Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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NFV Vendor Challenges Part 2

How will the software in NFV networks interact? Via a Management and Orchestration (MANO) layer.

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Rapport Open APIs Increase Employee Productivity

By: Richard Hatheway, Director, Enterprise Communications Product Marketing, Rapport for Large Enterprise, Alcatel-Lucent

What is one of the biggest factors affecting employee productivity today? Recent studiesby the National Business Research Institute and the Pew Research Center indicate that not having the right technology tools to do their jobs is one of the most critical. From something as simple as having a cell phone to as advanced as having a customized app, having the right tool provides employees with a productivity boost.

Unfortunately though, many large enterprises are unable to take advantage of advances in technology due to old or outdated infrastructure and ICT technology silos. In addition, being locked in to one technology vendor often stymies the enterprise from being able to update the tools necessary to increase employee productivity.

For instance, something as simple as developing and deploying a new app is often a frustrating experience, as the enterprise must submit a request to the technology vendor for a new app to be developed, then wait until the vendor adds it to their development queue before finding out when to expect it. This often takes months, if not longer.

In the meantime, instead of waiting for the new app, many employees take the “shadow IT” route. They download rogue (i.e., non-IT-supported) apps that will allow them to move forward with at least some of the functionality they seek, even without IT support. While this work-around may provide some degree of productivity enhancement for the employee, wouldn’t it be better if the enterprise was able to either plug in existing best-of-breed third-party apps or develop and deploy its own apps without having to wait for a vendor to become involved?

Alcatel-Lucent thinks so, which is one of the reasons our new solution, Rapport™ for Large Enterprise, is generating so much interest. Rapport is a private cloud-based communications and collaboration solution designed specifically for the large enterprise.

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Versay Solutions Moves to Support the Omnichannel World

A company known for professional services in the contact center – Chicago-based Versay Solutions has more recently applied its skills in analytics...

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Splice Software Uses the Power of Analytics to Expand its Product Line

Big data and analytics have had a huge impact on numerous spaces and certainly marketing is one of these areas. Perhaps the...

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Jet.com The .Good the .Bad and the .Ugly

The .GoodI’ve been using Jet.com for a few weeks and so far I have found the selection to be about 20-30% of...

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VoicePIN Voice Biometrics Brings New Tech to Phone and Apps

The biometrics market has been around for decades but never achieved widespread acceptance until after Apple rolled out TouchID. Laptop makers...

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Lasers are the Future of Drone Fighting

I’ve been among the first people to realize how drones can be a major problem for security in the world. In February...

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ooVoo Launches 4-Screen Multi-Party Video for Apple iOS & Android

August 21, 2012

ooVoo, a competitor to Skype today announced 4-way video chat that works on iOS and Android devices. I had a chance to speak with ooVoo representatives to discuss the news and of course, I used ooVoo during our conference call, as seen here:

ooVoo, is a large social video-chat provider with 54 million registered subscribers.  With the launch of ooVoo’s new mobile apps with support for 4 simultaneous video streams, they are currently the only major video conferencing product offering this - and for free.

Skype for Windows 8 Metro / Modern UI How-To Install

August 20, 2012

So you want to try out the new Skype Metro/Modern UI on Windows 8 do ya? Well so do I, so last week I found out how to download and install a leaked copy of Skype for Windows 8.

1. Download the MetroSkype_1.0.0.128_x86.zip file from here. (Ironic Microsoft wants to kill the name Metro yet their Skype team is still using it for their filenames!

Windows 8 Broke my TAPI Dialing But Problem Solved!

August 17, 2012

I often use TAPI within Outlook to click-to-dial my contacts through our Asterisk-based PBX. This is an under-appreciated feature that more users should take advantage of considering most PBXs support TAPI TSPs.

However, after upgrading my Windows 7 machine to Windows 8 a couple days ago, this functionality stopped working. This feature allows me to simply view/search for an Outlook Contact, right-click the Contact, and then choose the number I want to dial, as seen here:


Instantly, my IP phone rings and I'm connected to the remote phone number. Fortunately, me and TAPI go way back.




Skype for Windows 8 Metro / Modern UI Leaks

August 17, 2012


Microsoft / Skype is hard at work developing a cool Metro "Modern UI" version of Skype, the new Windows 8 tile-based touch-enabled interface. An image of the Skype Metro style app leaked to Twitter  demonstrating how the Microsoft/Skype team has optimized Skype for Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets coming to market.

Cult of Mac likes it, but isn't pleased Apple tablets will be getting the short shaft and not be able to leverage this new UI. It sports the usual voice and video features, but also pinned favorites and a sidebar to display status and message history.

According to Neowin, "The UI is fluid and dare we say fast too.

Installing Windows 8! Yeah baby!

August 15, 2012

Auto-Provision VoIP Softphone with QR Code

August 10, 2012

Zoiper, creators of SIP and IAX clients for Apple iOS and Android. has a novel idea of leveraging QR codes to auto-provision VoIP softphone clients. No more typing the SIP registrar, username, password, etc. Their softphone client allows end users to self-provision their VoIP service accounts simply by taking a picture with the device camera to scan a QR code.

From the Ziper mobile app you click the QR icon and the screen then switches to “QR scan mode” where it can capture the image generated by the VoIP provider.


Microsoft Surface = Threat to IP Phone Market

August 6, 2012

Microsoft has already irked some of their hardware partners with Microsoft getting into the hardware business via their pending Microsoft Surface product launch later this year. Perhaps lost in the battle between Microsoft and their PC/laptop/tablet hardware partners is the pending battle that I predict between Microsoft and their Lync phone hardware partners, such as snom and Polycom.

In 2011, I wrote an article discussing how the Apple iPad (and also Android tablets) will be your next desktop IP phone. More recently, last month I wrote how the Microsoft Surface tablet could also be a game changer in the IP phone market:
This touch support [in Windows 8] will give Microsoft an advantage is fulfilling my prediction that tablets will replace the desktop phone. Windows 8 tablets running Lync will become the ultimate unified communications device, performing everything from your traditional voice (VoIP) to HD video conferencing, as well as collaboration, instant messaging, and all the other typical UC features.



Sprint Sponsors TMC's M2M Evolution Collocated at ITEXPO

August 1, 2012

New Hotmail/Outlook Sucks on iOS & Android & Why That's Good for Microsoft

July 31, 2012

So the big news today is the revamped Hotmail, which is a dramatic improvement over the old version in terms of design aesthetics as well as usability. Sporting a Metro-like UI it is quite apparent that Microsoft is dedicating serious resources on a unified user interface that is the same no matter if you're using a laptop/PC, Windows Phone, Xbox 360, or Windows 8 tablet. This investment could pay long dividends for Microsoft. Who wouldn't want a consistent UI across multiple devices?

FreedomPop for iPod Touch - Free 4G Internet Coming!

July 25, 2012


Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom's new FreedomPop, a 4G broadband "free" wireless internet provider, which recently announced FREE 4G wireless internet for iPhone using the Freedom Sleeve 4G for iPhone 4/4s will soon launch the Freedom Sleeve for the iPod Touch. Yeah, that's right, I said FREE 4G wireless internet - with some small caveats of course...
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