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


Polycom Kills the Buzz Factor

January 31, 2008

Who hasn’t been on an important conference call and heard the infamous “buzz” sound on the speakerphone caused by cell phone interference. Nextel two-way “push to talk” phones are notorious for causing this “buzz” sound, as well as Blackberries. Still don't know what I'm talking about? Sure you do.

trixbo Pro updates

December 8, 2007

Kerry Garrison blogged about some major updates to trixbox Pro, and Asterisk-based IP-PBX. He also told me, "The highlights being the ability to take a phone right out of the box, plug it into your network and automatically provisions itself with the next available extension. This is a major time saver for installers as it creates the phone device, creates an extension, and maps the phone to it. It takes less than a minute for the entire process and the phone is ready to make and receive phone calls.

Skype and Logitech offer High Quality Video Conferencing

October 30, 2007

Skype and Logitech have teamed up to offer high quality videoconferencing. Skype 3.6 will be required and will increase the resolution from 320 x 240 to 640 x 480 (VGA). High Quality Video will also require Logitech QuickCam software, version 11.5. It will support up to 30 frames per second (fps) to people using a broadband connection.

Office Communications Server 2007 Software Update Service

October 17, 2007

Microsoft released Office Communications Server 2007 Software Update Service, which provides an automated way to update all unified communications devices deployed in an organization.

This includes all the OCS-compatible phones (Polycom Inc., LG-Nortel Co. Ltd. and Thomson Telecom) that run Microsoft Office Communicator Phone Experience.

According to Microsoft, "unified communication (UC) devices, such as Microsoft Office Communicator Phone Experience and Microsoft RoundTable, enable rich communication within an organization. Deploying these devices requires regular maintenance by the IT department, which includes providing available software updates to these unified communications devices. All UC devices rely on an automatic mechanism to obtain software update required on a regular basis."

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Software Update Service provides an automated way to update all unified communications devices deployed in an organization.

This download is comprised of two files:
  • OCSSoftwareUpdateService.msi – used to configure the Software Update Service component on your Office Communications Server 2007 Web Component Servers or your Standard Edition server.

  • OCSSoftwareUpdateServiceSP.msi – to configure the Update site on the SharePoint Service.

Dell Gets into VoIP Game with OCS 2007

October 16, 2007

Dell is now in the VoIP game! I was talking with Microsoft's Clint Patterson, Director of PR for Unified Communications, this morning and I asked him about Dell, since I noticed they were listed as one of Microsoft's OCS 2007 partners being announced today. I was curious if Dell's plans were to pre-install Microsoft OCS 2007 and leverage their huge professional services division to help businesses deploy Office Communications Server 2007. As you know, I've expressed some skepticism about Microsoft deploying OCS in the SMB space without channel partner help.

Well, Clint confirmed that Dell was indeed going to pre-install OCS on Dell servers and offer professional services.

iBasis Pingo Business gives SMBs freedom of choice

October 10, 2007

iBasis today introduced Pingo Business, an on-demand VoIP service targeting SMBs to offer low cost calling for up to 999 employees. The most interesting aspects are that employees can use their own fixed-line and mobile phones and administrators can set individual spending limits, easily monitor usage and manage billing through a single, centralized account.

In addition, you can also choose the amount of funds you wish to place in your master account, with no additional commitment required. No more single or even multi-year lock-in contracts! Boy I remember years ago being one of the decision makers in a 4-year lock-in corporate phone contract. Thankfully, those days are gone.

Gary Hermansen leaves Global IP Sound

September 11, 2007

Gary Hermansen, CEO of Global IP Sound (GIPS), has left the organization. Jon Arnold told me the news at the IT Expo Bloggers Dinner last night while we were discussing GIPS. I mentioned to Jon how I had a fairly heated discussion with Gary last year about Skype potentially dropping GIPS as the voice engine / adaptive codec of choice. Gary was displeased that I "pondered" that Skype might drop GIPS in favor of a competitor's solution.

Microsoft Licenses RT Audio Codec and launches new QoS Monitoring Tool

August 20, 2007

I believe I was the first to break the story about Microsoft's RT codecs called RT Audio and RT Video. At the very least, I was the first to stress the importance of Microsoft offering two forward error correction codecs when I wrote "Microsoft's Secret Codec Weapon? One fact that hasn't gotten any attention from the mainstream media (& tech media) coverage of OCS 2007 is the VoIP and video codec Microsoft is using. During my conversation with Microsoft they kept talking about how Office Communicator's VoIP works well not only in broadband environments, but also in limited bandwidth narrowband environments, i.e. dial-up -- and even on Windows Mobile 5 devices."

In the article I explained how Microsoft stressed how their codec works well even with high packet loss due to Forward Error Correction (FEC) and other algorithms.

trixbox Pro Editon + trixNet

August 13, 2007

First there was Asterisk@Home a free version based on Asterisk that is a bootable ISO image that can build an Asterisk-based server in just minutes. But then Fonality acquired Asterisk@Home and soon after renamed it trixbox. Fonality continued development on PBXtra, their own Asterisk-based solution. Today, Fonality has announced that it is merging the PBXtra brand into trixbox with what they are calling trixbox Pro Edition, which comes in 3 flavors: Standard, Enterprise, and Call Center Edition.

Former Nortel Subsidiary Picks Fonality's PBXtra Over Nortel

May 17, 2007

Today, I spoke with Fonality's CEO Chris Lyman and Amon Prasad, Director of Information Technology for BLADE Network Technologies. BLADE Network Technologies is a former subsidiary of Nortel and get this - they selected Fonality’s Asterisk-based PBXtra over a comparable system from Nortel. Even though Nortel offered their former subsidiary a discounted price, it was still much more than PBXtra. Chris and Amon explained to me that Fonality was able to offer PBXtra at less than 50 percent of the cost of a proposed Nortel system and that included junking the existing Nortel phonesets with all new VoIP phonesets. Ecstatic over this "win" besting a well-known PBX manufacturer, Fonality stated, "BLADE is one example of how Fonality is now regularly beating out incumbents including, Cisco, Nortel and Alcatel in the small to medium business (SMB) market.
Featured Events