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Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Optimized IP Devices

May 14, 2007

Today, Microsoft is announcing several products that are optimized to work with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. As part of today's announcement, Microsoft has launched a unified communications qualification program – including 15 phones and devices which are on the path to qualification with Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator (now in public beta). These include Internet protocol (IP) phones, Universal Serial Bus (USB) phones, conferencing phones, wired and wireless headsets, Webcams, monitors, PCs and PC peripherals.

Several of these products were already out in the marketplace, but some are brand new, so let's focus on the "new" phone devices. First, the Polycom CX700 IP Phone is the mystery phone that I discussed previously.

pbxnsip CS 410 IP-PBX review

May 8, 2007

Here's an exclusive sneak peek of a TMC Labs review of the SIP-based pbxnsip CS 410 IP-PBX appliance, which is scheduled for review within Internet Telephony Magazine. As hinted at within the review, the trend towards low-cost IP-PBX appliances <$1000 is quite apparent, which is good news for the SMB market looking for a cost-effective phone system replacement that has advanced VoIP functionality. Enjoy the review! And be sure to check out my full review of the pbxnsip standalone software, which runs on Windows and Linux.

pbxnsip
1600 Osgood St
Bldg 20 Suite 223
North Andover
MA 01845
Ph: 978-746-2777
Web site: http://www.pbxnsip.com

Price: $999


RATINGS (0–5)
Installation: 5
Documentation: 4.5
Features: 4.75
GUI: 4.75
Overall: A
TMC Labs got an exclusive peek at pbxnsip's CS 410 IP-PBX "all-in-one" appliance, which features a “mini” Session Border Controller(SBC) , built-in 4 analog (FXO) PSTN ports, voicemail & auto attendant, as well as support for up to 10 SIP-based IP stations (hardphones, softphones) and supports up to 10 simultaneous calls.


















Office Communications Server 2007 Public Beta Launches

March 26, 2007

Recently I stated that Microsoft would launch the public beta of Office Communications Server 2007 later this month. Well, Microsoft gave me a heads up on the launching of their public beta of Office Communications Server 2007 which is available later today. The Public Beta code for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 + Communicator 2007 (client) will be available for download as of 10AM PDT (1PM EDT). Virtual PC images plus video demos will be available following week, which will allow IT staff to more easily trial OCS 2007 as a "virtual" turnkey solution.

pbxnsip IP-PBX Review

February 21, 2007

pbxnsip is a Windows-based feature-rich IP-PBX which I recently tested for TMC Labs. It's going to be published in Internet Telephony Magazine, but I figured I'd give my blog readers a "sneak peek" at the review, because, well... I'm good like that!

//////////////////////////////////
pbxnsip
1600 Osgood St
Bldg 20 Suite 223
North Andover, MA 01845
Web site: http://www.pbxnsip.com

Various flavors are available, including but not limited to:
General Enterprise:


- Office 10 - $690
- Office 25 - $1,490.00
- Office 200 - $8,950.00
Call center functionality:
- Center 25 - $2990.00

- Center 50 - 4,950.00
//////////////////////////////////
  RATINGS (0–5)
Installation: 5
Documentation: 4
Features: 4.25
GUI: 4
Overall: A-
Introduction
Powerful VoIP phone systems can be had a much lower cost than 5 years ago. Part of the reason is inexpensive open source solutions, such as Asterisk, which runs on Linux.





















Digium vs. Fonality Round 2

January 25, 2007

Back In October of last year, I figured out that something was up between Asterisk@Home (now Trixbox) and Fonality. Chris Lyman, the CEO of Fonality told me, "I don't know how you figured out on June 6th that we were getting involved with trixbox, but my hat goes off to you." Chris gave me the scoop that Fonality was acquiring Asterisk@Home, which sent shockwaves through the Asterisk community since Asterisk@Home was an open source GPL "free" software product and Fonality is a business looking to make money off of Asterisk.

Asterisk@Home, a turnkey, bootable CD that easily installs Asterisk in minutes quickly became a popular Asterisk distro and so there was iniitally some concern that Asterisk@Home/Trixbox would no longer be free and under GPL due to the Fonality acquisition. Fortunately, Chris has chosen to keep Trixbox under GPL, but the Asterisk@Home acquisition was the first major salvo fired in the battle between Asterisk/Digium and Trixbox/Fonality. Perhaps the second salvo was when it appeared that Digium was redirecting the old Asterisk@Home domain website to their AsteriskNOW website.

Make no mistake, Digium and Fonality are competitors.



AsteriskNow Now Has 1-Click Features

January 24, 2007

As I reported a few weeks ago when AsteriskNOW was first released, Digium planned on adding auto-provisioning for Polycom IP phones as well as a BuyNOW link for buying Polycom phones directly from the admin interface. Bill Miller, the VP of Product Management of Digium told me they were working on adding VoIP service providers to the admin interface as well, so you can have a 1-click experience. Specifically, I stated:
One of the things you will see that we're in the process of doing is adding a series of service providers that are partners of ours and add it to the GUI. The user can select their own service provider if they already have a VoIP service provider or they can get one directly from our GUI and it will be preconfigured.

Digium releases AsteriskNOW

January 3, 2007

Digium today released AsteriskNOW, a turnkey easy-to-use version of Asterisk with a web-based GUI that they claim can get a working version of Asterisk up-and-running in 30 minutes. AsteriskNOW is Digium's answer to the

BlueWave Telecom Hosted Asterisk solution

January 3, 2007

I recently met with BlueWave Telecom, a company just coming out of "stealth marketing" to learn about VoIPFlow 2.0, a software platform that enables service providers to provision and manage hundreds of virtual PBXs leveraging a 64-bit version of Asterisk. Basically, VoIPFlow 2.0 enables 100% hosted Asterisk IP-PBXs. It actually runs virtual instances of Asterisk for each customer using open-source virtualization software. Since each Asterisk instance is "virtualized" if one instance crashes or fails, it doesn't bring down all the other Asterisk instances. VoiceFlow also has clustering for redundancy.

One of their key advantages is that they've developed an interface to manage hundreds of virtual Asterisk PBXs making it easy for service providers to manage their customers.

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007

June 26, 2006

On May 30th 2006, I speculated that Windows Live Meeting 2006 was coming - the next version after Windows Live Meeting 2005. I was close -- Microsoft actually "skipped a year" and released Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, a unified communications client that works in tandem with Office Communications Server 2007, which was also announced today. This solution delivers a presence-based, enterprise VoIP “softphone” for secure, enterprise-grade instant messaging that allows for intercompany federation and connectivity to public instant messaging networks such as MSN, AOL and Yahoo! It also enables one-to-one and multiparty videoconferencing, audioconferencing, and webconferencing.

IP-PBX market numbers continue to shine

May 30, 2006

Interesting IP-PBX stats within Infonetics's Enterprise Telephony report that shows IP-PBXs continued growth even with a generally slower 1st quarter. They also list the current IP-PBX market leaders (Cisco is listed as #1). This report doesn't list this, but I'd be curious the stats for "hosted IP-PBXs" that use SIP trunking with no customer premise IP-PBX equipment. My bet is that market is growing as well.

Overall PBX/KTS revenue down 2%, IP PBX up 1% in 1Q06

Despite a seasonally down quarter for the overall enterprise telephony market, the slow and steady move from circuit switching technology to packet switching technology remains evident, with worldwide TDM system revenue falling 11% and IP PBX revenue inching up 1% between 4Q05 and 1Q06, says Infonetics Research in its latest Enterprise Telephony report.

Combined, worldwide TDM and IP PBX systems revenue dipped 2% to $2.1 billion in 1Q06, but is 15% higher than a year ago.





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