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Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

ITEXPO

Arlinx

August 20, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask Patrick Young of Arlinx about the company’s customer base, its IP communications strategy and the direction his company is taking.   The Arlinx IP Elite Security and Media Processing Platforms provide opportunities for developers, integrators, and resellers to offer an alternative to mainstream x86 appliances.   To learn more about the company, read this article published on TMCnet from earlier this year.   RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives. PY: Our initiative is to produce an open IP communications application and specific hardware platform with strong authentication, encryption acceleration, a voice optimized media processor and very high energy efficiency.

What We Learned From the Skype Outage

August 20, 2007

As organizations move to VoIP and other forms of IP communications it is imperative they realize the world of IP is far different from the PSTN and circuit-switched networks of yesterday. While Internet Protocol is the protocol of the Internet which was designed to be resilient enough to withstand a nuclear attack, IP networks need proper management to be able to continue operating under a variety of circumstances.   The concept of the always up IP communications network was certainly in the spotlight recently as TMCnet’s Tom Keating broke the story of Skype, the world’s most popular IP communications software company having a major network outage. He surmised that a recent Microsoft upgrade to its operating systems was responsible for the outage.   A few days later, Skype explained that indeed, Microsoft’s operating system update coupled with a bug in the eBay division’s software was responsible for leaving millions without IP communications.   While some journalists have come to the conclusion that VoIP is no longer reliable because of this outage the reality is that a software bug stopped the network from functioning properly and this had nothing to do with the inherent reliability of VoIP.   Still, when you leverage the benefits of IP communications you must also be aware of the responsibilities that come with the technology. Yes, you now have some responsibilities you may not have been aware of.

IP Communications Education

August 20, 2007

Listen, I don’t want to overdo discussion of ITEXPO in my blog but the fact of the matter is this recent e-mail sent by my marketing team is a great document discussing what is important at the show. It is a good guide for you. What to see, where to go, where to be, etc.   You can see below the various aspects of Internet Telephony Conference & Expo which make it unique and the most imitated event in IP communications.

Skype P2P Problems

August 20, 2007

By now it seems the whole world is aware Skype had major problems last week. For most people, Skype was down. Tom Keating speculated the cause was a Microsoft patch which rebooted massive numbers of machines. He has a point as my machine coincidentally rebooted just before the Skype problem hit.   Many people thought Tom was incorrect but it turns out Tom nailed the problem.   Phil Wolf has an excellent recap of the problem with his thoughts and questions interlaced within.   For example, when commenting on the following from Skype:  
Normally Skype’s peer-to-peer network has an inbuilt ability to self-heal, however, this event revealed a previously unseen software bug within the network resource allocation algorithm which prevented the self-healing function from working quickly.
  Wolf wonders:  
If the bug was within the algorithm, in the Skype client, was the bug ever repaired?

Wireless Companies at ITEXPO

August 19, 2007

I happened upon a great article by Mae Kowalke discussing wireless company representation at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo. Companies discussed include a la Mobile, Airwide Solutions, Kineto Wireless, MobiTV and MOBIVOX.   The article reminds me just how big the wireless market is becoming with regards to IP communications. Certainly the next few years could be instrumental in this “space” with the 700 MHz auction coming (see also 700 MHz Setback). We certainly have exciting times ahead for both consumers, service providers and business users.   Perhaps most interesting is whether wireless providers like Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless will see serious competition from internet companies such as Google.

Call Center CRM Stories August, 17 2007

August 19, 2007

While technology has a bewildering effect on the medical industry it seems one of the areas ripest for improvement and change is that of the interaction of patient and doctor. A recent article on TMCnet details how HD videoconferencing is improving patient care.   Another area of change in contact centers is that of outsourcing. A recent article from TMCnet’s Susan Campbell talks about this change. Specifically it discusses a new study by Duke University and the management consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton which found that companies are increasingly moving sophisticated, mission-critical functions to China, India and other offshore locations primarily because these countries are providing the individuals with the necessary skills and education.   Speaking of changes in outsourcing, did you know Egypt is trying to be a major player in this space according to an article from TMCnet’s Brian Solomon?

Junction Networks

August 19, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask Avery Glasser of Junction Networks about the evolution of the SMB IP communications space and the direction his company is taking.   Junction Networks provides business class VoIP service to companies without the hassle presented by traditional telephone providers and residential-focused VoIP providers.   By the way any company with a product called the 10-minute PBX is a must-interview in my opinion. Imagine, as an SMB if you go with a 10-minute PBX solution you will have time left over for 8-minute abs.   To learn more about the company you may read this article published on TMCnet from earlier this year. In addition, you can read these comments about the company from esteemed blogger and ITEXPO speaker Ken Camp   RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives. AG: Our goals are really quite simple: Deliver on the promise of the 10-minute PBX, make setup simpler for our users, and add more business applications. Targeting the SMB market requires us to really focus on making the solution usable for companies who don’t have a technical staff member.

Skype Working

August 19, 2007

It seems Skype is indeed up and running once again. As you may recall, TMCnet’s Tom Keating broke the news of the outage last week when he heard many of the TMC team members were not able to communicate with one another.   I recently wrote about Skype stabilizing two days ago. It seems now the software/service has gone from stabilizing to working correctly.   This is an e-mail I received yesterday from Skype’s PR agency:  
Good Morning,   I'm pleased to share the most recent information on the Skype outage with you:   "Take a deep breath. Skype is back to normal."   "On Monday, we’ll provide a more detailed explanation of what happened.

Voxbone

August 17, 2007

As you may recall, Voxbone had announced a developer contest a while back and in my blog post about the contest I mentioned the three winners will get:  
  • Recognition as a Voxbone certified developer. Recommendation to customers and partners in need of a third-party developer for integrating the Voxbone API.
  • Marketing and promotion of winning projects to the specialized press and to Voxbone contacts
  • Listing and description of winning projects on the Voxbone website
  Now, I am told the winners have been named. I am sure you are on the edge of your seat, waiting for the winners.

Fonality

August 17, 2007

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