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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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Digium's Billy Chia Speaks to Packed AstriCon Session

October 8, 2013


The first session I checked out was by Billy Chia, the Asterisk Marketing Manager for Digium and it was a packed house. I didn't count people, but it must have been at least 80-100 people. Billy gave a live demo running Asterisk on a virtual machine on his Mac where he ran into a minor snafu where restarting Asterisk wouldn't fix his sip reload command. Nothing Bill Gates BSOD during a demo cringe-worthy, and Billy handled it well.

Xorcom Launches CXE4000 CompletePBX

October 8, 2013


At AstriCon, Xorcom today released a new hybrid (VoIP + PSTN) telephony solution called the CXE4000 featuring Xorcom's CompletePBX distro (based on Asterisk and FreePBX). The CXE4000 is a heavy-duty, stand-alone, pre-configured, out-of-the-box IP PBX It is optimized for businesses with extremely high call volumes and / or additional communication applications.

At the last ITEXPO in Las Vegas I spoke with Xorcom's Ruth Bridger who talked about their CompletePBX solution, which is based on Asterisk and FreePBX with Xorcom's secret sauce added in. I recall her mentioning how they use USB to add scalability and redundancy to their product line. Indeed, the new CXE4000 supports various combinations of telephony ports via Astribank units connected via USB2: up to 960 PSTN/analog phones ports, up to 24 E1 R2 / T1 CAS PRI ports, up to 1500 users and up to 750 concurrent calls.



10th Annual AstriCon Kicks Off!

October 8, 2013

I’m excited to be attending the 10th annual AstriCon, which also happens to nearly coincide with my 10 year wedding anniversary back in August of this year.  AstriCon has changed over the years, new people, new exhibitors, but a lot has also stayed the same. Asterisk legends like Mark Spencer and Joshua Colp are speaking at AstriCon. FreePBX project leader Philippe Lindheimer is here and keynoting this week, as is WebRTC evangelist Phil Edholm, and Edvina’s Olle E. Johansson.

Today is the pre-conference, so the exhibits open tomorrow. Companies that utilize Asterisk and are participating including Elastix, Xorcom, YeaLink, snom, Grandstream, Schmooze / FreePBX,  Sangoma, Algo, PBX in a Flash, and more.

Odyssey Telecommunications The Mecca of Used Telecom Equipment?

September 24, 2013

Odyssey Telecommunications is a relatively new company started up in Buffalo, New York. Odyssey Telecommunications helps telecommunications and VoIP manufacturers, resellers and service providers liquidate overstock, used and new equipment through its online and offline channels.

Odyssey Telecommunications was recently named to Inc Magazine’s annual list of the fastest growing companies in the United States. With three year sales revenue growth of 1,140%, Odyssey Telecommunications was ranked the #388 on the list and had $3.3 million in revenue in 2012. Ironically, VoIP Supply is also in Buffalo, NY, so I pondered to myself, since when/how/ and why did Buffalo, NY become the mecca of both used (Odyssey Telecommunications) and new (VoIP Supply) telecom equipment?

To find out more I interviewed Justin Wekenmann, Co-Founder and EVP of Odyssey Telecommunications.

1)      Tell me a little bit about your founding members, where they came from, and how Odyssey Telecommunications got started





FreePBX Acquiring Major Developer Talent

September 23, 2013

The FreePBX and Schmooze Communications team have been on a tear, acquiring some legendary FreePBX and Asterisk talent! Derek Peloquin, joined Schmooze in August taking with him his nearly 8 years of experience with the Asterisk Project and Community. In his previous role as Senior Technical Trainer at Digium Inc, Derek provided Instructor Led Training and seminars as well as developing classroom curriculum, certification exams and online training videos.

Also in August, Jason Parker joined the FreePBX/Schmooze team. Jason is a former Asterisk developer at Digium and was responsible for leading the creation and maintenance of the FreePBX-based distro AsteriskNOW. Jason also known as “Qwell” on IRC has given presentations at Asterisk events such as AstriCon where I even took some video of his 2011 AstriCon speaking engagement.

Now if these two big names in the Asterisk/FreePBX space weren't big enough, Rob Thomas, the former lead developer & project manager of FreePBX is a FreePBX legend and has returned!



How Skype Changed the World!

September 17, 2013


Want to hear the story of how an Estonian startup changed the communications landscape forever? With the 10 year anniversary this year, Microsoft has written an online history book on Skype with the following intro, "In one rather turbulent decade, Skype transformed itself from a rowdy Estonian startup to a multibillion-dollar Microsoft asset. Skype has significantly changed the way the world communicates, obliterating the notion of distance, whether it’s a soldier using Skype to experience the birth of his child, an explorer speaking to a classroom of children from beneath the ocean, or pair of young lovers who leave Skype running as they fall asleep hundreds of miles apart – but still together."

It's a fascinating read complete with pictures, infographics, slideshows, paginated chapters and more. If you are a Skype aficionado, go take a gander.


Steve Wozniak Keynote Video

August 29, 2013


Steve Wozniak "the Woz", Steve Job's right-hand man was the featured keynote speaker at ITEXPO. I captured a few videos of him speaking. My plan was to capture just a single video, but my iPhone 4S rang (on vibrate) in the middle of me video recording and it stopped the video recording! Why did Apple put calling priority higher than video recording?

FreePBX Booth Showcases 200 VoIP Devices

August 29, 2013

Applied Global Technologies - Best Kept Cloud Video Conferencing Secret?

August 29, 2013


At ITEXPO I met with Applied Global Technologies (AGT), which was founded in the early 1990s, making it one of the oldest video conferencing solutions on the market, even if it isn't very well known. AGT offers managed video services and cloud video services that can be white labelled by service providers. They mentioned Level3 whitelabels their solution, as well as AT&T.

They currently support 720p resolution with support for mobile, Mac, PC, Polycom.

Yealink has an Amazing Booth at ITEXPO!

August 28, 2013

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