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Unified Communications

FREETALK Partners With Jazinga To Create FREETALK Connect

January 21, 2010

In case you were wondering how FREETALK Connect came about, it's a collaboration effort between Jazinga and FREETALK. Jazinga was launched in September 2008 as an easy 15-minute IP-PBX install that is also easy to manage. FREETALK creates a few Skype-related products including the Everyman Skype headset, which I reviewed.

Here's the news announced at ITEXPO...

FREETALK Partners With Jazinga To Create FREETALK Connect
Companies Collaborate On Skype-enabled Small Business Communication System Featuring Set Up In Less Than 15 Minutes

As the result of a new partnership announced today at ITEXPO East 2010, FREETALK and Jazinga have created the FREETALKĀ® Connect, a full-featured unified communications system that is the first to feature Skype for SIP and Skype for Asterisk functionality.

FREETALK and Jazinga collaborated in designing the FREETALK Connect, featuring a do-it-yourself (DIY) technology approach that can be configured in less than 15 minutes, enabling users who are not tech savvy to use it without formal training.

Calliflower Adds Skype Calling

January 21, 2010

At ITEXPO Iotum announced their Calliflower hosted conferencing and collaboration platform added support for Skype calling. Calliflower, a web-based conferencing and collaboration platform can now be reached from any Skype-enabled PC or phone as well as from traditional PSTN phones. I spoke with Alec Saunders, CEO of Iotum in the ITEXPO press room and asked him how he was connecting to the Skype cloud. He told me they were leveraging Skype for SIP.

Yahoo's Challenges Deploying Asterisk Corporate-wide

January 20, 2010

At TMC's ITEXPO, Yahoo's Jeremy Wadhams revealed not only that Yahoo! has deployed Asterisk corporate-wide, but the challenges he faced in adopting Asterisk throughout the organization, including several Yahoo! branch offices , several acquisitions of other companies, including Dialpad & Overture, as well as the usual corporate culture and politics to contend with,

Jeremy demonstrated Yahoo!'s interesting custom web application which integrates their flavor of Asterisk with web-based email & voicemail, corporate directory, as well as the ability for users to reset their voicemail PINs themselves - the bane of every IT administrator's existence.

One interesting tidbit was that it he figured after reaching 25% penetration, the last 75% would be a cakewalk. It didn't turn out that way.

Rich Tehrani kicks off the keynotes at ITEXPO

January 20, 2010

How Aerospace Research Is Helping Energy and the Smart Grid

January 20, 2010

Jon Arnold gives an introduction to an ITEXPO session titled 'A Systems Approach to Energy / Grid Security', which you can see in the video below. As he points out and asks me for confirmation, this is the 11th year for ITEXPO. The session continued to fill-up until it was standing room only in the back of the room.

Ron Sega was the primary speaker. He is the Woodward Professor of Systems Engineering for Colorado State University (CSU).

Ifbyphone Acquires Cloudvox - Offers Flexible Cloud Telephony

January 20, 2010

At ITEXPO, Ifbyphone announced that have acquired Cloudvox, a company that offers "open" hosted Asterisk telephony applications. I spoke with Irv Shapiro, CEO of Ifbyphone by phone just after he passed through Chicago Ohare's airport security on his way down to ITEXPO in Miami. Irv explained that the marriage of Ifbyphone and Cloudvox brings the best of "proprietary" telephony apps by Ifbyphone and "open" Asterisk AGI and AMI applications that developers can build on Cloudvox.

Irv explained that with the Cloudvox acquisition they now offer 3 scenarios for applications:
- Own the application(s)
- Rent the application(s)
- Have developers integrate or build application(s) from scratch

Essentially, you can use the pre-built apps offered by Ifbyphone or you can do
Asterisk AGI or AMI in the cloud. AGI and AMI are part of Asterisk's core API allowing you to develop applications for the popular open source Asterisk platform.

Asterisk's Growth Shines at ITEXPO

January 7, 2010

Asterisk just may be the #1 transforming VoIP company for the now past '00s "aughts" decade, which is quite appropriate when you consider Asterisk in many respects costs $0 dollars due to being open source. Of course, nothing is truly free in this world. If you download and install Asterisk yourself for your company you still have to pay for the hardware. Further, if something goes wrong and your Asterisk "game" is only rudimentary, you might have to pay for technical support.

Truphone Comes to Android - But no VoIP over 3G

January 7, 2010

Truphone fans will be happy to hear that the popular VoIP application now works on Android mobile handsets, though support for the new Google Nexus One is coming soon. Truphone's new Android application enables free calls to other Truphone, Skype and Google Talk users  - though only over Wi-Fi and not 3G. 

I don't get why Truphone only works over WiFi. AT&T for example recently announced they were allowing VoIP over 3G applications on the iPhone , including Skype. While running VoIP over AT&T's 3G data connection can have sketchy quality sometimes, it's still nice to have the option. Is Google not allowing VoIP over 3G on their Android devices or has Truphone just not enabled that feature?

Skype Brings 720p to HDTVs and PCs

January 5, 2010

Skype today introduced a high-definition (HD) video calling service that will work on computers and televisions. The newest version Skype 4.2 Beta for Windows, supports 720p video calling in a 1280x720 pixel resolution at 30 frames per second. The latest version of Skype will come pre-installed on some LG Electronics Inc. and Panasonic Corp. television sets by June, according to Skype. Panasonic will support the technology via its VIERA Cast televisions and LG will support it with its NetCast Entertainment Access and both will offer HD webcams as accessories.

The new HDTVs will deliver familiar Skype features including:
  • Free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls
  • Calls to landline or mobile phones at Skype's low rates
  • The option to receive inbound calls via a user's online Skype number
  • Skype voicemail, if it is set up
  • Being invited to participate in voice conference calls with up to 24 other parties
  • Support for up to 720p HD video calls, depending on the availability of high-speed broadband and a HD webcam
I have a relatively new (late 2009) Panasonic 54" TV with VIERA Cast, so it'll be interesting to see if my TV will be on the list to support it.

AT&T Wants to Kill The PSTN

December 31, 2009

TMCnet contributor Gary Kim has an excellent article about AT&T asking the Federal Communications Commission to create a timetable to shutdown the analog PSTN phone system in the United States. AT&T explains that maintaining two networks - IP and PSTN is retarding the deployment of the newer broadband IP network.

Ok, I'll grant you that one AT&T. It doesn't make much sense for you to have to maintain IP networks and PSTN networks - especially when voice competitors like Vonage and Packet8 leverage your IP infrastructure to offer broadband VoIP with no cost to them. Doesn't seem fair does it?

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