service and in fact have better customer service than any other hotel on the planet. Wynn has quite a stage presence (yet there was no stage) and I came away from the experience humbled. I am very grateful to have listened to him speak for 10 minutes and I have a much deeper appreciation for what Wynn is trying to accomplish with his new hotel.

Amazingly, the service level he speaks of seemed evident in the wait staff and other hotel workers I came in contact with.

One wonders how these new hotels get customers. It seems that the more hotels they build in Vegas, the more people come. A cab driver (the best source for information in any town) told me people aren't leaving the country as much because of the war and subsequently they go to Vegas in droves. That and the weakness of the dollar I added.

The hotel was a bit of a let down in a few ways. The negatives are the parking situation. It took so long to get into the hotel that I got out of the cab and walked 10 minutes. I need the exercise so take this as a negative if you are thin or it is raining out. My cab driver friend (we bonded) informed me it will take a while for the parking attendants to speed up their operation.

Moreover the hotel interior was not so extraordinary. It seemed like many other Vegas hotels and the entrance was not as nice as the Bellagio or Paris. But on a positive note, I understand the show that takes place in front of the hotel is spectacular -- I didn't get a chance to see it for myself.

It turns our that Wynn Las Vegas is a customer of Avaya and Avaya's high end IP phones with color screens are in all the rooms. A few years back I wrote about a company called Net6 and I discussed next generation applications we would see in hotels that allow IP phones to navigate the hotel's amenities. Well Net6 which was purchased by Citrix has worked with Avaya and the Wynn Hotel to build an amazing application that allows guests to browse through the hotel's services and get information about them. I browsed restaurants and checked out the buffet. I saw the hours of operation, how many serving stations the restaurant has and more. These sorts of applications are some of the benefits of going to VoIP that are not immediately obvious.

As Avaya and Wynn pointed out, when shopping for an Avaya solution, Steve never discussed technology but he did discuss the fact that he wanted the best customer service solution available. The collaboration of these companies has yielded the best hotel phone application I have ever seen and this is also the most powerful VoIP phone application I have ever witnessed. Kudos to Citrix and Avaya for putting the solution together and to Steve Wynn for being the first to implement a next-generation VoIP phone system that goes above and beyond the call of service.
Posted by rtehrani at 01:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
May 03, 2005
The VoIP Security Session at Interop
My security session went very well today at Interop. I think the audience got a lot out of it as there were lots of good questions. MediaLive is selling tapes to the session if you are interested. The vital stats are as follows: 60 people were in the room. About 50% of the audience has already deployed VoIP. 10% of the people are dabbling in WiFi telephony and only one person in the room is currently using VoWLAN today.

I stayed at Excalibur and he hotel lobby is nice and the rooms in tower 2 are acceptable. No smoking rooms smell like smoke for some strange reason. I got in last late very late and a line of about 40 people were in front of me. I noticed an automated check-in machine that no one was using. It worked flawlessly and I bypassed the line entirely.

Last night I noticed a prominent sign in my room said I was moth season and suggested not opening the windows. Today I saw a moth the size of a large hummingbird. Whether this sighting is a result of the nuclear waste facility located nearby or the moths in Vegas have always looked like they could star in an Alfred Hitchcock movie is not known to me as of this writing.

The hotel does something very interesting; they tack on a $1/day charge to all rooms for unlimited local calls. One assumes they make money this way and probably offset the lost revenue due to increased cell phone calls and subsequently lack of hotel phone calls.

I swear all the hotels in Vegas and Reno have their directional signs slightly skewed to keep you wandering around in the casino a bit more. I am sure there are sign placement consultants that get paid big bucks to keep us all like rats in a blackjack laden maze.

Still, my experience at the Excalibur was great overall and the tram to the Mandalay Bay was rapid and stress-free.

Interop is considerably smaller than it used to be and the move to the hotel venue was smart. Exhibitors told me traffic in the a.m. was good and the afternoon was slow. I give the show credit for holding on when every other large tech show died out. Comdex, Internet World, PC Expo, Cebit America, ComNet. I am sure I missed some.
Posted by rtehrani at 08:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Netrake and Level 3
Interesting news between Netrake and Level 3. Level 3 will use Netrake's nCite session controller to allow ISPs to integrate audio with chat/IM. This capability is something Netrake's products already do with VoIP so I assume this implementation was trivial but nonetheless needed. Here is more on the Netrake and Level 3 announcement.
Posted by rtehrani at 07:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Spirent Triple-Play

With all the talk of providing triple-play services, it makes sense that Spirent would make a “play” (pun intended) for this space. Let’s face it, voice, video and data over single pipe is possible but when you consider that just carrying voice over IP on a small scale can be a challenge, what happens when ten thousand or millions of subscribers need simultaneous triple-play services. A testing solution makes a great deal of sense to deploy as you roll-out your services to the masses.

SPIRENT COMMUNICATIONS™ INTRODUCES AVALANCHE 7.0 FOR TRIPLE PLAY APPLICATION PERFORMANCE TESTING


System Tests Triple-Play Application Performance Along With QoS, SIP, IPsec Security and IPv4/6 Performance on a Per-Port Basis at Real-World Scale

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