Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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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Unfortunately though, many large enterprises are unable to take advantage of advances in technology due to old or outdated infrastructure and ICT technology silos.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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What's Up With the Data Center?

This morning there is an article that "RDG Capital Fund Management, the investment vehicle of Russell Glass and a significant shareholder...

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Zangi - New Mobile VoIP Player in Town

November 18, 2013


Zangi is an interesting new mobile VoIP player. One of their espoused features is the free roaming which saves on international calls. While traveling many users purchase a new number (SIM card) to enjoy free incoming calls. Simply add this number under Zangi's “My z-Roamings” and all calls made via Zangi to your regular number will automatically be directed to your new “z-Roaming” number when you have no Internet connection.

Akkadian Labs Provisioning Manager Express (PME) Review

November 13, 2013

I thought my readers would enjoy my October Internet Telephony Magazine review of Akkadian Labs Provisioning Manager Express (PME), a powerful provisioning tool that aids in Cisco IP phone deployments. Enjoy!
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Last week your organization successfully implemented a new IP based Unified Communication system. The vendor is closing out the final issues and providing your staff with a few hours of training. This is a great achievement and all the new features will have a very positive impact on the user community, but what about ongoing operations?

Next month you have twenty new hires, not to mention the additional features you plan to deploy.




Skype Ends Desktop API. Now What?

November 4, 2013


I launched Skype this morning and was greeted with a warning message that caused me some alarm (screenshot above). It appears a major API used by third-parties to integrate with Skype is ending in just one month. That gives virtually no time for developers to code new software to ensure their headsets, cameras, etc. work properly with Skype.

Asterlook - "The CTI Asterisk Client for Outlook" Launches

October 31, 2013


A new software Asterlook, what they're calling "the CTI Asterisk client for Outlook", was just released allowing you to manage incoming and outgoing calls directly in Outlook. According to the feature list, it works with any flavor of Asterisk. On an inbound call a toast popup appears showing the contact name and the phone number.

You can also make outbound calls directly from Outlook due to the TAPI TSP installed. Oh and if you have TAPI dialing issues, check out my popular post on solving TAPI problems.


AT&T TL7910 DECT 6.0 Headset Review

October 30, 2013


The AT&T TL7910 DECT 6.0 headset is one of the best combo PC/phone headsets you can buy with some pretty powerful features. With the AT&T Softphone Call Manager software it supports Skype, and Microsoft Lync, and can even import your Outlook contacts. Back in 2009 I reviewed the AT&T TL7610 DECT headset, which looks almost identical to the TL7910, but looks can be deceiving - the TL7910 hides some pretty cool new features. I decided to take the TL7910 DECT headset for a spin, so enjoy the full review along with a YouTube video demo below...


The first thing of note is the secure magnetic charging cradle, which makes it easy to charge the headset.



Dot-com and VoIP Explosion - Is WebRTC Next?

October 24, 2013

Some exciting news from my company, TMC, to report. TMC, Systemwide Media and PKE Consulting announced today that Google has signed on to be a Diamond Sponsor at WebRTC Conference & Expo III. The event, held November 19-21, 2013, in Santa Clara, Calif., explores how WebRTC is set to transform the way we communicate by enabling true browser-to-browser communications. The event caters to enterprises, service providers, Web providers, investors, developers and more.

WebRTC is just starting to hit its stride, but early enough for companies to jump on the WebRTC bandwagon before it leaves them behind.

AstriCon Keynote Photos

October 10, 2013

AstriCon 2013 Atlanta - Photos!

October 9, 2013

FreePBX High Availability Project Launches at AstriCon

October 9, 2013



At AstriCon, Schmooze Com Inc., maintainers and core developers of the FreePBX project today announced a High Availability version of FreePBX called FreePBX HA. I'm a huge fan of FreePBX, and have deployed it, so I'm pretty excited about this new high availability feature.

Until October 15th they are offering a pre-release special of FreePBX HA that includes two node licenses for $1,500, which is a 50% discount! Pre-release buyers will also receive access to private BETA releases and HA development team conference calls.

Schmooze redesigned the FreePBX platform to integrate HA utilizing DRBD, Cluster Manager and Pacemaker. This enables automatic mirroring and failover between FreePBX nodes.





AstriCon 2013 Keynote Panel [VIDEO]

October 9, 2013


This morning the first keynote kicked off featuring some well-respected Asterisk thought leaders and experts. They included Asterisk founder, Chairman & CTO Mark Spencer, Alistair Cunningham the Founder & General Manager, Integrics, Olle E. Johansson, Founder & President, Edvina AB, Philippe Lindheimer, FreePBX Project Leader and CTO, Schmooze Com, Inc., Schmooze Com, Inc.

The room was packed and the keynote panelists were moderated by Digium's David Duffett who posed some great questions. I pretty much captured the entire keynote, but did stop the 1st video at the 18 minute mark, since I was worried my mobile phone was running out of storage space and didn't want the video to be corrupted. I immediately kicked off the 2nd video, however.


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