What a week it’s been. New York, Orlando, Connecticut, Toronto, Dallas, San Jose… It’s almost time I learned the words to Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere…” Soon enough, I’ll be able to write my own version…
Well, we do what we need to do, and go where the news is, and this week there was a steady flow of VoIP news out of San Jose at the Voice on the net show.
D-Link launched a flip-phone style WiFi handset, which comes pre-loaded with a TelTel softphone application. The phone ships with the fully-featured TelTel application, which allows users to make free calls anywhere there’s access to a WiFi network. Calls from the D-Link phone are carried over TelTel’s PsipTN network.
Cognio announced additions and enhancements to its Spectrum Expert spectrum management platforms to support the rollout of innovative new services such as wireless VoIP. The solution enables IT managers to create detailed device versus channel charts that quickly show the impact of specific devices on each WiFi channel and how they are impacting channel and overall network performance. With this knowledge, IT managers can elect to remove, move, shield, or replace specific devices to minimize impact and maximize WiFi network performance.
Cognio has also added the ability for wireless technicians to perform a full spectrum capture at remote sites that can be saved for later review and analysis or transmitted via the wireless network back to headquarters for real-time analysis. This enables IT managers to create a baseline and compare spectrum changes over time.
Ingate Systems released new hardware designed specifically for large enterprises: the Ingate Firewall 1900 and Ingate SIParator 90. The new products are designed to offer large corporations complete support for IP communications based on SIP, including apps such as VoIP, IM, and video. The new products are capable of handling 1,200 concurrent VoIP calls (e.g. RTP sessions).
The company also announced the first-ever successful completion of an encrypted VoIP call using the Secure Realtime Protocol (SRTP). This was achieved with their partner, snom Technology. SRTP is intended to provide encryption, message authentication and integrity, and replay protection to the RTP data in both unicast and multicast applications.
Whaleback Systems launched several feature updates to its CrystalBlue Voice Service, which is a turnkey, premises-based, IP PBX solution that is managed by Whaleback, in the role of service provider. The features include Road Warrior Functionality and OrcaDial.
Road Warrior Functionality is designed to allow businesses to seamlessly extend their office communications to employees that are on the road or working from home provided they have a connection to the broadband network.
OrcaDial delivers click-to-dial functionality across multiple applications. A user can highlight a phone number in a desktop application and hit the F10 key to establish a call. OrcaDial works with multiple desktop applications, including Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint as well as Adobe PDF files. It also allows users to click on phone numbers displayed on Web pages or email clients to initiate calls.
Notably, I also had the opportunity to preview the latest platform from Inter-Tel, the Inter-Tel 7000. The 7000 is currently in beta, and is scheduled for general availability by mid-year 2006. Essentially, Inter-Tel is scaling up the amount of customers who can be served from a single system; the 7000 is designed to serve up to 2,500 users, although Inter-Tel tells me we can expect the system to be marketed first to groups ranging from 100–1,000 users.
The 7000 is at its core a SIP softswitch with tenanting capabilities, an embedded presence engine, multimedia applications that are part of Inter-Tel’s current portfolio of proven apps, and more. One of the differentiators here, is that Inter-Tel is bringing to market an open, standards-based solution with SIP at its core as opposed to its competitors who offer proprietary solutions with SIP at the edges. Since the solution is open, it offers future-proofing and perhaps most important in today’s business environment — investment protection.
Watch for more information on the Inter-Tel 7000 as it gets closer to the official GA date later this year.
Those are the high points from some of my meetings here in San Jose. Truth be told, there was little else that caught my interest here. Maybe I’m jaded, maybe I come to these events expecting to be blown away by some new product launch or redefining moment… And yet, perhaps we should look to the silver lining of what the type of news I saw this week might say to us. The majority of announcements coming out this week are customer wins, product deployments, partnerships… all of which means that the VoIP market is maturing. All the years spent developing solutions and applications are now coming to fruition as vendors are focusing on selling what they have spent time and energy creating. While it makes a good story for the health of our industry, I’m not quite sure that the lack of buzz or product launch “wow” factor makes a terribly “exciting” story.
Tomorrow it’s back to the East coast, and the continuing search for new and exciting products and solutions. Thanks to all who took the time to meet with me over the past few days.