Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Why E-Mail Sucks and How to Make it Smarter

Many of us live in email. I get hundreds per day and I need almost every message. I am also a source...

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The Contact Center's Seemingly Oxymoronic Play: How to Decrease Costs Yet Improve Customer Service

I was recently asked to talk to some of our many contact center customers about the new contact center trends.  It...

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The New Facet of Customer Experience Management - Field Service 2.0

By: Rhodo Odysseos, Product/Solution Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent, and Jess Verbruggen, Motive Integrated Marketing Assistant, Alcatel-Lucent

Traditionally, communications service providers (CSPs) have treated the field service aspect of their organization as a cost center. Field technicians engaged in maintenance activities were simply a part of the cost of doing business.  More recently, the communications industry in general and the field service arena in particular, has been disrupted by immense changes in the customer profile, service expectations, and behaviors.

Field service is often the only face of the company that a customer will ever see, so it’s not a surprise that CSPs are striving to make a positive impact on customers in this realm. Achieving full potential in field service saves CSPs a lot of time and money. Productivity and efficiency reviews targeted at field service operations, done correctly, can reinforce other areas of the business by increasing customer satisfaction and improving safety and quality. 

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Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone...

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Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet

Replacing credit cards can likely only be done if the new system is dead-easy to use and it moreover has to be...

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Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in...

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Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and...

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Nimcat Networks Roars to Light

October 7, 2004

I sat down at a conference breakfast at Internet Telephony Expo at a table with two other gentlemen. The gentleman to my right saw my TMC badge and asked if I was with TMC. I explained that I was in charge of TMC Labs and that I did VoIP articles, VoIP and call center/CRM product reviews, as well as a VoIP blogger here.

When he gave me his business card which said "Mahshad Koohgoli - CEO - Nimcat Networks", I said to him, "You guys have a peer-to-peer phone solution similar to Popular Telephony's Peerio, don't you?"

Mahshad was a little taken aback and said, "I'm impressed.

Department of Defense deploys VoIP

October 7, 2004

Remember this blog entry where I said the Navy had the largest VoIP deployment? VoIP Blog - VoIP News, Opinions: Navy Largest VoIP Deployment

Well, I was right then, but wrong now. Sounds like Kerry's "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time" quote doesn't it?

Anyway, a reliable source has told me that the Department of Defense (DOD) is in the process of beating the Navy's 350,000 Cisco VoIP phones by deploying 400,000 Cisco VoIP phones.

Scientific Atlanta and VoIP

October 7, 2004

When I think Scientific Atlanta, I think TV cable converter boxes. Now, with VoIP and the "triple play" becoming much more important in cable, Scientific Atlanta will no doubt enhance and extend the functionality of their TV converter boxes to include VoIP functionality. They're already doing just that. Bundling multiple functions into one box is always a good thing - less electricity usage, less boxes to administrate and integrate, etc.

VoIP to reach 12.1 Million U.S. Households

October 7, 2004

New Snom 190 VoIP phone

October 6, 2004

snom 190 VoIP phone

Rich Tehrani forwarded me this email about a new phone from Snom.
We are delighted to announce the launch of the new snom190 phone. The new IP phone builds on the proven design of the popular snom 200, adding enhanced performance and a lower price.

Performance features include a new acoustic subsystem with full duplex speaker phone and a DSP that supports echo cancelation, a menu of standard codecs and 3-way calling. Each snom 190 comes complete with an autoswitching 110/220V AC Power Pack. Power Over Ethernet is now optional, supported by a new external POE Splitter.


Time Warner brings VoIP to NYC

October 6, 2004

Saw this article about Time Warner bringing VoIP to NYC

What's interesting to note is that Time Warner was at least somewhat "honest" about the technology they are using as compared to Cox (see this blog entry). That is, Howard Szarfarc, the president of Time Warner Cable of New York & New Jersey, stated that TWC's Digitalphone initiative is different from other VoIP-based businesses, because it does not use the "public" Internet to make calls. (There goes that FUD about public Internet calling again)

Anyway, he explained the new service is enabled by TWC's Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) network, which is the backbone for its RoadRunner high-speed broadband, Video on Demand (VoD) and Digital Video Recorder (DVR) services. Digitalphone calls begin on the TWC network and travel to their regional data center in New York City. Sprint then completies the call across its network.

Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005

October 6, 2004

This is an excellent article discussing Microsoft's Live Communications Server 2005 (LCS) which is to be released later this month: Microsoft to Muscle Deeper Into VOIP?

From this article: "Microsoft's end game is to become a telephony provider and give Vonage, Verizon, etc., a run for their money," said one source close to the company, who requested anonymity. "They are going SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) in a big way. And because SIP is multi-media capable (start with voice, switch to video, conferencing, etc. in mid stream), it's a nice protocol for them."

Microsoft is getting back into VoIP in a big way with LCS and will be pushing this product pretty hard.

Plantronics CS50-USB headset

October 6, 2004

Plantronics CS50-USB

Plantronics has unveiled the CS50-USB wireless headset at the Internet Telephony Conference and Expo today in Los Angeles. The headset will allow users to roam up to 200 feet from their PC. They're marketing it as a VoIP headset working in conjunction with major softphones. It will begin shipping to retailers in North America this December, and will cost about $300 USD.

AT&T and D-Link ink VoIP deal

October 6, 2004

D-Link logo

AT&T and D-link have inked a deal with AT&T. Engineers have worked closely with AT&T to implement Quality of Service (QoS) for more reliable connections and sound quality.Through this joint engineering effort with AT&T, D-Link became the first company to meet AT&T's stringent specifications and was recently named a charter member of AT&T's VoIP Innovation and Interoperability Program. According to the release, they are "Focused on driving the QoS for VoIP, D-Link's engineers worked diligently with AT&T to deliver the ability to adjust upload bandwidth as needed by intelligently analyzing voice over data packets to insure real-time delivery per AT&T specifications."

It's always a good thing when major broadband home router companies such as D-Link or LinkSys implement QoS into their routers. This will help better and improve the end-user's VoIP experience.

Skype keynote

October 6, 2004

I just got out of the Internet Telephony Expo keynote featuring Niklas Zennstrom, CEO from Skype, a real rebel trying to establish a business plan for Skype while at the same time maintaining their loyal and rabid following of fans that is currently 12 million users and growing.

Here are some of the highlights:

- SkypeIn for inbound calling from a PSTN number to a Skype user will be launched next year - around July 2005. This will be a major milestone for Skype, since currently right now, Skype users can only reach other Skype users or make outbound PSTN calls. Once Skype offers inbound calling via a PSTN number assigned to the Skype user, then Skype will have all the major bases covered.

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