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


Grandstream GXP2110 HD Phone

September 21, 2010

Grandstream Networks today announced a new GXP series enterprise SIP telephone called the GXP2110. The GXP2110 SIP telephone offers HD audio quality and integrated Web applications, support for highly flexible XML customization and strong security protection.

The new GXP2110 SIP phone comes standard with HD handset and high performance full duplex speakerphone, a broad range of voice codecs, dual network ports with integrated PoE, 4 line keys, 3 soft keys, 18 programmable BLF keys, 5-way conferencing, large 240x120 backlit graphical LCD with 8-level grayscale, multiple languages, large phone book and call log (2,000 records), automated provisioning using TR-069 and encrypted XML file, extension module expandability, and a number of integrated Web applications such as real-time local weather, stock, currency, RSS news, etc. In the near future, more advanced Web applications will continue to be integrated via FREE firmware upgrade and an open Web service API will also be provided for advanced custom enterprise/Web application development. Grandstream plans to continue to expand the GXP phone series with new models during the rest of this year.
“The proliferation of Web applications from PC to mobile phones and now to desk phones is clearly gaining momentum,” said David Li, CEO of Grandstream Networks.

Goodbye Microsoft OCS Hello Microsoft Lync!

September 13, 2010

Last week I wrote an article titled "Microsoft Lync 2010 - New Product? Or New OCS Name?" based off of a couple new downloads on Microsoft's site I found via Twitter. When I saw something called Microsoft Lync on Twitter I was intrigued. After reading the description of the downloads last week, I wrote, "I'll be damned if that doesn't sound exactly like the feature-set of OCS/MCS or whatever the heck the new name will be called." Certainly the name made sense, since I thought it was a combination of "link" with a "c" for communications.

Microsoft Lync 2010 - New Product? Or New OCS Name?

September 9, 2010

Today, Microsoft released some downloads for "Microsoft Lync 2010". Microsoft Lync 2010? What the heck is that? Is that the new name of the yet unreleased Communications Server "14"? I thought it was going to be called MCS (Microsoft Communications Server).

HP Launches "Just Right IT" Portfolio for Small Businesses

September 8, 2010

HP today introduced its "Just Right IT" portfolio, which empowers micro, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to better serve their customers by simplifying processes, reducing costs and improving productivity. I interviewed Mark Hilton, director of product marketing, HP Networking last week to learn more about this offering and HP's future direction after the acquisition of 3Com, including the NBX IP-PBX product line. 3Com was one of the earliest innovators of voice over IP PBX systems, so I was interested to learn if HP was going to go after Avaya, Cisco, etc. Listen to the podcast for more:

The portfolio includes new management, data protection, communications and connectivity offerings that are designed and priced "just right" to deliver affordability as well as value to SMBs. The expanded portfolio also provides new business opportunities for HP channel partners.

"While SMBs remain cautious about the economy, they continue to look for ways to simplify operations and prepare for growth," said Anil Miglani, senior vice president at AMI Partners, a strategy consulting firm.

XConnect Partners with Polycom, BroadSoft and Dialogic to Increase HD Voice Adoption

September 7, 2010

XConnect is announcing a four-company initiative to promote HD voice adoption among U.K. service providers. This follows on the news they announced at TMC's ITEXPO where XConnect announced the world's first HD voice peering federation, in the U.S., with the goal of incrasing global HD voice uptake.

In summary, XConnect is announcing that it is joining with Polycom, BroadSoft and Dialogic to launch an educational and marketing campaign to reach U.K. operators.

8x8 Virtual Office Pro Review

September 2, 2010

8x8 sent me a trial account of 8x8 Virtual Office Pro to review. What is Virtual Office Pro? Think of it as your web-based communications portal handling phone calls (auto-attendant, VoIP), internet fax, hosted conferencing and hosted application sharing. The only missing piece from the equation is email, however it does support direct integration with Exchange Server by leveraging Outlook Anywhere to pull in your Outlook Contacts.

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".

Interactive Intelligence Interaction SIP Station Review

August 24, 2010

Interactive Intelligence
sent me their new Interaction SIP Station to check out and review. It's an interesting little product that aims to replace big bulky desktop SIP phones with a simple little SIP-based Power over Ethernet (PoE) box that has a headset jack for connecting any standard headset. The obvious market is call centers where agents often take calls using a headset and a softphone application and have no need for a desktop phone with a full touch-tone keypad, speakerphone, handset, etc. In fact, often the handset stays cradled and the agent simply answers the call with the headset, which essentially means the desktop phone is a glorified PBX-to-headset converter.

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.

CounterPath Adds Multiple SIP Account Support to iPhone App

August 16, 2010

Back in June, I mentioned that CounterPath told me they were working on a multiple SIP account version of their iPhone/iPad/iTouch application. That day has arrived!

CounterPath today announced the availability of Bria iPhone Edition Version 1.1 for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Compatible with Apple's new iOS 4 operating system, Bria iPhone Edition 1.1 is a highly secure, standards-based VoIP softphone that works over both 3G and Wi-Fi networks.
Bria iPhone Edition 1.1 leverages iOS 4 to deliver multitasking VoIP on the iPhone.

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