Latest Departments

An Interview with Schmooze Com Inc. CEO Tony Lewis
Most of the direct competitors to FreePBX are closed source or proprietary solutions; however, over the years there have been various open source competitors that have come and gone. Most alternatives you find will likely be underdeveloped or focused on a different objective or component of telephony, or not primarily designed as a PBX. Most do not have the luxury of a corporate sponsorship or a dedicated development staff. You will find that some of the more impressive and vibrant alternatives are not actually open source, and are only available through commercial license. Developing a project like FreePBX is not a trivial task, it has taken us a decade of work to get where we are today.

Special Focus

INTERNET TELEPHONY Reveals TMC Labs Innovation Award Winners
Welcome to the 15th annual INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine TMC Labs Innovation Awards where we honor innovative technologies. This year we had some interesting applicants, including HD videoconferencing, a virtual SBC, cloud-based Wi-Fi, mobility solutions, security applications, and more. TMC Labs has enjoyed discovering and testing innovative products and services within the communications industry for many years, and one of the things we enjoy most is giving TMC Labs Innovation Awards to innovative technology products.

Unified Communications

Is Your Company's Software Underused?
Think about all the different kinds of software that your organization uses to conduct business - from general applications like Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel, to more specialized platforms like Salesforce.com, Hubspot, and even Adobe's suite of creative products.

Security

Five Ways to Help Enterprises Secure Applications and Customer Data
As reports of companies suffering data breaches continue to roll in with alarming frequency, concern about data security has moved beyond the realm of IT pros and into the mainstream. Security breaches at a wide range of companies, from brick-and-mortar institutions like Target, which allowed hackers to access data on as many as 100 million customers in December, to web-based platforms like Kickstarter, whose site was breached in February, have shown that no organization is beyond reach the reach of persistent attackers. While each company faces different security challenges, there are several specific measures that web-based application providers should take to keep customer data safe.

Wireless

What's New in the Satellite Orbit
The FCC's planned Incentive Auction, growth in the Internet of Things, LTE build outs, and Wi-Fi proliferation have been grabbing a lot of headlines lately in the wireless sphere. But another hot area of wireless expansion these days is satellite.

Wireless

BYOD: An Ongoing Challenge
For all the talk in recent years and months about the bring-your-own-device trend, you'd think businesses would have this situation well in hand. But, in fact, BYOD continues to be one of the issues that keep company executives awake at night and has them considering strategies to completely lock everything down in an effort to limit corporate and personal liability, and keep their organizations safe from a data breach. However, whole managers are feeling the heat from BYOD concerns, employees could not be more chill about it.

Wireless

An IoT Booster:CEO Explains Why This Signal Technology is Coming Out of the Shadows
For more than 10 years, technology vendors have been creating signal boosters to address the issue of poor indoor cellular coverage and dropped calls. Until recently however, carriers outlawed boosters due to network interference. But finally, the tide is changing and the market has come of age. The timing is ideal given the groundswell in the Internet of Things.

Cloud & Data Center

Saving on Reverse Proxy Server Runtime: Public Cloud, Nginx, Docker and VNS3 Can Do the Job
Cloud providers have invested heavily in cloud infrastructure facilities and equipment, making it easy to distribute resources across the globe. Despite the global reach, users hoping to run additional network services like Nginx, HAproxy, or Snort have to use additional VMs and servers. Adding VMs to the network can get very expensive and quickly complicate a network topology.

Cloud & Data Center

Fiber Mountain Helps Data Centers Scale Affordably
INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine recently interviewed M. H. Raza, founder and CEO of Fiber Mountain Inc., about how the company is leveraging data center infrastructure management, software-defined networking, and virtualization to take data centers to the next level.

The Channel

On Rad's Radar: Is It an Overcrowded Market?
The week I wrote this column two master agencies announced agreements with two different hosted VoIP providers. Each agency now has an agreement with 20 service providers that offer Hosted VoIP. 20.

Roundup

Billing Solutions
Trends in billing continue to change and shift. For example, IDC's recently unveiled 2014 Consumer Payments Survey indicates there's recently been a small decline in online bill payment, but that mobile payments have increased slightly.

Strategic Solutions Series

The Future of Networking is Now: Alcatel-Lucent Can Show You How
The telecom industry is famous for generating acronyms and corresponding technologies. Gartner refers to the flurry of excitement that often surrounds this exercise as the hype cycle. But the recognition that our industry is susceptible to hype can be counter productive, causing the more cautious types among us to take a wait-and-see attitude when new opportunities present themselves.

FreePBX World Supplement

The Billion Dollar Game Changer: Keynoter to Tell the Story of the Open Source Telephony Revolution
Open source communications platforms powered by FreePBX and Asterisk have been under continuous development for more than 10 years. Today both of these account for millions of installations worldwide, contributing billions of dollars in hardware, software, and services sales.

Feature Story

A Little Background on FreePBX
FreePBX, the world's most popular open source PBX platform, like many technology powerhouses, had humble beginnings a decade ago as a hobbyist PBX platform. FreePBX has continued to grow into a fully evolved ecosystem and is now in use in millions of production systems in more than 210 countries and territories across the world. Today there is no other OSS PBX platform that even approaches its adoption. With this success an entire industry was reborn, as FreePBX now contributes to billions of dollars in hardware, software, and services sales globally.

Feature Story

FreePBX World: An Event Addressing IP Phone Solutions
Schmooze Com Inc. will bring FreePBX World to ITEXPO Las Vegas, the leading business technology event, which will take place Aug.11-14, 2014, at The Rio in Las Vegas. FreePBX World is an event for all parties interested in selling, installing, or using VoIP phone systems. Whether on premises or in the cloud, FreePBX has a solution to cater to the needs of SMBs, large enterprises, service providers, and others looking to leverage advanced IP communications. Schmooze Com is also a Diamond Sponsor of ITEXPO, with all event attendees having complete access to FreePBX World programming and events.

Feature Story

What You Need to Know about Schmooze Com Inc.
Schmooze Com Inc. is a global telephony software development business based in Neenah, Wisc., and a Diamond Sponsor of this year's ITEXPO in Las Vegas. Schmooze's flagship product, FreePBX, was initially released a decade ago, and is in use on millions of production systems in 210 countries and territories, making it the most prevalent open source PBX platform in the world.

COVER STORY

Smooth Operator: Phybridge Enables Businesses to Confidently Migrate to IP
Phybridge is a company that provides solutions to make the migration to IP voice (and soon, IP cameras) as seamless and affordable as possible. That's important given infrastructure upgrade costs are a significant and frequently overlooked cost of IP telephony and unified communications deployments, as noted by Nemertes Research.

EDIT SERIES

Yorktel Makes Complicated Simple
In business for more than 29 years, Yorktel has built its name as an AV integrator. As its expertise grew along with the trends in the video communications marketplace, Yorktel has evolved to meet the demand for video managed services, cloud services, and unified communications and collaboration. INTERNET TELEPHONY recently interviewed Ron Gaboury, CEO of Yorktel, to get the latest on the company and its value proposition.

Special Focus

The GLOBALINX Masterstream Solution: A Tool to Help Agents Spend Time Selling Rather Than Doing Quoting
GLOBALINX is a fast-growing, hosted services provider that offers a complete line of hosted products for agents and wholesale customers. Recently GLOBALINX changed its billing strategy - moving from a multi-line bill listing CPE and service, to combining both with a competitive single MRC pricing strategy named 1Price. Since advertised, we've decided to dive deeper to see how competitive this 1Price offer really is.

IP Camera Roundup

IP Cameras
The global market for video surveillance and video surveillance as a service is expected to be worth $42.81 billion by 2019, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 19.1 percent from 2013 to 2019, according to Transparency Market Research's November study on the matter.

On Rad’s Radar

Don't Be Like House Hunters
I'm watching House Hunters where the buyers looked at 15 homes in their budget and complain about each of them. I can relate. Due to broadband marketing and pricing, buyers get shell-shocked with the price of dedicated Internet bandwidth.

Cloud & Data Center

The Challenges of Moving Data To the Cloud
According to recent study from Cloudability, 86 percent of companies currently use more than one type of cloud services. But before you rush off to the great big service in the sky, it's vitally important to understand both the pros and the cons and ask yourself all the right questions.

Network Infrastructure

Service Control: The Obvious Answer to the OSS/BSS Conundrum
Revenues from traditional telco services are eroding rapidly. For example, the rapid disruption of SMS revenue streams by WhatsApp provides a scary preview of what will happen when OTT players enable voice. Service providers will be in trouble if they can't move to enabling and monetizing new services and service bundles quickly and cost effectively. While revenues are declining, it's no wonder telco CEO's say their number one frustration is slow time to market for new services that could increase their competitiveness.

Wireless

DAS Crazy: Distributed Antennae Systems Hit the Big Time
Small cell solutions have grabbed headlines in recent years for their ability to add capacity and indoor coverage to cellular networks. But while these offerings have gotten off to a slow start, DAS continues to make gains in large indoor environments including high-end malls like Galleria Dallas, high-rise office and residential spaces, hospitals, and sports arenas.

Getting Vertical

Transbeam Addresses the Needs of Post Acute Partners - Stat
A growing multi-division health care company with a complex IT infrastructure wanted to incorporate new data and voice services to meet its expanding needs, which included the addition of new office space. But the company needed to ensure that the new solution was able to house all of its highly confidential customer files securely. And it hoped to implement the solution in a very short timeframe and during the hectic December holiday season in New York City.

Unified Communications

Text Appeal: Answering the Call for Customer Chat
The phone may still be the most used (and, sadly for contact centers, the most expensive) channel in customer care, but demand for web chat has grown significantly. In 2013, Forrester reported a 24 percent rise in chat usage over the previous three years. And according research by BoldChat, after using live chat for the first time, more than two-thirds of consumers actively look for websites that offer chat as an option.

Unified Communications

WebRTC Roundup
Already, WebRTC is supported on more than 1 billion endpoints, says Google, one of a raft of important tech companies driving this new technology. And Disruptive Analysis expects that to grow to 3.9 billion by 2016.

Unified Communications

Assessing the Costs and Savings of Lync
Dell sponsored this research to illustrate the need for tools like its recently released MessageStats for Lync. The solution delivers a variety of functions, including a chargeback feature so users can assign estimated costs of Lync and its various features, Johnstone explains. It's also integrated with ActiveDirectory, so users can roll those costs up at an organizational level.

Unified Communications

AudioCodes Helps Lync Scale
A little more than a year ago AudioCodes launched its One Voice initiative after coming to the conclusion that the Microsoft Lync ecosystem was just too complex and contained too many vendors for most IT managers to comfortably navigate. The idea was to bring a wide variety of solutions under one umbrella to create a one-stop shop for Lync and, essentially, to give customers one throat to choke.

Wireless

Machine-to-Machine Communications: The M2M Space is Poised for Big Things, But Faces Key Challenges
Global M2M cellular connections are forecast to hit the 374.9 million mark by 2017, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 26.5 percent from 91.4 million in 2011, according to research firm IHS. Berg Insight, meanwhile, forecasts that M2M devices with cellular connectivity will increase by 22 percent this year to reach 164.5 million in emerging markets, and estimates that M2M connections will grow at a CAGR of 24.4 percent with 489.9 million connections in 2018. And Analysys Mason says the M2M market will be worth $88 billion in the next 10 years.

Wireless

The Great Indoors
Seventy to 80 percent of mobile data is generated indoors. This is a refrain we're hearing more and more lately from companies in the wireless infrastructure arena as they introduce new solutions to help service providers better address the in-building opportunity, which ABI Research says will be worth $4 billion in 2018.

Video

WebRTC Fuels Surge in Telehealth Services
The other factor is mobile. Tablets and smartphones are the devices on which patients expect their digital experiences to be delivered on. Today, a telehealth service that wants to embed video chat into a native mobile app can do it by relying on a WebRTC platform such as Weemo. This is how MediSprout (disclaimer: MediSprout uses Weemo for its telehealth solution) provides both a web and a native telehealth experience.

Network Infrastructure

Telecom Industry Success Hinges on Compliance with Carrier Ethernet Standards
As Carrier Ethernet continues to ascend into the mainstream, the Metro Ethernet Forum's Five Attributes of Carrier Ethernet - standardized services, scalability, reliability, quality of service, and service management - have evolved into more clearly defined standards. The MEF has laid out a clear path for the telecommunications industry to adopt Carrier Ethernet 2.0 and associated best practices, providing a more structured framework for communications service providers to better deploy services and meet customer expectations. Despite this, confusion exists, specifically when it comes to Carrier Ethernet 2.0 performance management standards.

Cloud & Data Center

Backup Comes to the Cloud Front
With the rapid influx of complex information and data increasing exponentially in both sophistication and volume, ensuring business continuity through a holistic data management strategy is critical to survival. Business continuity goals are best achieved by implementing a strategy that encompasses data storage, backup, access requirements, retention and the ability to apply recovery point and recovery time objectives in granular detail. The ever-increasing reliance on storing information electronically makes implementation of a reliable backup solution more important than ever before. The right strategy will save enterprises time, money, and peace of mind.

On Rad's Radar

The 3 Reasons to Shift
Every channel chief in the U.S. is parroting Gartner's Tiffany Bova to tell channel partners to shift their business model - or perish. It's tiring to hear it repeated - like Chinese water torture. Here are the three reasons to start the shift now.

Roundup

Enterprise Collaboration Roundup
Collaboration means different things to different people, but increasingly enterprise collaboration involves video, document sharing, integration with back office systems, and mobile capabilities as well as stuff like voice, IM, and e-mail.

Security

Target Practice: Where Retailers Are with Security
There was also significant interest (59 percent) in retail analytics that can utilize Wi-Fi enabled smartphones to capture shoppers' data. Of that 59 percent, 75 percent are either actively utilizing these analytics or have a strong interest in them. Interestingly, only 25 percent say they would not use such capabilities because they believe it is an intrusion on their customers' privacy.

Special Focus

INTERNET TELEPHONY Congratulates Winners of the UC Excellence Awards
People are increasingly on the move, both while at work and play. Unified communications can help individuals more efficiently communicate and collaborate via voice, e-mail, chat, video, or whatever method, and to do so whether they are on wireline or wireless devices. It can enable them to make their availability know via presence features.

Video

Blue Jeans Brings Together What Had Been Separate Islands of Videoconferencing
Blue Jeans Network has enabled 3 million video meetings to date, has 2,000 business customers in 200 countries, and supports 130 minutes of communication minutes annually. Its customers range from the world's largest businesses, to small and mid-market companies. Facebook is among the users of Blue Jeans Network, with more than half of the social network's employees using the service.

Wireless

The Wireless Office: Mobile Apps Help Organizations Work More Efficiently, Effectively
Mobile communications is transforming business. What people previously did at desktop computers they now do on smartphones and cellular-enabled laptops. So organizations now are creating mobile apps to enable their employees to be more effective while on the move.

Unified Communications

The Latest in UC & IP PBX: Big Vendors Amass More Power; Mobility, Video Become Table Stakes
It's also due in part to the introduction of Microsoft Lync, which Myers says is the most disruptive force in UC today. Lync is not disruptive because it's particularly innovative, she explains. It is shaking things up because it allows Microsoft to address a wide range of UC requirements - including IM, collaboration, and (more recently) PBX functionality - and to leverage its ubiquitous presence on business computers and relationships with business customers to win and keep users.

Unified Communications

VoIP Dialing Emphasizes Benefits of SIP, Talks About What's Next
VoIP Dialing sells its offerings to businesses, primarily larger entities with 50,000 minutes or more of voice traffic a month. Its direct sales staff emphasizes the value the company delivers in terms of simplicity and quality. Nabon added that VoIP Dialing also can help its call center customers increase their call center performance by offering tips in this realm.

The Channel

Why the Channel Will Matter in 2014
One thing is a complete solution. Sane service providers know that they can't be all things to all customers. Also, customers may not want to rip-and-replace pieces of their infrastructure; they may want components added to enhance what they have. Partners are best suited for that.

Cloud & Data Center

Cloud Communications & The Survival of the Fittest: What to Expect in the Year Ahead
There's no denying that the telecom industry has enjoyed a significant increase in demand for mobile devices this year, but 2014 is shaping up to be a year of change. Widespread consolidation and an accelerated shift to cloud services are two of the biggest change agents on the horizon-and agility, flexibility, and innovation are their watchwords.

Wireless

How to Manage the Signaling Impact of LTE Small Cells
Mobile service providers with an eye on cost control are highly motivated to optimize paging and tracking area management. Simply by reducing the signaling volume for these procedures, they can support more subscribers on their existing networks and defer additional control plane capital investment. Reducing signaling on the mobile device also extends its battery life.

Wireless

Lemko Exec Offers Radical New View on Cellular Data Networks
Forget what you know about mobile data networking. The cellular carriers got it all wrong. Actually, forget about the cellular carriers too. The future is in swarming, self-organizing cell sites owned by individuals.

Wireless

Get Ready for a Year of Intense Cellco Marketing, VoLTE Intros & Mobile Intelligence
At the end of 2013 there were more than 2 billion smartphones, 300 million tablets, and one billion portable PCs in use globally, according to Deloitte's Global Mobile Consumer Survey. Deloitte estimates there were one billion smartphones sold last year, up from 750 million in 2012.

Unified Communications

Lync Roundup: What Microsoft Lync Partners Are Offering and Why
The Anywhere365 Unified Contact Center, the company's flagship product, is part of its flexible dialogue management system, for which all (IP) voice, chat and web chat, video, e-mail and conference communications can be efficiently and adaptively routed, traced and tracked. Lync Reception Attendant is provided on top of the Anywhere365 UCC platform.

Unified Communications

An Update on Lync
We are unique in the communications industry to have the benefit of one of the broadest eco-system of partners offering devices, products and services optimized for Lync. This wave of partner- led innovation, driven by Lync's open and interoperable platform, is helping to provide unprecedented choice and value for our customers across a broad spectrum of solutions and services.

Special Focus

GLOBALINX Connex Review
GLOBALINX, founded in 1997, is a reseller of Tier-1 carriers' services, including PRIs, MPLS, Fast & Gigabit Ethernet, as well offering business-class VoIP solutions, that includes feature-rich hosted unified communications. GLOBALINX was founded by Craig Jerabeck, who previously founded @Wireless Enterprises Inc., a 78-unit franchisor of retail wireless stores

Network Infrastructure

Infonetics Surveys the SDN in the Data Center Frontier
Infonetics Research recently issued a new survey on software-defined networking for the data center. To learn more about the key takeaways, INTERNET TELEPHONY talked to Cliff Grossner, Ph.D. directing analyst, data center and cloud at the research firm.

Network Infrastructure

SBCs Answer the Call: Solutions Adapt to Address New Form Factors, Technologies, Applications
The session border controller is a network element that always seems to be in the thick of things. And it appears that it will maintain that position as the communications industry moves forward with important new technologies including network functions virtualization, software-defined networking, and WebRTC.

Cloud & Data Center

Blazing a Trail on the Software Telco Frontier: ILEC Saddles Up for What's Next in Communications
Saddleback, which is owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, offers both business and residential services. Its 55-square-mile coverage area includes a mix of tribal residences in a very rural area, and some very valuable commercial real estate with Scottsdale, Ariz., addresses, notes Saddleback President Bill Bryant.

On Rad’s Radar

The Money in the Cloud
Add value, provide use cases, make it granular, and you become sticky. Salespeople today have to provide value beyond the services they sell. One way to provide that value is to let your customers know how other similar businesses handle similar problems.

Edit Series

Making the Move to SIP Telephony
Whether you've outgrown your traditional analog or digital phone system or are starting from scratch, SIP telephony is a great way to contain costs, improve collaboration and leverage your existing technology.

SPECIAL FOCUS

TMC Announces 2014 Product of the Year Awards
INTERNET TELEPHONY and its parent company, TMC, are proud to announce the Product of the Year Awards. Congratulations to all these distinguished companies.

WIRELESS

Exploiting The Internet of Things with Investigative Analytics
From call detail records and network logs, to device and GPS information, there's an ever-increasing stream of machine-generated data in the telecommunications industry. More cell phones, mobile devices, clickstream data - and anything with a sensor or RFID tag - are being instrumented, a phenomenon dubbed the Internet of Things.

On Rad's Radar

Focus on the Customer
With all the changes going on in the telecom industry, with all the chanting of cloud, BYOD, mobility, yadda, what should you do? My answer: Focus on your customer.

VIDEO

Forced Bundling of Pay TV Channels: No Longer a Tenable Marketing Model
The forced bundling of hundreds of TV channels is no longer tenable. This marketing model, the result of 60 years of evolution, has been immensely profitable for TV programmers. Understandably resistant to a change that could cost them billions of dollars annually, programmers must recognize that the model is failing. The two largest cable TV companies have reported their latest quarterly customer attrition. Comcast lost 129,000 subscribers during the third quarter of 2013. Time Warner Cable, with a substantially smaller customer base, lost 306,000 subscribers during the same period.

Wireless

Using Microduct in the Cellular World
With the onset of LTE and other broadband hungry technologies, cell tower owners and operators have seen the need to not just bring fiber to the base of the tower, but to take fiber up the tower as well. Unfortunately, the boost in performance achievable with fiber is seen as a trade-off with the cost of installing it.

Network Infrastructure

2013 Marks Google Fiber's First Birthday: But Despite All the Attention, the Company Is and Will Remain a Broadband Baby
Last month marked Google Fiber's one-year anniversary in Kansas City. That means it had been a year since the first customers began receiving the 1-gig connectivity. By the time this issue makes it to press, most if not all of the areas targeted for Google Fiber will have been installed.

Open Source

Dell Expands Shareplex, Toad
As for Toad, what's new here is what Dell calls a connected intelligence feature. To break it down, that means that the Toad interface now offers a direct link to the broader Toad World community, which has more than 3 million annual visitors and which has been around for about a decade. That way Toad users - who tend to be database administrators, database developers, and analysts - of all skill levels can more easily leverage the expertise of the peers both within their own organizations and within the world at large.

Special Focus

Fax: Keeping up with Change
Fax has changed, not gone away. Businesses still com municate with fax documents just as much as they have in the past. What has rapidly changed, though, is how faxes are sent. Business users do not receive paper faxes anymore; instead they get a PDF document in their e-mail inbox. Fax machines are now connected up to VoIP- based ATA's, VoIP systems and service providers, versus previously using dedicated analog phone lines.

Special Focus

Dell Details His Plans to Reinvent the Company
Dell also welcomed to the stage Deal Daly, senior director of technical operations at Ancestry.com, a customer of the tech company. Daly told the story of how traditional IT would not support the business at Ancestry.com, which now has 2.7 million subscribers, manages 10 petabytes of dynamic structured and unstructured data, has seen contributed content increase by six times since 2009, and expects to spend $100 million in the next five years to acquire new content.

Wireless

Next Generation Wireless: Riding On the Back of Millimeter Waves
Of all the wavelengths in the spectrum used for wireless data transmission, perhaps the least well known is the millimeter wave band. However, it is precisely this band (and the continuous bandwidth it provides) that enables wireless data transmission at speeds and bandwidth that compare to the high quality of fiber optic communication systems.

Video

Telepresence Takes a Back Seat to More Affordable, Flexible Videoconferencing
In addition to the shift to more affordable and built-in video capabilities, the videoconferencing space has seen the introduction of some software-only solutions running on industry-standard x86 servers, the rise of the scalable video coding standard, and the arrival of a potentially disruptive technology known as WebRTC, noted Davis.

Video

Yorktel Looks to Help Businesses with Video Compliance
Yorktel is video managed services provider that's been in business for 30 years. It offers professional services/advisory services related to video, managed video, media services for town halls and corporate YouTube content, and a video as a service offering. The company recently became the only video-as-a-service provider to offer Lync federation with Office 365.

Unified Communications

Tadiran Telecom Reinvents Itself with Aeonix
Tadiran Telecom will come out with release 3 of Aeonix toward the middle of 2014. That release will support WebRTC, and HTML5 web apps for user productivity, desktop, attendant console, and ACD agents.

Security

Why Today's Threats Require a New Approach to Incident Response
There are countless stories being told of unique threats that find their way into the most secure organizations. Each newly discovered threat brings new challenges, and many result in the need or desire for a complete security overhaul of what some organizations have in place. But most organizations have a wide variety of network security products - including next-generation firewalls, SIEM platforms, advanced malware detection platforms and more - yet somehow attacks continue to penetrate these enterprise fortresses. So what is an enterprise to do? What's missing?

Getting Vertical: Insurance

Making the Call on Obamacare
Idaho's new health insurance marketplace exchange (which is a joint state-federal venture) fired up Oct. 1 reporting both high traffic and just a few temporary glitches, according to the Idaho Statesman. (But then, consider the population of Idaho compared to that of New York or California.) Technical problems in Maryland and Minnesota delayed the launch of the enrollment process for all or most of the first day.

On Rad’s Radar

Cloud is Expensive
For the small business though, it might be cheaper to buy software and run it themselves. Dedicated hosted servers are as low as $99 per month. I'm not anti-cloud, but if the business is a single location organization without mobility or remote worker needs, then it will not be leveraging the benefits of cloud at all. A year of rented software is $9,000 - that will buy you a lot of licenses, servers and hosting.

SPECIAL FOCUS

Akkadian Labs Provisioning Manager Express Makes Configuration Quick and Simple
Last week your organization successfully implemented a new IP based Unified Communication system. The vendor is closing out the final issues and providing your staff with a few hours of training. This is a great achievement and all the new features will have a very positive impact on the user community, but what about ongoing operations?

SECURITY

Security & the iPhone 5s - Separating Fact from Fiction
After just two days on the market, the new iPhone 5s fingerprint reader was spoofed, making for some spirited debate. After reading these stories, some have jumped to the conclusion that biometrics are an immature technology not ready for broad consumer use. As biometric identification technologies continue to become more and more a part of our everyday lives, it is essential to separate fact from fiction using science, not sensationalism, as our guide.

Wireless

The New Paradigm in Technology for Investor Communications
The communications industry is a multi-billion dollar one that is slow to move and not prone to thinking outside of the box when it comes to the use of technology, let alone the creation of new technologies. This is particularly true in the investor relations industry, in which public companies communicate with their investors. And this is not surprising considering all of the regulations and legal constraints public companies face. Nevertheless, the advent of social media and the rapid proliferation of mobile devices as a platform to communicate create opportunities for public companies to establish a closer and more direct connection with their investors.

wireless

Thinking Big about Getting Small: HetNet Deployment Considerations
According to Pew Research, 56 percent of adults now have smartphones. More surprising, though, is that 37 percent of teens now have these devices and are using them as the primary mechanism to access the Internet and communicate - via text and increasingly video - with their peers. Given that this demographic typically foreshadows how new tools will be used, many believe there is no end in sight for the current exponential surge in data traffic. The question becomes, is the telecommunications network ready to handle this type of growth?

WIRELESS

Converting Backhaul Networks into a Storage and Application Cloud
The degree to which an operator can consistently provide content to the subscriber with high quality has become a primary source of brand differentiation. At the same time, operators are conscious of the cost impact of all this content traffic on their networks. New solutions are required to monetize Internet traffic passing through operator's networks. Dramatically reducing transport costs while improving user experience and developing new revenue opportunities is of key importance.

SECURITY

HBGary Director Talks Security
It typically has to do with safeguarding yourself and your assets. But, in fact, there's no foolproof way of doing so. There are, however, some steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of a security breach at your home or organization, and there are additional measures you can put in place to minimize breaches once they happen, says Matthew Standart, director of threat intelligence at HBGary, a 10-year-old security software and services company now owned by ManTech.

NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE

Test, Measurement & Monitoring: Six Things To Keep Your VoIP Systems Running Smoothly
It's the call that no network manager wants to get - your CEO is trying to make a VoIP call and the connection is choppy, making it very difficult to conduct business.

NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE

Network Functions Virtualization and the Real NGN
Virtual switching/routing has been around a long time, and software-defined networking depends on software control of packet forwarding. In a limited way, we're already using software to define the next-generation network, or NGN. What's missing is a generalized model to support any network feature through hosted software. That could save a lot in capital costs by substituting inexpensive servers for proprietary appliances, but it could also create a more agile network, a network better able to respond to market changes and opportunities. If that's not what the NGN is supposed to be, I'm missing something.

NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE

Ahead of the Curve: Sansay Leads the Pack on Virtualization, WebRTC
The term network functions virtualization has been getting a lot of attention lately as a way to help telcos save money and increase their ability to quickly introduce new services. But Sansay, which opened for business more than a decade ago, has designed everything it's built to run on standard Intel servers from day one and that helps it function in the NFV world.

10GBase-KR Ethernet Backplane Compliance Testing: Easy or a Pain in the Backplane?
Increased demand from consumers through cloud computing has helped drive more demand from Ethernet backplane servers, routers and switches. To help increase bandwidth requirements 10GBASE-KR and 40GBASE-KR4 have helped provide the additional bandwidth in the Ethernet backplane arena. The higher bandwidth, however, has created some challenges in interoperability between these devices. The result is a very precise physical layer developed from the IEEE 802.3ap Ethernet Backplane specification. Oscilloscopes play a critical role in testing the physical-layer compliance testing. What are the challenges in selecting the right oscilloscope to ensure that the 10GBASE-KR specification is being met?

Playing it Safe: Connected Technologies Address Safety, Performance, Efficiency and Good Calls
Reports and studies indicate that professional athletes who are exposed to repetitive mild traumatic brain injuries may develop ongoing impairment such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition caused by a build up of tau protein, according to a January article on the UCLA newsroom, which adds that CTE has been associated with memory loss, confusion, progressive dementia, depression, suicidal behavior, personality changes, abnormal gait and tremors.

Unified Communications

Gaining a Competitive Edge with Hosted VoIP
True, 10 minutes a month amounts to just a couple minutes total within an average work week. But, for a property company that oversees millions of square feet of commercial property, the volume of dropped calls and/or network crashes often disrupted important business communications. When the system went down, all incoming calls automatically defaulted to the cell phone of the office manager, who doubled as the receptionist. So she'd have to literally run around the floor, relaying messages to employees.

Video

You've Established a Successful Start-up, Now What?
As a growing start-up, expanding your business internationally is far from easy, as well as a significant investment. Regardless of how successful you are on your home turf, don't expect to jump off the plane and be welcomed with open arms by the local press, find yourself a trendy loft apartment and hire your team in the space of a few weeks. The reality is that it's hard work, and tech start-ups considering taking the plunge should always (always!) ask themselves: Is international expansion really necessary?

Cloud & Data Center

5 Components to Consider Before Choosing a Cloud Provider
Companies are now being besieged by new vendors and service delivery models promising the delivery of a wide array of solutions and services. When investigating a migration of critical customer-facing applications to the cloud, organizations need to thoroughly investigate vendors and delivery models to ensure business operations are not disrupted and that benefits touted are real.

The Channel

Create Loyalty with a Cloud-based Sales Channel
First, embrace the change. It's not coming tomorrow. It's here today, so it's time to transition. In the increasingly complex world of cloud resellers, it's important to remember the sales channel basics: reward partner engagement, incent product knowledge, maximize sales tool utilization, and celebrate closed deals. Then, start with these action items to leverage your existing sales partner strategies.

On Rad’s Radar

Why You Need the CRM Habit
Well, one factor is ease of use. Sales people don't want to use CRM anyway. It's paperwork. Sales guys hate paperwork. CRM has to be frictionless - maybe even intuitive. A good user interface is essential. Integration with e-mail is optional. The ability to add notes and e-mails has to be simple. If you can find one that is voice integrated, bingo!

SECURITY

Online Data Backup: Storing and Securing E-mail
E-mail has brought a new era of efficiency to our day-to-day communications. Thus, the information kept in our e-mail accounts often ends up being the most crucial to protect. Who hasn't spent time searching through our inboxes and trash to find that one bit of information we so desperately need? For these reasons, backing up your e-mail should be a top priority.

SECURITY

Best Practices for Ensuring Cloud-based UC Security in the Enterprise
As businesses try to consolidate their enterprises and streamline processes to be more competitive in today's market, one of their most popular options has been to update and upgrade their communications systems. Within the past year, many enterprises have transitioned to unified communications connected with hosted SIP trunking connections to replace legacy PBXs connected via the PSTN - to enable new productivity and collaboration features, saving money and lowering maintenance and infrastructure costs.

Wireless

How to Deliver VoLTE with Scalability, High Performance in the EPC
The game really changes with LTE. With the emergence of LTE, and its increased bandwidth and QoS capabilities, mobile operators can now start to deliver specific data services with more consistent performance. One example is voice over LTE. VoLTE is an operator-owned voice service offered through the user's LTE mobile data connection. It is delivered with specific performance characteristics, offering a more consistent and reliable experience to the user.

Wireless

Can Wireless Devices Avoid Failures in a Crowded License-free Spectrum?
All sorts of devices - from baby monitors to building security systems - operate in the license-free spectrum of 900mHz and 2.4gHz, and the space is getting increasingly crowded. Every device has to hold its own among the conflicting radio waves from other products. It also needs to adapt to real-life conditions, such as keeping its signal strength through brick or wooden building walls, snow and rain, and a truck parked in its pathway. Even a properly operating device can be a subject to a cyber-attack, so command and control communications need to be adequately secured.

Wireless

A User's View on BYOD Security
Before launching our VDI deployment and overall BYOD initiative, our major concerns were securing the devices on our network, and only allowing devices that were sanctioned by IT.

Open Source

FatCloud Helps Developers Move Faster
May you live in interesting times. This wish can be viewed as a blessing or a curse. It's a little bit of both if you're a software developer these days.

Open Source

Drifty Helps Expedite Prototype-to-Development of Software Solutions
It's an exciting time for Ben Sperry and Max Lynch. They launched their little company just last year, and already Drifty has launched three products, been accepted into the incubator project TechStars, and gotten accolades from jQuery Mobile and Rackspace.

Wireless

BYOD Security: Use the Internet to Protect the Internet
The answer isn't as complicated as one would expect. Attackers use a systematic process in the course of carrying out an attack campaign. This process is known as the kill chain. As attackers move from one phase of the kill chain to another, they leave behind clues about their activity. IT organizations can use this information to uncover hidden infections in what is known as network-based threat discovery.

Network Infrastructure

OpenFlow SDN Solutions Increase Operator Flexibility
Operators are living in challenging times. They have entered an era where double-digit traffic growth is outpacing cost reductions.

Wireless

Embracing and Defending Against BYOD
Our research has found that most of the iPhones and Android smartphones in use in the North American workplace are owned by employees, not their employers. Dropbox is used in 58 percent of organizations and many other, employee-deployed, file-sync/storage, telephony and other applications have found significant penetration in the workplace.

Network Infrastructure

Software Eats the Carrier Network
Marc Andreessen famously commented that software is eating the world. Boy, was he right.

Special Focus

TMC Announces IT Excellence Award Winners
These awards recognize the creators of technology that demonstrate leadership and innovation to the global industry. As part of this awards effort, INTERNET TELEPHONY recognizes companies whose products have shown improvements in its clients' business and honors the best IP communications solutions in the world.

Network Infrastructure

UNSi Explodes with Growing Partner Ecosystem, Expanded Portfolio, M&A
UNSi is positioning itself to become a communications powerhouse.

Getting Vertical — K-12 Education

N.J. School District Hits the Wall with Legacy Connectivity: But That Opens New Doors for Higher Bandwidth, Better Customer Service
It’s amazing how a less-than-ideal situation can sometimes work out so beautifully in the end. That’s the moral of this story, featuring Jeff Janover and the Wall Township Public Schools.

Getting Vertical — K-12 Education

How Schools Can and Should Fit into Our National Broadband Plans
The United States is finally on track to develop a national broadband policy. Unfortunately, there are very few public resources available to carry it out. In this environment of limited government funding, the bang-for-the-buck question becomes paramount: What broadband policies will deliver the greatest value? While many focus on unserved and underserved areas, an equally important priority is to ensure that our community anchor institutions — our libraries, schools, and health care entities — have sufficient broadband capacity.

The Channel

Business Automation Software Companies Address Managed Services
Managing all the internal and external jobs and workflows at an IT company can be a daunting task. But business automation software companies like ConnectWise and Tigerpaw Software Inc. help networking, telecommunications, and systems integration companies manage their various processes. Both companies, which have close relationships with the channel, recently have made some significant changes, as well as introduced new initiatives to help better address marketplace requirements, such as needs related to the emergence of managed services.

On RAD's Radar

Net-Head Part II
Last month I wrote about the shift in mentality between traditional Bell-head telco types and the data-centric net-head. In a move that can be considered net-head-ish, everything is moving to the cloud, including voice.

The Channel Perspective

UC is Even More Beneficial to Post-Recession SMBs
It is said that small- and medium-sized businesses feel the impacts of a recession earlier than large companies, but they also recover faster. Well here’s a newsflash: We’re in a recovery, and SMBs are starting to buy again, albeit with a critical eye. This is good news for the channel, because unified communications lends itself easily to a positive discussion around improved efficiency and return on investment.