From The Sip Trunking Experts

[December 19, 2005]

The Sacramento Bee, Calif., Bob Shallit column

(Sacramento Bee, The (CA) (KRT)) Dec. 19--HP GIVES ITS BACK-OFFICE WORKERS TIME OFF IF THEY TAKE A RETAIL GIG: Hewlett-Packard employee Ed Stimac usually spends his workdays in Roseville fine-tuning the company's supply chain. But last Sunday he found himself at the CompUSA store in Sacramento doing much different tasks.

A participant in the company's "Demo Days" program, he was working the retail end of the business. Greeting customers. Showing off HP printers and PCs. Answering questions.

The program used to be a volunteer gig; employees could spend a day or two at retail outlets on their own time and learn a little about sales. But new HP chief Mark Hurd likes it so much he's offering comp days for participants. Hurd himself was scheduled to do some demo work at a Palo Alto store this past weekend.

On Stimac's shift, he wore a black HP polo shirt, to distinguish himself from the red-clad CompUSA staffers. He arrived early and printed out some pictures of his two "very cute" kids -- 2 years old and 4 months -- to show the capabilities of the different machines. Then he went to work.

He approached one man who ended up buying a desktop PC, monitor and laser-jet printer. The HP brands, of course.

Stimac had a fun time. Would he consider transferring to HP's sales division? It's tempting, he says, "if I didn't have two small children and wasn't averse to being on the road."

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE: First there were newspapers tacked up on eateries' restroom walls. Then framed advertisements.

Ruth's Chris Steak House has taken the next step. Its new location, at the former Mace's site in the Pavilions shopping center, has TVs built into the walls above the urinals. There's one in the women's room, too, across from the vanities. (Or so we're told.)

Restroom TV viewing isn't a new thing for Ruth's Chris, says Kevin Armantrout, the firm's regional VP for Northern California and Arizona. But it's the first time they've been installed over urinals.

And why not? "There's nothing else to do when you're just standing there," Armantrout says. They also provide a little "white noise."

Armantrout would probably prefer to have people talking about his restaurants' juicy steaks and friendly servers. But if the restrooms generate some buzz, he's not complaining.

"Whatever brings people in," he says.

CLEAN LIVING: Speaking of bathrooms -- and it seems we always are -- Sacramento Kings nemesis Mark Cuban is investing big in a Bay Area startup that makes heated toilet seats that also wash a user's nether parts.

The product, called Swash, works like those bathroom fixtures called bidets. But these -- being produced by Brondell Inc. of San Francisco -- mount on regular toilets. A retractable wand is used to clean and a warm-air dryer is included.

Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, is the lead investor in the firm and tells VentureWire newsletter he thinks the product will be popular with homebuilders hoping to differentiate their products.

He also jokes that they should appeal to all folks looking for the latest thing.

"People tend to approach technology the same way," VentureWire quotes him saying, "whether it's in front of them, or behind them."

ROLLIN' ON THE RIVER: Folsom restaurateur Chris Corda is resurrecting the Spindrift, a once-popular eatery and bar in Isleton.

The place was closed five or six years ago, after serving locals and boaters for four decades. Corda, who owns the Hacienda Del Rio, heard it was available on a barter site.

He ended up paying cash for the "dilapidated" three-story building on the Delta Loop and has been busy fixing it up for months.

The new restaurant -- serving steaks, seafood and Mexican fare -- will open soon on the third floor. A general store is set for the second floor. Plans for the first floor space are not final. Storage units for boaters is a possibility. So is a laundromat.

The new place will be a hit if it captures some of the ambience of the original -- a laid-back retreat for river rats.

About the writer: Reach Bob Shallit at (916) 321-1049 or Back columns:

[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]

Subscribe here for your FREE
SIP TRUNKING enewslettter.

Featured Partner

Featured Whitepapers

SIP Security for the Enterprise
Voice over IP (VoIP) is incorporated into a variety of computer networks, both public and private, and used for everyday transactions and communications among carriers, businesses, government agencies...

Voice-Optimized Network Delivers Premier Call Experience
Customers equate call quality with business quality. Real-time communication, interpersonal interaction, and the cordial tone of a call center representative can create a positive impression of your business that no email can match.

Featured Datasheets

Ingate SIParator E-SBCs
Adopting SIP is a simple process with the Ingate SIParator, the secure enterprise session border controller (E-SBC). The SIParator makes secure SIP communications - including VoIP,SIP trunking and more - possible while working seamlessly with your existing network firewall.

Ingate Firewalls
Everyone is talking about enterprise usage of VoIP, instant messaging and other types of realtime communications including presence and conferencing.

SIP Trunk Solutions for Service Providers
The award-winning Ingate Firewall and Ingate SIParator deliver a high quality, reliable SIP trunk connection between the customer's IP-PBX and the service provider network, and solve interoperability issues to simplify deployments and support for remote diagnosis of reported issues.

Featured Case Studies

Case Study - Haiti
With this solution our doctors were able to reach anywhere in the world quickly and easily, to get consults from colleagues, facilitate treatment, order supplies 'on the fly' and also help victims report back to families. The solution from Business Mobility Systems and Ingate worked immediately.

Case Study - Turkish Petroleum
"With one Ingate at the customer headquarters, all of their remote workers can enjoy the benefits of Turkish Petroleum's IP-PBX from anywhere in the world.

Case Study - GCM
"The Ingate solution overcomes the NAT traversal hurdle and makes it possible to connect customers to our VoIP service, without the need of costly leased lines or support intensive VPN tunnels.

Case Study - Kool Smiles
"Ingate's solutions provide the advanced level of security necessary for this medical environment and the tools to make the interface to the service provider hassle-free."

Case Study - NMSAS
"This solution really saved the day for us," said Paul Mercier, IT Administrator, NMSAS. "We needed to leverage SIP trunks to reduce costs, and they had to work with our existing Microsoft OCS investment."

Discover Leisure Connects Remote Users to its IP-PBX
Discover Leisure is one of the largest resellers of caravans and motor homes in the UK. With 15 branch of?

Featured eBOOKS

Internet+: The Way Toward Global Unified Communication
Connecting the telephony of the enterprise PBX or Unified Communications (UC) system using SIP trunks instead of conventional telephone lines has been very successful in recent years.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 2
SIP trunking is becoming more of a focus for service providers. One key issue many service providers face when deploying SIP trunks is NAT, or Network Address Translation, traversal.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 1
A vast resource for information about all things SIP - including SIP, security, VoIP, SIP trunking and Unified Communications.

Featured Videos

E-SBCs AS The Demarcation Point:
Ingate's Steve Johnson talks to Erik Linask about the role session border controller plays as the demarcation point at...

Demystifying DPI
How can deep packet inspection protect your SIP traffic as well as your entire network?

Featured Resources

What's New

Presenting the New Ingate/Intertex Website:
Internet+ is an extended Internet access allowing high quality SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) based real-time person-to-person communication, everywhere and for any application. It applies to both fixed and mobile networks ...

Featured Blogs

Featured Webinars

Secure SIP Trunking:
What You Need to Know

Successfully Deploying Enterprise SIP Trunking:
Tools and Techniques for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

Featured Podcasts

Getting the Most Out of Your SIP Trunks:
Ingate's Steve Johnson and TMC's Erik Linask discuss how best practices forgetting the most out of SIP Trunking services and common pitfalls to avoid.