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Unified Communications
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UC Mag
Rich Tehrani

Group Editor-in-Chief

Tango Networks Improves FMC and Corporate Texting

Voice may still be the King of the Killer Apps, but text is not far behind, particularly its latest incarnation, Twitter, which is without a doubt the most popular tech topic in the mainstream media these days. Everyone is dabbling with the service. David Pogue from the New York Times has devoted TV airtime to Twitter on CNBC. Dell credits Twitter for millions of dollars in sales and there's talk of how the leading social network, Facebook, modified its homepage to take on Twitter. Salesforce.com has embraced the texting service by allowing companies to use it as a more efficient CRM communications medium. Then there are rumors which claim that Google will acquire Twitter to show ads on all those tweets people send describing their hunger status and other ingenuous facts which you wouldn't imagine anyone would take the time to share, let alone read about.


Companies will undoubtedly have to integrate with Twitter over time, but this service is just one example of text messaging. Companies must adapt to a new world where their employees employ texting in all its forms to communicate with the teens and twentysomethings that make up the world's big, impulsive spenders.

One company, Tango Networks (www.tango-networks.com), focuses on helping companies
with the integration task of getting text messaging to work more seamlessly with corporate IM and phone systems. On a recent trip to Tango's Texas headquarters I spent some time with the company's Vice President of Business Development and Sales, Al Leo, and their Director of Product Marketing, Bill Young, to get an update on what the company is up to. First off, this Richardson, TX based concern wants to be known for the best FMC (Fixed-Mobile Convergence) solution in the world and they are one of the few companies attempting to solve the integration challenges of FMC from all angles. They concentrate on the benefits to carriers, the enterprise and end-users as well. Most other solutions out there focus on merely one or two of these areas.

To be quite honest, it is a major challenge to do FMC capably if you don't pay attention to all parts of the equation. After all, it takes lots of planning and integration to cajole mobile devices into working seamlessly with corporate PBXs in a way that increases functionality lowers costs and doesn't complicate the user experience. This all-encompassing approach would be a challenge to any company, as the carriers are notorious for bleeding tech companies dry and leaving
them stranded to wither away and die.

That is perhaps why the company is also working with equipment and software providers like Microsoft and Cisco to make sure their solutions work with solutions prevalent in enterprise environments.

In a way that's similar to what the company does with SMS, Tango also allows enterprise
calling line ID to appear in place of Caller ID and messaging. They also have integrated presence with device location data, which enables the ability to provide enhanced services based on phone location. For example, they can locate the nearest doctor to an accident, or ensure that calls won't ring your phone between 12:00 A.M. and 7:00 A.M., taking into account your time zone.

Tango Networks is looking to multimedia and the femtocell markets as natural places to grow. Although there's currently a tough financial environment for startups, the company seems confident about their future. Based on news of their recent funding, it does appear that companies with good ideas can still get money.

When I asked how the economy is affecting them, Leo and Young responded that they have seen decision processes slow but nothing has been shelved.

The way I see it, as more companies embrace the latest technology to stay competitive, FMC should be on more and more "short lists" for adoption. Moreover, at some point companies will realize that they need to deal with the increasingly prevalence of rogue texting going on between their employees and their customers. They will need to take control of corporate text messaging the way they have done with corporate voicemail and email.

As these trends continue, the need for FMC and corporate texting solutions should only increase. Agree or disagree? Be sure to check me out on Twitter at twitter.com/rtehrani and send me a tweet!

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