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Tom Keating
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CounterPath Launches NomadicPBX, a Mobile Enterprise Convergence Application

April 19, 2010

Today, CounterPath launched its Nomadic PBX application, which seamlessly connects all employees' mobile phones via a mobile network-based service. The NomadicPBX application is a presence-based, fixed and mobile voice, and instant messaging/short message service (IM/SMS) technology mashup with enterprise-ready features. NomadicPBX enables wireless carriers and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) the ability to offer enterprise fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) services.

Based on CounterPath's Network Convergence Gateway (NCG) platform, NomadicPBX enables wireless operators and other service providers to extend their feature sets into small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Here's the key features:

•      Pairs the mobile number to one or more SIP devices (plus the mobile phone).
•      Leverages the mobile network services and platforms that carriers already have deployed.
•      Manages the call control based on presence or end-user direction.  For example, a user may select to move the call between the mobile and soft phone (any direction).
•      Mashes up the mobile and SIP presence in one solution.

Here's the full release:

CounterPath Releases Network-Based Mobile Enterprise Convergence Mashup Application
The NomadicPBX application enables wireless carriers and VoIP providers to escape voice commoditization with fixed-mobile convergence services across any desk phone, softphone or mobile phone

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!

FaceTime Vantage - The Ultimate Unified Communications Compliance Tool

March 29, 2010

As I have mentioned in the past, controlling and monitoring Skype usage in the enterprise is very difficult. It is Skype's ability to work on any network, regardless of the types of NAT, proxy, firewall, or intrusion prevention systems that have helped make Skype such a popular application. It is this same set of characteristics that has made Skype the bane of many corporate network managers that wish to control what applications run on their network.

FaceTime Communications ( today announced the release of Vantage, a software solution for the security, management and compliance of real time and unified communications, including Skype. Vantage is the successor to FaceTime's IMAuditor, (note the name change) and it expands the support for UC platforms such as Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) and IBM Lotus Sametime and for the first time provides stringent security and compliance controls for Skype in the enterprise.

Most notable among the features integral to Vantage are extensive support for OCS Group Chat, compliance archiving and ethical wall creation for Microsoft Live Meeting and support for Call Admission Control (CAC) to manage resource allocation.  Support is also provided for logging IBM Lotus Sametime announcements, file transfer capture, scanning and controls and a host of compliance features including ethical walls, inline disclaimers and data leak prevention. 

In addition to controlling who can use Skype, the software also records the Skype instant messages, controls whether file transfers are allowed, and can control when VoIP or video can be used.

Egypt Bans Mobile VoIP

March 18, 2010

Egypt has banned international calls made through mobile VoIP internet connections, including Skype. This is obviously a big win for landline monopoly Telecom Egypt.

According to Reuters:

"The ban will apply to the three mobile operators in Egypt -- Mobinil, Etisalat Egypt and Vodafone Egypt -- who offer internet access for computers via USB and other mobile modems, as well as via mobile phone."

"The ban is on Skype on mobile internet, not on fixed, and this is due to the fact it is against the law since it bypasses the legal gateway," said Amr Badawy, the executive president of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA).

Under Egyptian law, international calls must pass through a network controlled by majority state-owned Telecom Egypt, which this week reported disappointing earnings.

While only mentioning Skype by name, Badawy did not rule out extending the ban to other services in the future.

"We are targeting any illegal voice traffic on the mobile (internet)," Badawy said, adding that the ban was communicated to the three mobile operators earlier this week.

AudioCodes SPS Brings Microsoft OCS Features to Legacy SIP Phones

March 16, 2010

Some very interesting news from AudioCodes with the launch of AudioCodes' SIP Phone Support (SPS) for Microsoft Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS). AudioCodes is well known for their VoIP gateway products - well think of SPS as a gateway between SIP IP phones and Microsoft OCS. Essentially, AudioCodes' SPS enables connectivity to Microsoft Office Communications Server using standard SIP IP phones, which then adds OCS's powerful UC functionality, including presence into your existing IP phone infrastructure.

You get even more powerful features if you use AudioCodes phones, including support for Microsoft's wideband RTA codec. SPS enables the connection of the AudioCodes 300HD IP Phone Series with Microsoft Office Communications Server, while providing Office Communications Server features, such as enhanced presence, active directory, and support for Real Time Audio (RTA) - Microsoft's high-definition, wideband coder.

IceWarp Unified Communications Server 10 Review

March 16, 2010

I tested and reviewed IceWarp Unified Communications Server for TMC's Unified Communications Magazine, which will be published very soon. I was very impressed with the product and thought I'd share my test results here. Check it out...

IceWarp Unified Communications Server 10

Pricing: 10 users=$549.54; 50 users=$2041.25; 100 users = $3821.04
30-day fully-functional trial available

Ratings Score Installation Documentation Features Usability Performance Value Overall
The buzzword "unified communications" gets thrown around pretty easily these days. Companies with solutions that cover just two or three model methods of communications often consider their products as part of the "unified communications" spectrum.

Free calls to Ireland for St. Patrick's Day

March 15, 2010

My Irish brethren, rejoice! For free mugs of beer phone calls are upon us this St. Patrick's Day! Truphone is offering free calls to Ireland, USA, the UK, Canada, and Poland all day. Not sure how or why other countries that don't have a large Irish demographic were included, i.e.

New Nimbuzz Adds VoIP over 3G

March 11, 2010

My How Far Asterisk has Come!

March 1, 2010

I just wrote about Bill Miller leaving Digium and how Bill was one of the important faces at Digium and the VoIP industry as a whole. What I wrote at the end of the article got me thinking about the VoIP industry:

I hope this [important people leaving VoIP industry] isn't the start of a trend. But if it is, this just goes to show you that the VoIP industry is constantly evolving and perhaps new blood will be a good thing. It's easy to get sentimental when people I've worked with for years leave an industry I love.

Asterisk started in late 2001.

Bill Miller Leaves Digium

March 1, 2010

Digium and TMC having dinner
Left-to-right clockwise: Steve Sokol, John Todd, Russell Bryant, Dave Rodriguez (TMC), Greg Galitzine (former TMC), Jane Brooks, Tom Keating (TMC), Bill Miller

Last week I heard Bill Miller, VP Product Management for Digium had left for another opportunity. Bill has been with Digium for as long as I can remember. He's one of the core faces of Digium and Asterisk, and I've worked with him over the years for various Digium news stories, including but not limited to the Skype for Asterisk announcement, which Bill had promised to give me a scoop on, but alas the eBay folks (public company) wouldn't allow me to have the news before everyone else. You win some, you lose some.

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