Erik Linask : Convergence Corner
Erik Linask

Pros and Cons of Hosted vs. On Premise Phone Systems

Purchasing communications infrastructure equipment for your business, whether it’s data routers, SBCs or phone communication systems is difficult.  There are many vendor...

Full Story »

Making Sense of Blockchain and Nothing Can Be Hidden in it?

The Bitfury Group and First Block Capital, on January 11, 2018, announced they had invested in Emercoin and would support the ground-breaking...

Full Story »

Openpath Intros Next-Gen Access Control System

As everything in our lives has become smart; the phone, speaker, lights, cities, thermostats and doorbells, the reality is that pretty much...

Full Story »

ZiipRoom Intros Must-Have Videoconferencing Solution

Friction or resistance is generally used to slow things down. In fact, a car's braking system is a great example of something very...

Full Story »

Small Businesses Have Unique Needs When it Comes to Communication Systems

If you have a small business, chances are you have a business communication phone system someplace on premise.  That PBX communication system...

Full Story »

ChatBots are Marching

Chances are you have talked to a Chatbot and didn’t even know it.  Like most contact center innovations, Chatbots have been driven...

Full Story »

Why is the PSTN Long Tail So Long?

Even though VoIP and IP communications in general is now dominating all landline communications, why is the PSTN still there?  Why doesn’t...

Full Story »

Polycom Names New CEO - What's Next?

May 10, 2010

Is today's news that Robert Hagerty is stepping down as CEO, president, and chairman of Polycom part of the company's move to the future? It would seem so, based on comments from new chairman David Dewalt, who had been Polycom's lead independent director.

VoIP Testing is Needed, Test Automation is Needed More

July 15, 2009

Basically, WerkMATE is a vendor and device agnostic framework that allows automation of testing processes via a Web GUI, allowing users to cut manual testing time by as much as 80% according to research -- though Caterisano says, in his experience, that figure is closer to 50%.

CDW Snags Awards for Converged IT Solutions Expertise

June 23, 2009

Part of becoming a valued partner to both vendors and customers is the ability to leverage quality products to lower capital and operational costs, which is among the key areas of focus for CDW today, as it looks to solve networking and communications challenges for its budget conscious customers, with access to certified IT experts who are ready to help understand and address current and future business networking needs

Communications and Automation, a Match Made in Indianapolis

June 22, 2009

In other words, it places business processes onto the IP Communications system, not only creating a more efficient business, but also increasing the value of the communications solution.

Nokia Siemens Networks' Chief Welcomes Nortel Employees

June 19, 2009

In addition to providing access to a tremendous CDMA user base, the move strategically positions NSN in the growing LTE market, which could potentially include being added as a third infrastructure vendor for Verizon Wireless' LTE development.

Avaya and IBM, A Formidable UC and Security Alliance

June 11, 2009

Specifically, Avaya Aura, the company's new UC architecture, has been integrated into IBM's converged communications offerings. In addition -- and this is where the security element comes into play -- Avaya has certified IBM Security Systems' Proventia GX 5208 and Proventia Management SiteProtector SP1001 for interoperability with Avaya Aura.

Telx Opens Clifton Facility

April 23, 2009

I'm here in Clifton, New Jersey this morning, at the grand opening of Telx' latest facility and it's fourth in the greater NY area.  When we arrived, it was still pretty quiet, and the last minute preparations were still ongoing.  But shortly, Telx staff and other attendees began arriving and filling the lobby, and as I said to David Yedwab, the excitement level seems higher than what we've heard from some tradeshows this year.  

When Telx CEO Eric Shepcaro kicked off the event, the main hall, and the overflow room next door were both filled with attendees.  (Luckily, I found a place to sit and take some notes.)


Shepcaro began by answering the question as to why Clifton, especially when Telx already has two sites in the Manhattan and another in Weehawken, New Jersey.  He did suggest a visit to Rutt's Hut for fried hot dogs, and successful hockey and football programs (the Clifton facility is only a few miles from the Meadowlands Sports Complex) -- though that certainly wasn't an incentive for Shepcaro, himself a Rangers' fan.


But all joking aside, what it really came down to was the ability to provide its customers a central location for colocation, backup and recovery, and interconnection services in a network rich location within proximity to a variety of industries.  New Jersey also is among the leaders in broadband penetration (some studies put it at the top of the list of U.S.

WiFi Service Delivers Live Game Feeds to Fans at Penguins NHL Games

March 5, 2009

If you're a sports nut, you enjoy multiple angle replays of various plays when watching your favorite team play. But what about those fans sitting in the arena or stadium who can't buy a replay on the giant screens that otherwise aren't good for much?   Well, two Carnegie Mellon University engineering faculty -- Priya Narasimhan and Rajeev Gandhi -- and their students have taken the first steps to resolving that issue. No, they haven't added instant replay to stadium video displays. Instead, they have taken an easier, and more effective path, leveraging the growth of wireless communications to create a wireless video service that delivers multiple camera feeds to WiFi-enabled mobile devices.  

  The service, called YinzCam, gives fans at games the ability to view real-time replays, game stats, and player information on their WiFi-enabled handsets, including the iPod Touch.   The service was also developed with the ability to support push and pull video to users -- presumably to eventually allow users to create their own instant replays. (Maybe even highlights from out-of-town games so Greg Galitzine can keep tabs on the goals his team, which leads TMC's fantasy hockey league.)   Not surprisingly, the Carnegie Mellon group was able to get a test drive of their service with the Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. A pilot of the service has been launched there, allowing fans to use their handsets to try out YinzCam's features.   While the YinzCam service is only in its pilot phase in Pittsburgh, the potential for widespread use is limited only by the number of arenas and stadiums in the country -- or even the world. Not only are dual mode devices (not to mention the iPod Touch) being adopted at a remarkable rate, increasing the potential user base for the service -- which is currently being offered cost-free at Mellon Arena -- but opening up the service to the mobile operators exponentially increases its potential. It also creates a consistent revenue stream -- sports fans a fanatical about their favorites and are willing to pay to enhance their experience.   Furthermore, when you talk about extending to the cellular world, the service is automatically extended to fans worldwide who cannot be in attendance at games. Displaced fans are even more likely to pay for the ability to see live feeds of their teams.   With the momentum mobile video has achieved -- despite my early doubts, which I have since retracted ­-- combined with the fanaticism of sports fans, YinzCam has the real scoring potential, especially when you consider all the other applications consumers are willing to pay for.  I'd certainly consider it for the opportunity at NY Giants games.   For the time being though, Penguins' fans can relish the opportunity to use technology to enhance their in-arena experience, as they enjoy two of the NHL's youngest and most prolific stars -- Evgeni Malkin and Sydney Crosby -- battle for the scoring title.

Mobile Broadband Primed for Major Growth

February 19, 2009

I wrote yesterday about the promise in the newly announced partnership between Opera and Yahoo!, where the latest Opera Mini mobile browser will be bundled with the new Yahoo! Mobile application for smartphones.    A new study by The Nielsen Company, commissioned by Tellabs, suggests the timing of the alliance couldn't be better, as more than seven out of ten of American's surveyed say they expect to make daily use of mobile Internet and other similar services.    This revelation comes amid a major economic slump, where businesses are laying off thousands and spending is down as a whole. But, as has been suggested by many, the telecom sector, while not immune, may be better off than other industries. In fact, despite the economy, and despite their concerns about the cost, speed, and quality of service, a strong majority of respondents suggest a major increase in mobile data usage over the next year.   The survey, conducted in the U.S., and five Western European countries, included more than 50,000 consumers, suggests that, in these six markets, providers can expect mobile data services to be adopted by more than a quarter of current non-users. It also indicates an overall increase in usage -- including current users and non-users -- by more than 100 million subscribers. For comparison, that's about 40% more total subscribers than Verizon Wireless reports.   The results of the survey, announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, come at a time when there is significant debate as to the viability of and need for mobile infrastructure and its support, along with government support of such projects.   Not surprisingly, the consensus at the GSMA Leadership Summit was that government support is a necessity, and that the build-out of mobile broadband networks is vital to economic recovery. It will also help alleviate the concerns over the quality of mobile services among survey respondents.   Speaking to the need for providers to build out their networks and service offerings, Pat Dolan, vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Tellabs, said, "By planning urgent and strategic network upgrades, operators can quickly and cost-efficiently address users' issues and meet increasing demands on networks."   As for the services most likely to be adopted by current non-users, Tellabs breaks it down:                                       U.S.         Europe Mobile Internet                         49%            34% MMS                                        38%            39% Uploading photos                      34%            27% Software/app download            30%            30% Email                                       28%            32%   Clearly, as the scope of news from the wireless community shows, mobile communications -- and mobile data services, in particular -- are in for a significant boost. It's now up to the service providers to ensure their networks are capable of handling the growth.   I suspect, given the projected growth of the mobile market, alliances like that between Opera and Yahoo! are only the beginning. And, as service providers continue to seek new ways of differentiating their services, they will also look to secure a series of new relationships that will enable them to deliver greater choice to their subscribers, as opposed to the one killer app that has for some time been the Holy Grail.

Yahoo! Partnership with Opera Sounds Good

February 18, 2009

As I wrote last month, Opera Software has a mobile browser, Opera Mini, which is well worth a try, especially when compared to many of the browsers that come standard on smartphones. I also said it should leverage the strength of its mobile application rather than trying to overtake Microsoft in the desktop browser market.   And I'm sure most of you are well aware that Yahoo! Plays second fiddle to Google in the desktop search engine space, by a long stretch.   But, the two have now combined their expertise to bring what should be an even better mobile Web experience to users. There's nothing wrong with the Yahoo! engine, and Yahoo! offers a variety of services and applications that quite good - it just isn't Google, but the company is clearly making an effort to compete in the mobile space, which isn't a bad move at all. We all know how the mobile market is evolving (which is precisely why that should be Opera's focus).   I've registered for the Beta of Yahoo!