Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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SIP-based VoIP Wake Up Call Service

May 16, 2008

The beauty of VoIP and the corresponding SIP standard is the ease at which applications can be developed. Today, I learned about a wake-up-call service on that leverages the SIP standard to allow you to schedule wake-up-calls. The software app called “Wake up Easy Voip Service” simply registers as a SIP extension to your existing SIP-based IP-PBX, waits for inbound extension calls, plays a prompt, you enter your wake-up time, and voila', the system will call you at the designated time. This is perfect application for hotels that are migrating to a VoIP phone system.

Shoretel Rumors

May 1, 2008


Could it be - with ShoreTel continuing to provide PBX solutions - that the rumors I reported about them nearly a year ago were false? Is it now clear that Rich's sources that sparked this article were wrong?

Shoretel seems to be going strong. In fact, while this article was written a long time ago, but thanks to its high ranking on search engines, it still sparks the occasional new comment from avid Shoretel fans.

You can read the comments below for other people's thoughts. There are many avid fans of the Shoretel platform that have come to Shoretel's defense.

Cisco and Microsoft in Clash of the UC Titans

April 24, 2008

According to a new study by analyst firm Infonetics Research, Cisco and Microsoft are locked in a "battle of the titans" for the unified communications (UC) market, with both vendors currently favored by buyers as Unified Messaging and Communicator suppliers. As almost an aside, the news release on the study says, "Avaya and Nortel also fare well as current UC suppliers." I'm sure Avaya and Nortel are thinking -- and to quote Rodney Dangerfield, "I get no respect."

According to Infonetics, "It's no secret that Microsoft is predicting the death of the PBX, to be replaced by a software-based communication approach like OCS 2007; but we didn't find many people convinced that this is yet the way to go. What we're seeing instead is companies keeping their IP PBXs, and layering unified communications applications on top. Microsoft is seeing early success by leveraging their leadership in e-mail messaging and desktop environments.

Hulk Smash Asterisk 1.6!

April 16, 2008

Nerd Vittles had been lamenting the fact that the "Asterisk 1.6 development seemed to be on a collision course with the dinosaurs because of developer insistence on deprecating and removing commands from the application programming interface (API) in the name of technology enhancement."

Nerd Vittles then explains why this is a bad idea.

The problem this poses is that applications and dialplans written for previous versions of Asterisk no longer function even though the code is barely a year old. In the corporate and government sectors, this would mean major, costly (annual) rewrites of code just to keep a functioning phone system. And, as we noted, these organizations buy phone systems to last a decade so such a development strategy would all but rule out use of Asterisk in the Fortune 500, medical, and government sectors.

More on the Aastra AastraLink Pro 160 appliance

March 18, 2008

I spoke with Aastra's executive vice president, Yves Laliberte just 50 minutes ago to discuss the newly launched AastraLink Pro 160 appliance, which I blogged about this morning. As I suspected, the appliance is Asterisk-based. In my morning post I wrote, "This is a very interesting move since Aastra Telecom is known for their IP phones used by various IP-PBXs, including many of the Asterisk-based solutions - trixbox, AsteriskNOW, Druid, PBX in a Flash, etc. With the AastraLink Pro 160 Aastra is now competing with IP-PBX vendors that purchase their phones."

With this in mind, my first question to Yves was "Aastra makes some very good IP phones that a lot of IP PBX vendors use but now you're moving into the IP-PBX space, so how do they feel about that?" Yves responded, "It's a great question.

Aastra AastraLink Pro 160

March 18, 2008

Aastra Telecom has entered the IP-PBX game with the AastraLink Pro 160. This is a very interesting move since Aastra Telecom is known for their IP phones used by various IP-PBXs, including many of the Asterisk-based solutions - trixbox, AsteriskNOW, Druid, PBX in a Flash, etc. With the AastraLink Pro 160 Aastra is now competing with IP-PBX vendors that purchase their phones. It will be interesting to see if some IP-PBX vendors, especially the Asterisk-based ones, move towards other IP phones such as Polycom.

Voiceroute Druid Open Source Edition Launches offering New Open Source Asterisk GUI Front End

March 12, 2008

Voiceroute gave me an exclusive first look at their latest Asterisk-based solution called Druid Unified Communications Server, which today launched their open sourced version at Druid UCS gives Asterisk fans a new and powerful open source Asterisk-based Unified Communications solution. Besides now being open source, one of Druid's highlighted features is a user-friendly admin graphical user interface that makes extensive use of AJAX for a rich user experience for easier setup and ongoing administration. I should point out that FreePBX is also open source and is bundled with Asterisk-based solutions such as trixbox, PBX in a Flash, and Elastix.

snom VoIP phone hacked

February 12, 2008

Those same rascals that figured out how to do call jacking on the popular BT Home Hub to make free "hacked" VoIP calls have done it again! is a group of security experts that just discovered a vulnerability in the administrative web interface in snom Technology's model 320 VoIP phone. They way it was discovered is that a router hacking challenge was launched and which as a "side result" caused GNUCitizen to discover a security flaw in the snom 320 VoIP phone. In GNUCitizen's blow-by-blow discovery he writes, "Although not directly related to the router hacking contest, the results I’ve got were rather disturbing and made me get a totally new view on the VoIP phone security landscape." (I'll say...)

The big hack involves the ability of some VoIP phones to make phone calls from the Web interface using a simple web POST request.

Future of SIP to Skype Gateway in Doubt?

February 4, 2008

I have strong disagreements with a guest blog post on Skype Journal that was posted a few days ago titled "A SIP/Skype Gateway Is NOT In The Forecast". I totally disagree that a SIP/Skype gateway isn't in the forecast. I've blogged on a few occasions where I discussed the desire for Skype users to have SIP connectivity. First, let me include an excerpt where the guest blogger, Hudson Barton lays out his argument:
Skype's competitors and critics continually point out that Skype's VOIP architecture is closed and that its API is not adequate for creating a direct connection between the Skype "cloud" and the SIP "cloud".

SIP Trunking Not so Hot?

January 25, 2008

A couple days ago I wrote an article titled SIP Trunking is Hot! where I wrote about the SIP trunking session sponsored by Ingate, which was very heavily attended (75). A few hours later I noticed SmithonVoIP blogger Garrett Smith write a blog entry called No One Wants SIP Trunking. It was obvious to me he must have seen my blog post which was pro-SIP trunking and he was taking a counterpoint.

Before I even clicked through on my RSS reader to Garrett's article, I pondered why Garrett would take such a counterpoint. I know for a fact that there is a lot of interest in SIP trunking.

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