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Tom Keating
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SIP

Aastra Launches HD VoIP Audio called Hi-Q & Takes on Polycom

September 3, 2009

At ITEXPO, Aastra announced G.722 wideband audio codec support (HD audio) in their new 67xxi firmware version 2.5.0 or later. It's available as a free download from Aastra with no strings attached. No need to upgrade your 67xxi (formerly 57XXi) phone to a newer model to get HD audio. I spoke with Aastra at ITEXPO about this free upgrade and got a demo as well.

8x8 Virtual Meeting - Sporting Flash VoIP- Takes on WebEx and GoToMeeting

September 3, 2009

8x8, Inc. announced at ITEXPO a new, web-based conferencing service to its existing portfolio of business communication offerings for small to medium sized businesses. I met with a few 8x8 employees to get the low-down on this interesting new offering.

First, they leverage Adobe Flash and Adobe Flex for the client piece, which enables cross-platform support. No download required. You can also easily invite participants from a dashboard utility or send an email link to instantly join the conference.

Ecessa Brings Affordable Internet & VoIP SIP Redundancy to Market

September 2, 2009

At ITEXPO Ecessa, a 40-year old company most haven't heard of, announced they teamed up with MyTELEPATH and NetSapiens to bring reliable SIP delivery over multiple broadband links to SMEs. I met with Ecessa to discuss the news and to find out more information about their ClariLink product which adds VoIP SIP redundancy across multiple "bonded" broadband connections.

In a nutshell, ClariLink is SIP session aware and a SIP proxy / registrar that works across multiple ISP connections and will automatically failover in the event of too much latency, jitter, or an entire connection failure / outage. Ecessa measures latency, jitter, and connection outages and will automatically switch to one of the other connections. It also supports network optimization and will automatically pick the best performing connection when you initiate a SIP VoIP call. It can even modify the ISP connection on the fly during a VoIP call. So for instance, if your DSL connection fails , it will failover in real time to one of the other connections.

TANDBERG's PrecisionHD USB camera is now shipping

September 1, 2009

XCast Labs Cuts VoIP Bandwidth Requirements In Half

September 1, 2009

In the ITEXPO Press Room I just met with Cliff Rees, President & CEO of XCast Labs. They have some interesting VoIP technology, including a patent called  "direct RTP" which reduces VoIP bandwidth requirements in half.

The example Cliff gave was a VoIP call from Los Angeles to San Francisco using Net2Phone based out of New Jersey. When the Los Angeles user calls the San Francisco user, it initiates a 90Kbps IP call cross-country to Net2Phone's headquarters in New Jersey.

SIP Print SME VoIP Recording Appliance Launches

September 1, 2009

SIP Print is announcing today the general availability of a new, enterprise-class call recording platform for mid-market enterprises. The new SIP Print SME platform offers support for up to 200 seats per location, along with RAID hot-swappable drive bays, dual hot-swappable power supplies, and a Core 2 Quad Series processor.  Today's announcement is being issued in conjunction with TMC's ITEXPO Conference in Los Angeles.
 
According to SIP Print, SIP Print SME is a new, more powerful appliance designed for the needs of small and mid-size enterprises, or any organization with the requirement to record up to 200 seats per location.
 
"We introduced our highly affordable SMB product one year ago to meet the needs of small business with a need to record calls for training, QA, or compliance purposes, but simply couldn't justify the expense or hassle of the legacy recording systems on the market," said Jonathan Fuld, CTO for SIP Print.  "Since that time we've seen tremendous demand for a similar, but more powerful system in the mid-market enterprise arena.  We're pleased to introduce SIP Print SME as the ideal solution for mid-sized enterprises with the need for a system that is easy to install, easy to use and maintain, and easy to afford."
 
SIP Print SME is a 1U appliance and is certified as compatible and interoperable with many of today's leading IP PBX systems, including: Allworx, Aastralink, ADTRAN, Altigen, Avaya Distributed Office, Cisco, Epygi, Fonality, Grandstream, Mitel, NEC 8100, NEC 8300, Nortel, ShoreTel, SIPfoundry, Toshiba, Zultys, 3Com, and more. As configured, SIP Print SME is capable of recording and storing the equivalent of one handset, 24x7 for 15 years.

Check out my recent review (last month) of their previous SIP Print appliance which I gave extremely high marks.







Vonage Launches Vonage World and Visual Voicemail

August 19, 2009

Vonage today has announced some significant value add to their core $24.99/month unlimited plan. Vonage's Michael Tempora, Senior VP Product & Program Management told me they are announcing two new services. First, they are announcing "Vonage World" with unlimited calling across the world to over 60 countries, which covers 2/3 of the world's population (4.5 billion). The existing $24.99 plan included U.S., Canada, and five European countries.

To Appear Offline or Not to Appear Offline, that is the Presence Question

August 19, 2009

Presence is a valuable tool used in a variety of consumer and business applications, including Microsoft OCS 2007, Skype, AOL's AIM, Windows Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and more. Businesses which used to ban IM applications (block it on the firewall, Group Policy, etc.) are starting to see the productivity value in IM and have implemented IM solutions in the enterprise. With the convergence of voice, video, and chat in applications such as Microsoft's Office Communicator, rich presence functionality enables your fellow co-workers to know if you are on the phone, in Do Not Disturb mode, away, working at home, on vacation, etc.

Knowing your co-workers presence certainly improves how, when and if you interact with them.

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Web Scheduler

August 15, 2009

Are you running 64-bit Windows and can't get the OCS 2007 R2 Outlook add-in to work? Bummed you can't use the add-in to schedule meetings? As a workaround, those running Office 2010 (64-bit version) on a 64-bit machine have to manually paste the OCS conferencing number and ID into their Calendar, which is a bit tedious. You also miss out on the nice calendar presence information.

Well, Microsoft is still working on the 64-bit version of the Outlook add-in, which will be available when Office 2010 RTMs, however they just released 'Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Web Scheduler', which you can use to schedule meetings in the meantime until they release the 64-bit Outlook add-in.

Microsoft Releases Two New UC OCS 2007 Training Tools

August 13, 2009

Microsoft released a new UC How To training application leveraging Microsoft Silverlight™ 2 to help users and administrators learn how to use Office Communications Server 2007 R2. The Microsoft Unified Communications "How-To" training tool provides step-by-step instructions for common UC tasks, such as find and add contacts, create groups in contact list, initiate a voice or video call, create a chat room, search chat history, and much more. It also goes into "etiquette" in instant messaging and etiquette in managing your presence status. I really liked this aspect of this training tool, since it is often difficult for IT/MIS folks to document etiquette procedures and get users to actually listen.
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