Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Rich Tehrani Thoughts From California

I've been on the road in Vegas and California over the past ten days or so. Here are my thoughts. The Venetian...

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GENBAND Kandy Goes Public at Ruby Skye

Last night, GENBAND hosted a gala premiere at Ruby Skye in San Francisco for its official Kandy launch - the transitional solution...

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Peter's View: The Channel Ecosystem

I read CRAIG'S VIEW: THE NEW CHANNEL ECOSYSTEM by Craig Schlagbaum, channel chief at Comcast. My response was too long for...

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2 Ways to Maximize Your Vendor Relationship

As channel partners, we get hammered all the time to sell vendor's stuff - even if it is unreasonable or doesn't...

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The Changing Definition of the Diameter Signaling Controller and Diameter Routing Agent (DRA)

Next week, I will be speaking at the Signaling Focus Day of LTE Asia.  The signaling focus day obviously will have...

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The Cat Video Index: A Simple View of Data Costs

By: Andy Porter, Product Manager in the Payment, Policy and Charging department at Alcatel-Lucent

The Economist has its famous Big Mac index for comparing buying power across countries. But I wanted an index that focuses on the cost of mobile data usage. That meant I had to find a data-charging equivalent of the Big Mac. I needed an item that crosses cultural boundaries, is universally understood and is available worldwide.

I considered many possibilities. But the answer arrived when I saw my daughter laughing at a video of a cat playing a piano. Obviously, the mobile data equivalent of the Big Mac is the YouTube video. It’s a universally available service that is easily measured in quantitative terms, making it ideal for comparing mobile data costs.

In honor of my daughter, I chose the classic “piano-playing cat” as the baseline video. And by the way, this cat video has been viewed over 34 million times, proving its suitability as a baseline.

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THE SECRET VALUE OF VoLTE - WHAT'S IN IT FOR CONSUMERS

By: Ed Elkin, Director, IP Platforms Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent 

Today’s consumers want faster mobile broadband, and lots of it. That’s the dominant fact shaping Mobile Service Providers’ competitive strategies. So let’s look at what you can offer these valuable subscribers with voice over LTE (VoLTE).

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SimpleSignal Brings Mobile Enterprise Video Conferencing to Apple & Android Mobile Devices

May 30, 2012

SimpleSignal, a cloud-based Unified Communications and Collaboration provider announced today that they are bringing mobile enterprise video conferencing to Apple's iPhone, iPad, iTouch and Android mobile devices. Their cross-platform video phone compatibility works across a variety of mobile, desktop and telepresence/video-enabled devices, via a WiFi connection or a 3G/4G network.

I've said in the past that I predict Apple iPads (& Android tablets) will be your next enterprise desktop phone because of their UC and video phone capabilities. SimpleSignal also believes tablets and other mobile devices will be game changers when it comes to UC. Hookflash is another interesting player in the mobile UC space.

According to SimpleSignal, "The seamless integration of iOS and Android operating systems into SimpleSignal's Unified Communications platform, coupled with the mobile video capabilities of these devices, means that advanced enterprise communications capabilities are no longer confined to the desktop."

"This new mobile video service is the biggest breakthrough in SimpleSignal history," said Dave Gilbert, CEO of SimpleSignal.





OPNET Technologies, Inc. Acquires Clarus Systems, for Unified Communications Management

May 30, 2012


OPNET Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPNT), a provider of solutions for application and network performance management, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Clarus Systems, Inc., a privately held software company headquartered in Redwood City, California. The acquisition expands OPNET's product portfolio for application and network performance management by adding Unified Communications (UC) to the management mix.

Clarus software provides end-to-end service management for Enterprise Voice over IP (VoIP), Unified Communications, and TelePresence video. Clarus's suite, ClarusIPC Plus+, maximizes service performance and availability through automated testing, performance monitoring, configuration management, and business intelligence reporting.


Skype Integration with Microsoft Xbox 360 & Lync is Slow Going

May 29, 2012

Microsoft's purchase of Skype for $8.5 billion was considered a risky move considering the failure of eBay's acquisition of Skype, which did not result in any synergies between these two companies. The New York Times gives some interesting insights into the inner workings of Skype within the Microsoft juggernaut. For one, the article states, "Microsoft gave Skype a longer leash than it grants most of its divisions, even allowing Mr. Bates to work in Silicon Valley." Apparently, Skype is the only Microsoft division located almost entirely outside Microsoft's Seattle-based headquarters.

The article goes on to explain that Tony Bates, the head of the Skype division, uses a Apple MacBook Air and not a Microsoft operating system.

Why the Cisco Cius Failed & Why Microsoft Might Beat the Mighty iPad

May 25, 2012


Rich Tehrani has a good post today on why the Cisco Cius failed. He put it succinctly and with a nice metaphor when he writes:
Company after company is learning what most of instinctively know already – competing with Apple head-on is like trying to tackle a freight train with your bare hands as it is barreling down the tracks in your direction. Amazon with its Kindle Fire competed on price and used its services to subsidize the device. Other tablet makers are finding it virtually impossible to compete without such advantages.
Rich is exactly right.

Say it With Skype Facebook app Wants to Be American Idol

May 22, 2012

Skype announced a new contest to find the next great music band using their Say it With Skype Facebook app, an engaging-group video greeting app that lives on both Facebook and Skype.com.  Simply use Say it With Skype to record your music band on video and you could be the next American IdolSkype Music Super Hero! Hey, it worked for Justin Bieber, who was discovered via a YouTube video.

Similar to American Idol, there will be some relatively well-known judges in the music industry to judge the entries, including Pete Wentz of Black Cards, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, and MTV music personality and host of "120 Minutes" and MTVHive.com Matt Pinfield. As an added bonus to joining the app as the 'house band,' the winning band is to receive one-on-one mentoring time with the celebrity judges and paid studio time to not only record the song which will be featured on the Say it with Skype app, but also the chance to record their own song to use however they please.

Here's me rocking out to the #1 downloaded iTunes song of all time - Journey's Don't Stop Believin' using the Say it With Skype Facebook app.

Ok, maybe not.





Skype v4.0.1325 Released for Apple iOS

May 21, 2012

The New In Your Face Facebook Ads - Coming Soon!

May 21, 2012

After Facebook's disastrous IPO leading some to speculate Facebook's actual worth is in the $16-$24 range, it's worth examining what went wrong. Was it the Nasdaq computer glitches, which some claim resulted in $100 million in losses to investment firms? Perhaps a small factor. Was the initial stock price too high?

Comcast Skype on Xfinity $9.95/month - Lame or Cool?

May 16, 2012


Comcast today unveiled their Skype video calling service, Skype on Xfinity which directly integrates into your HDTV. The beauty of the system is you can make and receive Skype video and audio calls from your TV. Users can send instant messages via Skype, while watching TV at the same time.

The only problem is Skype on Xfinity costs $9.95 a month extra. We saw what happened to the $599 Cisco Umi, which Rich Tehrani and I rightly predicted would fail.


Plixer Scrutinizer Network Traffic Analyzer Preview

May 14, 2012

I've been testing Plixer Scrutinizer, a network traffic analyzer product for several weeks now. It's a great product that supports NetFlow used by popular routers and switches, including the popular Cisco ASA series of firewall/security routers, Checkpoint, Adtran, Riverbed, and more. It also supports Juniper Jflow and Juniper IPFIX, SonicWALL NetFlow and SonicWALL IPFIX and Citrix AppFlow. It also supports sFlow.

Having insights into your network is critical as time-sensitive network applications such as VoIP, video conferencing, and unified communications are deployed. Scrutinizer is an excellent tool to monitor your network infrastructure and pinpoint problems.

Netflix Temporarily Offline? On Movie Night? Ahhhh!

May 11, 2012

Oh joy - was checking my Netflix DVD queue to see if any interesting movies to stream as well as which ones arrived in the mail and I got this lovely error message:
Watch as many TV episodes and movies as you want for one low price! One month FREE Trial.
  We’re sorry, the Netflix website is temporarily unavailable. Our shipping centers are continuing to send and receive DVDs, so your movies will be processed as usual. And you can still instantly watch movies via your Netflix ready device.

Our engineers are working hard to bring the site back up as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and, again, we apologize for the inconvenience.



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