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


LifeSize, Tech Data in Distribution Pact

November 9, 2007

I received a heads up on some HD videoconferencing news that will be going out across the wires this coming Monday 11/12.   LifeSize, maker of high-definition videoconferencing equipment, will announce a distribution agreement with uber-distributor Tech Data. Tech Data will distribute LifeSize’s complete HD product portfolio of high-definition video communication systems to solution providers nationwide.   LifeSize and Tech Data will reportedly work together to jointly develop marketing channel programs to assist resellers. The HD video conferencing solutions will be supported by Tech Data’s Telephony Specialized Business Unit (SBU).   LifeSize will also formally introduce Dan Sibille as their new director of global channels. Dan and his team will manage existing and grow new OEM relationships, maximize existing and develop new distribution relationships and develop programs for qualified channel partners.

Shh... We're Videotaping This Interview

January 16, 2008

TMCnet’s newest contributor, Jon Arnold will be in Miami Beach at the Internet Telephony Conference and EXPO next week moderating several panels, including A Look at Hosted VoIP, Intelligent Interconnects in the VoIP Peering Environment, and The State of IPTV   Jon will also be seen hustling about the event in the company of a cameraman, as they videotape a series of interviews with various executives and thought leaders in the space. These interviews will be hosted on TMCnet as well as on as part of a joint initiative aimed at educating the market.   Watch for these video interviews to start appearing online shortly after the event.

FiOS TV Hits Million Mark

January 28, 2008

They say that in times of financial distress a nation turns to the movies for entertainment. But with movie theaters charging 9, 10, 11 bucks a head to watch the latest Hollywood offerings, a night out for a family of 4, when coupled with popcorn by the bushel, soda by the gallon and a King-size pack of Twizzlers is easily going to approach the dreaded $100 mark….   For a night at the movies!   Maybe that’s why Verizon is enjoying such a successful deployment of its FiOS TV service, announcing today that it has surpassed the 1 million customer threshold.   At $42.99/month for the basic TV service there would still be enough left over from a single visit to the local multiplex to throw in a movie channel package featuring over 40 movie channels ($12.99), a Sports package ($7.99) and what the heck… since American Idol is only on so often, throw in a Karaoke package for another $7.99.    

Logitech Dials Up SightSpeed

October 29, 2008

Logitech International has announced that it will acquire SightSpeed Inc. for approximately $30 million in cash. SightSpeed offers consumers and businesses high-quality, SIP-based Internet video communications services, including video conferencing, video chat, video voicemail, collaboration tools, and more.   According to the announcement:   The acquisition of SightSpeed will provide Logitech with video calling technology and a software and services development team that can be focused on future video calling initiatives that can enable cross-platform video communications with an intuitive, lifelike experience, for people sitting in front of a personal computer or with their family in a living room.   I've used the service before and I must admit the quality was very good in my experience. The software got a recent boost by being featured on CBS' morning news program.   Congratulations to Peter Csathy and the rest of the SightSpeed team.   The acquisition is expected to close in early November.  

Ifbyphone Launches iPhone Conferencing App

October 30, 2008

Ifbyphone today announced a new conference call application for Apple's iPhone.

Available immediately on the iTunes App Store, the Conference Call App enables users to set up ad hoc conference calls from their iPhones or iPod touch devices, or to arrange conference calls in advance.

 It's as easy as choosing a group of recipients the contacts in the iPhone address book and tapping on "schedule conference." This is the second Ifbyphone application available on the iTunes App Store following up on Ifbyphone's popular Voice Broadcast app. The Conference Call App is free to download, and includes 100 free minutes of conference calling per month, with an option to upgrade for additional minutes. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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