Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions


Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e Video Conferencing for SMB Review

March 14, 2014

Logitech, a leader in USB-based computer peripherals is targeting their new Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e towards the SMB, which cannot afford $50,000+ telepresence video systems, but is looking for something a step up from a webcam for conference room based video conferencing.

The Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e is easy to setup with everything clearly numbered and labeled so you know how to make all the connections. Since it uses USB you can use your favorite UC or Web conferencing application, including Microsoft Lync, Skype, Vidyo, and Cisco. The CC3000e has a remote control for changing the camera angle including left/right and up/down movements. You can do incremental movements with single presses of a certain direction or you can press and hold for faster movement, which was very smooth.

Akkadian Labs Provisioning Manager Express (PME) Review

November 13, 2013

I thought my readers would enjoy my October Internet Telephony Magazine review of Akkadian Labs Provisioning Manager Express (PME), a powerful provisioning tool that aids in Cisco IP phone deployments. Enjoy!

Last week your organization successfully implemented a new IP based Unified Communication system. The vendor is closing out the final issues and providing your staff with a few hours of training. This is a great achievement and all the new features will have a very positive impact on the user community, but what about ongoing operations?

Next month you have twenty new hires, not to mention the additional features you plan to deploy.

Logitech Sets Sights on Unified Communications

June 14, 2013

Logitech said in their February corporate report that "Some of our other peripherals product categories are experiencing significant market challenges. As the quality of PC-embedded webcams improves, we expect future sales of our PC-connected webcams in mature consumer markets to continue declining. We intend to address this market decline by enhancing our webcam product line-up to enable experiences that cannot be easily achieved with an embedded webcam and by targeting webcam applications on non-PC platforms."

Indeed standalone webcams have been declining because desktops have been replaced with laptops that usually have an embedded webcam that is "good enough" for the consumers needs. So how does Logitech diversify or differentiate from embedded webcams?

One answer is unified communications (UC) which targets businesses and not consumers.

Cisco Strengthens Products For Midmarket

February 12, 2013

Cisco today announced a series of news surrounding their midmarket product line and their partners that sell Cisco products in this space. A quick overview is that they announced some enhancements to Cisco Business Edition 6000, their midmarket collaboration platform, a new Cisco Express Collaboration specialization, simplification of Telepresence Advanced Technology Programs, and tools for Midsize Business Marketing Campaigns.

I spoke with Marc Inderhees, Senior Manager, Worldwide Collaboration Channel Sales about this news. He stated that Cisco sees the midmarket as 100-1000 employees with over 3.7 million midmarket businesses worldwide. According to Cisco, 1 in 6 employees work for a midmarket company.

Gartner's 'Magic Quadrant for UC' - Cisco Bests Microsoft - Not!

September 11, 2012

Gartner recently posted their Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications along with their analysis of the UC market. As always Gartner's research is a fascinating and insightful read, but I do take slight issue where they positioned Cisco and Microsoft. First let's take a look at the Magic Quadrant:

You will see that Cisco and Microsoft are nearly touching one another and the top two companies within the Magic Quadrant, but Cisco slightly beats Microsoft in both the "leaders" and "visionaries" categories. I don't take issue with Cisco in the "leaders" category, since clearly Cisco has been doing enterprise VoIP, video conferencing and indeed UC longer than Microsoft with many more deployments.

I do however take issue with Cisco beating Microsoft in the "visionaries" category.

Microsoft Surface = Threat to IP Phone Market

August 6, 2012

Microsoft has already irked some of their hardware partners with Microsoft getting into the hardware business via their pending Microsoft Surface product launch later this year. Perhaps lost in the battle between Microsoft and their PC/laptop/tablet hardware partners is the pending battle that I predict between Microsoft and their Lync phone hardware partners, such as snom and Polycom.

In 2011, I wrote an article discussing how the Apple iPad (and also Android tablets) will be your next desktop IP phone. More recently, last month I wrote how the Microsoft Surface tablet could also be a game changer in the IP phone market:
This touch support [in Windows 8] will give Microsoft an advantage is fulfilling my prediction that tablets will replace the desktop phone. Windows 8 tablets running Lync will become the ultimate unified communications device, performing everything from your traditional voice (VoIP) to HD video conferencing, as well as collaboration, instant messaging, and all the other typical UC features.

Panasonic KX-UT670 Android IP Phone Review

June 26, 2012

The Panasonic KX-UT670 IP Phone is an impressive and cool looking 7" touchscreen phone running the Android 2.2 operating system. It's interesting how long it has taken for a non-proprietary operating system to come to the IP phone market, especially when you consider Asterisk, the open source IP-PBX came out in 1999 - more than a decade ago, yet the phones from major IP phone vendors like Aastra, Cisco, Polycom, ShoreTel, snom, and others all use their own proprietary, relatively closed operating systems. So when I learned about the Panasonic KX-UT670 running Android I was very intrigued and had Panasonic send me a unit for a review.

The Panasonic KX-UT670 is one step removed (not portable) from my prediction that a tablet running Apple iOS or Android could replace the desktop phone.

Infonetics 1Q12 Enterprise Voice, UC and TDM Report Released

June 5, 2012

Several PBX vendors delayed their first quarter reporting so Infonetics 1Q12 Enterprise Voice, UC and TDM report is later than usual.The report tracks traditional PBX and KTS phone systems, IP PBX systems, voice over IP gateways, unified communications (UC) applications, and IP phones. The excerpted report comes out tomorrow, but a sneak peek reveals a few bright spots in 1Q12 enterprise voice equipment market while Cisco and Avaya battle it out. There is definitely some slowing in the enterprise voice market due to a slow economy, but that has resulted in aggressive pricing by competitors, which is good for enterprises looking to upgrade.

Cisco Extends SMB Product Portfolio With Several New Products

April 12, 2012

Cisco today launched a new portfolio of small business products, including wireless, routing, switching, and voice solutions. They are also extending and enhancing the Cisco OnPlus managed service.

                                      Cisco WAP121                                                        Cisco WAP321

The new wireless products include the Cisco WAP121 and WAP321 Wireless-N access points. Both products feature flexible mounting, PoE, IPv6, and QoS for video and voice. The WAP121 features 4 SSIDs, 2.4GHz, Fast Ethernet LAN and retails for $173.

Esnatech Releases Office-LinX 8.5, a Cloud-based UC Platform

January 19, 2012

Esnatech, today announced the release of version 8.5 of Office-LinX, a unified communications platform that enables enterprises to integrate UC with cloud-based technologies such as Google Apps, VMware Zimbra ,, and Microsoft BPOS/Office 365. Office-LinX is optimized to work in mixed, distributed environments integrating with multiple on- and off-premise telecommunications technologies and cloud-based applications and infrastructure. It can for instance integrate with solutions from Asterisk, Avaya, NEC, Cisco, Toshiba, Panasonic, Shoretel, and more.

The latest high availability (HA) version of Office-LinX supports full virtualization of its voice clusters with VMware vSphere support. With Office-LinX 8.5, organizations have the ability to distribute the application and resources over multiple virtual servers connected to a single or distributed telephony infrastructure.

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