Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Nuance Brings Artificial Intelligence to the Omnichannel World

The robots aren’t coming, they are here is all I could think of today as I mulled over my notes from a...

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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Unfortunately though, many large enterprises are unable to take advantage of advances in technology due to old or outdated infrastructure and ICT technology silos.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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iOS 5 hides an Android-like autocorrect keyboard bar - Here is why it sucks

November 10, 2011


There's a cool hidden feature in iOS 5, which hides an Android-like autocorrect keyboard bar. Android fans everywhere are crying foul! You can enable it even without jailbreaking.

Here's the tutorial (via Sony Dickson)

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Adobe Surrenders Mobile Flash - Steve Jobs FTW, Users FTL!

November 9, 2011



I had hoped that with Steve Jobs' passing that Flash for the iPhone/iPad might now be possible, but alas with today's news from Adobe that they're killing off mobile Flash, my hopes were bitterly crushed. It's not that I'm a huge fan of Adobe Flash on mobile devices, but it's the best technology that just plain damn works! I can't tell you how many times I've surfed the web on my iPhone 4S and iPad and I can't play an embedded YouTube clip. If you're on an Android device, you have no problems playing any YouTube content.

A commenter to my blog article has a good point when he writes:
There are a number of educational applets that I would like to use in the classrooom but I can't in the iPad because they are in Flash and Java.  See http://phet.colorado.edu/ to see things that real educators have spent a lot time on that have real value in the classroom that are blocked by this stupid obsession. 




Republic Wireless Hybrid WiFi / Cell VoIP Service for $19/month

November 8, 2011

What if you could get a cellular plan for $19/month with unlimited voice? Well, you can (sort of) using republic wireless's hybrid WiFi/cellular network approach. It includes unlimited WiFi VoIP calling, 550 minutes of cellular voice calling, 150 texts, and 300 megabytes of data. republic wireless is a division of Bandwidth.com, whose network and solutions power Google, Pinger, Skype, Groupme, RingCentral, Phonebooth, and others.



The caveats: There is a $199 startup fee, which gives you a LG Optimus phone running Android 2.3.



iMainGo XP Portable Stereo Speaker & Case for iPad

November 7, 2011


Portable Sound Labs has a new product called the iMainGo XP (model: 11BWB04), which is a portable stereo speaker for the iPad but also doubles as a protective case. It works on both the iPad 1 and iPad 2. It sports a rechargeable lithium ion battery, so it doesn't suck the power from the iPad and delivers at least six hours of playtime between charges. What's nice is that you can play audio and view your iPad without removing it form your protective iMainGo case.

Digium (Unofficially) Announces R-Series Redundancy Analog & PRI Appliances

October 27, 2011


Today, at a standing room only session presented by Digium's Jason Parker he discussed Digium's R-Series (R = Redundancy) appliance, which adds redundancy to analog & PRI trunks. It comes in two models - an analog model supporting 8 analog trunks and a PRI model supporting 8 PRIs. Interestingly, both will be priced at $995. I would have expected a premium on the 8 PRI model. The products will be generally available on December 9th of this year.

Asterisk 10 - The Inside Story

October 27, 2011



At AstriCon, I sat down with Digium's Steve Sokol, Asterisk Marketing Director, to discuss the big Asterisk 10 release. It's quite the version leap from 1.1, 1.2, 1.4 , 1.6, to 1.8 - and now to 10.0. Ironically, I knocked Asterisk's small version increments when I spoke with Mark Spencer 1-3 years ago. I asked Mark why the version numbering scheme was still less than 2.0.

AstriCon Party - Last Shuttle Out Sure is a Rowdy Bunch

October 27, 2011

Everyone seemed to have a great time at the AstriCon Conference Party which took place at Fat Cats, a bowling alley and video game establishment. The last shuttle left around 11:35pm and it sure was a rowdy bunch (but in a good way). Fellow co-worker Alan Urkawich was ribbing me from the back of the bus while I was riding in the front. We had some back and forth ribbing and some of the other shuttle bus riders joined in and joked with other passengers as well.

Digium's Mark Spencer Questions Panasonic About Android APKs/Apps

October 26, 2011

Mark Spencer, Allison Smith & the AstriCon Luncheon - Humor Alert!

October 26, 2011


Today's luncheon at the AstriCon conference was packed to the gills. I saw an open seat at Mark Spencer's table and some Digium folks. But the tables were so crammed close together that I couldn't figure out how to traverse the maze to their table. It didn't help that I was lugging a heavy laptop bag with iPad, laptop, and other gadgets.

AstriCon VoIP Security - $400,000 toll fraud - YIKES!

October 26, 2011


During an AstriCon session on VoIP security the speaker discussed how easy it was to hack voicemail PINs, but not to listen to your voice messages but to initiate "call backs" using spoofed CallerIDs. Essentially, this leverages the "call back" feature that many voicemail systems have to call back the person that left the message.

He then asked the audience for any real world examples of how they were hacked. Several volunteered their stories. I captured one of them where their Elastix server was hacked - due to their parent company locking them out of the server and not updating /patching the server. This resulted in the hackers racking up toll fraud (Korean calls) of $400,000!


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