Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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XConnect Has Killer Growth in 2010

March 17, 2011

Back in January 2010 I mentioned how XConnect's peering federation announced at ITEXPO was now offering "High-Definition (HD) Voice Peering Federation". Their federation service for carrier peering let's you carry both HD voice and HD video by passing codecs across carrier networks. I explained one of the stumbling blocks to HD voice when I wrote:
Once you make an outside call then your carrier has to support HD. Further, if your carrier has to hand the call off to another carrier to terminate the call, you need both carriers to have a peering agreement to allow the HD codec to traverse their network.

Cisco Responds to Polycom's Adoption of TIP and Interoperability

February 10, 2011

A Cisco representative saw my article about Polycom's announcement to support Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) and she thought I'd be interested in hearing Cisco's take. David Hsieh, vice president, emerging technologies, Cisco responded to this news announcement as follows:

"We are pleased to hear that Polycom is joining other companies in adopting the Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP), the only open, multi-screen Telepresence interoperability protocol available today. TIP, originally developed by Cisco to enable multi-screen telepresence interoperability, was turned over to the IMTC (International Multimedia Teleconferencing Consortium) to be managed as an industry standard.  It is not a Cisco proprietary protocol — it’s an open protocol available to anyone in the industry.

Polycom UC Intelligent Core Platform Supports TIP Standard - Interoperable with Cisco

February 9, 2011

June of last year I wrote about how Cisco had to adopt the open source TIP protocol before the EU would approve Cisco's acquisition of Tandberg:
An interesting back story behind the Cisco acquisition of Tandberg is that Cisco had to make sure Cisco's open source and free TIP (Telepresence Interoperability Protocol) protocol was used. The EU wouldn't approve the acquisition of Tandberg without Cisco agreeing to use this protocol. There have been obvious concerns (including my own) that Cisco/Tandberg could create a proprietary telepresence platform that locked out third-party competitors. Cisco and Tandberg just made an announcement stating advanced multiscreen telepresence interoperability with each other as well as other third-party systems, by integrating the Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) on Cisco's newly acquired Tandberg TelePresence Server.
The fruits of that effort are now realized with today's announcement from Polycom.

ITEXPO Named Top 50 Fastest Growing Tradeshow

January 19, 2011

TMC's ITEXPO was named one of the fastest growing trade shows by Trade Show Executive in their Fastest 50 Awards. I've been with TMC since 1994 - right out of college and I've seen this company grow from 15 employees to over 65 employees. It's been an amazing ride. TMC's ITEXPO has had some stellar companies participate over the years, including Asterisk, Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, Packet8, ShoreTel, and Skype.

TMC CEO Rich Tehrani said, "Much thanks goes to all of TMC's readers as well as our sponsors, attendees, partners, vendors who supply us decorating services, audio/visual, etc and of course the tireless TMC team who works around the clock to over-deliver for customers.

Use Skype to Video Call Any Video Endpoint: Polycom, Cisco, Tandberg, etc.

November 22, 2010

Christian Bongiovanni, co-CEO and CTO for Imagicle gave me a demo of SkyStone Video, which enables video conferencing everywhere to any video endpoint. Using SkyStone Video you can call any video endpoint using Skype, including Cisco/Tandberg, Lifesize, Polycom, Radvision, Sony, and others, enabling you to call video phones, video conferencing systems, and telepresence solutions. Guess this means the VoIP Videphone War is over!

To do the demo I simply went to their website and clicked this button (Note: you can do this too):

If you hover your mouse over the button above you'll see it's a Skype link.

UM Labs Brings 256-bit AES Secure VoIP to Mobile Phones

October 5, 2010

I met with Mike Wilson, VP of Sales & Marketing for UM Labs at ITEXPO today to learn more about their secure VoIP offering. At ITEXPO they announced their 1.5 release, which steps up interoperability amongst various IP-PBXS and now it works with Skype (Skype Connect).
Mike explained that a lot of independent dealers across the world who also use Skype, can now connect their PBXs to these Skype users and save a lot of money on conference calls. Their solution acts as the "glue" allowing Avaya to connect to Cisco, or Shoretel to Avaya, etc. They have a built-in scripting engine and can adjust paths between switch and trunking provider or two switches to ensure interoperability.

As part of this release they are stepping up encryption, which he claimed already had incredibly low latency.


Important ITEXPO Happenings

October 4, 2010


I wanted to share some important highlights for Internet Telephony Conference & Expo happening this week. I should point out that we have over 200 exhibitors participating including Asterisk / Digium, Cisco, Packet8, ShoreTel, Skype, and more. Seems like ITEXPO is the week for important telecom / VoIP news to break, including Skype looking to hire a new CEO. I'm excited for Startup Camp. Now for some important ITEXPO happenings:

Monday at ITEXPO West 2010

The doors open to ITEXPO West 2010 today!




Panasonic Demos their HD Visual Communications System

October 4, 2010


Attendees of the 2010 World Business Forum will see the Panasonic HD Visual Communications System (HDVC) in action. As the Official Video Conference System of this year’s Forum, the Panasonic HDVC will take center stage for use during long-distance Q&A sessions. The World Business Forum takes place October 5 and 6 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. It's too bad I'm in the opposite Coast in Los Angeles, California attending ITEXPO, since I would have liked to have checked this out in person. Come to think of it, they should be exhibiting at ITEXPO as well, since one of their competitors Vu Telepresence is exhibiting at ITEXPO.

Plantronics Savi W430 Headset Review

July 6, 2010


The Plantronics Savi W430 is an impressive headset sporting DECT wireless technology with excellent range and HD quality sound. With the convergence of the telephone and the network we say the creation of VoIP, including the phenomenal growth of Skype and SIP-based IP-PBXs and phones. Now we're seeing the convergence of the computer and the phone, resulting in 100% software-based phone solutions - also known as the "softphone". The problem with softphones is that it's still a fairly new concept to the enterprise and there just aren't a lot of headsets for the PC designed with telephony in mind.

Cisco Cius HD Android Tablet

June 30, 2010


Cisco unveiled Cisco Cius, a business tablet running on the Android OS that offers "virtual desktop integration with anywhere, anytime access to the full range of Cisco collaboration and communication applications, including HD video." Now before you think iPad killer, you should know that Cisco is focusing this tablet on the business enterprise not the consumer market. It sports WiFi, 3G, and soon 4G when it becomes available. Nice! It also has a front-mounted 720p HD camera supporting 30fps.

I should add that many enterprises are using iPads as laptop replacements, so I wouldn't classify the iPad as strictly a consumer product.


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