Happy New Year!
I hope this letter finds you well. I'm still hacking out a living as a consultant. In fact, I'm pleased to annouce that I've signed on a new consulting client : Netcentrex. I'll be working with them over the coming months to work in a pre-sales and product management role. This is a great job for me, as it increases my direct customer exposure. It's been a few years since I've been able to concentrate this much on sales, and I'm very excited about the team I'm working with. I have a lot to learn; they have a lot they can teach me. If you are coming down to Florida next week, I'll be in the Netcentrex booth for much of the show. Please stop by and say hello!
I'm also speaking at the show next week - three times! I'm speaking about the impact, both from a technical and business perspective, of transparency and walled gardens in next generation architectures. I'm also speaking on the session border controller panel, as an interested outsider. Finally, I'm speaking at the open source panel, about how open source can be used to meet customer needs.
To keep my brain balanced, I'm working on an open source application I call Ernie. Ernie is a Web 2.0 platform, designed to enable web designers to easily create and integrate applications that use real time communications. I'm still painting the picture for myself and others, and coding hasn't started yet. One thing, though, it's certainly not a technology in search of an application. We've been collecting dozens of very interesting services that Ernie can enable. If you want to follow our progress, check for updates at http://www.thomashowe.com.
Netcentrex is a big job, but not full time. I've already had two due diligence jobs for two different venture capitalists in the last two weeks! I have another one in a few weeks... a good sign for the entire business food chain. I've also had two small research projects I've worked on - one on the integration of voice and instant messaging and another on soft clients.
Finally, the open source report is really humming along now. I'm writing it with Jon Arnold, formerly of Frost and Sullivan, who now runs his own company. Jon has been deeply involved in our industry for a while, and is an excellent analyst. We're spending most of the day on Tuesday interviewing people for our report. It's my first official analyst report; new horizons everywhere.
Good luck to all of you! I hope to see you in Florida, and if not, I'm sure we'll catch up sometime.
As always, I am very grateful to everyone for their continuing support and friendship.