Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Video Conferencing

Watchitoo's Playground Unveiled - Watch out Skype & Google Hangouts!

October 3, 2012


Watchitoo today unveiled Playground, their cloud-based video collaboration platform for small and medium businesses featuring up to 25 participants that can do video, screen sharing, chat, and file sharing. I did a demo of Playground last week and I was very impressed. During my demo with Watchitoo's CEO Rony Zarom and a PR representative we had 3 webcams streaming and he started a screen-sharing session. Next, he started a HD YouTube video.

DIGITALK, the One-Stop Shop for Wholesale Carriers & Service Providers

October 3, 2012

AT ITEXPO Paul Bassa, VP Product Marketing gave me an overview of U.K.-based DIGITALK, which offers platform and application products backed by full services support, that offers provisioning, prepaid charging, payments, and carrier routing to minimize operations overheads and maximize service margins. They offer pre-sales consultancy, through installation and commissioning, to worldwide 24x7 SLAs.

They offer a mobile VoIP app on consumer side and allow service providers to white label the app and they help with the Apple iTunes app submission process. The mobile VoIP app has prepaid capabilities built-in, allowing you to simply enter a PIN to activate.

They build all their own products, including their own session border controller (SBC) and can do carrier to carrier routing, management, SIP trunking, wholesale billing, and reporting. They also have a Web API to allow you to build your own portals.



WebRTC - Mobile Communications Game Changer or Flash in the Pan?

September 24, 2012

Came across Erik Lagerway's interesting guest post on Gigaom.com discussing WebRTC and its potential to be a mobile game changer. WebRTC essentially embeds a standard-based real time Media Engine into all of the available browsers enabling real-time voice and video communication from your browser. Erik ponders the future leveraging WebRTC:

Imagine a world where no matter what we use or where we are we could all communicate via video, hassle-free, for free — native video from Apple devices to Samsung devices, from business phones to the TV in your living room, from your car to your home to a beach in Hawaii. That is what WebRTC can do for us.


Gartner's 'Magic Quadrant for UC' - Cisco Bests Microsoft - Not!

September 11, 2012

Gartner recently posted their Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications along with their analysis of the UC market. As always Gartner's research is a fascinating and insightful read, but I do take slight issue where they positioned Cisco and Microsoft. First let's take a look at the Magic Quadrant:

You will see that Cisco and Microsoft are nearly touching one another and the top two companies within the Magic Quadrant, but Cisco slightly beats Microsoft in both the "leaders" and "visionaries" categories. I don't take issue with Cisco in the "leaders" category, since clearly Cisco has been doing enterprise VoIP, video conferencing and indeed UC longer than Microsoft with many more deployments.

I do however take issue with Cisco beating Microsoft in the "visionaries" category.



ooVoo Launches 4-Screen Multi-Party Video for Apple iOS & Android

August 21, 2012

ooVoo, a competitor to Skype today announced 4-way video chat that works on iOS and Android devices. I had a chance to speak with ooVoo representatives to discuss the news and of course, I used ooVoo during our conference call, as seen here:

ooVoo, is a large social video-chat provider with 54 million registered subscribers.  With the launch of ooVoo’s new mobile apps with support for 4 simultaneous video streams, they are currently the only major video conferencing product offering this - and for free.

Windows 8 Broke my TAPI Dialing But Problem Solved!

August 17, 2012

I often use TAPI within Outlook to click-to-dial my contacts through our Asterisk-based PBX. This is an under-appreciated feature that more users should take advantage of considering most PBXs support TAPI TSPs.

However, after upgrading my Windows 7 machine to Windows 8 a couple days ago, this functionality stopped working. This feature allows me to simply view/search for an Outlook Contact, right-click the Contact, and then choose the number I want to dial, as seen here:


Instantly, my IP phone rings and I'm connected to the remote phone number. Fortunately, me and TAPI go way back.




Skype for Windows 8 Metro / Modern UI Leaks

August 17, 2012


Microsoft / Skype is hard at work developing a cool Metro "Modern UI" version of Skype, the new Windows 8 tile-based touch-enabled interface. An image of the Skype Metro style app leaked to Twitter  demonstrating how the Microsoft/Skype team has optimized Skype for Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets coming to market.

Cult of Mac likes it, but isn't pleased Apple tablets will be getting the short shaft and not be able to leverage this new UI. It sports the usual voice and video features, but also pinned favorites and a sidebar to display status and message history.

According to Neowin, "The UI is fluid and dare we say fast too.

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.



Lync Server 2013 Adds Skype Federation & Many Other New Features

July 23, 2012


Lync Server 2013 can federate with Skype, which is huge new feature that greatly enhances Microsoft's UC portfolio and may explain the $8.5 billion premium Microsoft paid for Skype. You can now fully integrate Skype contacts into Lync and call or instant message anyone on Skype. Alas, only voice and no video support yet.  In May I discussed how Xbox 360 integration with Skype was slow going, so Skype federation with Microsoft Lync is welcome news.

New Lync 2013 Tracing Folder Location

July 19, 2012

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