Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Randy Savicky
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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.

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.

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!




ITEXPO Lands Some Spectacular Companies

September 24, 2010

Skype for SIP is Now Skype Connect

August 30, 2010

Today, Skype announced that Skype for SIP is changing its name to Skype Connect. Guess the techie name "SIP" isn't exactly business-friendly, hence the name change. Today, they are also announcing that hat Skype Connect (formerly Skype for SIP) is officially out of beta.

By using Skype Connect with an existing PBX, your business can do the following:
  • Make outbound calls from desktop phones to landlines and mobiles worldwide billed at Skype's standard per-minute calling rates;
  • Receive inbound calls from Skype connected users worldwide by placing Skype's Click & Call buttons on their Web sites;
  • Receive calls from landlines or mobile phones in the corporate PBX using Skype's online numbers that have been purchased separately; and
  • Manage Skype calls using your existing PBX or UC systems' features such as call routing, automatic call distribution, conferencing, auto-attendant, voicemail, call recording and logging.
Since the beta launch of Skype Connect in March 2009, here are some of Skype's milestones:
  • Skype Connect already has over 2,400 active global customers;
  • Skype Connect is now certified to work with PBX and UC products from Avaya, Cisco, SIPfoundry, ShoreTel and other OEMs (see supported models here).
  • Skype Connect also works with older TDM PBXs or Key Systems which can now add Skype calling capabilities through third-party IP gateways from AudioCodes, Grandstream and VoSKY (see supported models here).
  • Launched Skype Manager, a simple web-based tool to centrally manage and control Skype usage in a company, and which enables a business to set-up Skype Connect;
  • New dedicated customer support, including real-time chat, is now available for Skype Connect customers and Skype Manager administrators directly through Skype Manager;
  • In addition, we've been enrolling VARs and system integrators in our new Skype Channel Partner Program and training them to support our business customers. We will share more details on this program soon.
Perhaps the biggest milestone is "dedicated customer support".



Pre-Registration for ITEXPO Trending 70 Percent Ahead of 2009

August 18, 2010


Some great news from TMC that I thought I'd share. Internet Telephony Conference and Expo (ITEXPO) pre-registration is trending ahead of last year by 70%! I'm obviously going to be there to check out and write about the latest happenings in VoIP, 4G, smart grid, cloud communications, and more. I get some of my best news scoops there and obviously get to do some social networking with some leading industry insiders.

Enterprise Unified Communication, VoIP & TDM Equipment 2010 (1Q10) forecast report

June 28, 2010

Infonetics Research released the 1Q10 results from its first quarter 2010 (1Q10) Enterprise Unified Communication, VoIP, and TDM Equipment forecast report. In it they point to how Cisco and Avaya battle for supremacy in enterprise telephony market with Avaya closing the gap with Cisco due to their Nortel acquisition. Could Avaya finally knock Cisco off their #1 IP-PBX perch?

Here's the news:

ANALYST NOTE
"We expected the acquisition of Nortel's enterprise assets to put Avaya in the clear lead for overall PBX equipment market share leadership, and while Avaya did receive a nice bump this quarter, softness in the acquired Nortel business combined with strong results by Cisco meant that Cisco and Avaya essentially tied for revenue market share, although Avaya is ahead in terms line shipments. This unfolding battle will be interesting to watch over the coming quarter, as both companies bring certain strengths and weaknesses to the table," notes Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research.

1Q10 MARKET HIGHLIGHTS
- Cisco maintains its lead in the overall enterprise telephony market in 1Q10, but only by a hair over Avaya, which saw a 25% quarterly jump in PBX revenue after absorbing Nortel's enterprise solutions business
> Both vendors posted their strongest PBX revenue standings since the end of 2008
- Manufacturer revenue from PBX and KTS system equipment hit $2.0 billion in 1Q10, a 4% sequential dip
- Despite the quarterly decline, the enterprise telephony market continues to grow from the lows set in the first half of 2009, and is up 7% year-over-year from the first quarter of 2009
- The North American PBX equipment market posted the highest year-over-year (1Q09 to 1Q10) growth among all regions
- IP phones continue to recover from their 1Q09 low point, up 32% year-over-year to 3.9 million phones shipped in 1Q10
- Sales of unified communication (UC) applications are temporarily down due to expired promotions
> The UC market, led by Cisco and Avaya, is expected to resume growth in 2010

REPORT SYNOPSIS
Infonetics' quarterly Enterprise Unified Communication, VoIP, and TDM Equipment report provides worldwide and regional market size, market share, analysis, and forecasts through 2014 for the enterprise telephony market, including TDM PBX and KTS systems, hybrid and pure IP PBX systems, IP PBX by system size, VoIP gateways, unified communication applications (communicator, unified messaging), IP desk phones and IP soft phones.

















Unified Communications and VoIP Research Report for 2009/2010

April 1, 2010



New reports from Infonetics that I thought I'd share. They discuss how hosted VoIP services and unified communications will increase and they talk about capital expenditures on enterprise VoIP equipment. One point I'd like to highlight is they stated "Service provider revenue from residential/SOHO and business VoIP services increased 20% between 2008 and 2009, to $41.6 billion". Even in this prolonged recession, VoIP is still growing strong with no signs of slowing down!

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