Special Focus

TMC Labs Innovation Awards UC 2013

By Tom Keating, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Editor  |  June 10, 2013

Traditional unified communications is viewed as the unification of voice, video, desktop sharing, instant messaging and other communications technologies to improve employee productivity and lower the total cost of ownership. However, UC isn’t simply about unifying your own internal communications, though that plays a very important role. UC also encompasses integrating and communicating with partners’ databases and systems. For instance, one of our winners, Telarix, enables a business-to-business information exchange platform for carriers to automate business processes as well as quickly and efficiently access and share business documents, such as price lists, contracts, and bills among their trading partners in near real time.

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.

8x8 Inc.

8x8 Virtual Office Desktop

www.8x8.com

8x8 has been in the VoIP market longer than most and is probably best known for its Packet8 service, which was one of the first residential broadband VoIP offers in the same league as Vonage. Unlike Vonage however, 8x8 has focused more on business VoIP than residential, offering a suite of products suited for the enterprise. One innovative product it offers is Virtual Office Desktop, a Windows and Mac all-in-one UC application that provides full business softphone functionality, visual voicemail, IM and presence with Google and Facebook (News - Alert) federation, and video calling. It also features fax sending and receiving, archive access to Call Recordings, Chat History, and Twitter and Facebook feed integration.

Unlike competitors, 8x8’s solution also includes web conferencing functionality, giving you a WebEx / GoToMeeting experience. It’s able to host all of this UC and social media functionality since it’s a hosted unified communications service provider with IP PBX servers running in its data centers. Besides the softphone app, 8x8 provides physical IP deskphones as well as Virtual Office Online, a browser app.

Lastly, this is the first business application that improves the audio capabilities of the Adobe Air platform with native Windows advanced audio signal processing. This 8x8 advanced audio module provides iLBC, G729A, G711u/A codec support optimized for 8x8’s proprietary DSP. It features acoustic echo cancellation and speaker feedback supression, dynamic jitter handling and packet loss resilience for better call quality on constrained bandwidth.

Acrobits S.r.o

Cloud Softphone

www.cloudsoftphone.com

Cloud Softphone is a mobile app for VoIP providers and businesses that want their own mobile SIP VoIP client without the cost and hassle of development. They can add the settings for their service, customize the theme to fit their corporate branding, and even test it for free. The app is available on both iOS and Android immediately and can be quickly provisioned via its support for QR codes for one-touch provisioning. The app centralizes your SIP account settings in one app, minimizes issues caused by incorrect configuration, and makes updating settings a breeze.

Acrobits S.r.o created Cloud Softphone to help systems integrators and VoIP providers build and customize their own app very quickly. Along with its own Mvoip products, Acrobits has successfully deployed more than 200 white labels. Moreover, its proprietary SDK helps major telcos and app developers add video and voice capabilities to their own products. Cloud Softphone helps the systems integrators and VoIP providers to control over the air all changes made in the configuration without the need for the user to perform a manual app update on the mobile device. For instance, the online designer can configure the look and field of the app and the changes are immediately sent to the customer devices. Other features include call back, call through, and web call back, as well as a powerful number rewriting engine.

Acrobits tells TMC Labs, “One of the biggest challenges of the MVOIP industry is to preserve the battery smartphones, Cloud Softphone uses push notifications to wake up the app. Push notification for incoming calls is a unique service and works behind firewalls. The service can be installed on premises, or the users can choose to use our own hosted push notifications servers.”

 

ADTRAN Inc.

ADTRAN’s NetVanta 7100 with Voice Migration

www.adtran.com

ADTRAN’s NetVanta 7100 with Voice Migration solution is an innovative platform offering an all-in-one, Office in a Box (News - Alert), featuring both voice and data capabilities on a single platform. Businesses can take the NetVanta 7100 and utilize it as either a premises-based unified communications platform for business needs, or take the same hardware platform and utilize it as a gateway for hosted UC services. Features include the ability to support up to 100 users at a single site, least cost routing, 3-4 digit dialing between sites, integrating messaging, wireless access control, ring groups, zone paging, and very fast deployment.

ADTRAN espoused its platform to TMC Labs by saying, “With a single SKU for either premises PBX or hosted VoIP UC, resellers are able to carry less inventory and reduce costs. Channel partners focusing on pure play cloud-based and hosted or premises-based UC can now offer a migratory platform which supports both types of deployments.” The company adds, “The NetVanta 7000 series has been on the market before. However, the NetVanta 7100 with Voice Migration contains a new software configuration that provides service providers and enterprises with more flexibility for enabling either type of voice service deployments.”

The all-in-one solution is very innovative in that it combines multiple network functions into a single platform, including IP router, 24 port PoE switch, IP PBX, firewall and VPN, ACD, auto attendants and voicemail. This is equivalent for instance of eliminating a SonicWall firewall and VPN, Cisco (News - Alert) router, and Cisco PoE 24-port switch. The lowered TCO of having a single box providing both voice and data functionality, including data security, is obvious. From a single admin you can manage the entire IT infrastructure, plus it’s a single vendor point of contact for support should something fail.

AudioCodes

AudioCodes One Voice for Microsoft Lync

www.audiocodes.com

AudioCodes core strength has always been in media gateways, SBCs, and more recently strong support for Microsoft Lync, a popular UC platform, as well as SIP phones and Lync-compatible phones. This year the company announced AudioCodes One Voice for Microsoft Lync, a new unified product and service program intended to simplify and accelerate voice enablement of Lync implementations with a complete portfolio of AudioCodes’ own IP phones, media gateways, enterprise session border controllers, Survivable Branch Appliances, Session Experience Manager and complete network management tools, as well as support and professional services. The platform supports easy migration to Microsoft Lync and co-existence with current telephony systems in multi-site deployments.

Audiocodes tells TMC Labs, “We believe AudioCodes is the first to offer a complete suite of voice network elements (IP phones, gateways, E-SBCs, SBAs) and associated services for Microsoft Lync. Until now, businesses that wanted to deploy Microsoft Lync needed to buy products from a number of different suppliers, take training from each and separate support contracts for each – a major headache. With AudioCodes One Voice for Microsoft Lync, a business can have one supplier and one support contract for all the voice network elements.”

The common software platform for all the various elements significantly reduces complexity and the training required to implement a voice-enabled Microsoft Lync deployment. AudioCodes has also successfully embedded Microsoft Lync’s RTA codec in all of its products. AudioCodes’ one stop shop for all things needed to support and maintain Microsoft Lync gives it a competitive advantage and our respect.

Avaya

Avaya IP Office Server Edition

www.avaya.com

IP Office Server Edition delivers superb unified communications with scalable growth, centralized management, and resilience built-in. A Linux server is the heart of Server Edition, running IP Office software, featuring voice messaging, call recording, and unified communications features. The Server Edition offers centralized management and licensing for all users, across all locations using a single easy-to-use management interface. Administrators have a view of all users on a single site or across up to 32 locations with the ability to see system status at a glance, so administrators are aware of potential issues that could affect system performance such as over utilized trunk lines, voice ports, and bandwidth utilization.

The platform scales very well, improving from 384 users to 1,200 per site in the latest version, and now improving from 40 voice messaging ports to 100 with any mix of IP, digital, analog or SIP phone devices. It has fault tolerance built-in. Within a multi-site network where Server Edition is deployed across remote locations, in the event of a system outage, the IP phones on that location simply re-register to an alternate location. Further, critical voice messaging including messages and greetings are backed up to an alternate Linux server.

It also features up to 250 SIP trunks per server, 128 audio conferencing ports per server, including IP Office 500v2 (64 parties per conference), and up to 200 Avaya one-X Portal users on primary or secondary server and up to 500 Avaya one-X Portal users on dedicated server. Also, it has SSL-VPN capabilities embedded helping ensure secure delivery of upgrades and patches. Mobility features are very strong with support for Android and iOS devices. Features include simplified call control – tap to call, tap to conference, visual voice mail, IM, presence, and central directory access.

IP Office also features integration with Salesforce.com for enhanced screen pop. IP Office also integrates with Lync to provide call control, IM, and presence from within the Lync client. The Avaya Microsoft Lync Integration is a plug-in that integrates with the Microsoft Lync client to provide telephony capabilities via IP Office. The client-side integration gives IP Office customers the advantage that it will work with both Lync server-side infrastructures – on premises and hosted (Office 365), and customers do not need to purchase Microsoft voice CAL licenses.

ClearOne

COLLABORATE Room

www.clearone.com

ClearOne made its mark with some of the best audio conferencing equipment you can buy. Not content to rest on its laurels, ClearOne has branched out into videoconferencing. ClearOne’s COLLABORATE Room solutions provide excellent videoconferencing and collaboration with a price point and feature set that is often better than competing room conferencing solutions. ClearOne espoused its platform saying, “Our software-based videoconferencing products are a complete portfolio featuring complete desktop video applications, room systems, infrastructure and management solutions. COLLABORATE Room offers more flexibility, scalability and upgradability at a significantly lower price point than competing hardware-based solutions.”

To target its customers feature needs and budget needs effectively, it offers multiple tiered COLLABORATE solutions: Room SD (4CIF), Room HD (720p), Room FHD (1080p, 30fps) and Room PHD(1080p, 60fps). COLLOBORATE Room SD is for budget-conscious SMBs offering high-quality video with smooth motion capture, recording, streaming, and data sharing. Room FHD adds HD video support, including 720p outgoing video resolution, full HD 1080p incoming. Room PHD adds 1080p incoming/outgoing resolution at 60fps for ultra-smooth video. All of these products are easily upgradeable to support future requirements.

All COLLABORATE Room Systems include recording on internal or external hard drive, streaming, and an embedded MCU - 4, 6, 9 port (License Activated), USB Data Share, collaboration and presentation, dual display, 18x PTZ Camera, H.264, and daisy chainable microphone array offering 360-degree coverage. It is also compatible with Collaborate Central management software and features control API’s for AMX / Crestron control or any 3rd party control.

ConnectSolutions

NextUC - Enterprise

www.connectsolutions.com

ConnectSolutions NextUC Enterprise is a cloud-based instance of Microsoft Lync with a deployment process that is fully automated and instant on including PSTN telephone calling. It offers a 60-day free trial with a simple web form, enabling you to try it out and start collaborating immediately. NextUC claims, “This is the fastest, easiest way to deploy and run Microsoft Lync with the full feature set and functionality.” The company adds that it is “first to market with a simple/instant on Microsoft Office365 integration for Full Exchange Unified Messaging.”

NextUC Enterprise features telephone calling, web conferencing, audio conferencing (internal and outside parties), videoconferencing, unified messaging, instant messaging (secure chat), and presence management (integrated into all key applications like Outlook, Sharepoint, Lync, etc.) It also has strong mobile features with NextUC services available on iPads, iPhones, PCs, Macs, Android, and Windows Phone. The solution can also work with stand-alone Ethernet phones.

NextUC provides the Lync related services chat, presence, videoconferencing, web conferencing, inbound calling, outbound calling and audio conference calling and fully extended and integrates that experience into the Office365 product suite. The combined communications and collaboration experience is offered with no up-front cost, low recurring costs and no extended contracts, making this solution one of the lowest barriers to entry for companies looking to deploy powerful UC functionality.

Datapipe

Stratosphere

www.datapipe.com

Stratosphere is Datapipe’s high-performance managed cloud computing platform. It enables self-service cloud environments, cloud diversity in conjunction with the Amazon AWS ecosystem, and hybrid cloud options featuring Datapipe’s managed hosting, compliance and security services. The Stratosphere platform is fully managed up to the application layer. Stratosphere cloud regions include Silicon Valley, New York Metro, London, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Stratosphere was the first Global Apache CloudStack Cloud Service. According to Datapipe, it launched the largest international public cloud to be built on CloudStack, which included six data centers in the U.S., Britain, and Asia.

Datapipe’s Stratosphere enables self-service cloud environments and cloud diversity, in conjunction with AWS ecosystems, as well as hybrid cloud options featuring Datapipe’s managed hosting, compliance and security services. Features include the ability to pause VMs and maintain machine state without compute charges, scale storage independent of compute, and have a single security zone across all regions.

Datapipe has also simplified the cloud billing process by including managed services within the base price – offering what it claims is the best price-to-value ratio in the cloud market. In addition, the company offers up-to-the-minute reporting, enabling customers to accurately budget for their cloud-based services. The platform also sports the Datapipe Stratosphere API, loosely based on the REST architecture and allows developers to create new resources and integrate existing systems with Stratosphere. It supports POST/GET requests and returns both XML and JSON response formats.

Datapipe tells TMC Labs, “While the Stratosphere platform can be provisioned from a self-service portal, Datapipe’s managed services and support are included for all clients. Our competitors all charge a premium for support, either based on a per instance support request, or costly monthly fees for a support package.” The company adds, “As a single solution provider, Datapipe enables cloud diversity: meaning we can manage your AWS deployments as well as our Stratosphere Cloud platform. We frequently deploy solutions architected in the manner to deliver uptime SLAs that exceed AWS’s SLA alone.”

Digium

Switchvox

www.digium.com

When you think unified communications, Digium’s Switchvox should be top of mind. Digium’s Switchvox leverages the open source Asterisk at its core while adding feature-rich UC capabilities. Switchvox Unified Communications integrates all of your office communications, including phone, fax, chat and web mashups. You can customize your communications experience right down to the phone with access to call queues, your presence, and the applications you need – all from your desk phone.

Digium this year introduced Switchvox Cloud, a hosted VoIP service that provides the powerful features of Switchvox 5.7 in a private cloud/hosted service. The UC solution as well as the service is completely hosted off-site allowing the customer to have a completely managed IP telephony solution that you can have up and running very quickly. Also, customers can easily migrate between an on-site to a cloud deployment and vice versa all the while maintaining their configuration and settings. This is a benefit as customers do not lose their initial investments and the switch is transparent to their employees.

Switchvox version 5.7 offers SMB and mid-sized enterprise customers some innovative features. One is the ability to customize applications directly on the Digium phones. That means using JavaScripting developers can easily create custom applications on their Digium phones that tie in directly with core phone features and key state information. Switchvox features Digium phone integration with auto-discovery, auto-provisioning of the Digium phones as well as simple installation; complete control of the IP endpoint (tighter than Polycom or snom). Also, changes can occur in real time, saving the customer time alleviating time-intensive phone reboots and disruption to service. Application integration with Digium phones enhances productivity with access to call queue statistics, access to parked calls, the ability see real-time status/presence information about callers, and manage voicemail messages with visual voicemail. You can also update your status and affect call rules from the phones.

TMC Labs has always been impressed with the web-based Switchboard in Switchvox. It enables users access to real-time presence, drag-and-drop transfer, mobile phone numbers, call queues, call recording, monitor, whisper, barge as well as the personalized phonebooks, the internal directory and call parking.  You can also easily create web mashups, such as CRM integration to pull information.

Esna

Esna Cloudlink 3.0

www.esna.com

Esna Cloudlink is the first cloud-enabled unified communications and collaboration solution that seamlessly integrates Cisco Collaboration solutions with cloud-based productivity applications such as Google Apps, VMware Zimbra and Jive. With Cloudlink, information and knowledge workers can schedule WebEx meetings, check others’ availability, make phone calls, and manage voicemail and faxes right from their company e-mail solution.

Cloudlink transforms Google Gmail into a live communication hub and delivers Cisco’s unified communications as pure web services with no software installed on the users machine. In a nutshell, Esna Cloudlink leverages a customer’s existing Cisco communications infrastructure and collaboration applications such Unity Connection, Unified Communications Manager (CallManager) and WebEx and integrates them with cloud-based business applications. 

Cloudlink has many innovative features. Unified messaging is one such feature. It can transcribe voice messages and then e-mail them. Users can access and manage their messages on a desktop or mobile device. Cloudlink’s bi-directional synchronization turns off the message waiting indicator on the desk phone. It also has rich presence by integrating with Cisco Unified Communications Manager and user calendars to publish their availability to others. With Cloudlink, users can see if their peers are on or off the phone, as well as if they free or busy. Other features include click-to-dial phone numbers in browser or e-mail, WebEx Calendar Integration: and an interesting Google+ Hangouts to WebEx feature that allows you to mMove participants from a Google+ Hangout to a WebEx collaboration session with one click.

Grandstream Networks Inc.

GXV3672 Series Infrared IP Surveillance Camera

www.grandstream.com

TMC Labs has been testing Grandstream VoIP equipment since its HandyTone ATAs gave the Cisco ATA 186 a run for its money with powerful features and a lower price. Grandstream became known for inexpensive ATAs and budget IP phones, helping to build a loyal and rabid fan base.

Usually with cheaper goods comes cheaper quality, and certainly TMC Labs is aware of users who years ago complained about Grandstream’s audio quality, echo cancellation problems, or breakdown issues. However, just in our own testing over the past few years, we’ve seen a dramatic improvement not just in quality, but in advanced features as well.

For instance, TMC Labs recently tested the Grandstream GXP2200 Android-based IP phone, and we found it to be one of the most powerful and innovative IP phones you can buy, with support for Skype, IP cameras, Exchange sync, LDAP/Active Directory phone books, and at low cost that surely makes competitors cringe. Truly, Grandstream has shed its reputation as simply a “cheap” low cost alternative to Cisco, Polycom, and other VoIP players. Yes, they are still "cheap" in price, but we would argue the company is no longer cheap in quality, and it offers features not seen in many competing products that cost 30-100 percent more.

The GXV3672 Series Infrared IP Surveillance Camera continues Grandstream’s trend of offering advanced features at a great value. The GXV3672_FHD and GXV3672_HD IP Cameras are two outdoor day/night tube cameras with IP66 weatherproof casing and ONVIF compliance that feature infrared capability for advanced nighttime and low-light video surveillance recording. The GXV3672_FHD includes a 3.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor for a 1080p HD resolution, while the GXV3672_HD features a 1.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor for 720p HD resolution. Because of its IR capability, both camera models provide users with an invaluable day/night surveillance tool for securing premises and delivering solid evidence of events that occur especially in darkness. In addition to high-resolution black/white images produced at night, the IR cameras deliver vibrant HD color images during the day, even under dim light conditions. The GXV3672 series’ are IP66 compliant, fully weatherproof casings allow the cameras to remain protected from the elements.

A unique end user application Grandstream offers with the GXV3672 series is the ability to interact with Grandstream videophones to create a fully featured surveillance monitoring and alert platform. Simply register the GXV3672 series IP cameras to the PBX and set the camera to make video calls to the IP video phone whenever an alert is triggered. Grandstream’s GXV3672 camera can also be configured to call users’ cell phones, send them a text message, or e-mail them a picture when an alarm is triggered. The GXV3672 Series can be configured to take monitoring snap shots and send them to users via e-mail or via file transfer protocol. It can also be set to monitor motion detection in up to 16 different areas and send alerts based on events.

Importantly, Grandstream supplies a free version of its GSURF Pro Video Management Software – an enterprise grade, level-monitoring platform that can monitor up to 36 cameras simultaneously. Most, perhaps all other manufacturers, require customers to pay licenses for their video management software for their IP cameras. Businesses seeking to integrate IP products for a unified approach to communications can use a host of Grandstream IP endpoints for integrating voice, video and physical security applications into one platform.

LifeSize, a division of Logitech

LifeSize Icon Series

www.lifesize.com

Training users how to use a room-based videoconferencing system can be troublesome. Users tend to wait till the last minute before inquiring about how to do something, so the individuals with the technical know-how may not be available to show users how to use the system. What if any user could walk into a meeting room, turn on the video system and be able to figure out how to use it on his or her own? That’s exactly what LifeSize has achieved with its radically simplified user experience in LifeSize Icon Series.

The Icon Series is a line of high-performance video systems that provides a new user experience designed to make video communication so simple and intuitive that anyone can use it without training, delivering smart videoconferencing through a broad range of features: simplified directory navigation, scheduling capabilities, streaming and recording, multiparty calling, firewall/NAT, presentation, HD video quality and flexible upgrades.

According to LifeSize, “It is the product of years of user-behavior research and corresponding purposeful design to alleviate common barriers to adoption that have traditionally burdened the videoconferencing industry. The result is a system designed for maximum simplicity, flexibility and value.” The company adds, “The LifeSize Icon Series is a first in that it was created so that businesses of all sizes can not only utilize videoconferencing technology, but also help foster a video culture in the workplace. LifeSize believes that for videoconferencing to live up to its true potential in the workplace, even non-technical employees need to able to use it. In a nutshell, the philosophy behind the Icon Series is simple: to provide a radically simple yet powerful user experience at an affordable price.”

The UI sports large easy to see icons for ease of navigation when used in conjunction with the wireless remote control. The UI, including prompts and menus is overlaid on top of the screen allowing users to easily perform functions while keeping their eyes towards the camera.

The company also made it super simple to join a call. When users walk into a conference room for a scheduled meeting, an on-screen reminder pops up and notifies them of the scheduled call, and they can simply click to join the meeting. The other way to join a call is to browse through a list of meetings for the meeting name and simply click to call. LifeSize claims to be the first to actually push the list of meetings from the users’ calendars directly into the video system, thereby eliminating the need for users to check a calendar, dial an IP address or connect to a bridge, then navigate a complicated IVR menu using DTMF tones or far end camera controls. 

Features include unified multiparty experience, one-click scheduling, meeting notifications, SVC/Lync interoperability, an embedded multipoint option, 1080p video, a physical data port at a very competitive price-point of MSRP $2,999. 

Plixer International Inc.

Scrutinizer

www.plixer.com

Scrutinizer combines flow-based threat detection and network traffic performance monitoring. Able to monitor both physical and virtual networks, the NetFlow solution gives you insights into your network enabling you to pinpoint performance and security issues. Plixer explains, “Leveraging detailed traffic meta-data, even sites with secured connections that use encrypted traffic can’t hide from the insight provided by NetFlow, sFlow, and IPFIX collection and reporting. Scrutinizer is designed to peer deep into network traffic enabling the IT administrator to easily see who is consuming bandwidth, what they are using it for and immediately restore precious resources for work-related needs.”

Scrutinizer allows administrators to search and filter for data based on any combination of specific details with include and exclude expressions. In addition, thresholds can be set on saved searches and scheduled to monitor for pattern matches. This feature is often used for early detection of network threats. Plixer also offers the optional Flow Analytics, which integrates into Scrutinizer and offers archiving beyond 24 hours, additional reporting, and behavior analysis of flow in search of odd traffic patterns. Flow Analytics is essentially a 24x7x365 audit trail of all network communications. When investigations need to take place, the flow solution can be used to verify what data may have been exposed, when and by whom.

Plixer’s technology claims several industry firsts including support for Flexible NetFlow which led to the first reports on Cisco technologies such as NBAR & NBAR2, Performance Monitoring, Performance Routing, Performance Agent, Smart Logging Telemetry, Cisco TrustSec, Cisco ASA and Application Visibility and Control. Scrutinizer brings Network Behavior Analysis to NetFlow by providing threat detection and advanced reporting. Scrutinizer was the first solution to correlate flows from different vendors. For example, the company can leverage username from the Cisco ASA NSEL exports find flows from a specific host on a Juniper router. This strategy allows Plixer to provide contextual details when investigating threats. Plixer was the first vendor to provide a syslog to IPFIX gateway, which essentially turns old technology syslogs into NetFlow enabling users to correlate the data and perform network behavior analysis. Finally, it can report on several metrics including URLs, User Name, Round Trip Time, HTTP Host, Jitter, packet loss, retransmits and is able to leverage these details when investigating suspicious traffic patterns. TMC Labs truly believes that Scrutinizer is one of the most innovative network tools for any network administrator to have in his or her arsenal.

Presence Technology

Presence Web Agent

www.presenceco.com

Presence Web Agent is a powerful browser-based communications tool designed for the contact center. Leveraging innovative browser-based WebRTC technology, this negates the need for the use of third-party extensions (Java, Flash, ActiveX, plug-in) and runs on any operating system. Both the voice path and the agent interface run in a browser. The Web Agent features a contact center toolbar, screen pop on every interaction, providing detailed information about the channel, service, data attached to the interaction, and outbound services provide historical call information, including agent notes, click-to-dial, capture next call, and add do-not-call numbers. All interactions go through the toolbar; which includes a fully featured softphone; and the toolbar informs agents about supervisor notifications and

service queue status.

Presence Web Agent is the first contact center application that leverages WebRTC. Presence Technology tells TMC Labs, “It has never been easier to deploy almost any number of seats in a call/contact center. Just provide a URL and login, which gives access to the Presence Web Agent Suite Contact Center infrastructure, and your agents are ready to go to work.” Presence Technology adds, “For the last 6 months our development team has been working hard in providing 100 percent web-based solutions that are easy to deploy and maintain in the cloud. We also made important improvements on our Predictive Dialer Algorithm. This new algorithm implemented in our dialer is that good; in all real implementations and comparisons we did side to side with well-known dialers on real implementations, we provided better productivity results.”

Web Agent can work in conjunction with Presence Technology’s complete multichannel Contact Center suite which features a predictive dialer, intelligent scripting, multichannel support (inbound, outbound, email, SMS, chat, web collaboration, web call back), recording, custom reporting, etc. It’s truly an all-in-one contact center solution, which can work natively with Avaya CM via TSAPI or any PBX or even standalone using SIP.

Radware

Radware Alteon 6420

www.radware.com

Radware Alteon 6420 serves as an Application Provider Edge to provide an application-level demarcation point in the mobile control and data plane frameworks. It provides transparent traffic steering and control for mobile web and applications based on payload, headers, AAA and other policy enforcement interfaces including header modification capabilities to support various mobile use cases. Additional new capabilities include optimized data delivery over radio access networks and monitoring tools such as application performance monitoring.

Designed for carriers, mobile operators and very large enterprises, it is a high-end performance application delivery appliance with on-demand 20-80gbps throughput scalability; support for ADC (News - Alert)-VX with up to 28 vADCs; and SSL acceleration, compression and caching. Connectivity includes four ports of 40GE (QSFP+) and 20 ports of 10GE/GE (SFP+), RJ45 serial connection, USB interface for software installation and recovery, and two redundant management ports providing out-of-band management interfaces with enhanced security.

Alteon 6420 supports application delivery controller virtualization with the highest vADC density in the industry, allowing organizations to consolidate their legacy ADC devices and to adopt a deployment model of vADC per application. Radware claims to be the only one to offer ADC virtualization solution starting at 1gbps and going up to 80gbps.

Alteon 6420 has comprehensive attack mitigation and deep flow inspection – with up to 40gbps of security inspection, 25M PPS DDoS mitigation, and anomaly/real-time signature generation to ensure complete mobile security at the network perimeter, service perimeter by mitigating network DDoS, DNS, IMS, and advanced persistent threat attacks. These capabilities are utilized to provide improved visibility for mobile traffic (DFI) with exporting interface towards policy engines (PCRF).

In addition, Alteon 6420 provides a comprehensive security attack mitigation framework to protect mobile networks and data centers against high-volumetric DDoS and server low and slow attacks. The 80gbps virtual platform allows multi-ADC tenants for flexible configurations based on any logical partition with built-in 4x40GE ports for high mobile traffic loads. Radware’s vDirect automation and control APIs enable automated control over the Alteon 6420 platform virtual resources.

Radware explains, “When determining the right solution for a mobile network, carriers not only look for reliability but truly demand a scalable, cost-effective, and secure solution that is able to keep up with their capacity growth. We strongly feel our new network cloud platform offers the perfect balance to their needs while moving into cloud-based ecosystems.”

Telarix Inc.

iXLink

www.telarix.com

iXLink is a neutral business exchange designed specifically for the telecom industry in conjunction with carriers. iXLink provides a secure business-to-business information exchange platform for carriers to automate business processes as well as quickly and efficiently access and share business documents among their trading partners in near real time. Its product set includes price list receipt, price list distribution, bill receipt and bill distribution, and contract receipt and distribution. Newly enhanced premium features include dial code analysis and discrepancy management, least cost routing reporting, line by line invoice reconciliation, and audit and listed least cost routing report.

As a web-based hosted business-to-business automation platform, iXLink utilizes leverages encryption, transaction logging, and content monitoring and filtering. iXLink provides enhanced data security to ensure the protection of data within an application and across applications such that access to the data and the ability to modify it is limited to registered and authorized users. Members do not have a direct connection to each other and must use the iXLink server to complete the exchange of information

Telarix tells TMC Labs, “iXlink is the first, and remains the only, electronic business exchange that allows customers to trade documents (price lists, bills and contracts) in their own formats, eliminating the need for standardization in the industry.” The company continues, “Previously price lists and bills were sent to a carrier where someone manually entered in the information; this was not only inefficient but very costly, in some cases it would take months to reconcile and settle bills. Price Lists also took time to implement, resulting in lost revenue. With iXLink the process is electronic and in near real time so new rates are realized faster, bills are audited and reconciled almost instantly, meaning a much quicker settlement time.”

iXLink is fully patented with the patent concerning iXLink features that enable carriers to fully automate certain business to business processes by defining a series of business rules to pre-screen and validate price lists, contracts, and invoices. This eliminates manual entry providing end-to-end automation among carriers. The company recently added a new service, Contract Receipt and Distribution, allowing agreements to be received, signed and distributed electronically. The company claims more than 3,000 members exchanging over 40,000 documents monthly. When combined with iXTools, Telarix’s business solution software suite that offer LCR, settlement and trading, and bill and audit, carriers have a complete end-to-end solution that helps save time and money. 

VBrick

VBrick VEMS

www.vbrick.com

VBrick’s Video Content Management System technology, VEMS, is one of our favorite TMC Labs Innovation Award winners of all time. The solution allows for the capturing, encoding, managing, distribution and displaying of media from the cloud and across any network. It offers live and on-demand streaming, content management and widespread video distribution. The technology, which supports multicast, has the capability to distribute high-definition video streams to tens of thousands of viewers simultaneously and across any device, including monitors, smartphones, tablets and more. We even discovered a Cisco.com link on how to enable multicast for Vbrick and Cisco hardware. That says a lot.

The solution integrates video into enterprise applications and can broadcast rich media communications to large groups of 1000-plus people, or very targeted, highly secure groups. VBrick offers both on-premises and cloud-based solutions (or a combination of both). VBrick’s VEMS Mystro is a premises-based solution that manages video and rich media content for up to hundreds of thousands of users. It is a web-based portal enabling users to organize and search for content, and is integrated directly with a number of well-known solutions, including Microsoft Lync, Microsoft SharePoint and LMS tools.

In fact, VBrick’s Lync Streaming Gateway is an industry first, the only product that delivers streaming video to the desktop and other devices through the Microsoft Lync interface. The Lync Streaming Gateway leverages the VBrick streaming video ecosystem to provide video to thousands of Lync users simultaneously – extending Lync’s current video capacity and giving users increased video access through an already integrated video interface.

Additionally, VBrick’s Lync Streaming Gateway allows streaming video to be delivered on a much larger scale to a broad range of devices. With Lync alone streaming video can reach 1,000 viewers at best, but with the integration of VBrick’s video solutions, the same video can reach tens of thousands of viewers. Uniquely, it enables users to access a video stream through the Lync interface and collaborate while watching it by using Lync’s IM, voice or video capabilities. In addition to Microsoft’s video onferencing it supports integration with Polycom, Cisco, LifeSize, Avaya/RADVISION, and others. It also supports Learning Management Systems such as Blackboard, Modal, Learn360, and Discovery.

Other innovative features include a full suite of social features (sharing clips, Like, Featured, etc.), and we’re told VBrick is in the final phase of negotiating an OEM relationship that would allow for audio (from video) transcription to text within the VBrick ecosystem. Also worth mentioning is SharePoint native FAST search support, automatic ingest of Microsoft Lync video recordings, and Microsoft Outlook scheduling integration.

 

Vertical Communications

ViewPoint Mobile

www.vertical.com

ViewPoint Mobile extends the full functionality of Vertical’s WAVE IP communications platform bringing unified communications functionality to iOS and Android phones and tablets , including messaging, conferencing, collaboration, and presence management. ViewPoint Mobile also extends full telephony features, such as call recording, contact center functionalities, and voicemail. Vertical’s competitors often charge exorbitant licensing fees for mobility features, while Vertical includes these features as part of its basic licensing package. 

Vertical Communications espouses its solution, saying, “ViewPoint Mobile offers robust BYOD capabilities by partitioning enterprise and personal data on the mobile device. All corporate resources are stored on the server, protecting the business from the theft or loss of a device. Vertical delivers ViewPoint Mobile through its singular license. As a result, there are no incremental licenses or hardware required to deploy this solution.”

Other features include the ability to forward calls, visual voicemail, CRM integration, access call logs and call notes, conference in colleagues, and check the availability (presence) of the people you need to reach. Currently, the app connects by calling your mobile device, however, by the time you read this, Vertical will have embedded SIP phone capabilities allowing the app to directly receive calls over a data (3G, 4G, Wi-Fi) connection. The company also plans to release a full mobility package (without any desktop phones) in the fall.

Virtual PBX

Virtual PBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere

www.virtualpbx.com

Virtual PBX traces its roots way back to 1997 during VoIP’s infancy, so it has tons of experience evolving and improving its product. Virtual PBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere is a hosted IP PBX designed for small- and mid-size businesses. Its latest enhancement allows customers to use their smartphones, laptops, and computers as softphone extensions of their business VoIP networks. High-quality calls can be placed over 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi connections through any standard SIP softphone, running on Android, iPhone, iPad, laptop, etc.

Virtual PBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere features digital fax, call recording, web-based management, real-time voicemail monitor and interrupt, offsite data backups, never full mailboxes, auto-attendant, day and night modes, virtual extensions, and follow-me/find-me calling. Other powerful features include

call screening and blocking, web callback, multi-stage dialing, and skills-based routing. It also supports Polycom IP phones and customizable greetings and hold music for different departments

The company have several firsts to its name, including the first to offer ACD queuing in a hosted phone service, first hosted follow-me service, first remote hot standby disaster recovery PBX, first hosted system to announce open VoIP peering, first to allow real-time on-line monitoring in a hosted phone service, and the first hosted system with voicemail interrupt and connect. Virtual PBX plans start at $18.99 for flat rate plans and annual plan customers receive up to 10 free VoIP phones, making them a phenomenal value, especially for the SMB market.

Zultys Inc.

Zultys MX Release Version 8.0

www.zultys.com

Zultys Technologies (News - Alert) has an interesting history, including bankruptcy back in 2006, which saddened TMC Labs, since we've always been impressed with the company’s all-in-one unified communications platform. Well, you can't keep good technology down! It was resurrected and with CEO Neil Lichtman at the helm, the company has built a solid channel and an improved unified communications platform.

The all-in-one integrated contact center solution and unified communications system delivers advanced contact center features to SMBs without the complexity associated with competing solutions. Features include supervisor monitoring, call recording, reporting, IVR, presence, instant messaging, CRM integration, visual voicemail, fax, and collaboration and conferencing, which are delivered from a single, fully integrated appliance greatly simplifying the deployment and ongoing management, while remaining extremely cost effective.

The Zultys MX30 and MX250 are self-contained Linux appliances, which require no gateways or other servers for SIP trunking. Zultys SuperView provides contact center supervisors with superb real-time monitoring capabilities. SuperView combines all key statistical data for agents and calls on one screen as well as allows the supervisor to manage agents and calls without needing to switch windows. In the last six months the company has added enhanced cross-site redundancy/resiliency, supporting failover of contact center queues to alternative sites in the event of a hardware/network failure preventing access to the local contact center. TMC Labs believes that Zultsys shouldn’t run away from its history, but should embrace its resurrection as a badge of honor, as it’s now tstronger than ever with a feature-rich and innovative UC solution.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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