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Mind Share
October 2000

Marc Robins  

Rumors And Ruminations


Go Right To: TMCnet.com -- The Importance Of Audit

Rumors are swirling that Microsoft is evaluating a number of wide-ranging strategies to position itself as the provider of the "platform of choice" for net-based communications solutions, including exploring ways to make NetMeeting the e-cornerstone of galactic Web-based telephonic domination.

Microsoft's New Communications-Centric World View
According to my top-secret Redmond source, the company is embarking on a wholesale change in its vision statement to a communications centric point of view -- in part driven by its recent "Dot Net" initiative. Microsoft is considering SIP-enabling the next version of NetMeeting, and employing the massively downloaded client to launch a variety of new communications ASP-related services, initially revolving around the company's bCentral Web site serving small to medium-sized businesses.

Microsoft recently submitted a bunch of draft RFCs (Request for Consideration) to the IETF on SIP, including "SIP Extensions for Presence" and "SIP Extensions for Instant Messaging." Read into this what you will. Microsoft is also looking to leverage its Clearlead lead management system (used as the backend for the Carpoint.com site) to beef up its eCRM app framework offerings. My guess is we'll soon be seeing unified messaging, eCRM services, and "Click-to-Talk" applications popping up on bCentral in the near future.

In related news, Microsoft is also pinning big plans on its Web Telephony Engine, an important new addition to the Windows 2000 Microsoft Platform SDK. The Web Telephony Engine serves as an open environment for the development of telephony applications using standard Web resources, with voice portals chief among them. The Web Telephony Engine allows developers to use HTML, Active Server Pages (ASP), and other Web authoring tools to develop telephony applications. The Web Engine runs on Web servers and integrates with TAPI 3.0 and Microsoft Speech API (SAPI). Based on five simple extensions to HTML that enable rich voice processing capabilities. Microsoft has submitted these extensions, as well as the Web Telephony Engine itself, to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Voice Browser Group for consideration as an industry standard.

Ubiquity Software Corporation has launched a new Web site dedicated to the commercial and technical development of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) called "The SIP Center." The SIP Center focuses on the interoperability and deployment of SIP products, networks, and services. A very cool feature of the site is a high-availability server for interoperability testing of partners' SIP products around the clock, 365-days a year. The hope is that this interoperability facility will help accelerate the development and marketing of SIP-based products and software. For more info, e-mail Ubiquity.

eVoice, Inc., a leading provider of Internet-enabled voice mail services to consumers, struck a deal with RealNetworks, a leader in media delivery on the Internet, to integrate an eVoice add-in that will allow users to check their voice mail from within the RealPlayer -- making entertainment and personal communications accessible from a single central location. Users can add an eVoice button to their RealPlayer by clicking "Check for update" in the Help menu of their RealPlayer.

By clicking the eVoice icon on the RealPlayer, users are transported directly to the eVoice Web site, where they can either sign-up for the service or check messages if they are already a subscriber. RealPlayer users will now have direct access to eVoice's home and small business voice mail, while eVoice subscribers now have the convenience of retrieving and listening to their voice mail messages directly via RealPlayer. The agreement marks the first time an online media player has provided one-click access to home and small business voice mail, offering users a convenient, easy way to retrieve voice mail over the Internet.

Marc Robins is Associate Group Publisher for INTERNET TELEPHONY and Communications Solutions (formerly CTI) magazines. Marc looks forward to your feedback at mrobins@tmcnet.com.

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TMCnet.com -- The Importance Of Audit

You'd think that after the eons of Internet time that has passed, most people would be smart enough to know the difference between the various measures of Web site traffic, such as "hits," "page views," and "unique visitors" -- let alone the value of an independent audit performed on Web site traffic. Suffice it to say that many Web site operators have capitalized on this confusion.

TMC recognized the value of an audit for TMCnet.com when we launched this incredibly popular industry portal, and I am proud to say that it is the first and only BPA-audited Web site in our industry. BPA is the leading audit company that verifies trade magazine circulation, and allows advertisers to conduct an "apples to apples" comparison of rates, demographics, and circulation of competing titles. BPA saw the need to extend its audit services to publisher's Web sites.

Every month, BPA takes TMCnet.com's log files, and cleans it of all internal TMC and search engine "bot" visits -- programs that are continuously indexing Web pages. What's left is a real and verifiable traffic figure, not something made up by a sales department. If you haven't made the trip to TMCnet.com, I encourage you to do so immediately. That's right -- fire up your browser to www.tmcnet.com right away to get the latest-breaking industry news, unique and well-written articles and columns, and a wealth of company, product and technology information. 

[ Return To The October 2000 Table Of Contents ]

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