Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

November 2008

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Zinnov Releases Survey Findings

November 26, 2008

A management consulting firm has released the findings of a recently conducted survey of senior executives from the R&D industry at its 'R&D Globalization Council' held earlier this month.

 

Zinnov surveyed research and development experts representing over 50 of the leading technology companies at the meeting.

 

The survey explored how the current global economic crisis is impacting efforts by these global technology companies to innovate new products. It appears that the constant stream of economic doom and gloom notwithstanding, these companies expect brighter days ahead in the not too distant future.

 

Some of the findings included:

 

·         Despite the current state of the economy, only 27% of the respondents plan a "slowdown in growth" of their Global R&D initiatives.

·         "Reduced travel" was cited as the number one response to the downturn (34%), with a freeze on hiring being the second-leading answer at 29%.

Podcast: Interactive Intelligence & Business Process Automation

November 25, 2008

I recently recorded a podcast with Joe Staples, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for Interactive Intelligence, where we spoke about a new approach to business process automation. Ironically, what prompted this conversation was a white paper written by Interactive Intelligence CEO Dr. Don Brown entitled -- you guessed it -- A New Approach To Business Process Automation. The white paper is available for download here.   Staples gives several examples of business processes and how enterprises can really benefit by leveraging some sort of process automation strategy. In his opinion, the current trends of UC and CEBP (unified communications and communications enabled business processes, respectively) are fine as far as they go, but a new approach, one he dubs CBPA or communications-based process automation takes things to another level, offering enterprises a more efficient solution to their business needs.   I urge you to give the podcast a listen.

Opera Mini 4.2 Released

November 25, 2008

Opera Software released latest version of its Opera Mini 4.2 browser for mobile phones. The company reports that speed trials have shown a 30% speed increase for users in the US, due to the addition of a new Opera Mini server park in the US.   According to the company, this release also marks Opera Mini's official availability on the latest version of the Android mobile platform. A technical preview of Opera Mini was previously released for an earlier version of Android in April 2008. I covered that here.   One of the neat things about this version of Opera Mini is that it offers support for more than 90 language versions, including Amharic, Armenian, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kirghiz, Lingala, Marathi, Malayalam, Mongolian, Oriya, Punjabi, Pashto, Sinhala, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Uzbek, Khmer, Kashmiri, Lao and Turkmen.   This is great news for native speakers of those languages and on a personal level allowed me to use words like Pashto, Lingala, Assamese and Urdu -- in context -- on my blog.  

Panda Warns on High School Musical Borne Viruses

November 24, 2008

Attention parents: In case you weren't aware, there are bad people online. Bad people who would disguise viruses, worms, and Trojans as innocent-looking files such as songs and videos related to Disney's popular movie franchise High School Musical.   According to officials at PandaLabs, the research division of Panda Security, there's a growing rash of infected files being distributed through peer-to-peer file sharing networks such as eMule and eDonkey.   Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs said:   "Cyber-crooks are exploiting the interest of the numerous fans of these films, by hiding their creations in files with names related to High School Musical. An added danger is that many of these fans are very young and as such are more likely to fall into the trap. It is therefore a good idea to give young children a basic grounding in IT security."   When users run these infected files their computers can be affected by malicious code such as VB.ADQ, the Agent.KGR Trojan, the adware Koolbar, and other nasty stuff.

Web 2.0 Apps Driving Online Holiday Sales

November 24, 2008

It probably won't come as a shock to anyone, but consumers increasingly plan to make at least some of their purchases online this holiday season, driven in part by maturing Web 2.0 apps.   According to a 'Web 2.0 for Business' outfit known as WorkLight, the online shopping world is in the midst of a sea change due to the proliferation of next-generation Web 2.0 tools.   According to David Lavenda, WorkLight's vice president of marketing and product strategy:   "Online shoppers are now interacting with retailers in much more meaningful ways; ways that transcend the traditional online portal experience. Retailers who invested in meeting customers where they spend their time online -- on social networks, desktop and web-based widgets and gadgets, mobile apps and more -- will be able to cash in on this consumer groundswell. Being able to meet customers through Web 2.0 will be a strategic advantage to gaining significant holiday market share."   Several reports bear these facts out. According to a Shop.org analysis, a quarter of retailers has invested in a Facebook page this year, and according to a Deloitte study, 21 per cent of consumers surveyed plan to shop online this holiday season (up from 19 per cent last year).

Interactive Intelligence Announces SMS Capability for CIC

November 24, 2008

Brendan Read of Customer Interaction Solutions magazine covers today's news that Interactive Intelligence would be adding short message service (SMS) as an additional media type to its all-in-one multi-channel contact center software suite, Customer Interaction Center or CIC.   The new SMS features are designed to help contact centers increase customer retention and satisfaction by enabling mobile customers to use SMS to communicate with the contact center; have those SMS messages routed, recorded, and reported on, the same way as other media types; enable contact center agents to reply using SMS; and enable notifications to customers to be sent via SMS.   Interactive plans to release the features by the end of Q4 08   Check out Brendan's article here.

Google To Expel Avatars from Virtual Eden

November 21, 2008

For those who have read the Book of Genesis, you remember that the world was created in six days, with the seventh day reserved for rest and contemplation.   For those of you who are following the developing 'Book of Google,' you will note that it took just six months to create and subsequently destroy the (virtual) world of Lively.   A post on the Official Google Blog broke the sad news.   "Google has always been supportive of this kind of experimentation because we believe it's the best way to create groundbreaking products that make a difference to people's lives. But we've also always accepted that when you take these kinds of risks not every bet is going to pay off."   Lively will be shut down at the end of the year, as Google "prioritizes their resources" to focus on their core search, advertising and applications businesses.

No word yet from the Avatars that will be forced to leave their virtual paradise.  

Infonetics: Carrier VoIP is Down...

November 20, 2008

A new research report from Infonetics tells us something that many of us have felt coming for some time.   According to the report Service Provider VoIP and IMS Equipment and Subscribers carriers are not likely to engage in VoIP equipment purchases at this time, which Infonetics expects will bring down the worldwide service provider VoIP market 8% sequentially to $816 million in 3Q08.   All is not doom and gloom however.   Infonetics is reporting that in the third quarter of 2008, sales of session border controllers and media servers were up.   Other highlights from the report:   ·         Cisco enjpoyed a 37% sequential jump in worldwide trunk media gateway revenue, propelling them to the #1 spot, followed by GENBAND and Huawei; ·         Nortel maintains its #1 position in the worldwide softswitch market                          ·         Voice over broadband (VoBB) will continue to be the big driver across the board   To view the full press release, click here.

SunPorch Picks Fonality Contact Center, Saves $100K

November 19, 2008

Fonality today announced a customer win with SunPorch, the Westport, CT-based manufacturer of sunroom kits. SunPorch says they have saved $100,000 by deploying Fonality's PBXtra Call Center solution. The news was announced here, and a case study detailing how SunPorch was able to reap the benefits of using a contact center solution built on open source can be found here.  

New TMCnet Blog Serves Up Technology, Recipes

November 18, 2008

One of my favorite things about my job is to give other people the opportunity to reach our audience, be it in the form of a column, or a one-off article, or even a blog.   As you may have heard, Rich Tehrani kicked of a new TMCnet program called Blog Aid, whereby unemployed workers can stay in the public eye -- in order to improve their hiring prospects in a tough economy.   As Rich wrote:   In the last few months, many good marketers, PR people, engineers and others who have been laid off. These potential Blog Aid bloggers have a good deal of quality commentary and information to share which could be very useful to the TMC community of online readers.   If you're interested in starting a blog, drop me a line at ggalitzine@tmcnet.com  
  On another, blog related note, one of my favorite new blogs on TMCnet is one that takes two very interesting subjects -- technology and food -- and mashes them up, so to speak.   David Byrd, vice president of marketing and sales at SIP Trunking provider BroadVox, has started a blog called SIP and Serve by a Foodie. I strongly recommend you check it out.   The blog so far has dealt with the economy, President-elect Obama, SIP Trunking, IP PBXs, the FCC, USF and Net Neutrality, and of course, the twist that makes it interesting: Cioppino, Alligator, Crab Cakes, Grilled Romaine Hearts and more...   You see every Monday, David recounts what he has prepared over the preceding weekend, and the resulting blog entries make my mouth water. This is in addition to tech-related blog posts every Wednesday and Friday too.   So I guess I'm officially welcoming David to our TMCnet family of bloggers.   Welcome aboard David.

Smule's Ocarina: Number One With a Bullet!

November 18, 2008

    Talk about your hot viral apps!   Smule, the developer of the wildly popular Ocarina application for use on Apple's iPhone, today announced that it's jumped to the top of the charts in several Apple App Stores around the world, including the United States, Canada, France, Sweden, Holland, and Spain among others.

Available for $0.99, the Smule Ocarina is the first true wind instrument available for the iPhone.

Rich Tehrani and I did a recent TMC Newsroom video on the Ocarina application -- feel free to check out that recent video newscast.   Apparently users have created over 250 musical scores, which according to the release announcing the success of Smule's Ocarina, include Yesterday, Beethoven's Ode to Joy, Harry Potter Theme, Zelda Theme, Blister in the Sun, Frosty the Snowman, and Amazing Grace.   Amazing indeed.



Mediatrix Releases New VoIP Gateway

November 18, 2008

Just got word that Sherbrooke, Quebec-based Mediatrix has released its latest gateway, the Mediatrix 4102.   The latest in the company's line of VoIP gateway products, the 4102 is designed to offer better performance for the growing SOHO and remote office markets.  

  The device is designed to connect far-flung remote workers to an IP network, allowing for the connection of up to two analog phones and/or fax machines as well as a PC or home router to a broadband modem.   According to the announcement, the 4102 comes in two flavors, the 4102 and 4102S.   The Mediatrix 4102 is a cost-effective low density product supporting current SIP and MGCP applications and rounds-out the 4100 series of gateways. The 4102 also offers Mediatrix's innovative TAS (Transparent IP Address Sharing) technology and an embedded PPPoE client to allow the PC (or router) connected to the second Ethernet port to have the same public IP address, eliminating the need for private IP addresses or address translations. The 4102 also supports high compression codecs simultaneously on both analog voice ports, saving valuable bandwidth.  

DragonWave Recognized for Wireless Backhaul Success

November 17, 2008

In case you haven't been paying attention, wireless backhaul is a hot space.   Tom Keating wrote about it here, among other places.   Rich Tehrani has been covering the space too, as evidenced by this blog entry.   And Richard Grigonis has covered the space -- in depth -- with a series of articles that can be found here, here, here, and here.   Today comes word that DragonWave Inc. a global supplier of high capacity, wireless native Ethernet backhaul solutions has come in at number 133 on Deloitte's 2008 Technology Fast 500,   According to the release, "rankings are based on percentage of fiscal year revenue growth over five years, from 2003-2007. DragonWave's growth rate over that period was 1400%."   1,400%!   As Adam Sandler would say... "not too shabby"...   According to Peter Allen, DragonWave's president and CEO:   "Our ability to develop products that meet our customer needs in a timely fashion has allowed us to penetrate new markets and expand our global footprint. Our microwave products are enabling telecommunications service providers to rapidly roll out new services in a cost-effective way.

From TMCnet to Obama's Transition Team?

November 17, 2008

Erstwhile feature columnist Tom Wheeler is said to be joining president-elect Barack Obama's transition team, together with former FCC Chair Reed Hundt. Wheeler, who was once president of the National Cable Telecommunications Association  (NCTA) is reportedly joining the transition team as a member of its agency review working group. Wheeler was also the chief of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA). The columns he wrote for TMCnet, under the heading Wireless Musings, are archived here.

NEC, Premier Purchasing to Serve Healthcare Market

November 17, 2008

NEC Unified Solutions has announced an agreement with Premier Purchasing Partners whereby Premier will offer NEC's UNIVERGE 360 IP telephony solutions to more than 2,000 hospitals and over 50,000 healthcare provider members of the Premier healthcare alliance. NEC will leverage its communications tools, applications and services to unify business communications for members of the Premier healthcare alliance. Back at the end of July, when I visited NEC, they spoke to me of increased traction in the hospitality and healthcare verticals.

Spracht Marries Quality, Design

November 13, 2008

It's not every day you meet with a company and think, "...this may be the next Bose or the next Herman Miller, or the next Apple..." I'm talking of course about companies whose claim to fame is not only offering quality products but also the close attention they pay to the design process to produce a lasting product experience.   I met such a company recently, that produces the Aura Mobile BT, a speakerphone that is equally at home broadcasting a Skype-based phone call next to a laptop, or attached to the visor of your car cruising down the boulevard while you carry on a hands-free conversation.   Spracht is the acoustic division of parent company ODI, an OEM provider of digital imaging, acoustics, LCD image display, and other consumer electronics. Founded in 1993, Silicon Valley based ODI has developed popular products, such as the Connectix Quickcam, for both Fortune 100 companies and technology notables such as Palm and Kensington.   I met Trace Williams, vice president of sales and marketing at Spracht who gave me some background on the company and also talked up a brand-new device that is expected to be launched in the next couple of weeks.   First, we discussed the Aura Mobile BT a full-duplex speakerphone featuring dual 3W speakers, and echo and noise cancellation, powered by the patented SoundClear™ Digital Signal Processing (DSP) chip.   The device offers eight hours of talk time and can connect up to eight profiles to each device.   The company also offers the Aura SOHO, a conference call device that can be used in an analog phone environment, or converted with the simple swap of a module to operate with digital PBXs, and soon will offer a wireless option as well. The Aura SOHO is designed for conference rooms ranging up to 20' x 40' when utilizing expandable microphones.   Spracht is offering the solutions through multiple channels, including Dell, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Fry's and telecom distributors such as Synnex, NTD, and others.

Texas Instruments Unveils New IP Phone Platform

November 13, 2008

Earlier this week, Texas Instruments introduced their latest IP phone development platform that's designed to allow IP phone manufacturers to create solutions that will offer a truly feature rich experience to end users.   I was fortunate to meet TI's Kim Devlin-Allen who heads up the company's business development efforts for CPE VoIP Communications Infrastructure and Voice DSP Systems to discuss the latest news.   Devlin-Allen told me that the latest offering from TI - the TNETV107x family -- is designed to allow developers to build solutions to serve the full range of clients, from entry level IP desk sets to fully featured executive IP phones. She explained that the new platform will include the TMS320C64x series digital signal processors and will allow developers to leverage a wide range of TI's silicon and software solutions to create their IP devices.   Developers can also take advantage of TI's OMAP technology for ultra low power and amazing graphics capabilities to give their customers more options.   One of the things driving developers to design more fully featured phones is the fact that a younger generation of employees entering the workforce are demanding all the bells and whistles of unified communications and a platform that would allow them to access all the features and applications they need to be more productive.   The chips will be available in the first half of next year.   Texas Instruments also announced a new customer that is leveraging TI's TNETV1055 platform to develop a high-definition voice IP phone. TI announced the Yealink Network Technology has designed the SIP-T28 to support the wideband codec G.722.   The phone is described as a "stylish 6-line IP phone featuring 16 programmable function keys, four soft keys, an XML screen, SMS language customization and 'groupable' enterprise phone books, among other features."

Objectworld Announces Support for Microsoft's SBS/EBS Solutions

November 12, 2008

Yesterday I met with David Schenkel, the CTO of Ottawa-based Objectworld, and we discussed the company's announcement of support for Microsoft's Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008.   The gist of the announcement is that it is now much simpler for Objectworld's customers and partners to leverage the productivity enhancing features of VoIP and unified communications and integrate these applications into their IT infrastructure.   The new solution is reportedly quick and simple to deploy and allows businesses to save money by simplifying moves adds, and changes and making it easy to create call flows, notifications, and more.   Schenkel illustrated how simple it was to create call flows by creating a simple IVR application on the fly. The solution leverages Objectworld's library of "elements" which via simple drag and drop combine to create a complete call flow.   My colleague, TMCnet's Michael Dinan, has a great interview with ObjectWorld's director of marketing and sales, Vincent Guihan, in which they speak about the relative popularity of the solution's SIP telephony edition and the value of providing Objectworld UC Server as a hosted environment.

Meetings Galore

November 12, 2008

Trade shows serve as a wonderful opportunity to meet with a large number of companies and individuals in a very condensed time frame. Today I got to meet with a rather large and diverse group of companies operating in the IP Communications space.   First among today's meetings was a visit with Todd Woodstra, vice president of unified communications and emerging markets for SpinVox, the voicemail to text company.   SpinVox captures spoken messages and converts them into text. It then delivers these messages via e-mail.   On Tuesday, SpinVox announced that they were playing a major part in Avaya's new Speech to Text solution, along with Mutare Software's EVM gateway.   SpinVox provides the core recognition technology that provides the conversion of the voicemail file to text.   According to Woodstra, SpinVox is only company in this space that can provide the needed scalability to yield a successful solution. To drive the point home, he told me that SpinVox is already deployed at 13 carriers spanning 5 continents.   The service bridges silos of audio files into text and makes those files actionable and searchable, which empowers end users.   I look forward to trialing the SpinVox solution shortly.     Yesterday I wrote about Mitel and how they were getting into the Telepresence space in addition to offering an upgraded suite of Unified Communications solutions.   Today I spoke with Mitel's Kevin Johnson, director of analyst and consultant relations, who shared more details about the company's announcement.   In addition to the telepresence portion of the announcement, Johnson spoke of several upgrades including a revamped UC desktop client for users (Mitel Unified Communicator) and extended mobile integrations for Windows Mobile and Nokia devices and a similar integration on Blackberry devices, which enable mobile users to access PBX functionality when on the go.   Johnson touched on the economy and mentioned that in these trying economic times, UC solutions must offer fast, well defined payback to be seriously considered.   Johnson said Mitel offers UC Solutions "for the real world" -- marketing speak that underscores the company's pragmatic approach to marketing products and benefits to the real world.     I also met with Mike Storella and Michael Knieling of snom, who were excited with the launch of their latest desk phone, the snom 820.   The new 820 phone includes snom's foray into the wideband audio space, and features the company's klarVOICE technology.   Other features include an HD display, WiFi functionality which offers a way to deploy the phone quickly without having to draw a wire to the desk, secure VoIP with SRTP and TLS as well as all the usual standard advanced business-class calling features one expects on a device of this quality.   Storella mentioned that the phone was competitively priced, and that he has high hopes for this new line.

IntelePeer Secures $18 Million in Third Round

November 12, 2008

VantagePoint Venture Partners of San Bruno, California has led an $18 million dollar round of financing of IntelePeer Inc. This was the company's third round of financing.   All things being equal, it's fair to say that it's no small feat to attract such a significant amount in such an uncertain economic climate. IntelePeer will use the funds to continue their expansion plans, increase their global presence and support continued growth of their hosted voice 2.0 and rich media technologies.   According to Bill Harding, VantagePoint managing director, and the newest member of the IntelePeer Board of Directors, "IntelePeer is uniquely positioned with its game-changing strategy to address the need to reduce operational costs with an innovative hosted Voice 2.0 applications platform and carrier-class voice peering infrastructure."   Congratulations to the entire team at IntelePeer.

MItel Expands UC Portfolio, Adds Telepresence

November 10, 2008

Mitel has unveiled some new twists to its Unified Communications portfolio including a brand-new telepresence platform, which will be commercially available in Q109. Mitel's TeleCollaboration Solution is designed to improve the telepresence experience with enhanced collaboration capabilities including desktop sharing and recording for a 'better-than-live' interaction.   Mitel is also introducing several new UC clients that are tailored to different worker needs, including:   Mitel Unified Communicator (UC) Express - a desktop UC client that provides productivity enhancements like click-to-call, incoming caller ID pop-up, call history, speed calls list, plus personal and corporate directory integration with public IM presence engines.   Mitel Unified Communicator (UC) Advanced - a comprehensive client that integrates presence and availability, secure IM, audio conferencing and video and data collaboration. Mitel UC Advanced provides simplified access to commonly used Mitel and third-party applications via a 'launchpad' designed to enhance productivity.

Look! Up in the Sky...

November 10, 2008


It's such a cliché, but I can't help myself.    It's my first Internet experience at 36,000 feet.   I sent an e-mail to my brother in law: "You'll never guess where I am right now..."   I remember those in-flight phones too, back in the day. Yes I called my folks the first time I was able to call from on high...   In any event...  I can finally say I've blogged from 38,000 feet.
American Airlines. GoGo Wireless.

Obama Wins, Internet Rocks

November 5, 2008

TMCnet's Jessica Kostek has an interesting story on how the election and post-election reaction played out on the Internet last night.   I actually stepped away from my keyboard around 10:15 pm last night (ET) and watched the results play out on the TV screen in my living room.   Yesterday's historic election produced record turnout, and voters elected the first African-American president in Barack Obama.   In his acceptance speech, Obama spoke of delivering on his promise of change but recognized that he and his administration will face enormous challenges from a painful economic crisis and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   Obama's victory led the Democratic party to a sweeping victory that will see them hold majorities in both houses of Congress.   With that kind of clout, it will be interesting to see what an Obama presidency means for telecommunications and for technology in general.   There are a number of important issues on the table, from patent and trade issues to net neutrality to a proposed expansion of H1-B visa rules -- all issues whose effects will be felt in Silicon Valley and beyond.   First up, Obama needs to decide who his CTO will be. When he launched his bid for the presidency, Obama spoke of the need to create a cabinet-level position -- a national chief technology officer -- who would seek to create more jobs through technology.   We'll see how this all plays out. Be sure to check back often to TMCnet to stay up to date with all the latest news and opinion.   And check out our new video archive, featuring daily news in the form of the TMC Newsroom as well as video interviews featuring the industry's leading movers and shakers.

4G Wireless: My Interview(s) With Carl Ford

November 3, 2008

They say that a fulfilling life includes learning something new every day.   Well, today I learned that being interviewed by Carl Ford is its own reward. And if you asked me six months ago if I would be interviewing Carl Ford or if Carl Ford would be interviewing me... (on video no less!) I would have had my doubts.   But it's true, and Carl was here at TMC last week, and we chatted it up on video here and here.   The conversation centered around the announcement last week of a collaboration between Carl and his team at Crossfire Media and our very own TMC. The collaboration, as readers of my blog no doubt well know by now, is the launch of a new brand -- including a Web portal and an event -- in the exciting 4G wireless space.

AudioCodes Looks to HD VoIP

November 3, 2008

AudioCodes is getting into the HD VoIP business.

 

The company today announced VoIPerfectHD, its High Definition Voice over IP technology, which is designed to deliver higher voice clarity, better intelligibility and richer sound, and an improved user experience by doubling the audible voice spectrum.

 

AudioCodes plans to embed HD VoIP across its product portfolio throughout 2009.

 

According to the release announcing the move into HD VoIP:

 

The introduction of HD VoIP extends AudioCodes reach to both enterprises and service providers, allowing entry into new market segments which will benefit from enhanced clarity and better speech intelligibility.

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