Ellen Muraskin

Technology (Copy) Writer, Editor

United States of America

Teller of high-tech stories in low-tech language.

Widely published editor and writer who “gets” B2B technology and delivers it to readers with clarity, compelling benefits and punch. Specializing in telecom, retail, hospitality, field service, data centers, cloud, mobile. Genres include case studies, webinars, scripts, slide shows, entire publications.

Employed by and freelance for publications, marketing departments, PR firms.

IoT Agenda
The IBM IoT story, starring AI, Watson and an industrial cast

IBM's Watson brand has held a place in public mindshare for years -- long before the term internet of things ever... surfaced. Many knew Watson first as the supercomputer Jeopardy! contestant of 2011. Some of us who covered speech technology were wowed even earlier when, in research stages, IBM demonstrated Watson's natural language processing and real-time machine translation capabilities.

IoT Agenda
DIY IoT for SMBs: It's here now

Google "Nest thermostat" -- the device that pushed IoT into consumer consciousness -- and you'll come up with dozens of places to buy: big box stores, like Best Buy and Home Depot; general online marketplaces, like Amazon; carriers, like Verizon Wireless' Smart Home shop; and dozens of online electronics stores, not to mention Nest Labs' own site.

Internet of Things

IoT Agenda
'4D printing' is the catchphrase, programmable materials the newsmakers

nikkytok - Fotolia Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering. If you've been following 3D printing in recent years, you may have come across a "next new thing" that sounds like it was dreamed up for the twilight zone: 4D printing, so dubbed and promoted by Skylar Tibbits, director of MIT's Self-Assembly Lab.

IoT Agenda
Embedded security for IoT lies in the chip

What furor there has been about IoT security has mostly been couched in terms of the disasters that await us when all the "things" attack our networks because all those devices are so easily compromised and are often ideal platforms for distributed denial-of-service and other attacks.

IoT Agenda
Energy-harvesting technologies find a home in IoT

Consider a classic predictive maintenance IoT scenario: You put smart sensors on the wheel bearing casings of all the wheels on a railway car to check for the vibration that presages breakdown in time to prevent disaster.

IoT Agenda
Dell EMC IoT portfolio extends far beyond the edge gateway

Sometimes a company thrives on a single slice of the IoT ecosystem. Edge routers say. But for big players like Dell Technologies, winning comes with defining the whole stack, offering the full IoT portfolio. And it may also mean making some smart acquisitions.

IoT Agenda
Retail meets conductive ink technology, prints inventory-aware shelf

Thanks to barcode scanning and RFID, retailers can tell when a product enters a store via pallet or package, and when it leaves via checkout line. While it's inside the store, however, a radio blackout prevails. Managers are left with only video or in-person visual inspection -- both costly options.

IoT Agenda
How IoT and 3D printing are changing the connected space

IoT and 3D printing might look like the greatest marriage of two buzzwords in the history of tech. The internet of things, after all, unlike the internet of applications and data, takes up 3D space and uses physical materials, including the electronics that control devices and carry their data home.

IT, Telecom

The ChannelPro Network
Slack Season: Time to Jump In?

Question: What looks, grows, and stores like a chat; holds searchable files inside associated conversations; and runs synced on all desktops and mobile devices? Answer: Slack, and a raft of competitors. According to creator Slack Technologies Inc., based in San Francisco, Slack has up to 2.3 million daily active users (up from 520,000 a year ago), 675,000 paid seats, and 280 app integrations as of February 2016.

The ChannelPro Network
Talking Back to Digital Signage

Only a few years ago, "interactive" digital signage meant kiosks. Self-contained computers with touchscreens, these typically helped people find their way through airports, train stations, museums, malls, and hospitals. Later, Internet-connected signs allowed content management systems (CMS) to broadcast words, pictures, video clips, and Twitter feeds across networks of screens.

Channel Partners Online
Competify Group: Release of FCC Data Will Prove ILECs Exploit Monopoly Market Power

Along with six or seven other telecom journalists, I sat in on a conference call on Thursday, organized by Competify, a loosely organized collection of competitive local exchange carriers and consumer groups. They convened to pick up on the latest thread of the knotty FCC review now going on over competition in the high-capacity broadband - aka special access - market.

Channel Partners Online
AT&T, IBM Hook Mobile Workers Up with Secure Data, Network, Cloud

AT&T and IBM have partnered to offer a secure, end-to-end mobile workforce platform in the cloud. Timed to coincide with an AT&T Cybersecurity report and conference in New York, the bundled offering handles security for device, network, and data. The companies are calling the four-part solution a reference architecture, and it incorporates several cloud elements also released in the past month.

Everything Business Corp
Stealing Pages from the Call Center Playbook

Ghosted article: There's a reason why calling Land's End to buy a windbreaker is an entirely different customer experience from calling your local appliance shop to fix your wall oven.

Channel Partners Online
Call Attribution Services Tell Businesses What's Making Their Phones Ring

Telecom resellers: Want to branch out into data services without totally leaving your call-centric comfort zone? You might investigate call attribution services. These show your clients which of their marketing efforts not only bring in the most calls, but with the help of Google Analytics integration, potentially which calls produce the most sales.

The Absence of Presence

When Ubiquitous WiFi was New -- Meditation on Constant Connectivity at VON Show

Carrier IQ - You NEED to Think About It

The Youtube video posted by software developer Trevor Eckhart, revealing the presence of a hidden "Carrier IQ" software client running on an HTC Android phone, was the shot heard 'round the mobile world' late last week.

Wheeler, CLECs Prevail in Round 1 of FCC's IP Transition Ruling

The FCC handed competitive local exchange carriers a victory on Thursday, voting in favor of Chairman Tom Wheeler's July 10 proposals for price and service regulation during and after incumbent carriers' transition from copper and TDM to fiber and IP-based local loop and transport services.

Cablecos & The Channel: State of the Market 2015

Issue Summary This Report includes the results of Channel Partners' fifth annual survey of channel partners' interest in - and challenges with - selling cableco telecommunications services to businesses. Since we started tracking this market in 2011, cable companies have gotten more serious about their indirect sales strategies, and our survey shows that channel partners are taking notice of partner program improvements.

As FCC Mulls IP Transition, ILECs Look to Marketplace to Set Wholesale Prices

As FCC Mulls IP Transition, ILECs Look to Marketplace to Set Wholesale Prices On Aug. 6, FCC commissioners rule on competitive carrier access post IP transition. The issue at hand: whether CLECs continue to have access, at regulated cost, to their end-user customers as the incumbents, on whom they rely, gradually switch their last miles from copper and TDM to fiber and IP.

Channel Partners Online
IP Transition: If History Is Any Guide, There Will Be Technical, Legal Bumps

In sifting through the controversy surrounding copper retirement addressed by the FCC last week, I overlooked several important aspects of the incumbents' switchover to IP and CLEC access: first among them, malfunction. If history is any guide, there will be technological and legal bumps along this road.

Vonage to Acquire iCore, Aims at Midmarket, Enterprise UCaaS

With Thursday's announcement of the acquisition of iCore, Vonage has now made its fourth UCaaS-related purchase in two years. It's aimed at accelerating Vonage's upmarket advance in hosted PBX, CRM integration, disaster recovery, conferencing and contact-center services. The move grows Vonage's customer base and its sales team.

AT&T Has Fix to BYOD Netflix-Streaming Problem

Ever since it became clear that employees wouldn't be dissuaded from bringing their own devices to work, companies have been figuring out ways to work with them without a) endangering their networks and data or b) paying for too much of employees' voice or data usage.

Hosted VoIP Poised for Growth, 'BYO PBX' Enters the Vernacular

Last month Edgewater Networks' John Macario showed me the results of his survey of 1,250 SMBs, showing that rates of IP telecom adoption still don't go above 36 percent, even at the upper ends of the SMB category: over 250 seats. Below 20 seats, we're talking under 20 percent.

Telcos Forced to Up Their Game in the Channel

Telcos Forced to Up Their Game in the Channel As the new senior editor at Channel Partners, I thought I'd tap an old telecom source - principal analyst Mike Sapien at Ovum - with some new questions.


The ChannelPro Network
Shedding Light on Bring Your Own Cloud

Have you met the byod challenge? You're not done with this acronym yet. Meet BYOD's close cousin: BYOC, for "bring your own cloud." BYOC refers to applications or infrastructure that employees have adopted to get their work done, but without the approval, management, or often the knowledge of IT staff, whether in-house or an outsourced IT shop.

Channel Partners Online
Verizon's Secure Cloud Interconnect Available to Partners

When I first met Janet Schijns, chief marketing technologist for Verizon Enterprise Solutions, at the Women in the Channel event just before Cloud Partners, she was in sisterly cheerleading mode. Wednesday was just a little different.

VMware Radius Blog
From Retail Clinic to the Cloud: The Rise of Medical Kiosks

You've probably noticed the do-it-yourself blood pressure monitor installed in your local pharmacy, in the back with the pharmacist. You may have also noticed or even used the services of a walk-in mini-clinic, also common in pharmacy chains, for minor illnesses, screens or physicals.

Restaurant Technology

Restaurant Technology
The Tech-Armed Expeditor

The tech tools of the restaurant operator now leverage mobility and cloud, replacing shouts with screens.

Nation's Restaurant News Quarterly Sponsored Supplement
Restaurant Technology Magazine Issue 2

We took a primer approach to restaurant technology and introduced operators to the loyalty marketing landscape.

Nation's Restaurant News Quarterly Sponsored Supplement
Restaurant Technology Magazine Launch

What happens when a sponsored supplement is launched with dreams of editorial semi-independence -- and creative EIC and art director.

Nation's Restaurant News
Equipment innovations maximize speed, savings, sales potential

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Collaboration, Conferencing

The ChannelPro Network
Slack Season: Time to Jump In?

Question: What looks, grows, and stores like a chat; holds searchable files inside associated conversations; and runs synced on all desktops and mobile devices? Answer: Slack, and a raft of competitors. According to creator Slack Technologies Inc., based in San Francisco, Slack has up to 2.3 million daily active users (up from 520,000 a year ago), 675,000 paid seats, and 280 app integrations as of February 2016.

Zoom Videoconferencing-as-a-Service Interoperable With Yealink's HD Room System

Yealink, maker of UC voice and video endpoints, says that its VC120, a full HD video-conferencing room system, is certified to work with Zoom's cloud-based video-conferencing service. The news adds Yealink to Zoom's Technology Partner Program. The VC120 includes an 18X optical zoom PTZ camera and a 360-degree omni-directional pickup microphone array, for immersive and realistic conferencing experiences.

The Case for Video Customer Service: When Should Your Agents Show Their Faces?

In 2018 we will start to see more businesses adopt video calling as part of their omni-channel customer service. Should yours be one of them? Given that a) most laptops are equipped with cameras nowadays, b) even desktop computers typically sport add-on webcams, and c) most callers have video-ready bandwidth, this is not a decision that calls for capital investment.

Meeting Room = Waiting Room = ACD

THE PREMISES: Datatec, Networking/IT Consultancy, Fairfield, NJ THE PROBLEMS: High conferencing costs; bursts of incoming calls from reporting field service engineers. THE PAYBACK: Conferencing goes from 30 cents to four cents/port/minute ACD purchase plans bagged FSE's of each project can share information while waiting "on hold" THE PIECES: Sonexis AudioCollaborator 24-port conferencing server, sitting on a LAN and behind a Mitel PBX.