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

VoIP

XConnect Certifies Covergence Session Manager

March 23, 2009

XConnect continues to certify products as XConnect-Ready.   The latest product to earn the distinction is Covergence's Session Manager. The Covergence Session Manager (CSM) is described by the company as "a comprehensive package of security, Web-enabling and session management solutions for SIP applications and services marketed to service providers and enterprises."   The formal release, which hits the wires tomorrow, states:   Certification through the XConnect Ready Partners Program establishes that service providers deploying CSM can query XConnect's ENUM registry for session-routing information. The designation also means the CSM's routing and peering functions work securely and seamlessly for members of XConnect federations. This ensures, in turn, that calls from a CSM-equipped service provider's network can be routed over IP through any XConnect federation member, reaching end points all over the world while bypassing the PSTN.   The CSM is the latest device to complete interoperability testing and earn the XConnect certification.

Skype for SIP: VoIP Provider Targets Corporate PBX Market

March 23, 2009

It was only a matter of time.   Skype today announced the Skype For SIP beta program, which will enable businesses to receive and manage inbound calls from Skype users on SIP-enabled PBX systems, connecting a company's Web site to the PBX system via click-to-call. The beta is initially available to a limited number of participants.   The financial benefits are clear, allowing businesses to connect to over 400 million registered Skype users while offering the features and integration capabilities of traditional office PBX systems.   According to the official announcement:   The beta version of Skype For SIP will enable business users to: ·         Place Skype calls to landlines and mobile phones worldwide from any connected SIP-enabled PBX; reducing costs with Skype's low-cost global rates ·         Purchase Skype's online numbers, to receive calls to the corporate PBX from landlines or mobile phones ·         Manage Skype calls using their existing hardware and system applications such as call routing, conferencing, phone menus and voicemail.   Beginning today, SIP users, phone system administrators, developers and service partners are invited to apply to the Skype For SIP beta program. Applicants will need to be businesses, have an installed SIP based IP-PBX system, as well as a level of technical competency to configure their own SIP-enabled PBX.   During the beta period all calls will be charged at standard Skype rates. Further pricing details will be announced when the product is fully launched later this year.    

8x8 Visit With Huw Rees

March 18, 2009

If it's Wednesday, it must be San Jose...   Or in this case, more specifically, Santa Clara.   My colleagues and I just stopped in to see our friends at 8x8, who were gracious enough to spend some time with us on this cloudy day.   Things are moving steadily forward at 8x8, and according to Huw Rees, Vice President of Business and Channel Development, the firm continues to execute on its strategy of selling their Virtual Office services into the small and medium sized business (SMB) market space. Rees told us that they are focused on ramping up sales of their virtual trunking products and Microsoft Response Point services, as well as expanding their channel strategy to build a larger channel to serve ever larger customers, working up to the "M" of the SMB.   8x8 serves customers from 5 employees to several hundred employees, but according to Rees, the average customer tends to the smaller end of that scale. The goal of the channel expansion is is to grow the number of larger customers.   Anecdotal evidence points to a trend where larger organizations are more comfortable with using hosted communications services, and 8x8 is certainly in a position to serve this market.   We also went on a tour of the 8x8 facility, and we saw the variety of elements that go into making a successful VoIP service provider, including the NOC or network operations center, the QA testing workspace, the higher-level support call center, and the shipping/receiving dock, which according to Rees sees such volume, that 8x8 is the largest FedEx customer in Santa Clara.   We also got a glimpse into some of the exciting things that will be coming down the pike from 8x8, and I look forward to sharing those with my readers as soon as I am able to.

Infonetics: Carrier VoIP Market Down

March 3, 2009

Infonetics Research has released the Q4 2008 edition of its Service Provider VoIP Equipment and Subscribers report.   And the news is not good.   According to Infonetics' Diane Myers, Directing Analyst, Service Provider VoIP and IMS: "The fourth quarter of 2008 confirmed what we started seeing in the previous two quarters in North America, with signs in Western Europe and some parts of Asia as well: the market for carrier VoIP equipment has stalled due to large deployments nearing completion and shifting strategic priorities. The global economic downturn will likely exacerbate the drop in VoIP equipment sales."   According to the report, the streak of double-digit annual revenue growth, which has characterized the worldwide carrier VoIP equipment market since 2002, has come to a close.   In fact, the market declined for the first time ever in 2008, dropping 6%.   According to Infonetics, large RBOCs and ILECs are putting the brakes on VoIP as major projects are (or have been) completed. Furthermore, the economic downturn is forcing operators to move their capital expenditures to other strategic priorities.   There were some bright spots in the report. On the plus side, the Infonetics research bears out the following:   ·         The number of residential and SOHO VoIP subscribers worldwide increased at a steady clip, topping 107 million in 2008, driven mostly by EMEA and Asia Pacific; ·         Nortel increased softswitch and trunk media gateway revenue, gaining share in both categories; ·         Sonus increased its trunk media gateway revenue 45% in 4Q08 from 3Q08.

Infonetics' Enterprise Telephony Report: Winners and Prognostications

February 26, 2009

I was on the road yesterday, a quick jaunt to Chicago for an interview with Tellabs. Rich blogged about it and posted a bunch of images from the trip, including one picture that so eloquently captured my thoughts on how busy O'Hare was.

 

The Tellabs facility is a beautiful. Modern, spacious, everything a corporate headquarters should be.

 

Watch for the interview with president and CEO Robert Pullen to be published soon in NGN magazine.

 

While I was winging my way back home, Infonetics Research announced its Q4 (2008) Enterprise Telephony report.

 

The headline of the release suns it up quite nicely: "Cisco takes lead in 2008 enterprise telephony market; Alcatel-Lucent, ShoreTel sole 4Q08 winners"

 

So amid the gloom:

 

·         The worldwide enterprise telephony market dropped 14% sequentially in 4Q08 to $2.3 billion, with vendor revenue down for all types of equipment including pure IP PBX, hybrid PBX, and TDM PBX

·         The main cause of the decline is the lack of new business creation and business expansion due to the difficult economic climate worldwide

 

There were some bright spots as well:

 

·         Year-over-year, the overall PBX market is up 1.1%, with the IP PBX segments up and the TDM segment down as the market continues switching over from TDM to IP equipment

·         Pure IP PBX revenue grew 25% worldwide in 2008, sustained by new product introductions

 

On the vendor front, the Infonetics report found that Alcatel-Lucent and ShoreTel -- alone among their competitors -- realized PBX equipment revenue gains in Q4, with Alcatel-Lucent's revenue up 13% sequentially and ShoreTel's revenue up 1%.

 

And despite a quarterly revenue loss, Cisco maintained the first spot in overall PBX/KTS revenue market share in 4Q08. According to the report, 2008 saw Cisco "grab the lead" for the entire year for the first time as well.

 

Matthias Machowinski, Directing Analyst, Enterprise Voice and Data, Infonetics Research had this to say:

 

Because of the significantly deteriorating worldwide economic conditions, we expect the overall enterprise telephony market to contract fairly significantly in 2009.

VocalTec Announces Customer Wins

February 24, 2009

For those who have been around the VoIP industry for some time, the name VocalTec is synonymous with the industry's earliest days. VocalTec is a true VoIP pioneer and many even credit them for creating the first commercial products that put VoIP on the map. As with anything, origins are often debatable, but there is no denying that the company played a pivotal role in the first days of this industry.   Having gone through its own financial troubles, amid regional and more broad economic downturns through the years, in addition to the evolution from H.323 to SIP, VocalTec saw its star dim and went through a period of restructuring, but is slowly and steadily making its way back into the limelight of the IP communications space.   Just today the company announced that VMB, a carrier in St. Petersburg, Russia, has selected VocalTec solutions for its VoIP network rollout.   And, last week, VocalTec announced that Amatole Telecoms, a South African USAL (Under-Serviced Area License) service provider, had selected VocalTec's Essentra VoIP solutions in a VoIP deployment over Amatole Telecoms' WiMAX carrier-grade, converged IP network. 
  According to the announcement, VocalTec's Essentra solution will support Amatole Telecoms' requirement to provide customers with innovative residential and enterprise services, over a next-generation network architecture, enabling the provision of subscriber services at reduced cost, while enhancing service flexibility as well as the rapid deployment of value-adding services and applications.   It's good to see the name of a one-time high-flier back in the news, announcing customer wins no less.   The company will be releasing its fourth quarter and full year 2008 results on Monday, March 2, 2009 at 10:00am ET. Mr. Ido Gur, the President & CEO of VocalTec will lead the call, and management will review and discuss the results, and will be available to answer questions.   Details, including dial-in information of the call can be found here.   Looking back to VocalTec's last reported numbers, for the third quarter (2008) we see that revenues for were $1.4 million.

Sipera, RSA in Secure VoIP Deal

February 23, 2009

Sipera Systems says it's joined the RSA Secured Partner Program and RSA, The Security Division of EMC, said that it has certified interoperability between the Sipera IPCS UC security product family and the RSA SecurID two-factor authentication solution.   The result is a simple way for users to secure their VoIP phones without the need to use any special clients or phone configuration. All users need to do is enter the RSA SecurID one-time secure password and their PIN.   In an era where security and privacy compliance in industries such as healthcare, financial services and others is becoming critical, this solution helps an organization achieve its overall secure information goals.   Just today, TMCnet columnist Kevin Coleman published his most recent column, titled $1Trillion. In his note to me he wrote: "It's bigger than the bailout!" and when you stop to think about it, it's a scary thought.   The trillion that Coleman is referring to is not a US Government sponsored handout, it's the estimated dollar loss for intellectual property and data theft in 2008 for businesses globally. Coleman gets his numbers from Dennis C. Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, in his Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. To learn more, read the entire article.

Call Recording for Skype

February 20, 2009

is a hot topic these days, whether traditional TDM, or more frequently now, VoIP recording. There are many reasons to deploy a call recording solution, be it to improve your business' performance through monitoring and archiving important calls, to enhance training and employee development, or to comply with government mandates and regulations.Call recording   Today I received word of a new call recording solution designed specifically for Skype.   Developed by ExtraLabs Software, Skype Recorder is compatible with all versions of Windows (95, 98, Me, 2000, XP, NT, Vista) and supports all Skype versions.

    According to the company:   Skype Recorder can record Skype calls automatically.   ·         Skype Recorder has a range of efficient and advanced capabilities: ·         Manually start/stop/pause, or automatically record Skype calls ·         Convert your calls to MP3/OGG/WMA/WAV format ·         Built-in audio player, built-in FTP client ·         'Spy' mode   The software starts recording as soon as a users starts talking. At the end of the conversation, Skype Recorder encodes the recording to the specified format and saves the file on the user's hard drive.    Skype Recorder is available for a free 30-day trial period.    

In-Stat: VoIP Market Slowing Down?

February 17, 2009

A somewhat deceiving headline made me sit up and take notice this morning. A news item from In-Stat, titled: Struggling Economy Will Slow the Growth of Voice over IP (VoIP) in US Business Markets drew my attention.   A closer look at the release, and it turns out things aren't all grim for the VoIP market after all.   According to David Lemelin, In-Stat analyst:   "IP continues to be a partial voice solution for most businesses with VoIP, particularly among larger businesses. Therefore, there is significant room for growth even among businesses that have already adopted it."   Recent research by In-Stat found that:   ·         32% of Enterprise size businesses say the economic situation has slowed their VoIP deployment plans. ·         Broadband IP Telephony remains the most common carrier-based business VoIP solution with revenues exceeding $1.1 billion in 2008, compared to $857 million for hosted IP Centrex service within the US. ·         Adoption varies significantly by size of business, with Enterprise businesses preferring a partial deployment, while SOHO businesses are more likely to go IP-only. ·         13% of US businesses use both carrier-based and premises-based IP solutions          In-Stat's report 2008 US Business VoIP Overview: Stick to Fundamentals covers the U.S. business market for VoIP.

Skype on Nokia N-Series

February 17, 2009

Featured Events