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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Unfortunately though, many large enterprises are unable to take advantage of advances in technology due to old or outdated infrastructure and ICT technology silos.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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Apple's Ridiculous Patent Claims Against Samsung Destroyed!

December 9, 2011

Just had an awesome read on the Samsung vs. Apple patent battles and the ridiculousness of it all. For instance, the following is a list of alternative design options that Apple thought Samsung should have considered to not infringe on their patents. First off, the smartphone list that Apple provided, with my comments italicized:
  • Front surface that isn't black.

Funny Fortune Cookie Only a Techie Nerd Could Love

December 8, 2011

Every once in awhile I get a funny fortune cookie with my Chinese food, but this one takes the cake. I've yet to see a fortune cookie poke fun at technology. It's usually about the future, your health, your job, or mundane daily life stuff. But not today...

Skype Releases Click-to-Call Update

December 8, 2011

Today, Skype released an update to Skype Click to Call for Windows which includes support for Firefox 9 and Chrome 16, as well as performance improvements in Internet Explorer and Chrome. It used to slow my PC browser down years ago, so I've gotten in the happen of disabling it after each Skype install. Maybe it's better now.

Still, personally I hate the Skype click-to-call feature, which automatically changes numbers in websites into clickable Skype links with (typically) an American flag next to it. I find it annoying since I often need to copy/paste something from the website and it grabs all the underlying Skype HTML gobbledygook code that I then have to clean up.

Jabra PRO 900 Series Unveiled

December 6, 2011

Today, Jabra launched the Jabra PRO 900 series, which includes two headset models - the Jabra PRO 920 (base unit wired to desk phone + headset is wireless) and the Jabra PRO 930 (base unit wired to PC [USB] + wireless headset). Jabra stated these are entry-level wireless headsets with a retail price of $199 is aimed at companies that cannot afford typically expensive wireless headsets, so they designed these headsets for this market.

I'm not sure $199 is exactly inexpensive, but I'd have to see how much competing products from Plantronics and others cost. In any event, they are targeting the Jabra PRO 930 for companies implementing Unified Communications and leveraging PC-based telephony, i.e. a SIP softphone, Cisco softphone, etc. 

Microsoft upgrades Xbox Live But Rumored Skype Integration is False

December 5, 2011

The upcoming Metro update to Microsoft’s Xbox, will start to be pushed down to your Xbox console some time this week, but alas it doesn't appear to contain the rumored Skype integration, which several rumors hinted at a Fall release. Well it's winter and the latest release doesn't appear to contain Skype integration with Xbox live. At least that is my assumption from reading the various news articles on the latest Xbox Dashboard, including Microsoft's official announcement, which make no mention of any Skype integration.

TMC Heads to Boston for Video Interviews of Industry Companies

November 30, 2011


Some important TMC corporate news I wanted to share. TMC is hosting TMC’s Special Executive Editorial Event in Boston, MA next week. This event takes place at the LIBERTY HOTEL on WEDNESDAY, DEC 7th and THURSDAY, DEC 8th.

The purpose of this event is to have high-level discussions with senior members of TMC’s editorial and management team on your company’s growth and progress and to learn more about any news, announcements or new initiatives you may have as we move into 2012. Definitely a good opportunity to meet TMC's editors and find out what specific topics interest our editorial team for news coverage or to get on their radar for interesting news you have coming soon.


iMainGo XP Portable Stereo Speaker & Case for iPad Review

November 29, 2011


Portable Sound Labs has a cool new product called the iMainGo XP (model: 11BWB04), which is a portable stereo speaker for the iPad but also doubles as a protective case. I wrote about them earlier this month and asked for a review unit to check out, which they promptly sent to me. Here's a photo of the iMainGo XP sitting on a stand on my desk:


As I mentioned in my previous article, "I'd be curious how this product sounds with VoIP applications, such as Skype. With the iPad's decent hardware echo cancellation and many VoIP softphone clients sporting software-based echo cancellation, it might be nice to have beefy speakers with lots of bass and HD audio support to carry the full tonal quality of the remote speaker."

Unfortunately, once you connect the headset jack into the iMainGo XP, the iPad's built-in microphone is disabled and the iMainGoXP doesn't have an embedded microphone.





Localphone Offers Free Calling Thanksgiving Promo for 4 Days

November 23, 2011


For four days (from 5am GMT Thurs 24th to 5am GMT Mon 28th) Localphone, a 4 year old company based in Sheffield, UK, is offering free calls to the U.S., no strings attached. Truphone offered a similar promo in 2009. A Localphone rep told me, "Customers can call for as long as they want and to as many people as they want and we won't charge them a penny. This offer is open to all Localphone customers, new and old.

Samsung Mocks Apple Fanboys in Hilarious Galaxy S II Ad

November 23, 2011


Business Insider's Steve Kovach has an interesting interview with Todd Pendleton, Samsung's Chief Marketing Officer, and Brian Wallace, Samsung's VP of Strategic Marketing, on a new ad campaign that mocks Apple fanboys and promotes Samsung's top-of-the-line Galaxy S II Android phone. Steve writes:
I mostly use Apple gear, including an iPhone, and even I thought the ad was clever. It's an interesting take on a smartphone campaign. Instead of touting specs and features, Samsung is going right for Apple's jugular, mocking the fanboy culture while saying "hey, there are other great smartphones out there too." It's a ballsy move.


Just in Time for Christmas, Xbox Live Gets an Update

November 22, 2011


Just in time for Christmas, Microsoft is releasing a new update for Xbox Live, which surely will only enhance the frenetic ripping of Christmas wrapping paper that mom and dad Santa and his elves lovingly wrapped. According to Major Nelson new features include:

  • New personal and social features including Cloud Storage for Game Saves and LIVE Profile
  • Beacons and Facebook Sharing
  • Enhanced Family Settings
  • Integrated voice and gesture controls across the dashboard and in apps
  • Bing voice search (Available this year in the US, UK and CA)

He also added that starting on December 6th through the holiday months, a treasure trove of new content will be coming to Xbox 360. Also, new, customized applications for television, movies, internet videos, sports and music will begin rolling out from major providers in more than 20 countries.




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