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Tom Keating
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Digium (Unofficially) Announces R-Series Redundancy Analog & PRI Appliances

October 27, 2011


Today, at a standing room only session presented by Digium's Jason Parker he discussed Digium's R-Series (R = Redundancy) appliance, which adds redundancy to analog & PRI trunks. It comes in two models - an analog model supporting 8 analog trunks and a PRI model supporting 8 PRIs. Interestingly, both will be priced at $995. I would have expected a premium on the 8 PRI model. The products will be generally available on December 9th of this year.

Asterisk 10 - The Inside Story

October 27, 2011



At AstriCon, I sat down with Digium's Steve Sokol, Asterisk Marketing Director, to discuss the big Asterisk 10 release. It's quite the version leap from 1.1, 1.2, 1.4 , 1.6, to 1.8 - and now to 10.0. Ironically, I knocked Asterisk's small version increments when I spoke with Mark Spencer 1-3 years ago. I asked Mark why the version numbering scheme was still less than 2.0.

Digium's Mark Spencer Questions Panasonic About Android APKs/Apps

October 26, 2011

Switchvox 5.5 - Sneak Peek!

October 26, 2011

I caught the tail half of Digium's Tristan Barnum's AstriCon session. Tristan Barnum is the Director of Product Marketing for Switchvox at Digium. In her AstriCon session, Tristan stressed how she never ever tells what Switchvox is up to and certainly not what features to expect.

"Switchvox 5.5 is due out the first quarter of the year [2012].

Polycom VVX 500 Launches

October 17, 2011


In 2009, Polycom announced the Polycom VVX 1500, a touch-screen business media phone, that combines IP telephony with business-class video and the ability to integrate with business applications. It was a little bit clunky to be honest, so I'm intrigued by the new Polycom VVX 500 that was just launched, especially since it's slimmer and sexier than the VVX 1500. The VVX 500 has a 3.5-inch TFT (320 x 240 pixels) touch screen.

It has built-in Web applications and a Digital Photo Frame. Polycom’s “My Info Portal” serves up stocks, news, sports, weather, and other streamed content directly to the phone’s screen.


Rebtel Mobile VoIP app hops between 3G and WiFi/data Networks

October 14, 2011

Rebtel just launched version 2.0 of its free iPhone app, which allows users to make and receive free international calls using WiFi, 3G, or local minutes. TechCrunch discusses Rebtels's "new proprietary technology called “KeepTalking”, which allows users to transition (mid-call, mind you) from WiFi/3G to local minutes." VentureBeat also writes about them with this headline: "Rebtel’s Voice-over-IP app hops between data/voice networks, a first". Actually, they're not the first. Back in 2010 at ITEXPO Counterpath's Todd Carothers demo'ed switching a 3G voice call automatically to WiFi and a VoIP call to the cellular network.

Cisco UC320W Review

October 5, 2011


Cisco isn’t known for hitting the SOHO/SMB space of 1-24 users, even with their feature-rich, but not entirely inexpensive Unified Communications Manager Express (UCME) product line.  UCME’s sweet spot is 30-100 users, while Cisco’s new UC 320W product works with 1-24 users, with a sweet spot of 4-16 users. Also, the big brother to the UC320W, the UC500 has a sweet spot of 12-80 users addressing the small to mid-sized market. The list price of a UC320W system with 10 users, including voicemail is just $995, which is under the psychological $1,000 price-point. 

Apple iPad - Your Next Desktop Phone?

September 22, 2011


I've been thinking about how the Apple iPad could really disrupt the VoIP space and become your next desktop phone. Think about the impact to companies such as Cisco, Polycom, Aastra, snom, Grandstream, and others. While these companies do offer low-end IP desktop phones, they have higher margins on the high-end large color screen IP phones that sport advanced features like RSS feeds (weather, news), collaboration, and video conferencing.

Take for instance the Aastra BluStar media phone, which sports a 13" touch screen that achieves true HD 720p video conferencing at a rate of 30 fps or the Polycom VVX 1500, which sports a a 7" color touch-screen and 2MP camera. Both IP phones are over $650, while the latest iPad 2 can be had for $450 (16GB model).


Daily Skype Stats in An Infographic

September 6, 2011

Would you like to see just how successful Skype is? Well, look no further than this infographic put out by Skype to celebrate their 8th birthday last week:


It's indeed impressive. Skype's Big Blog writes, "700 million minutes of free Skype-to-Skype calls each day. To put it in perspective, 700 million is the equivalent of going around the earth 28,000 times in one day, if each minute represents a mile.


PowerView Offers Powerful Microsoft Lync Reporting

September 2, 2011

Unify2 PowerView is a reporting and billing solution for Microsoft Lync Server 2010 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2. It comes with pre-canned reports including a report to track ROI so you see exactly how Lync's unified communications feature-set is saving your business money.

PowerView 3.0 aggregates data collected from Call Detail Records, Active Directory, carrier billing rate tables and other data sources. According to Unify2, "PowerView effectively complements the raw transactional data contained in the Lync CDR databases and provides a rich view of the data that's correlated with the enterprise's organizational and geographical topologies, enabling enterprises to leverage a comprehensive set of PowerView reports or easily develop custom views of business data related to Lync."

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