Verizon (News - Alert) Flex for Business Internet Enhances Productivity
Verizon has announced a new service offering, Verizon Flex for Business Internet, which combines Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess with Verizon’s FiOS (News - Alert) Internet or high-speed Internet services at discounted prices. The solution will allow small businesses to bring together the best in-the-office and on-the-go broadband network with the Verizon Flex for Business Internet plan. The new service bundle discounts Verizon High Speed Internet or FiOS Internet for Business when combined with Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess wireless Internet service. Prices start at $95.98 per month.
RCN (News - Alert) Offers Hosted PBX Service
RCN Business Services has introduced a hosted PBX solution aimed at small and mid-sized businesses. The service features a Web portal where users can customize their features. In addition to caller ID, call waiting, and three-way calling, the service offers an auto-attendant function, simultaneous ring, find me-follow me and the ability to check voice messages using email or any phone. The service uses SIP trunking so customers can buy voice trunks one at a time. Remote offices can be connected four-digit dialing with calls at literally no cost, and lines can be added, dropped or reconfigured without the need for a technician to come to your office to reconfigure hardware.
Toshiba (News - Alert) Goes Big With New Strata CIX1200 IP Switch
Toshiba has brought the capabilities and affordability of its Strata CIX line of IP-enabled switches to medium to large enterprises, and to contact centers, with its new Strata CIX1200. The Strata CIX1200 has nearly double the port capacity of the previous largest model, the Strata CIX670. Supporting up to 1,200 ports, it is designed for 200 to 1,000 users and delivers networked applications for as many as 128 sites. The CIX1200 can be customized using Toshiba’s FeatureFlex adaptability tool, which allows enterprises to create user-definable and modified features, such as call processing, companywide, by department, or for individual users.
Report: SMBs Ripe for Cyber Attacks
McAfee (News - Alert) has released the results of a survey, which showed that small and medium-size businesses think their revenue is “too low to draw the attention of cyber criminals.” However, according to McAfee, the possibility of cyber attacks is high among SMBs, since their cases are less likely to be brought to the attention of law enforcement organizations such as the FBI. McAfee said that it is vulnerability of these organizations, not the amount of wealth or data, which make them the easy target of attackers. The findings come from a survey conducted on 500 SMBs in the United States and Canada. Last year, McAfee conducted a similar survey on 600 SMBs in Europe and derived almost the same results. According to McAfee, there are approximately 7.4 million SMBs in North America, a significant figure to pull cyber criminals more towards them.
TalkSwitch (News - Alert) Upgrades VoIP Offering
TalkSwitch has announced the release of TalkSwitch management software version 6.10. The free upgraded version is equipped with new call handling features, making TalkSwitch systems “more customizable,” according to the company. In addition, this newest version is designed to simplify the installation of IP phones as well as add new diagnostic tools. The 6.10 version makes adding IP phones easy, as they can be automatically detected and configured by the system. Additionally, a firewall test can be conducted to ensure the network is optimized for VoIP calling, and this test can save “hours of troubleshooting” and offers benefits to do-it-yourself end-users, system administrators and installers. The new software allows for up to 100 system-wide speed dials as well as options such as a front desk or taxi service and new hunt group balancing and overflow that help ensure that the organization is efficiently using their PSTN and VoIP lines in harmony.
Objectworld (News - Alert) Welcomes New Unified Communications Bundle
Objectworld Communications Corp., recently unveiled a new unified communications solution bundle. With the new solution, businesses can leverage the benefits of unified communications including e-mail, voicemail, messaging and fax capabilities accessible from one interface and from any device for as little as 7 cents per day per user. With Objectworld’s UC Server Standard Edition, businesses can do away with VoIP to reap the productivity benefits of unified communications, saving their money by leveraging their existing PBX (News - Alert) systems in the process, according to the company. However, if businesses want to upgrade their existing phone system, Objectworld UC Server SIP Edition can provide an endto-end unified communications solution for only 37 cents per day, company officials say. The solution provides both software and new hardware such as third-party desktop phones, server hardware and gateways.
AdventNet (News - Alert) Intros New VoIP Monitoring Solution
AdventNet Inc. announced that they’re offering support for monitoring of H.323 protocol-based VoIP traffic with their recent release of VQManager 6.1. The ManageEngine VQManager is a VoIP monitoring software solution, equipped with monitoring, alerting, reporting and archiving functions to help keep the VoIP services up and optimized. VQManager 6.1 monitors VoIP environments that use SIP, Cisco (News - Alert) SCCP, or H.323 protocols for call signaling and RTP or RTCP protocols for media transfer. Officials say that the software’s call centric approach to VoIP monitoring ensures every attempted call is kept track of. Also, it provides comprehensive insights on Answer to Seizure Ratio, VoIP traffic trends, call quality trends, bandwidth utilization and overall VoIP network health, according to the company. The updated version, VQManager 6.1, features support for the legacy H.323 protocol, ensuring coverage of VoIP equipment vendors and protocols, and also provides a single interface for complete VoIP network monitoring, company officials say.
SERVICE PROVIDER NEWS
Cablevision VoIP Product Surpasses 2 Million Lines
This week, Cablevision announced that it’s Optimum (News - Alert) Voice digital voice-overcable service has surpassed a major milestone, and now has over 2 million phone lines in service. Joe Varello, Cablevision’s vice president of digital voice product management, said that the response by residential and small business customers alike to the value, reliability and advanced features of Optimum Voice has been “extraordinary.” Cablevision provides small and medium-sized business customers up to 12 lines of Optimum Voice and up to four lines for residential customers. The service includes unlimited flat-rate calling across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as advanced calling features such as call waiting, caller ID, enhanced voicemail, call forwarding and directory assistance.
Cable, Broadband, Wireless Capture Canadian Market Share: CRTC
A new study by the Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), its first ever Communications Monitoring Report, revealed that cable companies have emerged as major competitors to Canada’s traditional telcos for local telephone and high-speed Internet services to residential consumers with voice over IP and data services. Cable firms had captured 17.9 percent of residential local exchange lines in 2007, up from 12.3 percent in 2006. They increased the number of their lines by 759,000 whereas the incumbent telcos saw a decline of 772,000 lines. Not surprisingly, traditional telcos’ share of local and access revenues dropped to 86.1 percent from 87.7 percent in 2006. Cable companies also have taken on the Bells in the wireless market. These firms and other alternative service providers hold a 40 percent share of subscribers.
SimpleSignal (News - Alert) Intros New Hosted VoIP Service
SimpleSignal revelaed a new Unified Communications solution, “SimplyMobile,” that is designed to deliver a voiceenabled messaging solution for SMBs by combining feature-rich hosted PBX with hosted Microsoft (News - Alert) Exchange 2007. The company has partnered with Chinook Hosting, a hosted solutions company, to provide the hosted Exchange services for SimplyMobile. SimplyMobile allows users to listen to their e-mails and manage calendar items in Microsoft Outlook using voice commands from any telephone, including mobile devices. As the e-mail and voice services are hosted with the new integrated solution end-users can focus on managing their business instead of investing their valuable time in managing their communications infrastructure. The solution can also translate e-mails from text to speech and allows users to call Outlook contacts via voice commands on a mobile phone. SimpleSignal is offering the solution at $59.95 per user per month, including Hosted Exchange 2007 with 2 gigabytes of storage and an unlimited North American calling plan.
VoIP, HDTV Provider SureWest (News - Alert) Brings WealthTV to Kansas City
WealthTV has signed an agreement with SureWest Communications to bring its luxury lifestyle and entertainment programming to SureWest customers in the Kansas City region. SureWest is expected to feature WealthTV in digital and highdefinition formats. With its own highdefinition production studios, WealthTV will complement SureWest’s channel lineup with original programming. Since late 2006, WealthTV has been available to SureWest video customers in Sacramento, California. In February, SureWest acquired Lenexa, Kansas-based Everest Broadband, and last month announced that it has started operating the Everest Broadband unit under the “SureWest” name.
Vonage (News - Alert) to Offer New VoIP Service for Mobile Users
Vonage has announced the launch of a new mobile service designed to allow people to use their home phone numbers and access the Internet from anywhere. Company officials say their so-called “Vonage Pro” service caters to customers with a wide variety of lifestyles and communications needs. The features, tagged together as “Vonage Companion,” offers customers at a residential or home office user to access their home number from any desktop or laptop PC connected to a high speed Internet connection. The Companion also makes it so that incoming calls go to both the customer’s home phone and the companion, and offers features specifically tailored for each users, such as selective call blocking, conference calling and call recording. The new service will cost $35 per month plus taxes and fees. In addition to the Companion, Vonage Pro includes voicemail and contact center features, as well as transcription services that can transcribe a voicemail into a text-message, according to the company.
India Releases New Guidelines for 3G Spectrum (News - Alert)
The Indian Government has finally announced the much awaited broad guidelines for 3G (third generation) spectrum auction in India. The new guidelines state that anybody holding a Unified Access Service License (UASL), or qualifying for an UASL in India and having relevant experience in 3G services, is eligible to participate in the bid. This plan clearly indicates entry to foreign bidders, which will facilitate in having a competitive 3G market in India. Raja clarified that the government is allotting spectrum in the 2.1GHz band for 3G services. Initially, the government would permit up to five operators which include a state carrier, but the bar could be raised up to ten in near future. The new guidelines indicate that the spectrum will be auctioned in blocks of 2x5 MHz, and the number of blocks to be auctioned will range from five to 10 based on the availability of spectrum in each service area.
FCC (News - Alert) Certifies Solectek’s 3.65 GHz WiMAX System
The Federal Communications Commission has announced that it’s certified Solectek’s new WiMax broadband wireless product line, operating in the newly created licensed 3.65 GHz frequency band for licensing to wireless ISPs and other enterprise users. Based on FCC registration, the light licensing model allows for rapid deployment of networks and services for fast moving organizations, according to the company. The SkyWay-MAX 3.65 GHz product line is based on Solectek’s 3.5 GHz WiMax product family and features what company officials call the industry’s best price performance ratio. Eric Lee, chief executive officer of Solectek, said that his company wants to ensure it’s providing cost-effective, high performance WiMax solutions for the independent ISP community. He said that WiMax architecture allows a new entrant to start small and build up their network as their business grows.
LiMo Foundation Welcomes New Motorola (News - Alert) Handset
LiMo Foundation, an industry consortium dedicated to creating an open, hardwareindependent, Linux-based operating system for mobile devices, has reported the announcement by Motorola Inc. of the release of a new handset, the Motorola ROKR EM30, using the LiMo operating system platform. The ROKR EM30 is a GSM quad-band phone, which features a music player. It is expected to be available first in Taiwan before reaching other markets later in the quarter. The phone is the eighth Motorola device using the LiMo platform. Recent announcements by Motorola and other handset manufacturers bring the total of handsets are now available with the LiMo platform installed to 22.
TRENDnet Offers 300Mbps Dual Band Wireless N Gigabit Router
TRENDnet, a company that offers affordable networking solutions, has unveiled their latest product, the 300Mbps Dual Band Wireless N Gigabit Router, model TEW-672GR, which the company says has the capability to offer supreme wireless speed, coverage and reliability. The 300Mbps Dual Band Wireless N Gigabit Router supports the choice of using the 2.4GHz or the less crowded 5.0GHz radio band to optimize performance in high-interference wireless environments. Some of the significant features of this product include four Gigabit LAN ports on the back of the router, a Gigabit WAN port, which ensures the fastest possible connection to the Internet, and a double firewall using Network Address Translation (NAT) and Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) protocols, which protect from Internet attacks.
Fujitsu Global Mobile and III Address
Taiwan’s WiMAX (News - Alert) Mobile Market Fujitsu Global Mobile Platform Inc. (FMPI) and the Institute for Information Industry (III) of Taiwan made a joint announcement that they will commence operations, which includes the development of reference designs by FMPI for WiMAX-related products. These designs will benefit Taiwan-based ODM vendors besides offering technical support. Reference designs for WiMAX-related products are necessary for shortening development cycles and streamlining a number of development processes for WiMAX-related products, such as WiMAX mobile devices and ultrasmall base stations. FMPI will provide ODM vendors in Taiwan with reference designs for WiMAX-related products which are based on advanced WiMAX system-on-chip (SoC) solutions from Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited (FML) and software technologies from III.
MicroStrategy Offers iPhone (News - Alert) Users BI Reports and Dashboards
MicroStrategy, Inc., a global provider of business intelligence (BI) software, announced that its latest version of MicroStrategy (News - Alert) 8 software offers interactive reporting and analysis directly on the Apple iPhone. As per the offer, all five Styles of Business Intelligence supported by MicroStrategy are now available on the iPhone, including Scorecards and Dashboards, Enterprise Reporting, OLAP Analysis, Advanced and Predictive Analysis, and Alerts and Proactive Notification. The latest version of MicroStrategy 8 takes full advantage of the latest Web 2.0 technologies to provide a rich application interface between iPhone and MicroStrategy. Mobile BI users will now have seamless access to their data under this combined solution at their own convenience. iPhone users can view detailed operational reports, business charts and graphs, and userfriendly dashboards featuring key performance indicators (KPIs). The touchscreen interface in the iPhone enables users to interact with MicroStrategy reports and dashboards by intuitively sorting, pivoting, filtering, and drilling for greater insights.
Sprint, Samsung (News - Alert) Team to Expand Wireless Coverage with Femtocell Solutions
Sprint announced a partnership to expand the availability of wireless coverage, using femtocells from Samsung via Sprint (News - Alert)’s AIRAVE voice plan, designed to provide improved wireless coverage in homes and offices. The AIRAVE service will allow Sprint customers to use their existing phones, with an option to upgrade at any time. Calls initiated using an AIRAVE femtocell will transfer automatically to the Nationwide Sprint Network when customers move outside the AIRWAVE coverage area. AIRAVE service will include an optional, unlimited option for incoming and outdoing calls, and for nationwide long distance. The femtocell device is designed for easy installation by customers, using their existing broadband Internet connection and an AC power outlet. The AIRAVE is ready to use out of the box. AIRAVE will be sold at Sprint stores across the country for $99.99.
OTHER INDUSTRY NEWS
Sun Microsystems (News - Alert) Intros JavaFX Preview
Sun Microsystems has announced the availability of its the JavaFX Preview release. Web scripters, designers and Java developers will finally get to see the runtime and tools required to create rich Internet applications (RIA) using this new Java platform. Developers can download the JavaFX Preview, explore the code samples and tutorials, start writing JavaFX applications, and provide their feedback to Sun. JavaFX is for the building of RIA for PCs, mobile devices, TVs and other consumer products. It allows developers to quickly and easily build high-impact, immersive RIAs that combine 2D and 3D graphics, high fidelity audio and video, and animation, all while leveraging the power and functionality of the existing Java platform. The JavaFX Preview release is designed to help early adopters become familiar with JavaFX and is not yet being offered for commercial applications.
MontaVista (News - Alert) Linux Offers Support for Cavium’s OCTEON
MontaVista Software, a provider of embedded Linux commercialization solutions, announced that its Linux Carrier Grade Edition (CGE) 5.0 now supports Cavium Networks (News - Alert) OCTEON CN58XX, CN56XX, CN52XX, CN50XX and CN38XX processor families. This support is designed to enable embedded developers to use the widely adopted MIPS64-based OCTEON architecture to create high-performance multicore applications that are multi-threaded and core-aware while delivering the interoperability, high availability, and field serviceability that carriers need. MontaVista CGE includes carrier-grade features and interoperates with industry software and hardware.
Toshiba, PAETEC (News - Alert) Certify Interoperability of CPE and SIP Trunking
Toshiba’s Strata CIX family of IP business communication systems has been certified as interoperable with PAETEC’s SIP Trunking services nationwide. Rebecca Swensen, research analyst, VoIP services at IDC (News - Alert), explained that agreements between service providers and equipment manufacturers will increasingly become prevalent with the evolution of Enterprise SIP Solutions. She said that the PAETEC and Toshiba strategic relationship facilitates simplicity, flexibility and the ability to customize solutions to fit customer needs. The alliance will also simplify the process of migrating enterprise customers to SIP solutions. Toshiba has also become a National Master Sales Agent for PAETEC, according to another announcement by the companies. This makes SIP Trunking services available across the country through Toshiba’s national network of authorized dealers.
IP CONTACT CENTER
SAS (News - Alert) Forms Profit Optimization Global Practice
As the economy is experiencing a continuing slump and competitive intensity increases in nearly all industries, new profitoptimization techniques are needed in order to ensure that a company can not only make money – but also that it can survive. Traditional practices are no longer adequate to ensure profitability and organizations are demanding change. To help enterprises ensure that they can maximize profitability, SAS, a major player in the area of business intelligence and analytics, has formed a new Profit Optimization Global Practice. This division will apply revenue-management techniques that are designed to help companies to optimize profitability through the use of advanced analytics to scientifically and proactively determine the most profitable market segments and prices.
PCI Turns to Nortel (News - Alert) for Latest Contact Center Deployment
PCI, a contact center outsourcing specialist, is building a new unified communications contact center facility in Melbourne, Australia. Using energy-efficient solutions from communications solution provider Nortel and Platinum nPower channel partner Commander, PCI will enjoy a state-of-the-art contact center that will be considered environmentally friendly. PCI delivers a range of contact center services for Australia and multinational clients, including telecoms, banking, information technology and utility companies. The organization is seeking to reduce its carbon footprint with Nortel’s unified voice, data and wireless network at its Melbourne headquarters. According to PCI, the new 6,000 square meter Greenfield site will receive a new fully-IP-enabled network that will support 715 active agents and as many as 850 concurrent users. Such a system will allow for growth and expansion, providing the capability the company needs to meet a growing demand within the local industry.
FreedomVOICE Now a Polycom (News - Alert) Reseller for VoIP
FreedomVOICE Systems, a provider of virtual office solutions, has announced it has been certified as a Polycom reseller for VoIP for its FreedomIQ VoIP Hosted PBX service. FreedomVOICE offers an extensive line of Polycom telephones, including the SoundPoint IP 330, 550, and 650 desktop phones and the SoundStation IP 4000 conference phone. “Polycom certification is part of our commitment to total customer support,” said Eric Thomas, founder and CEO of FreedomVOICE. “When you call us with a problem, you never get referred out to a third party. We back up everything we sell, whether it’s hardware or software. Polycom is our preferred vendor for our FreedomIQ VoIP Hosted PBX service,” he added.
TELECOM EXPENSE MANAGEMENT NEWS
EMBARQ Releases Smart IP Enterprise, Includes TEM
EMBARQ Business has introduced an innovative business communications product: “Smart IP Enterprise.” The new solution offers businesses the convenience of an advanced communications system that includes EMBARQ Dedicated Internet Access, local and long distance voice service, and IP-enabled call management features. All of these benefits are offered to the customer without the large capital expense of purchasing and maintaining an on-site communications system. The EMBARQ Smart IP Enterprise is hosted in the EMBARQ network and is designed with features to help increase employee productivity and improve customer service. The solution is customizable to meet individual business needs to maximize the return on telecommunications spending. This latest solution also offers businesses EMBARQ Dedicated Internet Access, local and long distance voice service and IP-enabled call management features that will include incoming call routing, simultaneous ring to wireline and wireless phones and sequential ring to help reduce missed calls.
BillSoft (News - Alert) and CommSoft Partner to Provide Rating, Billing and Taxation
BillSoft and CommSoft have announced an agreement to collaborate on a joint solution. The resulting offering will allow customers to collect and calculate taxes using the newest technologies. This will help service providers faced with the challenge of creating provisioning for and calculating communications taxes. The integrated solution includes BillSoft’s EZGeo ASP and EZTax and CommSoft’s iCommVergence solutions to automate the complex process of calculating and billing for the ever-changing federal, state, county, city and special tax district rates and rules, for communications service providers. Shenandoah Telecommunications (News - Alert) Company (Shentel), which has adopted the solution, offers a comprehensive suite of voice, video and data communications services and was the first customer to go live with the combined solution.
Verizon’s Free Billing Tool to Aid Customers Who Pay Online
Verizon Business (News - Alert) has unveiled a Global Billing Report to provide multinational businesses a consolidated view of their worldwide billing activity. The new tool is available at Verizon Enterprise Center. Verizon Business Center says it provides a number of tools and resources to help customers manage their enterprise accounts online. Global Billing Report is immediately available as a free tool for customers worldwide, according to the company. Currently the tool is being used by Verizon customers headquartered in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Global Billing Report helps companies view worldwide communication expenses online in both the original billed currency and another currency selected by the customer, said Verizon. According to Verizon Business, the Global Billing Report also combines billing data from domestic and international invoices into a group of summary reports. These reports give a detailed view of a service across the regions where the customer operates, company officials say.
Telecom Companies Deploy HP’s Real-time Charging Solution
HP has announced four telecom operators that are transforming their traditional billing operations into real-time engines for growth with HP’s charging technology. HP RealTime Charging allows for accurate, customer-centric pricing models that help telecom operators expand revenue with high-value services. The offering also helps operators develop competitive differentiation and enhance the customer experience. The telecom operators currently utilizing HP’s RealTime Charging solution include: China Telecom (News - Alert), FASTWEB in Italy, VimpelCom in Russia, and Polkomtel in Poland. Based on industry standards, HP RealTime Charging is a highly scalable solution that is designed for high-performance transaction processing. With a flexible, modular architecture, it can be integrated with legacy billing infrastructures as well as newer networks and Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) environments.
Intec (News - Alert) Completes Eco-Friendly Benchmark of Intec Convergent Billing Solution
Intec Telecom Systems has announced the successful completion of an “eco (News - Alert)-friendly” performance benchmark of Intec Convergent Billing: the Singl.eView 6.01. This billing and customer care system uses a grid of Sun SPARC Enterprise Servers with CoolThreads technology running the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS). This benchmark is considered to be a demonstration of the capability to distribute the award-wining charging, billing and customer care application across multiple low cost Sun Ultra SPARC processors while also sustaining outstanding price/performance. This configuration is considered to be ideal for telecommunications service providers who are seeking to significantly reduce their IT infrastructure costs and power requirements.
RedRoller Launches Web-Based Package Shipping Solution for SMBs
RedRoller, a Shipping Search Engine, announced that it’s made available more powerful order history reporting in its Web-based package shipping solution for businesses. Small and medium-sized businesses want to reduce their package shipping costs due to the increase in the fuel and other costs, according to the company. Designed specifically for small businesses, RedRoller’s solution compares service and associated cost levels of various carriers to save time and money as well as simplify the entire package shipping process, company officials say. Saying small businesses are getting hammered by rising fuel and other costs in today’s economic environment, Michael Tribolet, chief executive officer of RedRoller said that his company’s new reporting functionality is designed to help subscribers make better shipping decisions, further decrease shipping costs and increase profits.
Tangoe (News - Alert) Expands Managed Services Portfolio, Acquires Information Strategies Group
Telecom expense management solutions provider Tangoe announced that it has completed a transaction with Information Strategies Group (ISG), which will now operate as a division of Tangoe. The ISG acquisition enables Tangoe to expand its technology-based software and service solutions designed to help organizations to manage and control communications and IT technology resources and related expenditures. ISG’s management expertise in billing, processes, international and domestic communications cost processing will enhance Tangoe’s CommCare managed services offerings. The merger will help ISG’s existing IT and telecom invoice processing customers by giving them access to Tangoe’s wireless lifecycle management solutions.
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