Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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IBM, Mitel, Wearable Tech round out Latest ITEXPO News

Its been an amazing ITEXPO so far - wow. In case you missed some of the happenings from day 1, here are...

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3 Reasons UC Deployments Fail

Just getting ink on a Unified Communications deal is just the beginning. So many deployments go wrong or worse the company...

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Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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WebRTC and the Enterprise

I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought...

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Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Craig Walker, Alon Cohen, Mike Tribolet, Andy Voss and Danny Windham at ITEXPO Next Week

Panel to celebrate 20 years of IP communications/VoIP and discuss its future. Next week at the 29th ITEXPO, I get the pleasure...

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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Kerio Operator 2.0 IP-PBX Integrates with CRM

July 24, 2012

July of last year Kerio launched a new Asterisk-based distribution and now almost exactly one year later Kerio Operator 2.0 is being announced with support for integration with popular CRM solutions, including SugarCRM and Salesforce.com. Kerio Operator 2.0 now enables access to the Asterisk Management Interface (AMI). The open API allows 3rd party applications, like customer relationship management (CRM) systems and desktop-based dialers, to be integrated with Kerio Operator.

Lync Server 2013 Adds Skype Federation & Many Other New Features

July 23, 2012


Lync Server 2013 can federate with Skype, which is huge new feature that greatly enhances Microsoft's UC portfolio and may explain the $8.5 billion premium Microsoft paid for Skype. You can now fully integrate Skype contacts into Lync and call or instant message anyone on Skype. Alas, only voice and no video support yet.  In May I discussed how Xbox 360 integration with Skype was slow going, so Skype federation with Microsoft Lync is welcome news.

New Lync 2013 Tracing Folder Location

July 19, 2012

Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Adds Touch Support - Killer Enterprise Tablet UC!

July 18, 2012

Microsoft is continuing to make strides in their Lync platform. While the big news two days ago was the Office 2013 news, including support for touch and cloud support, you may have missed the simultaneous news about the Microsoft Lync Preview 2013 becoming available for download.

Microsoft Lync 2013 is an enterprise-ready unified communications platform that supports instant messaging, voice, HD video, and conferencing, and eliminates the need to use a VPN for encryption. Lync 2013 supports HD video conferencing and it's the first version of Lync to take advantage of Windows 8 “touch first” capabilities to provide fast, natural, hands-on control of communications.

This touch support 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.



Polycom Launches SDK, Doubles Scalability, Better Tablet Video Conferencing Support

July 16, 2012

I spoke with John Antanaitis, Polycom VP of Marketing to discuss the news about their various news announcements made today. One of the announcements is a new version of RealPresence Mobile (1.3) which now runs on HTC One smartphones and the HTC Jetstream tablet, along with the new Apple iPad. This version adds far end camera control (FEC) to allow users to control the camera. RealPresence Mobile 1.3's camera control feature enables you to remotely control the camera on the other end of a video meeting allowing users to pinch-to-zoom, pan, or tilt the camera to get a better look at the subject or the environment. This feature is especially important in many vertical market applications such as healthcare, for more in-depth patient consultations; educational settings, for panning the classroom or zooming in on a speaker or presentation; and manufacturing plants, to closely examine the products on the factory floor.

Ion Audio's WATER ROCKER Waterproof Floating Speaker

July 12, 2012

Show of hands - who doesn't want floating speakers in their pool or hot tub controlled by you, the master DJ using your iPhone, iPad or any other audio source that works with a 1/8-inch audio jack? Sure you could break out your 80s boombox and play some FM radio or play some CDs, but you don't want to look uncool now do you? Now what's cooler than a floating speaker in the middle of the pool so your party guests, family and friends can enjoy your 'Top 50 Most Played' iPhone music playlist with the music playing just inches away? Well, check out Ion Audio's Water Rocker:

Beacon Audio's The Phoenix Portable Bluetooth Speaker Launches

July 11, 2012


Tired of your tinny mobile phone or tablet speakers and want portable high-quality speakers? Well check out Beacon's The Phoenix, a Bluetooth-activated, rechargeable, take-with-you-everywhere speaker, which is available in 3 colors - vibrant Blue or Red, as well as a more classic Black color option.

Weighing in at just seven ounces with dimensions of 3.2 x 3.2 x 2.9 inches, the Phoenix is smaller than a coffee mug yet still manages to provide crisp, clear sound and enough volume to fill a room, loudly. The unit also features a wireless range of 35 feet. On the rear of the speaker, an auxilary input exists for all non-­Bluetooth enabled devices.


Facebook Recommends Strippers & Exotic Dancers? WTH?

July 11, 2012

I was scrolling through my Facebook Newsfeed on my iPhone when I saw this:

Apparently, I might like "Shamrock Entertainment" located over a hundred miles away in Lynn, Massachusetts. Really Facebook?

Toshiba Launches VIPedge, a Cloud-based Business Phone System

July 10, 2012

Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Telecommunication Systems Division, today announced VIPedge, a cloud-based business telephone solution that grants SMBs the choice of Cloud, IP or Converged. Based upon the feature-rich Toshiba IPedge on-premise business telephone system, VIPedge allows companies to pay a monthly service fee scalable to meet system size and usage needs.

Together with its IPedge® and Strata® CIX™ business telephone systems, Toshiba’s VIPedge gives SMB and enterprise customers the best of all worlds with a choice of cloud, IP or converged business telephone systems.

Maaii VoIP app Now on Android - Free Voice and Texts

July 9, 2012



Maaii, the app for free talk and text is now available on Android. Maaii,  allows users to make calls and send text messages to contacts and social network friends for free, today announced the launch of its beta on Google Play. As you may recall from my review, Maaii gives you 100 free minutes per day, which is great for low volume users.

According to Maaii, in the six months since Maaii’s iOS launch, the mobile app has signed up more than 1 million registered users.



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