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January 02, 2009

ClearOne to Showcase Conference Phone for Microsoft VoIP System at CES

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

Joining IT industry giant Microsoft Corp., a Salt Lake City-based provider of audio, video and Web conferencing applications and systems announced this week that it’s showcasing its wares at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show.
Officials from ClearOne say they’re planning to show off their new – and the only – conference phone for the Microsoft (News - Alert) Response Point VoIP phone system, the so-called “MAX IP Response Point,” at the event, to be held Jan. 8 to 11 in Las Vegas.
According to Zee Hakimoglu, chief executive officer at ClearOne, the CES (News - Alert) show remains an important marketing venue for his company’s suite of audio conferencing products.
“We are excited about the increased attention our products are receiving, especially today as organizations are looking for ways to increase productivity and reduce expenses,” Hakimoglu said. “A significant number of decision makers across all industries will attend CES and we want to make sure they have an opportunity to discover the many benefits of ClearOne’s (News - Alert) products.”
ClearOne officials say that in addition to the MAX IP Response Point, shown at right, products on display will include both wired and wireless versions of the MAX EX family of analog tabletop conference phones, along with MAX IP phones, for organizations using SIP-based VoIP phone systems. Also on display will be CHAT personal conferencing speakerphones.
In serving customers of Microsoft’s VoIP system, ClearOne is tapping into a technology and market that appears – as TMCnet reported today – to be gaining traction as a cost-saver in this slower economy.
Experts already have told TMCnet that VoIP will gain a greater appreciation from the federal agency that regulates communications in the United States under President-elect Barack Obama’s administration. They’ve also said that VoIP stands to get better carrier interconnection rights and recognition among policy-makers that the telecommunications world is evolving toward Internet telephony.
While that’s good news for VoIP and ClearOne, other attendees at this year’s CES likely are looking for a much-needed rebound, particularly after a recession-hit holiday season.
If the chip-making market is any indication of those electronics, that comeback may be a ways off.
As TMCnet reported, global chip revenues are expected to decline in consecutive years, with a 16.3 percent drop forecast for 2009, according to Stamford, Connecticut-based IT market research firm Gartner, Inc.
The total revenue predicted – about $219 billion – is far below the firm’s earlier estimates for this year of about $262 billion, which itself marks a 4.4 percent drop from 2007. In a negative scenario, Gartner (News - Alert) says, the semiconductor industry could decline as much as 24.7 percent.
Meanwhile, ClearOne officials say that all conferencing products to go on display at CES contain their company’s so-called “HDConference” technology.
HDConference is a suite of high-performance audio technologies and encompasses such things as Full Duplex, Distributed Echo Cancellation, Noise Reduction, First Mic Priority, Adaptive Modeling, and ClearEffect, according to the company.
“Taken separately, each technology is best-in-class and a critical component to a quality conferencing system,” ClearOne says. “In combination, these elements create an effective, natural-sounding conference call, making it possible for organizations to be more productive and save time and money in the process.”

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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