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Plantronics M1100 Savor Review

September 27, 2010



The Plantronics M1100 is not your ordinary Bluetooth headset. This is Plantronics' high-end Bluetooth headset featuring 3 microphones. Yes, that's right - 3 microphones on a single Bluetooth headset, which Plantronics claims improves the audio quality over their 2 microphone product line, such as the Plantronics M100 (their mid-tier product). This is the first 3-microphone Bluetooth headset on the market.

Tandberg Movi 4.0 Released Today

September 16, 2010


Today, Tandberg announced the release of Movi 4.0. (see my review of Tandberg 3.1) The biggest feature perhaps is the addition of Mac support. Movi 4.0 can be deployed on Macintosh computers using the Movi.dmg file in the zipped download file. Movi for Mac requires that the computer has an Intel processor and runs Max OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later.

ooVoo and Wave2Wave Announce One-Stop-Shopping Hosted Web, Email, & Video Conferencing

September 14, 2010

ooVoo announced a partnership with Wave2Wave Communications this morning. The goal of this collaboration of two communication services is to give Wave2Wave customers a one-stop-shop capability for data, voice, web hosting, E-mail and video conferencing.

Here's the news:
 
WAVE2WAVE AND ooVoo ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO BRING NEXT GENERATION VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS TO SMALL BUSINESSES AND ENTERPRISE CUSTOMERS
 
New York, NY (September 14, 2010) --Wave2Wave Communications today announced a business partnership with ooVoo, a leading web-based video conferencing service, to provide its customers with value-added services in video and audio communication.   This collaboration of communication services will give Wave2Wave customers a one-stop-shop capability for data, voice, web hosting, E-mail and video conferencing.       
 
With ooVoo, users can meet from home, the office or the airport without being tied to a conference room.  The easy-to-use service is portable and flexible as ooVoo brings affordable enterprise functionality to employees' desktops and laptops.   
 
"This unique partnership in communication services is designed to benefit our customers large and small," said Lisa LaBonville, Vice President of Marketing & Product Development at Wave2Wave.  "This next generation service by ooVoo will help our customers connect with their key audiences and reduce travel expenses at a time when every business is looking for meaningful cost savings without sacrificing effective communications."    
 
This is an important bridge from traditional technology to next generation telepresence.  New and existing Wave2Wave customers will get enhanced services and capabilities to take their internal and external communications to the next level through innovation in audio and video communications.  With Wave2Wave joining forces with ooVoo, businesses will get a high quality, affordable video communications service that increases productivity and impacts the bottom line through reduced travel costs. 
 
"We're excited about teaming up with Wave2Wave as we continue to provide affordable, high quality video communications to entrepreneurs, small-to-mid-sized businesses and enterprise customers," said Rodger Wells, Vice President of Business Development at ooVoo.  "We believe the next evolution in business connections is video-driven communication powered by ooVoo delivered anywhere, anytime."        
About Wave2Wave Communications
Founded in 1999, Wave2Wave Communications™ provides managed services to businesses including point-to-point connections, Ethernet VLAN, Internet, VoIP, Wi-Fi build outs, networking services, E-mail, private data networking, and security solutions.  Based in Hackensack, NJ, the company is renowned for using state of the art technology in order to give its business customers the competitive edge they need to succeed in a demanding and ever changing global market.  For more information, call 866-wave2wave or visit www.wave2wave.com.  
About ooVoo
ooVoo is a New York based company that provides a high quality communication service to anyone with a computer, broadband connection and a web camera.  ooVoo's technology enables businesses and consumers to experience real-time video calls with up to six users simultaneously and face-to-face communication with people across the street or around the world.  Product features include high-resolution video, video conversation recording, phone calling from PC or Mac to landlines and cell phones, desktop sharing, video messaging, instant message chat and file sharing.  Download ooVoo at www.ooVoo.com.

















Goodbye Microsoft OCS Hello Microsoft Lync!

September 13, 2010

Last week I wrote an article titled "Microsoft Lync 2010 - New Product? Or New OCS Name?" based off of a couple new downloads on Microsoft's site I found via Twitter. When I saw something called Microsoft Lync on Twitter I was intrigued. After reading the description of the downloads last week, I wrote, "I'll be damned if that doesn't sound exactly like the feature-set of OCS/MCS or whatever the heck the new name will be called." Certainly the name made sense, since I thought it was a combination of "link" with a "c" for communications.

ooVoo vs. Skype in the SMB Space

September 10, 2010



I recently had a video interview with Phillipe Schwartz, CEO of ooVoo, to discuss how they stack up against Skype, ooVoo's technical architecture, their target market, and more. One difference off the bat is that ooVoo started with a SMB-focus, while Skype started with a consumer-focus and then Skype recently started targeting small to medium businesses,i.e. Skype for SIP now called Skype Connect. Phillipe claims ooVoo has an impressive 14 million users and 2-2.5 million downloads per month.

Microsoft Lync 2010 - New Product? Or New OCS Name?

September 9, 2010

Today, Microsoft released some downloads for "Microsoft Lync 2010". Microsoft Lync 2010? What the heck is that? Is that the new name of the yet unreleased Communications Server "14"? I thought it was going to be called MCS (Microsoft Communications Server).

HP Launches "Just Right IT" Portfolio for Small Businesses

September 8, 2010


HP today introduced its "Just Right IT" portfolio, which empowers micro, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to better serve their customers by simplifying processes, reducing costs and improving productivity. I interviewed Mark Hilton, director of product marketing, HP Networking last week to learn more about this offering and HP's future direction after the acquisition of 3Com, including the NBX IP-PBX product line. 3Com was one of the earliest innovators of voice over IP PBX systems, so I was interested to learn if HP was going to go after Avaya, Cisco, etc. Listen to the podcast for more:



The portfolio includes new management, data protection, communications and connectivity offerings that are designed and priced "just right" to deliver affordability as well as value to SMBs. The expanded portfolio also provides new business opportunities for HP channel partners.

"While SMBs remain cautious about the economy, they continue to look for ways to simplify operations and prepare for growth," said Anil Miglani, senior vice president at AMI Partners, a strategy consulting firm.






8x8 Virtual Office Pro Review

September 2, 2010


8x8 sent me a trial account of 8x8 Virtual Office Pro to review. What is Virtual Office Pro? Think of it as your web-based communications portal handling phone calls (auto-attendant, VoIP), internet fax, hosted conferencing and hosted application sharing. The only missing piece from the equation is email, however it does support direct integration with Exchange Server by leveraging Outlook Anywhere to pull in your Outlook Contacts.

Skype for SIP is Now Skype Connect

August 30, 2010

Today, Skype announced that Skype for SIP is changing its name to Skype Connect. Guess the techie name "SIP" isn't exactly business-friendly, hence the name change. Today, they are also announcing that hat Skype Connect (formerly Skype for SIP) is officially out of beta.

By using Skype Connect with an existing PBX, your business can do the following:
  • Make outbound calls from desktop phones to landlines and mobiles worldwide billed at Skype's standard per-minute calling rates;
  • Receive inbound calls from Skype connected users worldwide by placing Skype's Click & Call buttons on their Web sites;
  • Receive calls from landlines or mobile phones in the corporate PBX using Skype's online numbers that have been purchased separately; and
  • Manage Skype calls using your existing PBX or UC systems' features such as call routing, automatic call distribution, conferencing, auto-attendant, voicemail, call recording and logging.
Since the beta launch of Skype Connect in March 2009, here are some of Skype's milestones:
  • Skype Connect already has over 2,400 active global customers;
  • Skype Connect is now certified to work with PBX and UC products from Avaya, Cisco, SIPfoundry, ShoreTel and other OEMs (see supported models here).
  • Skype Connect also works with older TDM PBXs or Key Systems which can now add Skype calling capabilities through third-party IP gateways from AudioCodes, Grandstream and VoSKY (see supported models here).
  • Launched Skype Manager, a simple web-based tool to centrally manage and control Skype usage in a company, and which enables a business to set-up Skype Connect;
  • New dedicated customer support, including real-time chat, is now available for Skype Connect customers and Skype Manager administrators directly through Skype Manager;
  • In addition, we've been enrolling VARs and system integrators in our new Skype Channel Partner Program and training them to support our business customers. We will share more details on this program soon.
Perhaps the biggest milestone is "dedicated customer support".



Gmail Voice and Video Chat Now on Linux

August 20, 2010

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