Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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VoIP Defies the Bear Economy like Chuck Norris defies a 700lb Bear

March 31, 2009

An interesting report by IBISWorld, Inc. just named VoIP as the predicted #1 performer In 2009 - it even beat video games. Yet more proof that VoIP isn't dead and indeed VoIP is the one shining bright spot in an otherwise dismal bear economy.

VoIP is indeed defying the "bears" of the economy. Reminds me of when Chuck Norris defied that huge bear in the woods. Sure, the bear got on top of Chuck and even ripped Chuck's shirt, but this was just a training exercise for Chuck's "You don't want to tick me off stare." At the end of the wresting match, Chuck just looked at the bear, the bear knew he lost, and walked away.

Skype Starting to Dominate the International Long-distance pie

March 24, 2009

Skype has been taking a larger share of the international long-distance pie according to new data from TeleGeography, which just came out today.

The article states:
TeleGeography estimates that Skype's cross-border traffic grew approximately 41% in 2008, to 33 billion minutes --equivalent to 8% of combined international telephone + Skype traffic. 'Skype's traffic growth has been remarkable,' said TeleGeography analyst Stephan Beckert. 'Only five years after its launch, Skype has emerged as the largest provider of cross-border voice communications in the world.'

With dozens of international carriers, getting 8% marketshare is no small feat. To do so in just 5 years in a hyper-competitive environment is even more remarkable.

ITEXPO East 2009 Attendance and Demographic numbers

February 6, 2009

ITEXPO says "Slumping economy? What slumping economy?" - VoIP tradeshow thrives

February 5, 2009

Many people I talked to at ITEXPO before the exhibit floor opened had muted expectations about the attendance, because of the slumping economy. But I knew better... I talked to Rich Tehrani and he told me a week before the show opened that the pre-registration numbers were up from last year. VoIP when properly deployed and with the right product has an extremely fast ROI and can result in cost savings in just a short period of time.

ContactQ Enhances Asterisk's Call Center Functionality

February 4, 2009

ContactQ is a new call center application server created by Braxtel Communications designed to run on Asterisk that brings advanced call center functionality to the Asterisk platform. Their aim is to handle any sort of contact method and put it into their advanced multi-media queue. For instance, they plan on queuing video calls, text messages, web callbacks, and of course regular calls. ContactQ is a fully featured multi-media skills based routing ACD.

Minuteman Aims for UPS Comeback in 2009

February 3, 2009

I met with Bill Allen, Director of Marketing for Para Systems, Inc. at ITEXPO and he was very high on the prospects for Minuteman UPS products for 2009. Although Minuteman isn't as large as APC, they make very good products. He mentioned that Minuteman UPS products have new extended run-time battery packs that are "battery packs on steroids." He pointed out that competitors offer extended run-time battery packs, but they didn't seem to focusing on them and he said Minuteman's extended battery packs have longer runtimes.

He also boasted that Minuteman battery packs and the UPS itself both some with a 3 year warranty. No other UPS manufacturer offers a 3 year warranty on their batteries and always had the longest warranty.

Cost is also an important consideration when choosing a UPS.

OCS 2007 R2 Online Labs

February 3, 2009

A new website aims to offer a hosted OCS 2007 R2 lab environment for online training and learning. According to Tom Cross, CEO of, "OCS-Office Communications Server R2-Release 2 Labs are intended to provide specific "personal training" on specific OCS topics and allow users to test concepts, ideas and strategies in a non-production environment."

Tom told me he plans on adding SIP gateways to the hosted environment to enable PSTN termination for a more realistic testing lab environment.

Tom Cross runs the popular OCS 2007 training classes at ITEXPO. He told me the Miami ITEXPO classes are larger than the previous show in Los Angeles, demonstrating increased interest in OCS 2007 training.

If you're interesting in playing with OCS 2007 R2, but don't want to spend the time installing and and configuring the various server components, heads on over to

VoiceGear SkyBridge at ITEXPO

February 3, 2009

IndustryDynamics' VoiceGear SkyBridge is a Skype-to-PBX product that works with analog and VoIP PBX systems and connects them with the Skype network. I stopped by their booth at ITEXPO to learn more. They told me that SkyBridge supports up to 60 Skype accounts and up to 4 simultaneous Skype channels. They demonstrated the web interface used to provision Skype accounts and other settings.

D2 Technologies Demos reference design for WiMAX mobile phones at ITEXPO

February 2, 2009

D2 Technologies is demonstrating a complete reference design for WiMAX mobile phones at ITEXPO. D2's mCUE communications user interface claims to be the industry's first turnkey software solution for quickly delivering mobile WiMAX devices to market

D2 Technologies, a market leader in embedded IP communications software platforms, today announced that private demonstrations of the industry's first complete reference design for the creation of WiMAX mobile phones are available at ITEXPO East 2009 in Miami, Florida from February 2-4, 2009.

Built around the company's breakthrough mCUE converged communications client, the reference design provides manufacturers with a powerful turnkey software solution for quickly developing and delivering WiMAX handsets and similar portable devices to market. The reference software implementation is running on a dual-mode mobile platform running Linux on a Texas Instruments OMAP-based processor; this version is available immediately, with additional implementations on the Google Android and Microsoft® Windows® CE/Mobile platforms coming in the second quarter of 2009.

ITEXPO attendees as well as those attending the 4G Wireless Evolution Conference collocated with ITEXPO East, can arrange for a first look at the WiMAX mobile phone reference design utilizing D2's mCUE by contacting the company during the show.

"The industry is pouring tremendous resources into the creation and delivery of a WiMAX infrastructure, and manufacturers will need a fast and cost-effective way to develop mobile devices that take advantage of the greater bandwidth, range and other benefits of this technology," said Doug Makishima, vice president of marketing and sales at D2 Technologies.

VoIP using Microsoft Silverlight

February 2, 2009

VoIP using Microsoft Silverlight has just been accomplished for the very first time. I'm pretty busy at ITEXPO so I don't have time to test this, but wanted to share an email that Founder & CEO of TringMe, Yusuf Motiwala sent me. Apparently, he had to utilize a workaround to get around the lack of mic support in Silverlight.

Email from Yusaf:

Just wanted to let you know about a first ever demonstration of VoIP/Telephony over Microsoft Silverlight platform at:

It demonstrates the ability to make a call directly from the Microsoft Silverlight applications. To try it out, just enter a phone number and click on "Call Now" button.

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