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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 & 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Software Eats the Carrier Network
Marc Andreessen famously commented that software is eating the world. Boy, was he right.
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.
UNSi Explodes with Growing Partner Ecosystem, Expanded Portfolio, M&A
UNSi is positioning itself to become a communications powerhouse.
Kansas City Cleaner Taps Sprint for Fleet Efficiency
It also uses Geotab, a large telematics supplier to enterprise fleets. Geotab offers customers the GO6, a proprietary device that connects via a J-BUS adaptor and can be used with Garmin navigation, Iridium satellite, sensors, and an expander cable called the IOX. The plug-and-play solutions from Geotab, which insert into a vehicle's OBD-II port, increase a fleet's productivity and safety, and are economical, according to the companies.
ACT! Creator Finds a New Orbit
Despite his success at building a CRM leader, Muhney said he is not a fan of CRM. As big and successful as it is, the aggregate user base of all big CRM systems amounts to just 14 million people worldwide, he said, adding that there are 500 million iPhone users alone.
On Rad's Radar
Assess, Address Marketing
The big problem with most channel programs is the lack of marketing. There are three pieces usually missing from channel marketing.
INTERNET TELEPHONY Announces TMC Labs Innovation Award Winners
Welcome to the 14th annual INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine TMC Labs Innovation Awards where we honor innovative technologies. This year we had some interesting applicants, including one that helps companies with antiquated CAT3 cabling deploy VoIP, another that brings Skype-like functionality to carriers networks, and yet another that bundles a phone system with specialized dentistry software with deep integration. TMC Labs has enjoyed discovering and testing innovative products and services within the VoIP industry for many years, and one of the things we enjoy most is awarding TMC Labs Innovation Awards to innovative VoIP products.
Yo Agents! Start Blogging!
Content marketing is the hot thing now. It was the hot thing in 2004 when I started blogging, but that was before Google started changing their algorithm frequently. Content marketing means adding new and relevant information to your website, your blog, LinkedIn and your G+ account.
Agent of Change: Alliance Discusses Reorganization, Channel Challenges & Equity Plan Update
The past couple years have been especially challenging ones for the channel at large and the Agent Alliance in particular. INTERNET TELEPHONY recently checked in with Bill Power, CEO of the Agent Alliance, on how the group is evolving to help its membership address new trends in networking and to get an update on the organization's legal tangle with Blue Casa, the new owner of TNCI. Below is a paraphrased version of that conversation.
Joint Initiatives Put Sales Organizations on a New Go-to-Market Path
Emerging markets and the small- and medium-sized business sector are all the rage today. That is where the opportunities are. That is where promising and potentially profitable new customer segments can be found. It is where companies should look for growth.
Why Startups Should Consider the Option of Equipment Financing
Economic times are challenging many businesses today, and the current economic environment poses even greater difficulties for entrepreneurial startups and small businesses that are struggling to get established, grow or just stay in business. The characteristic innovation, agility and hard work of these businesses are precisely what the U.S. economy needs to get moving again; however, their nature of being newer, less capitalized or less established creates a catch-22 that impedes their ability to secure the credit they need. That's why it has never been more important for startups and small businesses to understand their options for financing the equipment needed to operate and grow their businesses.
And Then There Were Three...
As I write this, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and long-standing FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell have packed their offices and departed from the FCC. While President Obama has nominated Tom Wheeler to replace Genachowski, we will likely have to wait for Senate Republican leaders to nominate McDowell's replacement so both candidates can go through Senate confirmation hearings at the same time. This is typically not a quick process. In the interim, Acting Chairwoman Mignon L. Clyburn and our two newest commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai, will carry on the work of the FCC.
Avaya Takes Networking Lead in SPB
Many of you will remember when Avaya was actually the enterprise division of Lucent before the company spun off just over 12 years ago. Randy Cross, the company's director of PLM, discussed how there is a rapid move to software in the networking market, and SPB is an evolution of MPLS, allowing services to be created dynamically on the server where the applications reside or on the switches nearest the users.
Cloud & Data Center
The Voice Network in the Cloud
In my earlier article Carrier Voice: Ditching Boxes for Clouds, I outlined the factors leading to a new solution to the next-generation voice conundrum - the efficiency and new possibilities of IP networks in conflict with the cost and complexity of VoIP/IMS equipment along with the reality that service providers are challenged to grow voice ARPU in the all-IP era. That solution is cloud-based voice platforms, which allow service providers to get out of the voice network building business and focus on growing their business.
Cloud & Data Center
Rolling in the Deep: Database Startup Helps Businesses Dive into Big Data
The company's leaders say DeepDB is a new approach to database architecture that addresses performance and scale, and which they report has outperformed existing databases by 10 to 100 times across a wide variety of use cases.
Driving TV Viewership via Mobile Devices
Prime time rating is a strong tool for broadcasters and content rights owners to get quantitative feedback on their programming and audience engagement. It is a specific time frame in which %X of the general population becomes a captive audience, and as such, it should be nurtured and developed.
Telepresence - It's What's Next for Videos and Education
In 1980, U.S. cognitive scientist Marvin Minsky introduced the concept of telepresence, giving a remote participant the feeling of being present in a different location. Nearly 25 years later that theory is in operation across the world and importantly for us, in education.
What to Consider When Address BYOD Security and Management
Aragon Research Inc. in a research note released earlier this year talks about the need for a holistic approach to BYD management and writes: "Enterprise device, application and infrastructure management tools are rapidly evolving to help manage different aspects of the new mobile, bring-your-own enterprise. In the near term, businesses will face a fragmented market that includes public and private app stores along with MDM, MAM and emerging EMM vendors. Each of them is valuable for certain business needs and circumstances, but the coming consolidation in this market will have important consequences, and should be reflected in relatively short-term planning."
Vonage Goes Native With WebRTC
Vonage Mobile's product is targeted at mobile video, audio and text. The peer-to-peer nature of WebRTC fits perfectly into Vonage Mobile's architecture where it offers a directory and connectivity service on other people's networks. Further, the company offers out of the box integration with your address book and integration with your Facebook account. The app uses SMS to invite non users of the service to participate. The interface is uncluttered and intuitive to use. Additionally, the company is using SIP signaling so the app leverages the substantial investment that Vonage Mobile has already sunk into its SIP network.
White Spaces: Bridging the Digital Divide
In a world that runs on technology, it's hard to believe that about one third of the global population is unable to access the Internet - Americans accounting for approximately six million of that number. These aren't people who have chosen to fall off the grid, or the others who don't know how to turn a computer on. These are regular folks who want Internet access, but happen to live in some of the most rugged, expansive, or under-developed areas across the planet.
Digital Ordering Means Business for Restaurants
For restaurants that live and die by speed of service (namely of the fast-casual and quick-service varieties), the proliferation of smartphones represent an opportunity for restaurant operators to extend their reach beyond the confines of a physical building and into their customers' hands via digital ordering.
TMC Labs Innovation Awards UC 2013
It's rare that we have back-to-back year winners, so we were surprised to see two innovative high-end video telepresence systems from ClearOne and LifeSize win again this year with completely new products from the ones that won last year. This year marks the 14th annual TMC Labs Innovation Awards where we honor products and services that have unique and innovative features that often differentiate them from their competitors. For 2013 we have 20 TMC Labs Innovation Awards winners.
Corporate, Governmental Responses to Cyber Attacks Are Making Strides
For eight years, Arbor Networks has been tracking the cyber threat landscape through our annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report. Of course, much has changed over that time period. The peak DDoS attack size rising from 400mbps to well over 100gbps is just the start. The rise of stealthy application-layer attacks and the rise of hacktivism have dramatically changed the game for network operators and enterprises alike.
Harnessing Technology to Enable Real-Time Crime Centers
Government agencies ultimately align to one clear focus: to help our cities become places where people and businesses want to establish themselves. Government leaders understand the need to improve public safety performance continually for our cities to thrive. However, these leaders contend with the fact that taxpayers want to pay less, but still expect improvements and advancements in protection, safety and service - resulting in the economic challenge of doing more with less.
How to Attack IT Security Threats
On Aug.15, 2012, Saudi Arabia's national oil and gas company, Aramco, suffered a debilitating cyber attack. More than 30,000 computers were rendered inoperable by the Shamoon virus. U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta described this virus as the most destructive weapon ever used against the business sector.
Will Enterprises Miss Out on WebRTC Innovation?
As WebRTC gathers steam in the consumer world, a growing question is whether or not enterprises will be able to take advantage of the many innovative use cases that are emerging. Sure, companies see the potential of WebRTC to deliver rich business-to-business and business-to-consumer collaboration across a range of devices and applications.
Convergence of Web, Video and Mobile Fuel Cloud Videoconferencing Growth
Videoconferencing is moving from a high-end luxury to a must-have business feature. End users expect a videoconferencing experience that is ubiquitous, cost effective and can be delivered with high quality and a guaranteed service level. There are a variety of videoconferencing solution alternatives to fulfill this growing demand, but a confluence of trends in web, video and mobile technologies is expected to specifically boost demand for cloud videoconferencing.
How to Identify Likely Hazards During LTE Network Deployments
An irony of the digital world is that the biggest of big data is being generated by the smallest of devices: smartphones, tablets and other handhelds. Photos, videos, social media posts, Internet browsing, e-commerce - just about every aspect of online activity starts with or funnels through mobile devices and networks; all this on top of voice calls and SMS messages. With the rollout of 4G LTE, data loads will only get larger and faster, potentially placing severe strains on mobile networks during the transition from 2G and 3G systems.
Why Businesses Should Throw Out Their Old POTS
For businesses to maximize growth, they absolutely need to embrace the latest business tools and technology. One of the easiest and most fun things a business can do today to improve its image and services is to throw out its old POTS, otherwise known as plain old telephone service, and replace it with a far more flexible and affordable communications option: cloud or hosted VoIP services.
Redefining the Possible: WebRTC's Impact on App Development
You may have assumed that the battle for Internet browser market share was fought and won a decade ago. But with the growing interest in Web Real-Time Communications, or WebRTC, as an HTML5 value-added capability, the browser wars just may be back on. The good news for application developers and end users alike is that, as browser vendors line up behind Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome to enable their browsers with WebRTC, there will be an increasing economy of scale issuing developers a call to meet the demand behind a growing supply of innovative use cases.
The Search for Value: A Short History of Charging Evolution
There was a time, before mobile, when things seemed stark and simple. Your telephone, if you had one, lived in the hall, or at the foot of the stairs. It did not ring very often. There were waiting lists for telephones and there were complaints departments. It was a time of monopolies, a time when, in many countries, the government owned the telephone company. Customers were called subscribers, and they paid their bills. That seems stark in today's context, but owning a telephone, like a TV, was a status symbol and something of great value.
Cloud & Data Center
Carrier Voice: Ditching Boxes for Clouds
While the overall ARPU and usage trends are making data services heir apparent, voice is still king. Chetan Sharma Consulting recently reported that 56 percent of the U.S. wireless revenue is derived from voice services. While that voice-data share flip has occurred in some countries (Japan for example), the GSMA is projecting that voice will remain the majority of mobile service revenue globally until 2018.
On Rad’s Radar
The VAR Business Model Gets Cloudy
Another thing that gets missed is that the business model of the average VAR may not sync with cloud services. Cloud services are about monthly recurring revenue. Most VAR business models are based on upfront cash via hardware purchases. A VAR with $2 million in revenue probably pays much of that to its distributor for hardware and software. The transition of a cash flow model to a recurring revenue model is a challenge. It is a challenge due to payroll and other expenses that have to be met without the upfront cash.
New Developments in Network Virtualization, SDN: NTT's Enterprise Cloud Goes Global, Major TEMs Reveal SDN Strategies
In the March issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY, we talked about the flurry of activity - and acquisitions around - software-defined networking. In the April issue, TMC leader Rich Tehrani asked: Are You Ready to be a Software Telco? And now, in this issue, we look at the most recent developments on the SDN front, which includes new data on the level of deployment of SDN, an update on NTT's commercial SDN-based service, and the strategies of several leading telecom equipment vendors.
Telarix Makes Intercarrier Interactions More Efficient
The process to place orders and handle settlements among different telecom service providers traditionally has been a manual one, involving faxed forms or e-mail communications, says Vic Bozzo, senior vice president of sales at Telarix Inc. That, he says, is like a bank executing a wire transfer by having a guy write a check and run down the street to deliver it.
What Oracle Is Doing with Its Tekelec Acquisition
In February Oracle bought Acme Packet. And in early March it picked up Nimbula, a startup specializing in private cloud infrastructure management software. As of late March, when this issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY was getting ready to head out the door, Oracle had done it again -- swooping in to snap up Tekelec, which only a short time ago had decided to take itself private.
On Rad’s Radar
A Look at the VAR World
The bottom 20 percent will drop out of the VAR space. Why? The VAR space is a lot like the ISP space. Most of the ISP owners were techies who just wanted to create themselves a job that would be fun. They liked the tech side of the business and did not want to sell or market or worry about the financials. Even talking with Harry Belsford, we can agree that up to 25 percent of the VARs will not survive.
WebRTC Will Deliver a Seamless Customer Experience
Organizations tend to have a website group and a contact center group. But, in the future, it is very likely that many companies will move to integrate the two in an effort to deliver a better customer experience while at the same time lowering their costs. WebRTC is expected to be a linchpin in bringing all this together.
In the Wrong Hands: How Bad Practices Can Leave SSH Networks At Risk & What to Do About It
The secure shell data-in-transit protocol has been deployed millions of times by organizations of all kinds and sizes since its inception nearly 20 years ago. Today, it is recognized as an industry gold standard, capable both of securely moving data from one machine to another and providing remote administrator access. Linux, Unix, and Mac OS all ship a version of SSH with every version of their software, and SSH is gaining momentum in the Windows market as well.
Making Connections: Manufacturer Wilson Hurd Pulls Things Together with Esna Cloudlink
Founded in 1904 in Wisconsin, Wilson Hurd is a leading manufacturer of custom metal nameplates, plastic overlays, POP display components and electronic control products. About a year ago, the company began looking for ways to reduce IT cost levels and support time. Executive leadership reviewed various cloud and virtualization technologies that could help them reach these goals and, as a result, the company decided to move away from using Microsoft Exchange for enterprise e-mail to a more cost-effective Google Apps solution that included Gmail.
Preventing Costly Mistakes When Installing Enterprise-Wide Communications Solutions
First, it is extremely important that IT evaluate how all UC services (voice, video, instant messaging, collaboration, and mobile) are used in the organization. This requires due diligence and a thorough understanding of the business and its operations. Do you have to support a mobile workforce? What are the geographical demands for the solution - regionally, countrywide, and globally? These and other issues need to be thoroughly vetted before going too far down the deployment path.
Unified Office Introduces Total Connect Now
Unified Office is a new service provider on the scene that aims to make the kind of UC solutions that were once only available to the largest companies accessible to the small and medium business set. The company this spring formally unveiled it services, called Total Connect Now, which is a private cloud-based managed service that addresses worker mobility and the bring-your-own-device trend.
Timing-Aware Ethernet Backhaul Helps Carriers Survive the Wireless Multimedia Explosion
According to a recent Reuters article, the cable industry is losing subscribers who opt for less expensive and more targeted broadband services, which deliver streaming multimedia from both from the carrier's content partners and third-party over-the-top services. Typical of this trend is Comcast, which reportedly lost 117,000 video customers in the third quarter of 2012. While revenues from traditional media services continue to erode, some carriers are going on the offensive by offering premium-level services capable of supporting multiple channels of streaming multimedia, a strategy that requires nearly all carriers to upgrade their infrastructures.
Evolution Platform for Enterprise Lets Content Run Everywhere
The HTML5-based product offers what UIEvolution says is an efficient and economical solution for delivering cross-platform applications across screens - whether those screens are on a mobile phone, a tablet, a TV or within a vehicle. That enables simple, cross-platform experiences for end users, and allows for more affordable and efficient application creation, because software developers can write once and run their apps anywhere with UIEvolution.
Protecting Enterprises Against Software Audit Risks
Beyond the increasing likelihood of out-of-compliance software usage, a difficult economy and decreasing new license revenue have led providers to conduct more frequent audits. While audits previously occurred in response to whistleblowers or suspicious licensing behaviors, many providers now proactively audit all or most of their customers. For Fortune 500 companies, this can potentially result in multi-million dollar liabilities so it is critical to manage this growing area of risk with specific steps at each stage in the software lifecycle - during initial license acquisition, throughout the period of software usage, and in response to a provider audit.
Emerging Trends in Cloud Telephony for 2013
Cloud telephony - among the most important recent innovations in telecommunications - is poised for a banner year in 2013, thanks in part of the role so-called big data will play in improving the quality and depth of analytics and telecom applications.
USF Reform Relief for Rural Rate-of-Return Carriers
In late 2011, the Federal Communications Commission issued the Universal Services Reform Order and created the Connect America Fund to transition approximately $4.5 billion a year of federal subsidies to enable the build out of broadband services to rural communities. Last year, the CAF got off to a rocky start as it unintentionally delayed carriers' investment in broadband infrastructure as a result of the FCC over-rotating on rules and safeguards against spending abuse. The FCC allocated $300 million in the 2012 CAF Phase 1 funding for Tier 1 and Tier 2 price-cap carriers, but the FCC rules and obligations resulted in only $115 million of these funds being claimed -- leaving nearly $2 out of every $3 of this funding on the table.
Tekelec Introduces ThinkingNetworks Vision
The company has been rolling out product and messaging around various parts of this strategy over time, notes John Lenns, associate vice president of product management for Tekelec's policy management solutions. At Mobile World Congress earlier this year Tekelec introduced the ThinkingNetworks piece. Tekelec defines ThinkingNetworks as the phase at which networks become self-aware and automatically adjusting to the needs of services and applications.
Why LTE Needs Diameter Signaling Management
As LTE networks are rolling out worldwide, there are many discussions going on about the critical need to manage signaling, in particular Diameter signaling. There are also discussions, and it's even fair to say some controversy, over the different methods to manage and control Diameter signaling in the most effective way.
Distributed Denial of Service Attacks: Arbor Networks Highlights the Challenges
It used to be that distributed denial of service attacks - for which the bad guys overwhelmed company servers with messages, thereby bringing web viewing and transactional capabilities to a grinding halt - were more major nuisance than possible long-term threat to enterprises.
Run, FIDO, Run: Alliance Works on Non-Proprietary Authentication
The goals of the FIDO Alliance are to define and promote protocols to enable a broad range of strong authentication options across all end user devices; enable stronger authentication and better user experience; support the international standardization of the FIDO protocols by a recognized standards body; work with existing standards not replace them; and make the protocol stack ubiquitously available on client devices.
InfoVista Helps Expedite LTE Network Builds
InfoVista got its start in MPLS performance management and service assurance, but is expanding into mobile. The acquisition of privately-owned Mentum, which InfoVista announced and closed in late November, strengthened InfoVista's play in the radio access space.
Small Cells Await Their Big Debut
Small cells remain a hot topic in the wireless industry, and this area of interest certainly got its share of attention at the recent Mobile World Congress. But while expectations remain high for small cells, and some major wireless service providers have made public their plans to deploy large numbers of these network elements, the extent to which small cells actually have been implemented to date is quite limited. And one source tells INTERNET TELEPHONY that femtocells, an indoor mostly residential version of small cells, have been less than a success for service providers.
Strategic Solutions Series
Shango Establishes a Common Service Orchestration Platform for Unified Communications
There's no doubt that while IP communications is still very much in its evolutionary days, it has disrupted the very way that carriers and service providers offer up and deliver voice and data communications and network services.
On Rad’s Radar
The Top Hosted VoIP Companies in the U.S.
The largest provider of business hosted PBX is Comcast. With its acquisition of NGT and the retention of the smartest person in this space, Comcast has been growing steadily. I estimate that the company has more than 325,000 seats and about $150 million in sales. It should be available throughout Comcast regions by the end of the quarter and rolled out to the channel by the second quarter. If the company can scale the sales process, it could be amazing.
Batchbook to Expand Social CRM Availability, Integrations
Batchbook is opening its social CRM service to a broader swath of users' employees, bringing blogger comments into its tool, and integrating with a wide variety of other business solutions.
Ray Bonachea, Batchbook's vice president of marketing, at ITEXPO Miami told INTERNET TELEPHONY that the company plans to come out with new pricing to enable small business users to make its CRM tools available to as many of their employees as they wish.
Firespotter Labs Aims to Spark Innovation in the Voice Space
A little startup called Firespotter Labs has some major backers and big ambitions in the voice space. The company was at ITEXPO Miami earlier this year telling its story. And its CEO, Craig Walker (founder of Google Voice and Dialpad), was among the judges at the colocated event, StartupCamp 7.
This Call May Be Recorded for Quality Assurance Purposes...The Cost of Not Complying with State Privacy Laws
Providing quality customer service often depends on a business's ability to evaluate customer communications by monitoring and recording telephone calls. However, recording or monitoring calls in violation of state privacy laws may expose companies to legal liability, costing hundreds of millions of dollars.
How to Overcome WebRTC's Scalability and Firewall Issues
The demand for a simple and accessible mechanism to communicate via text and video has grown with the use of third-party videoconferencing technologies like Skype, Google and Watchitoo. Naturally, the buzz surrounding WebRTC, and its promise that users can now connect using video and audio directly through the browser, has been building to a fever pitch. And all the hype is for good reason.
Mobidia Aims to Leverage Mobile Data Usage for Carrier Promotions
In the world of all-you-can-eat mobile broadband, no one much new - or cared - how much wireless data they consumed. But as wireless service providers begin to alter their data package options and these same carriers look to find new sources of revenue, many people are becoming keenly interested in mobile data usage in terms of bandwidth used and media type consumed.
Zurmo Spices Up the Open Source CRM Game
Zurmo this spring is bringing out a commercial version of its open source CRM solution to address the needs of medium-sized businesses with 50 or more users. Release 1.5 will include enhanced mobile integration, gamification features, reporting, various e-mail integrations, and workflow capabilities.
Why 2013 is a Pivotal Year for Enterprise Video
Many of the technologies we rely on in business today reached their current penetration levels through a hockey stick adoption curve - starting slowly, growing steadily for some time, and then rapidly accelerating due to a combination of technology advancements, IT capacity and customer demand.
The rise of mobile phones followed this pattern, with measured growth in the early 2000s being eclipsed by the influx of iOS and Android devices in the past few years.
An Architecture for the Application Age: SDN Turns Networking Upside Down
SDN is considered by many to be one of the most important, and potentially disruptive, developments in networking since the rise of the Internet. To date, networks and connectivity have come first, and applications have followed. The software-defined network turns this model on its head, approaching networking from an application- and services-first standpoint.
Strong Upside Remains for SBCs
Session border controllers have been around for a long time, but there's still ample opportunity for them related to SIP trunking, among other potential applications such as unified communications normalization. Indeed, Oracle Corp.'s recent move to purchase SBC company, Acme Packet, for $2.1 billion emphasized the value of the session border controller and the fact that these products still have a long runway ahead of them.
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.
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.
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