Chime Intros iCall Center Module
Chime Software has released its iCall Center module for the Chime iPBX software. This module is designed to enable small businesses to benefit from the same call center functionality that enterprises and call centers offer at a much higher cost. The Chime Software iPBX features two powerful components — the iAdmin and iAssist — which provide a customer friendly user interface. iAssist is a desktop integration program which works seamlessly with phones to access powerful features by just a click or touch. iAdmin is a Web interface for configuring devices, hunt groups, conference rooms and other setup options.
Nortel Offers Web 2.0 Capabilities
Nortel has announced the release of new software to expand its unified communications portfolio and enable Web 2.0 customer care centers to offer service options beyond menu-driven interactive voice response (IVR). The new Nortel Interactive Communications Portal (ICP) is designed to help businesses install instant messenger (IM), e-mail and click-to-call features quickly to self-service and speech applications.
Nortel ICP is a software-only solution built on Nortel’s Media Applications Server, a platform that provides extensive support for conferencing, messaging, and interactive voice/video response features. The solution leverages Nortel’s SOA strategy, as well as the company’s service creation environment in an effort to help take VoiceXML to the next level. A software-only self service solution running native SIP, ICP is designed to simplify the process of getting up and running and it will appear to the network like just another SIP device.
SMBs Reduce Unified Communications Spending
While Unified Communications (UC) can provide significant improvements in both operation and cost for companies of all sizes, recent research has shown that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are backing off of their drive to implement such technologies — at least for the time being. According to recent InfoTech research on the SMB market demand for UC, roughly 70 percent of U.S. SMBs are implementing, trialing or planning to implement UC applications. These plans however, are not always meshing with IT budgets. Cutbacks in IT spending have had an impact on about 25 percent of reporting companies, resulting in significant changes to their implementation plans of IP Telephony and UC applications for 2008.
Twisted Pair Releases Wave 4.0
Twisted Pair Solutions announced the release of Wave 4.0, upgrading the company’s flagship unified communications software platform. Wave 4.0 offers integration with Microsoft Office Communication Server (OCS) 2007 and Nortel IP telephony solutions. The platform also helps to incorporate Push to Talk (PTT) radios and other communication devices into the unified communications environment of the organization. Wave 4.0 also offers solution developers a comprehensive Software Development Kit (SDK), with support for both Linux and Windows Operating Systems. Custom client applications can be built in Java or .NET as required, using the Application Programming Interfaces (API) provided in the SDK. The SDK can also be used in conjunction with the Windows Workflow Foundation to build automated communications-enabled business processes.
Objectworld UC Server Now Supports Multiple PBXs
Objectworld Communications Corporation has announced the industry’s widest support for multiple PBX and unified messaging systems integrated with its Objectworld Unified Communication (UC) Server software.
Adding support for multiple PBXs, Google Gmail and Novell GroupWise to its unified messaging capabilities allows Objectworld to enable businesses to integrate a wide variety of PBX systems, messages stores, PBX systems, SIP phones and gateways and third-party hardware, software and services into a single unified communications solution.
Covergence Unveils Collaboration Gateway to Bolster UC Platforms
Covergence, Inc., has announced its Collaboration Gateway to enhance communication between enterprise organizations and enable them to protect and extend investments in unified communications platforms. The solution supports interoperability between Microsoft OCS/LCS and IBM Sametime version 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0 and also features new pricing, with subscriptions as low as $1 per user per month. The company said it offers controlled, secure connectivity between disparate UC platforms, allowing users from different organizations — even different companies — to work together as if they were served by the same UC platform, enjoying shared presence information, instant messaging and other features.
3CX Debuts Free Business VoIP Phone
3CX announced the release of a completely free, new VoIP phone that lets users make and receive calls from their computer using VoIP providers or SIP servers. The 3CX VoIP Phone offers important business features. With a user-friendly and intuitive interface with dial pad and buttons, the 3CX VoIP Phone transfers and forwards calls. It also allows users to check their call history, place calls on hold, and to easily accept, reject or ignore calls with a mouse click, and much more. One of the unique features of the 3CX VoIP Phone is that it integrates with Microsoft Outlook. Users can make calls directly from their contacts’ list within Outlook by just right-clicking on the name of the person they wish to call.
SERVICE PROVIDER NEWS
BroadSoft Acquires GENBAND’s M6 Line
BroadSoft has announced the acquisition of GENBAND’s M6 Communication Applications Server product line and related customer base. The acquisition is expected to allow BroadSoft to extend its position in the VoIP applications market, enabling GENBAND to focus its efforts on advancing its gateway product innovation. BroadSoft recognized GENBAND’s divestiture of its M6 application product as a powerful opportunity to enhance its market position in the VoIP applications industry. As the demand for VoIP solutions grows, opportunities are immense. The expansion of BroadSoft’s offering will create a significant growth advantage. With the acquisition, BroadSoft’s total customer base will grow to 435.
Report: VoIP Service Revenue Up in 2007
According to a recent Infonetics Research report, “VoIP Services and Subscribers,” worldwide revenue from hosted VoIP and managed IP PBX services jumped 52 percent to $24 billion in 2007 after surging 66 percent in 2006. The communications market research firm expects this revenue to grow in the strong ouble-digits through at least 2011. The report indicates that hosted VoIP services continue to outpace managed IP PBX services by far, and residential services are driving the market growth. Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics, noted that although VoIP services are being embraced by consumers worldwide, businesses have been comparatively slower in their adoption due to various roadblocks.
Dutch Broadband Market Growth Slows to a Crawl
The Dutch broadband market grew by only 1.1 percent during 2Q, almost 50 percent less than during the first quarter, when the market grew by 2 percent. The stats come from a recent Telecompaper update on the Dutch consumer broadband market. During the quarter, Dutch ISPs attracted 63,300 new broadband customers to reach a total 5.61 million on 30 June 2008. This represents the lowest quarterly net additions since 2003. Year-on-year, the market grew by 6.6 percent with 345,000 net additions. Broadband (Cable, ADSL) penetration per household increased to 77.9 percent at the end of the second quarter, growing by 4.4 percent percentage points compared with the end of Q2 2007. When FTTH connections and residential mobile broadband users are included, the broadband penetration per household reached 79.9 percent at end of Q2 2008.
Zhone Intros Bitstorm IP DSLAMs
Zhone Technologies, Inc., a provider of multi-service access solutions, has introduced two new IP DSLAMs for VDSL2 and ADSL2+ for single or bonded-pair copper. Delivering 45-plus megabits per second (Mbps) for short loops and 25 Mbps up to 10,000 feet, Bitstorm RP provides 48 ports of ADSL2+ and operates in single-pair or bonded-pair modes. The Bitstorm HP is a 24 Port, VDSL2 IP-DSLAM provides up to 100 Mbps symmetrical services on each port with full ADSL2+ support. Officials from Zhone say Bitstorm RP supports bridged mode or advanced layer operations for premium Quality of Service smart home or business applications. It also includes new features such as hot-swap servicing and single click configuration with automatic line recognition.
UTStarcom, Aksh to Power BSNL IPTV Service
UTStarcom has entered into a contract with Aksh Optifibre to deploy UTStarcom’s end-to-end RollingStream Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) solution in 20 cities on Bharat Sanchar Nigam’s ADSL 2+ network. The service is planned to cover 250,000 BSNL broadband subscribers in 20 cities throughout India; with Aksh’s iControl service, the IPTV solution will give both large cities and small towns the opportunity to experience interactive entertainment such as time-shifting, video-on-demand (VOD), interactive gaming, live television voting and distance learning programs. BSNL, a Government of India owned corporation, has a network of over 60 million subscribers covering 5000 towns with over 35 million fixed line telephone connections. UTStarcom’s RollingStream end-to-end IPTV system currently supports more than 956,000 live IPTV subscribers globally.
Cisco Enables Sify to Pioneer IP NGN Adoption in India
Sify has chosen the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System as the foundation of its Internet Protocol Next Generation Network (IP NGN), in order to enhance its existing core network to meet its increasing customer demand for sophisticated network services and to address the rapidly evolving India market. A core component of the Cisco IP NGN architecture, the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System offers capabilities, reliability and scalability required for service providers to provide any-play services. Naresh Wadhwa, president and country manager, Cisco India and SAARC, said that the CRS-1, is designed to let carriers seamlessly migrate all of their existing communications infrastructures for voice, video, and data onto a single, packet infrastructure.
Forecast: 103 Million FMC Access Points by 2013
Analysts at the London office of ABI Research are reporting that consumers will require more than 100 million fixed-mobile convergence access points by 2013. Generally speaking, fixed-mobile convergence, or “FMC,” refers to providing both fixed and mobile telephony convergence in a single device that can switch between networks. WiFi, WiMax and femtocells are technologies that have emerged as solution competitors in the coveted FMC market. ABI predicts that consumers must see 103 million access points in five years. According to ABI Vice President and Research Director Stuart Carlaw, cell-based femtocells will take over the baton from UMA- and SIP-based WiFi solutions by 2013, gaining 62 percent of the market.
Rock the Vote and Trilibis Mobile Aim to Motivate Young Voters
Rock the Vote (RTV) and Trilibis Mobile, a publisher of interactive network applications for mobile phones, are set to launch Rock the Vote Mobile — a mobile site developed to make voter registration more accessible and fun. Rock the Vote Mobile also aims to motivate young voters to vote during the 2008 U.S. general elections. Fully integrated with RocktheVote.com, RTV Mobile provides a cohesive user experience. Visitors are also invited to examine today’s hottest issues affecting young Americans, read the RTV blog, check up on important election dates and see pictures from Rock the Vote events around the country. Mobile phone subscribers can also receive SMS message alerts with Election Day reminders, political quizzes, polls, celebrity messages, RTV concert dates and mobilization alerts.
Mobile Messaging Skyrockets Toward 100 Billion
VeriSign has announced another record-breaking quarter for mobile messaging, based on the latest quarterly index of mobile messaging statistics compiled by VeriSign’s Messaging and Mobile Media division. VeriSign, a provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world, says that through June 30, its combined mobile messaging networks delivered 95.4 billion Inter-carrier Short Message Service (ICSMS) messages in the calendar year, eclipsing the previous record for text messaging in the first half of any year. VeriSign’s network also set a single-day record by enabling 648 million texts over a 24-hour period and a one-hour record of 42 million messages.
Cleartalk and Nortel Intro Advanced CDMA Wireless in Texas
Cleartalk recently announced the deployment of Nortel’s CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) network for the extension of its services to customers in Amarillo and Lubbock. With Nortel’s network, Cleartalk aims to deliver its customer a good-quality mobile communication at flat-rate voice plans, along with additional services like text messaging, long-distance calling and Web surfing. Flat Wireless, LLC does business in Texas under the name Cleartalk. Nortel’s solution will help Cleartalk in delivering its services both to rural as well as populated parts of Texas, thereby reaping the benefits of its recently acquired AWS spectrum. By using Nortel’s ATCA-based Packet Mobile Switching Center, Cleartalk will provide users with enhanced voice quality in its suite of voice and data services.
Nokia Unveils N79 Model
Nokia has unveiled the Nokia N79, the latest addition to the company’s Nseries range. This latest model offers a full range of multimedia experiences, including integrated navigation, music with FM transmitter, high-speed connectivity, Web browsing, pre-loaded N-Gage games and an advanced five-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics. The handset comes with Xpress-on smart covers that are available in five colors: Light Sea Blue, Espresso Brown, Olive Green, White and Coral Red. According to Nokia officials, “the convergence of photos, music and navigation in the Nokia N79 combines with high-speed 3.5 HSDPA and Wi-Fi to make it easy to share experiences on Web sites, blogs or online communities.”
Mobile Payments to Grow Nearly Ten Fold by 2013
According to the latest findings from Juniper Research, by 2013, purchases via mobile devices of digital and physical goods, contactless NFC (Near Field Communications) transactions, and money transfers will together generate transactions worth over $600bn. The latest research, “Mobile Payments Markets: Strategies & Forecasts 2008-2013,” notes that the figure represents the gross value of all the items being purchased or the value of money being transferred. Report author Howard Wilcox said that they are forecasting that all segments of the market will see growth over the next five years, which is driven by both the rapid availability of exciting, easy to use services, and the continued growth in mobile subscriber penetration, particularly in developing countries.
AT&T, Sierra Wireless Intro USBConnect Mercury
AT&T Inc., and Sierra Wireless have announced the availability of the AT&T USBConnect Mercury, the newest and smallest addition to AT&T’s High Speed Packet Access (HSPA)-capable lineup of LaptopConnect devices designed to access the company’s third-generation (3G) network. Designed and manufactured by Sierra Wireless, the device provides plug-and-play installation by including a preloaded version of AT&T Communication Manager software for Microsoft Windows Vista, XP and 2000 notebooks and Sierra’s Watcher software for Mac notebooks (versions 10.4.11 or later) so that new customers can get up and running quickly and easily. The AT&T USBConnect Mercury includes an integrated microSD slot that provides customers with a portable storage solution, eliminating the need for additional storage hardware.
OTHER INDUSTRY NEWS
Zarlink Debuts VoiceEdge VE792
Zarlink Semiconductor has launched the VoiceEdge VE792 Next Generation Carrier Chipset (NGCC), an integrated voice silicon solution. As a chipset solution, VoiceEdge VE792 features support for simultaneous high-speed video and voice, carrier grade line testing, and the lowest power usage and highest density on the market.
The VoiceEdge VE792 chipset includes an octal Subscriber Line Audio-Processing Circuit (SLAC), with integrated carrier grade line test toolbox and DTMF detection, a Single Channel Subscriber Line Interface Circuit (SLIC) and a multi-port Voice Control Processor (VCP). It provides up to 72 channels of real-time call control functions, as well as a full carrier grade line test, when enabled with the Zarlink LineCare software suite.
NeoPhotonics Becomes Top Optical Component Supplier to Huawei
NeoPhotonics has reportedly emerged as a top optical component supplier to Huawei for the first half of 2008. Sales figures from 2006 through the second quarter of 2008 establish the company as a top supplier of optical components — for fiber access, metro and long-haul optical network equipment — to Huawei, one of the world’s largest suppliers of telecommunications network equipment.
“While Huawei does not officially report purchasing figures from their suppliers, we have been informed that Huawei purchased more optical components from NeoPhotonics than any other supplier in the first half of 2008,” said, Tim Jenks, chief executive officer of NeoPhotonics. “We are very pleased to achieve this level of recognition at Huawei.”
Voxeo Releases Prophecy 9 SIP-Based VoIP Platform
Upgrading its free, downloadable platform and touting it as a user-friendly cost-saving measure during this slower economy, Voxeo has released a new version of its flagship speech, SIP, VoIP and IVR solutions product. Prophecy 9 makes telephony applications “easy to create and deploy,” Voxeo officials say, because it’s built on open, modern standards — as opposed to VoIP platforms that pre-dated technologies such as Java and XML — and is easy to install. The platform comes with two free ports. A testament to the product’s popularity, more than 80,000 ports have been installed in the past year, Voxeo officials say, and 114,000 ports have been installed since 2006.
IP CONTACT CENTER
Syntellect Launches Survey Manager
Syntellect has launched Survey Manager, a new integrated survey module for Syntellect Customer Interaction Management (CIM) solution. Tightly integrating with the Syntellect CIM offering, Survey Manager gives customers the ability to provide valuable feedback about their customer service experience. Follow-up actions, based on survey answers, can be automatically assigned to agents or queues. This is advantageous for responding to a poor customer experience or taking advantage of a potential sales opportunity. Moreover, these surveys can provide immediate feedback and either be offered as IVR surveys or delivered later via e-mail through the survey Web site. Individual survey campaigns can support voice, e-mail and Web chat interactions simultaneously.
True Corporation Selects Amdocs CES 7.5 Software
Thailand’s quad-play provider, True Corporation, recently announced its decision to deploy Amdocs CES – Billing 7.5, from Amdocs Customer Experience Systems’ product portfolio. This new agreement expands a 5-year relationship between the two companies. True Corporation has already deployed Amdocs’ billing software to support its wireless, broadband and wireline operations. This announcement will enable the company to upgrade to Amdocs CES - Billing 7.5 to support its convergent offerings spanning wireline, wireless, broadband cable, Pay TV and Internet services. Amdocs will also provide ongoing product support and maintenance for the upgrade.
Skills Router from Intuit Now Available as SaaS
Intuit Consulting announced the availability of its specialist skills routing product, PER, as a software-as-a-service model. Company officials say they believe it is the first in its industry to make this particular business model available to customers. Tom Pienaar, Director at Intuit Consulting, said he thinks SaaS is a good fit for the current business climate. “Contact center managers seem to like the all inclusive rental concept because they’re not tied in to lengthy contracts or technologies. The set-up costs are low, and the total cost is also much cheaper as it allows for fluctuating CSR headcount and call volumes,” he noted.
Westcon, Aruba Team Up for Telecommuting
Westcon Group is now offering new solutions from Aruba Networks targeted to the remote worker market. Bryan Bayges, director of mobility solutions at Westcon Group stated that with today’s traveling costs, people are trying to commute less. Because of this, businesses are losing good employees and the productivity that goes along with employing them. In an effort to keep employees, businesses are turning to telecommuting and remote worker options, but they need the right technologies to make it happen in the best and most secure manner.
TELECOM EXPENSE MANAGEMENT NEWS
JetBlue to Integrate Ariba’s Spend Management Solution
JetBlue Airways Corporation announced that it has expanded its relationship with Ariba, Inc. and is broadening its portfolio of on-demand spend management solutions to include Ariba’s “Procure-to-Pay” in an effort to maintain its cost structure and competitive advantage. Ariba Procure-To-Pay combines the functionality of Ariba Buyer, Ariba Invoice, Ariba Settlement and Ariba Analysis in a single, integrated solution and is designed to facilitate savings identified through strategic sourcing to actually reach the bottom line, according to the company. With the help of this solution, JetBlue can accelerate the results provided by its own spend management initiatives by centralizing its procurement process, company officials say.
ISI’s TEM Solution Now Avaya Compliant
ISI Telemanagement Solutions, Inc., has announced that its Infortel Select 7.6 Telecom Reporting application is now compliant with IP telephony solutions from Avaya. Infortel Select 7.6 helps organizations monitor telecom usage across the enterprise. The application now is compliance-tested by Avaya for communication Manager 5.0. ISI Telemanagement Solutions is part of the Avaya DevConnect program, which helps develop and sell third-party products that interoperate with Avaya technology and extend a company’s investment in its network.
Sonoco Implements Radius’ PECAS Vision ERP/MIS
Radius Solutions, has announced that the Sonoco Flexible Packaging division is implementing the PECAS Vision ERP system in its North America operations. Sonoco’s Flexible Packaging division had acquired a number of facilities over the past decade and said each of these facilities leverages different enterprise management applications. To help improve operational efficiencies, respond more quickly to customer needs and to gain immediate access to critical management information across its facilities, they wanted to implement a new system that would do all this and reduce the costs and risks of maintaining highly customized legacy applications.
Telapprise, TeleBright in Core Management Services Pact
Looking to support Telecom Expense Management (TEM), Telapprise announced a strategic partnership with TeleBright. Under the agreement, TeleBright and Telapprise will provide telecom billing management, auditing, chargeback accounting, mobile device management, procurement, MACDS, change management and vendor contract management by developing new solutions and upgrade technology with enhanced performance and functionality. Both companies have a shared vision of safeguarding the public, private and government organizations across the country from unnecessary telecom expenditures.
Research: How Companies Cut Telecom Costs by Over 30 Percent
A new report from market research firm, Aberdeen Group, revealed that companies keeping a close eye on their telecom expenses reduce them by over 30 percent, compared to companies that do not actively evaluate their telecom costs. The report, “Slashing Telecom Expenses in a Looming Recession” shows that companies must invest in new organizational capabilities and technologies to excel in telecom lifecycle management. The report also uncovered that most telecom expenses are not just direct landline and mobile device-related. With the telecom environment expanding, telecom expenses now include categories such as asset insurance, contract negotiations, procurement, security, federal compliance, and dispute resolution.
TnT Expanding in Europe, Rest of World
TnT Expense Management a provider of telecommunications and technology expense management services, has announced the last phase in its ongoing global expansion plans. Currently, TnT is trying to reach global customers by opening international offices, increasing client support in Europe, receiving Safe Harbor certification, and developing state-of-the-art systems to support international business transactions at every level, the company said. This spring, TnT entered the international marketplace by opening a new office in Hamburg, Germany. The company plans to open three more international offices in Paris, London and Tokyo by the end of this year. TnT also plans to expand to Bermuda, Switzerland and India.
Growing Demand for TEM Yields High Growth to Ezwim
Ezwim, a company providing Telecom Expense Management (TEM) services to enterprises and Online Telecom Manager (OTM) services to telecom operators, has announced that a growing global tendency to manage telecom costs has helped the company realize 22 percent growth in its Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) in the first half of 2008. The company now hopes its MRR will increase by 50 percent in the year 2008. Ezwim offers telecom expense management and Telecom Service Management software to enterprises and operators, which help the organizations in achieving visibility and control upon the assets and costs of mobile and fixed communications. The company has said that the main factors behind its growth are the launching of MNC Portal and Telecom Service Management (TSM) services, and the growing tendency within large enterprises to adopt the SaaS model.
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