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Second Quarter 1998

VocalTec’s Internet Phone 5, the company’s fourth release of its Internet telephony software program, offers many features such as enhanced audio and video, support for international standards, such as the ITU’s H.323, PC-to- phone calling, and a Community Browser that serves as a virtual neighborhood in cyberspace. The PC-to-phone capability allows users to link from multiple screens within Internet Phone directly to participating "Next-Gen" ITSPs (Internet Telephony Service Providers).

System requirements for VocalTec’s Internet Phone 5 are not too taxing. The software will run on a Windows 95 or NT machine utilizing a 75 MHz or faster processor with 16 MB of RAM, with a 32-bit Winsock-compatible TCP/IP Internet or direct network connection (14.4 Kbps, SLIP, or PPP required; 28.8 Kbps recommended). Further requirements include a Windows-compatible sound card, microphone, and speaker. If you want full-duplex audio, then a full-duplex sound card is needed. For use with video, users need parallel port video camera or a video camera with a standard Windows-compatible video capture card, as well as the aforementioned 28.8 modem. No special equipment is required to receive video. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.vocaltec.com.

CAIS Internet CGX Communications

1232 22nd Street
NW Washington, DC 20037

What if the "client" is traveling on business and staying at a hotel far from home? While in-room fax service used to fit the bill, today's business travelers are increasingly dependent on their laptops to connect to the Internet and access corporate information and e-mail from the Web. CAIS Internet, a division of CGX Communications, has released OverVoice, a new product that utilizes existing wiring in hotels to provide simultaneous phone service and connection to the Internet at speeds from 1.54 Mbps to 10 Mbps. OverVoice has adapted the Ethernet standard for PC LANs in such a way that permits existing telephone wiring to carry both voice and data at the same time. According to the company, video and even higher data speeds can be expected in the future.

OverVoice uses a high-speed line between the hotel and ISP. An Ethernet hub is located at the hotel. The high-speed line connects to the hub, which connects to a proprietary device called the OverVoice Control Unit. This device allows for on-premises aggregation and distribution of Internet traffic, as opposed to having it done at the CO or ISP. Finally, a special OverVoice Replacement Wall Jack replaces the existing phone jack. This jack has openings for both a phone and a computer. Existing wiring in the hotel connects the wall jack and the OverVoice Control Unit. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.overvoice.com.

Serial Set/my.way
Vienna Systems

555 Legget Drive, Suite 400
Kanata, Ontario K2K 2X3 Canada

By connecting Vienna Systems’ SerialSet phone to a PC, users can place and receive Internet telephony calls directly through the COM port on their PC. It’s as simple as this: Your phone rings from the PC, you pick it up, and that’s it! You’re connected. To call out, simply pick up the handset and dial directly. Or, by using Vienna’s my.way desktop client application, users can dial from the address book on their PC.

Without the SerialSet, my.way turns a regular PC with a microphone and sound card into a mutliline feature phone with PBX capability. By using a 28.8 Kbps modem connection, users can connect to their corporate networks from anywhere. Coworkers can reach them on the road by simply dialing their extension. The my.way application is compatible with Windows 95 and NT workstations and works with any standards- based data conferencing, application sharing, or data collaboration applications such as Microsoft’s NetMeeting.

The SerialSet my.way client application combination, when coupled with Vienna’s Vienna.way call processing server, provides complete PBX functionality for a branch office, as well as data communications over a single network infrastructure, reducing network installation, operation, and maintenance costs. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.viennasys.com.

DigiPhone International

17770 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75252

The DigiPhone VideoTalk Internet Communications System consists of four major components: a plug-and-play video capture card; a full-color video camera; the DigiPhone 2.0 software engine; and Proficia, an audio handset specially developed for use with Internet telephony systems. Basically, VideoTalk comes with everything you need to get started.

The DigiPhone 2.0 software is the software engine behind VideoTalk. In fact, it is a totally redesigned version of Third Planet Publishing’s Internet telephony software. Thanks to Third Planet’s innovative "Multi Protocol Framework," the system can change as the user’s requirements change. The addition of new features and software upgrades is achieved easily with plug-in packages, each of which augments VideoTalk’s communications functionality.

Compatibility with the H.323 videoconferencing stan dard means that VideoTalk users can communicate with other audio and video conferencing systems.

Key features include:

  • Multiple conferences and multiple users per conference.
  • Multiple codecs, protocols, and encryption schemes to suit different situations.
  • Full-duplex capability.
  • Supports third-party APIs.
  • Global directory of DigiPhone users and their Internet addresses.
  • Voice messaging.
  • Adjustable compression to optimize the sound quality.

Among the plug-in packs currently available or planned are: Whiteboarding, Video Mail, Enhanced Encryption (U.S. and Export Version), File Transfer, Answering Machine, Specialized Firewall and Proxy Support, and Support for Online Address Directories. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.digiphone.com/d2/home.html.

Sphere Communications, Inc.

Two Energy Drive
Lake Bluff, IL 60044

Now, let’s say you’re a big proponent of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) as the networking technology of choice for your company’s data and voice needs. If so, you’ll probably want to consider Sphericall, from Sphere Communications. Sphericall is a network- based, complete business telephony solution offering toll-quality voice and CTI features. Sphericall’s client/server application is a software-based virtual PBX that provides all of the usual features: auto attendant, voice mail, Outlook/Exchange integration, and more. More importantly, Sphericall offers a single-wire solution delivering voice, data, and even video to the desktop via ATM25. And, since ATM25 is the system’s voice bus, you are guaranteed Quality of Service for toll-grade voice.

The system requires the following:

Server: Microsoft Windows NT 4.0; PC with Pentium 133 MHz or faster; 64 MB RAM; Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0; 40 MB hard disk space (minimum); 1 GB+ space for voice mail.

Client PCs: Microsoft Windows 95 or NT Workstation 4.0; 486 processor or better; 16 MB RAM; Microsoft Exchange client 4.0; 20 MB hard disk space (minimum).

ATM Switch: Must support ATM Forum standards and include an appropriate number of 25.6 Mbps ports.

For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.spherecom.com.

Intel Business Video Conferencing
Intel Corporation
2200 Mission College Boulevard
Santa Clara, CA 95052

Intel Business Video Conferencing with ProShare technology is a complete desktop solution for business-quality, standards-based video conferencing over ISDN and LANs. An add-in kit for desktop PCs, the product includes everything for full-featured audio/video/data conferencing. The hardware, software, camera, and audio are designed to work together seamlessly. Intel Business Video Conferencing is compliant with industry standards for ISDN (H.320), LANs (H.323), and application sharing (T.120/Microsoft NetMeeting). So, users can conduct conferences and transfer files over ISDN or corporate networks, even passing through firewalls with H.323 proxy support. Users can also place LAN-based calls through an H.323/H.320 gateway to or from a remote endpoint using ISDN.

System requirements for Intel Business Video Conferencing include: 

  • 166 MHz Intel Pentium processor or faster with MMX technology (233 MHz Intel Pentium II processor with MMX highly recommended).
  • Level 2 Cache (256K+).
  • 32 MB RAM.
  • 70 MB hard disk space.
  • 256 color or higher SVGA or VGA monitor.
  • One free ISA, one free PCI slot.
  • CD-ROM drive.
  • Microsoft Windows 95 or NT Workstation 4.0.

For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.intel.com.

CU-SeeMe 3.1
White Pine Software, Inc.

542 Amherst Street
Nashua, NH 03063

Another popular software-based video client is White Pine’s CU-SeeMe, now in it’s latest incarnation, version 3.1. Release 3.1 includes video, audio, and network performance enhancements, and enables CU-SeeMe users to interoperate with H.323 standards-based clients via White Pine’s MeetingPoint conference server. White Pine maintains that CU-SeeMe is the only cross platform product capable of H.323 interoperability on both Windows (95 and NT) and MacOS. H.323 interoperability broadens the opportunity for CU-SeeMe users to interact and collaborate with other video conferencing users. Through White Pine’s MeetingPoint, users can participate in full multi-point group conferences with users of other H.323 clients, including Microsoft’s NetMeeting and Intel’s Internet VideoPhone.

The MeetingPoint conference server, which won an INTERNET TELEPHONYEditors’ Choice award in our pre mier issue, is a complete client/server solution for real-time group conferencing and collaboration over IP networks, the Internet, and corporate intranets. MeetingPoint is standards-based server software, which allows ISPs and others to offer group audio, video, and data conference services to their customers. MeetingPoint can be tailored to different users: service providers interested in offering conferencing services to their customers; consumers interested in conferencing for business, education, or fun; and businesses or organizations who need complete conference solutions. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.wpine.com.

Phone Doubler
Ericsson, Inc.

1010 East Arapaho Road
P.O. Box 833875
Richardson, TX 75083

Ericsson’s Phone Doubler allows Internet users to make and receive phone calls while logged onto the Internet without a second phone line by establishing a voice gateway that allows voice calls to be sent over Internet protocol (IP) networks. When an Internet subscriber goes online, an IP address is logged into the server. Phone calls to the subscriber are forwarded to the voice gateway, where the Phone Doubler maps them to the previously created IP address and routes them to the subscriber. The subscriber is alerted to the incoming call with an icon on the computer screen, and can take the call using the computer’s microphone and speaker while continuing the Internet session. The subscriber can also place a phone call while still online. Phone Doubler hardware and software are installed at the Internet service provider and Phone Doubler client software, installed on the customer’s computer, allows the customer to use Phone Doubler services.

The client software, is used to access the service. The interface is as simple as using a standard telephone. Basic requirements are as follows: Microsoft Windows 95, NT, or 3.x (with TCP/IP stack and SLIP/PPP); 486/66 or better processor; 2 MB of free disk space; half or full duplex audio card with speakers and microphone; and a v.32bis/v.34 modem (14.4 or better). For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.ericsson.com.

Enterprise Interaction Center 2.0
Interactive Intelligence, Inc.
3500 DePauw Boulevard, Suite 1060
Indianapolis, Indiana 46268

Interactive Intelligence, building on their recent CTI ® magazine Product of the Year Award, has unveiled Enterprise Interaction Center (EIC) 2.0. The new version of their award-winning product breaks new ground with its built-in support for voice over IP. Instead of forcing enterprises to purchase and implement separate VoIP gateways, EIC integrates VoIP directly into the PC-PBX allowing companies to configure data connections as "tie lines" without the need to purchase separate expensive systems. EIC 2.0 supports the ITU’s H.323 standard and can compress voice traffic to as little as 2.4 Kbps.

The new version is multi-site enabled in several ways. For call centers, queues can be set up and distributed across multiple centers, and agents can be located anywhere in the world. For businesses, a distributed dial plan can be implemented, allowing extension dialing of employees regardless of their location. A graphical administration console allows control of every site as well as maintenance and diagnostics from a single location. Version 2.0 features a completely rewritten queue manager, which can handle not only incoming phone calls, but fax, e-mail, Web chat, callback requests, and Internet telephony calls. Check it out for yourself at www.interintelli.com.

IDT Corporation
294 State Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601

Net2Phone enables any Internet user with a sound-equipped PC to initiate calls from a computer and transmit them over the Internet to Net2Phone’s telephone switches. The switch instantly and automatically relays the call to its final destination — any telephone. The result is real-time, uninterrupted, full-duplex voice communication between two parties.

Net2Phone dramatically reduces telephone bills by up to 95 percent off the cost of traditional long-distance calls. Because the signal is carried over the Internet until it reaches Net2Phone’s phone switches, rates are not dependent upon the country of origin. This means users pay as little as 10 cents a minute for calls to the United States from anywhere in the world.

With Net2Phone, any phone can be reached via a PC. No longer are users limited to PC-to-PC technology which requires both parties to have access to multimedia equipped computers running identical software. It is no longer necessary for both parties to be online at the time of the call either by coincidence or pre-arrangement. Only the caller needs a PC with an Internet connection. The caller can use any ISP to reach any party. Moreover, unlike other PC-to-phone technology, Net2Phone does not require the purchase of any servers at the phone location. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.net2phone.com.

NetMeeting 2.1
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

Give it away for free, but make sure it’s got all the tools necessary to make it an industry-leading product. Microsoft’s NetMeeting 2.1 is a standards-based video conferencing, Internet telephony, and multipoint conferencing product that supports the ITU standards H.323 and T.120. In addition to its ITU support and support for DirectX 5.0, Microsoft’s NetMeeting is designed to work with several additional multimedia technologies that will become available with Windows 98. These technologies include Universal Serial Bus (USB) video cameras, multiple monitor support, and Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms such as Resource R e S e r V a t i o n Protocol (RSVP). RSVP provides an operating system service that will allow NetMeeting to request a specific amount of bandwidth on the network for control over the QoS in a particular audio or video conference.

Microsoft also offers the NetMeeting Software Development Kit. Using this SDK, developers can integrate real-time multipoint data conferencing capabilities into existing conferencing solutions, develop custom conferencing solutions to enhance service offerings, and integrate conferencing functionality into existing Web pages. The sheer amount of other companies using NetMeeting, or at the very least making their products compatible with NetMeeting, is a testament to the product’s acceptance. For more information on this product, visit the company’s Web site at www.microsoft.com/netmeeting.

VDOPhone Internet 3.0
VDOnet Corporation
170 Knowles Drive, Suite 206
Los Gatos, CA 95030

VDOPhone from VDOnet Corporation enables users to meet friends, family, and associates, face-to-face in cyberspace and talk for hours with no additional telephone charges. VDOPhone Internet is full-color, motion video and audio software that uses the Internet and a PC equipped with the right system requirements to link directly to another VDOPhone (or compatible) user.

VDOPhone Internet operates over any TCP/IP network from dial-up Internet connections using analog phone lines, digital lines such as ISDN, and high-speed connections such as LAN, frame relay, and T1. Frame rates range between 4 to 10 fps at 160x120 resolution using a 28.8Kbps modem. Echo cancellation features eliminate echo, delivering hands-free speaker phone quality audio. The product is compatible with Microsoft’s NetMeeting file sharing, application sharing, and whiteboard software. VDOPhone 3.0 offers users free access to the VDOnet Online Directory, a current listing of all other VDOPhone customers who are using the VDOPhone at any particular time. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.clubvdo.net. 

WebPhone 4.0
NetSpeak Corporation
902 Clint Moore Road Suite104
Boca Raton, Florida 33487

NetSpeak has just announced WebPhone 4.0, the latest version of the company’s award-winning Internet telephony software. The newest version offers a newly redesigned user interface, H.323 support for voice and video communications to any H.323-compliant application regardless of vendor, platform, or network, and a slew of improved ease-of-use features. The new features of WebPhone 4.0 are all in addition to the previous voice, video, and data communications capabilities. These new features include: H.323 support using the G.723.1 audio codec, which allows interoperability between IP-based multimedia applications; an Audio Setup Wizard for configuring speakers and microphone; easier, faster installation; enhanced user guide; inbound/outbound call logging; recall for last five parties; and more.

WebPhone can be used in any number of applications. Some applications include reduction of long-distance costs, increased productivity, and an extension of communications capabilities for telecommuters. The product can also be very useful in call centers and on businesses’ Web sites by allowing Internet users to click on an icon to speak directly with a live representative without the need to disconnect or request a callback. Minimal requirements for using WebPhone 4.0 include a 14.4 Kbps connection (28.8 recommended), Windows Sockets 1.1 or later, a TCP/IP network connection (LAN, WAN, Internet), and Microsoft Windows 95 or NT. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.netspeak.com.

CyberCall 2.5
ATIO Corporation
One Corporate Center
7301 Ohms Lane, Suite 600
Edina, MN 55439

ATIO Corporation’s CyberCall 2.5, is a platform-independent Internet telephony solution offering 70 percent more functionality than its predecessor. The product provides company Web sites with the added dimension of immediate personal contact with a call center agent. In addition to its Internet call back feature, ATIO’s newest version allows businesses to directly assist customers via interactive chat, voice over the Internet, and intelligent e-mail queuing.

Utilizing the Web as a means to intelligently route both callers and information about them, a company’s agents and customers can be linked in real-time by both phone and computer and mirrored home page screen pops. Should a customer have an additional question that would be better answered by another agent, CyberCall automatically routes the user to an appropriate agent based on the information and skills needed to further assist the customer. Along with the contact, the on-screen information is transferred to the new agent, providing a seamless interaction between the customer and call center.

CyberCall 2.5 is 32-bit compliant and supports Windows NT and Windows 95. In addition, CyberCall 2.5 has been designed to support all major telephony standards including TAPI, TSAPI, and CT-Connect. ATIO Corp.’s software solution is fully compatible on NT with both Microsoft Internet Information Server and Netscape Web server. Previous versions were already compatible with Netscape Web server running on Sun platforms. A demonstration of CyberCall is currently available on ATIO’s Web site at www.atio.com

eBridge IWR System
eFusion, Inc.
14600 NW Greenbrier Parkway
Beaverton, OR 97006

The eBridge IWR system from eFusion was developed using the ITU’s H.323 standard for Internet telephony, which enables voice communication over the Internet to any PC running an H.323-compliant Internet phone client application. The eBridge IWR uses industry-standard components within its systems and development environments. This ensures the application gateway integrates with the existing management information systems and telecommunications hardware and operations found in today’s call centers. The system is not switch-dependent, nor does it require major modifications to existing Web pages. With its flexible Windows NT-based platform, the system works with all ACD/PBX models. Call center agents can answer, transfer, or conference Internet-originated calls just as they do with standard voice calls.

The eBridge IWR consists of upgradeable 24-, 48-, and 96-port systems to provide an economical growth path that lets managers extend their existing investments in equipment and personnel. The system is scalable to literally thousands of users.

By simply clicking the eFusion Push-to-Talk button on a Web site, customers can connect immediately to call center agents, without terminating their Internet session or waiting for a callback. Selecting the Push-to-Talk button activates the eBridge IWR application gateway and the Internet Call Assistant client application residing on the caller’s PC. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.efusion.com.

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