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When we launched INTERNET TELEPHONY™ magazine, we perceived education as one of our single most important goals. Our editorial - including such monthly features as unbiased TMC Labs reviews, far-reaching product roundups, and in-depth technical articles covering the Internet telephony industry - is our best method of imparting our wealth of knowledge and research to our readership. Our ongoing dialogues with leaders in the Internet telephony market, as presented in our monthly feature Round Table, are another way of imparting knowledge to our readers.

As yet another method of educating our readers as to the vendors and products that make up our industry, we are proud to announce our first-ever Internet Telephony Product of the Year awards. This list, which is broken down by category, is designed to draw attention to those vendors whose products have helped redefine a fledgling technological anomaly into an unimagined telecommunications (r)evolution. In fact, this can be looked upon as a list of those pioneers who had the vision and the energy to move the industry from rudimentary PC-to-PC software phones to large-scale carrier deployment of Internet telephony.

Our list of award-winning vendors includes some very familiar names, and still there are other vendors who are not yet as well known. The products range from the basic building blocks (such as DSP Resource boards and H.323 protocol stacks) to a whole slew of gateways (NT-based, SPARC-based, large and small-scale…) to applications such as Web-based Unified Messaging. When we began researching this list, we figured we might pick the top 2 or 3 products and be done with it. However, 1998 was an amazing growth year for Internet telephony, and as such, our listing would be incomplete without recognizing the multitude of vendors whose products have helped shape this still growing industry.

I invite you to take a look at the winners of the first-ever Internet Telephony Product of the Year award. Use this information as a preliminary "Who's Who" of Internet telephony when you seek to learn more about the products and services our industry has to offer. Start with the basics. Send an e-mail. Make a call. And years from now, when you can't even remember what a traditional telephone looked like or how we ever managed to get by on the miniscule amount of services offered from today's service providers, you'll look back on this list and realize that the vendors mentioned here were indeed the true pioneers.

- Greg Galitzine, Executive Editor


CATEGORY

COMPANY

PRODUCT

DESCRIPTION

Billing Software Mind CTI, Inc. iPhonEX This carrier-grade billing solution provides scalability and customer management solutions to Internet telephony providers. Real-time billing system is suitable for telcos.
Telephony Experts, Inc. Telephony Gateway Billing Manager Integrates with VocalTec telephony gateways, providing centralized access to the billing system, which includes billing, authorization, account management and reporting.
Solect Solect IAF/3 Open architecture allows integration of customer care, service management solutions, and end-to-end billing across multiple servers.
Development Platforms Dialogic Corp. DM3 IPLink This standards-based open development platform supports the H.323 standard for communication across IP networks and a wide variety of vocoder algorithms.
Natural MicroSystems Fusion 2.0 Developers can create gateways with 8 port to multiple T1/E1 configurations without latency increase or a drop in performance through this open development platform.
Brooktrout Technology, Inc. TR 2001 IP Telephony Platform Provides processing power for up to 60 channels of IP voice and fax transmission over IP packet networks. Voice compression is compatible with multiple vocoders.
Development Tools AudioCodes, Inc. TrunkPack-VoIP/200 This compression board provides VoIP packetization for 60 channels in one PCI slot. A communications processor performs voice streaming protocols, RTP/RTCP, and control.
dynamicsoft jVoIP Framework Provides a foundation for developing voice/fax capabilities over IP networks. A new set of software modules delivers a foundation for custom-developed applications.
Parity Software VoiceBocx/IP A member of the CallSuite family of controls, the VoiceBocx/IP supports Dialogic boards with IP interfaces. Allows easy construction of telephony applications.
DSP Resource Boards DSP Research, Inc. Viper-12 This high density resource board allows 60 channels of H.323 VoIP to run on a single board. Ideal for voice and telecommunications infrastructure applications.
Analogic Corp. TAP-800 family The only general-purpose DSP Resource boards that support both MVIP and SCSA standard TDM buses, enabling developers to cut costs and time to market.
Gatekeepers VocalTec Communications, Inc. VocalTec Gatekeeper (VGK) Works with the VocalTec Ensemble Architecture to provide centralized security, addressing, and accounting for IP telephony networks, while acting as the platform for advanced services.
DataBeam Corp. H.323 Developer’s Toolkit v2 The industry’s first carrier-grade protocol stack incorporating the Version 2 standard. Enables third-party developers to embed standards-based voice and video in Internet and LAN products.
Gateways (NT-based) NeTrue Communications, Inc. NeTruePhone This gateway connects to virtually any business telephone system that supports a T1 interface and analog single lines. Uses industry standard components and is H.323 compatible.
eFusion, Inc. eStream The eStream is a new class of enhanced services platform, providing a broad range of market-ready H.323-based Internet telephony applications.
Clarent Corp. Clarent Enterprise Gateway Connects telephone voice calls and FAX over a TCP/IP Intranet or VPN-enabled Internet. Improves packet loss recovery and reduces latency through patent pending technology.
IntelliSwitch, Inc. iSwitch IP Telephony Gateway This intelligent gateway uses a routing table of switch locations to direct calls to the respective gateway through virtually any IP connection.
Gateways (UNIX-based) Digi International NetBlazer 8500 Based on open standards, this powerful VoIP gateway converts voice signals to TCP/IP and routes them over standard IP networks. Able to integrate with various networks.
Franklin Telecom Tempest DVG Unites geographically dispersed workgroups by integrating voice and fax over an existing LAN/WAN network. Allows integrated accounting, debit card billing, and authentication.
Linkon Corp. LinkNet IP Telephony Gateway Supports four analog channels to multiple E1/T1 digital circuits. Allows phone-to-phone communications over satellite, SS7 network protocol-based applications, and prepaid calling card services.
Gateways (Small scale) Connected Systems SimpliCT VoIP Gateway An integration of PC and voiceboard functionality in reliable open platforms. Features toll quality voice compression and industry standard programmability as well as 2-8 ports.
Handlink Technologies, Inc. EtherVoice Internet Telephony Gateway Stand-alone embedded system for making VoIP calls using CPU and on-board DSP resources. Connects to the PBX via analog, and the IP network via a 10/100BaseT Ethernet interface.
Gateways (Router-based) Cisco Systems, Inc. Cisco 3600 Series Meets the expanding requirements of branch offices by giving customers access to changing technologies. Analog modem network modules support basic phone service connections.
Motorola, Inc. Vanguard 6450 Addresses small to large branch office needs for high throughput to regional sites. Used over analog/digital leased lines, ISDN, Frame Relay, X.25, and Nx64K.
Gateways (PBX w. IP Trunk) Lucent Technologies Definity ECS Call Center Architecture is made up of a switch fabric layer, an applications layer, and a call management layer made up of three subsystems: call processing, maintenance, and system management.
Nortel Networks Meridian 1 An enterprise-wide multimedia communications system, Meridian 1 is part of Nortel’s Power Network, integrating voice, data, video, and image communications into a single network.
Gateways (Other) Oki Network Technologies, Inc. Internet Voice Gateway BS1200 All inclusive one-box design allows companies to route voice and fax communications over IP networks. Bridges existing PBX or Key Phone systems with digital data networks.
Nuera Communications, Inc. Access Plus F200ip This leading IP gateway/voice FRAD is integrated to allow network routing on a call by call basis for optimal call quality and minimum transmission cost.
Netrix Corp. Network Exchange 2201 This voice over data switching platform supports Internet telephony and WAN switching along with multiprotocol data support. Works as a stand-alone switch or with other Netrix products.
H.323 Protocol Stack RADVision RADVision H.323 Protocol Stack This complete set of tools for developing H.323 entities allows developers to license source or object code for Windows, Unix, VxWorks, and pSOS operating systems.
elemedia elemedia H.323 Protocol Stack Specially engineered to support embedded processor applications. Makes minimal use of operating system functions for high portability and interoperability with various platforms.
Headsets Andrea Electronics Corp. PC Headset Telephone Interface (PCTI) Integrates speech-centric computing and telephony applications by connecting users to the phone, computer, or both simultaneously. Frees users from having to toggle between connectivity devices.
Ahern Communications Corp. AVID AV-Series PC Headsets This headset and amplifier is designed to work with Internet telephony, CTI, voice recognition, multimedia, personal conferencing, and business audio applications.
Industrial Computers (Intel-based) Crystal Group, Inc. CS-500 Unique size configuration allows four 5-slot models to fit in a standard 19" rack, 32 computers per rack. Two cooling fans and two drive bays are additional features.
CSS Labs, Inc. MaxPro 1500 This scalable system is designed to manage the workload and multiprocessing performance of a complex environment. Has a 20-slot multi-segment split passive backplane.
Industrial Computer Source P2LX Series Features Intel Pentium II Processors, Intel 440LX Pentium II Chip Set, and several models with key feature combinations for versatility.
Industrial Computers (SPARC-based) Alliance Systems Alliant SSP Series The Alliant SSP Series are industrial grade, rack mount systems built with mission-critical features: RAID 5, hot swap devices, and an external drive enclosure.
APPRO International, Inc. SURE-5208X Designed to house Sun’s SPARCengine Ultra AXmp, the SURE-5208X offers a rugged and protective housing, a 600W power supply, and three 82 CFM fans to avoid meltdowns.
Force Computers, Inc. teraforce-50 The teraforce-50 is a 20-slot VMEbus-based computing platform combining high performance and low power consumption with an eye toward the telecommunications applications arena.
Industrial Computers (CompactPCI) Diversified Technology, Inc. CPC8622 Based on Intel’s 440GX chipset, the CPC8622 supports all current full or partial length AT-ISA bus cards as well as any number of CompactPCI cards.
Ziatech Corp. ZT4101 This 14-slot 6U CompactPCI backplane has two buses and is compatible with several Ziatech CPU boards. It also accommodates up to 13 peripherals.
Internet ACD PakNetX Corp. PNX ACD 2.0 Performs traditional call center functions in an Internet environment. The ACD can hold, retrieve, and transfer calls as well as manage Web-initiated and direct calls.
Internet Fax Products Panasonic PanaFax UF 770I Sends faxes over the Internet through G3 fax compatibility and network scanning capabilities. Integrates with existing network/e-mail setup and doubles as a network shared scanner.
RADLinx, Ltd. PASSaFAX Routes faxes between the PSTN and IP backbones in real-time. Least cost routing allows network operation, and user verification and billing are available for service providers.
@fax, Inc. FAXfree Portal 500 Store 500 phone numbers and e-mail addresses and route a fax over the Internet to a PC, another Portal unit, or a Panasonic UF770I machine.
Internet Telephony Appliances Quicknet Technologies, Inc. Internet LineJACK Connects users’ local phone lines to an IP network for long-distance calling. Designed for low-density applications, the LineJACK is standards compliant.
Aplio, Inc. AplioPhone Uses a phone and wall jack for making IP calls. Advanced compression technology and hardware adjusts sound quality according to Internet traffic.
InnoMedia, Inc. InfoTalk Routes calls over the Internet through a phone and wall jack. Achieves high voice quality through packet compression and recovery that monitors traffic and bandwidth constraints.
Internet Telephony Clients NetSpeak Corp. NetSpeak WebPhone Enables real-time full-duplex voice and video over IP or TCP/IP networks. Includes cellular phone interface and H.323 support as well as voice detection and voice mail.
Microsoft Corp. NetMeeting Works with any video capture card/camera that supports Video for Windows. Allows data conferencing in any 32-bit application through a whiteboard, text messages, and file transfer.
Internet Telephony Service Providers ITXC Corp. WweXchange Service Routes calls over IP/private data networks to ITXC affiliate gateways for voice conversion, or through traditional long-distance if no affiliates are available.
IDT Corp. Net2Phone Direct Users pay reduced rates to route calls over Net2Phone’s switches for full-duplex, real-time communications. Only one caller needs a PC and connectivity through an ISP.
Delta Three, Inc. Phone-to-Phone Internet Telephony Service A managed telephony network over private leased/owned lines, allows QoS control for low-cost calling to more than 200 countries.
Multicasting StarBurst Software StarBurst OmniCast Rapid, simultaneous file delivery from one sender to all network recipients reduces traffic. Distributed architecture separates send/receive functions from user interface functions.
Real Networks, Inc. RealSystem G2 Incorporates Intel’s streaming video for improved performance/quality, and better CPU scalability. Web-based administration for network and server management, and content production efficiency.
Multimedia Conferencing White Pine Software, Inc. MeetingPoint 3.5 A software-only conferencing solution for existing IP networks based on H.323 and T.120 standards. Can be configured and administered remotely and uses IP multicast technology.
OutReach Technologies CONFERease 900 A turnkey system for real-time voice/data collaboration. Accommodates up to 96 participants through LAN/WAN and PSTN networks, with a 10/100 BaseT connection port.
Intel Corp. Intel TeamStation System This multipurpose workstation allows users to video conference at up to 30 frames per second. Features wideband audio and compliance with H.320 and H.323 standards.
Programmable Switch Redcom Laboratories, Inc. Modular Digital Exchange (MDX) Uses an expandable switching module that can be stacked to increase system capacity. Compatible with all standard digital switches, can be expanded to more than 18,000 ports.
Harris Corp. Harris Integrated Network (IN) Server Offers an NT-based processing environment with SCSA/MVIP access to a switching matrix on a card in the switch. Part of the Harris Enhanced Services Platform.
Excel Switching Corp. EXS 1000

A non-blocking programmable switch for the 100 port range that offers seamless integration with larger EXS environments. This compact product offers an open architecture.

Remote Access 3Com Corp. SuperStackII Remote Access System 1500 An upgradable, stackable, multiservice access platform, the system is made up of three modules that can be connected using StackNet technology for hot-swappability.
SS7 Products Trillium Digital Systems, Inc. TCAP over TCP/IP software Implements connection management services based on socket calls for TCAP message exchanges over TCP. Offers TCAP over UDP in connectionless mode.
Ascend Communications, Inc. MultiVoice Guarantees QoS across IP, frame relay, and ATM connections. Allows ISPs to integrate services between circuit-switched voice/fax and packet-switched networks.
Testing Products Hammer Technologies Hammer IT VoIP Test Suite Supports voice, data, and digital PBX set testing during the development/manufacturing phase, installation phase, and the in-service phase. A 32-bit application built on Windows NT.
Zarak Systems Corp. Abacus A modular and expandable system that generates and switches phone traffic simultaneously. Can create a confirmed call every 5 seconds per circuit.
Ameritec Corp. Niagara A self-contained test head allowing high volume testing of simulated complex or feature calls. User programmable with analog, EBS, digital, ISDN, and SS7 interface models.
Web-Based Unified Messaging Telinet Technologies, LLC MediaMail 2.1 Contains a unified database, a messaging platform, Internet mail, administrative, Web, and telephony services, and backend tools for development. Open architecture enables scalability.
MediaGate, Inc. iPost Enables voice, fax, e-mail, and page services in a single mailbox. Allows users to retrieve messages with multiple services, and provides notification and forwarding.
Voice/Data Switch NetPhone, Inc. NetPhone iPBX Offers complete PBX functionality including desktop call control, server-based automatic call distribution, accounting, security, and least cost routing. Provides support for up to 96 extensions.
Selsius Systems, Inc. Selsius-IP PBX Provides PBX functionality while using IP networks to deliver telephony. Consolidates voice traffic over a LAN or installed PBXs through phone, call manager, and access products.
Touchwave, Inc. WebSwitch 1608IP Offers an optional integrated VoIP gateway, ideal for branch offices. Includes full-featured PBX, voice mail, and auto attendant. Users dial through TAPI from Windows applications.
VPN Products Compatible Systems Corp. IntraPort 2+ VPN Access Server Supports DES and triple DES encryption with a built-in hardware coprocessor for mid-sized businesses that need 200 simultaneous remote access sessions and 32 site-to-site connections.
VPNet Technologies, Inc. VPNware VSU-10 Triple DES encryption at 8 Mbps. Includes key management, real-time packet compression, Network Address Translation, global roaming, and support for 25 to 100 users.
Web-Enabled Call Center Solutions Acuity Corp. WebCenter Enterprise Provides a scalable foundation and flexible framework for application modules through the Acuity Real-Time Enterprise platform. Available for Windows NT 4.0.
Ericsson, Inc. Phone Doubler Quick Call Allows users to speak to a customer service agent while accessing the Web without additional software, a second phone line, or having to disconnect from the Web.

 







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