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February 2002


Enhanced Services Product Listings:
It's An IP World, Get Used To It


I was chatting with Chris Donner, editorial director of TMC�s eNews In Your Inbox about enhanced services an all-encompassing area of telecom, and he offered this as a definition �Enhanced services take advantage of next-gen technologies and networks to perform functions that would have been either cumbersome, expensive, or even impossible with the traditional PSTN/circuit-switched network.�

This got me to thinking�the technology exists for everyone to take advantage of, so why not get on it? Get your communications system out of the dark ages quickly and easily.

Enhanced services�like a five gallon bucket left out in a pouring, steady rain, the term collects all the value-added services that make IP telephony such a hot ticket -- collaboration, converged in-boxes, IVR, video conferencing, customer touch, integrated voice and e-mail�the list goes on but the underlying idea stays the same -- these are services that are new, sticky, and IP-based.

The addition of services to a telecommunications system grows first out of an emptiness -- a need to create a more holistic touchpoint for the user, whether that user is a consumer and you are a provider trying to be distinct from your competitors or you are a enterprise trying to enable your employees to communicate more effectively and efficiently. As a service provider or a forward-thinking enterprise, it is key that enhanced services are an integral part of your structure.

Start your search here, and then poke around more and more as you figure out just what it is you need to function on that higher plane.

BeVocal Foundation Platform
BeVocal, Inc.

1380 Bordeaux Dr.
Sunnyvale, California 94089-1005
The BeVocal Foundation Platform and the associated services are available to carriers on a hosted or in-network basis. BeVocal Total Voice Portal is an integrated bundle of voice activated applications that enable callers to use simple spoken commands and keywords to access location and travel services (driving directions, business finder, weather, traffic, and flight info), information services (stock quotes, news, sports), and entertainment services (movies, TV dramas, horoscopes, lottery). BeVocal Total Voice Dialer enables callers to dial by simply using their voice. Integrated with BeVocal's Address Book, callers can synchronize with Microsoft Outlook and Palm Organizer. BeVocal Total Messaging Solution includes applications for voice-activated voice mail, e-mail, notification, and voice authentication.

Audio and Web Conferencing Applications for SoftTelephony
Sonexis, Inc.

70 Franklin St.
Boston, MA 02110
Sonexis' IP-based audio and Web conferencing applications are plug-and-play applications that facilitate collaboration and self-service for a rapid ROI. The products provide the end-user with unequaled flexibility and control by enabling them to schedule and conduct conferences themselves, on-demand, thereby eliminating the need for the user to coordinate and/or cancel a conference in advance. These applications run on Sonexis' pure software-based platform, called SoftTelephony, that is built on commodity hardware (Windows, Intel processors). The scalability and cost of this product allows Sonexis to provide the most inexpensive solution for addressing both current and future telephony needs.

Avaya's Network Assessment for Internet Protocol Telephony Solutions
Avaya Inc.

211 Mt. Airy Rd.
Basking Ridge, N.J. 07920
Avaya's Network Assessment for Internet Protocol Telephony Solutions is designed to provide assurance to customers that their complex, multi-vendor data networks are capable of supporting voice over IP applications before they commit to deploying these applications. The first phase, Customer Infrastructure Readiness Survey (CIRS), provides a high-level evaluation of the customer's LAN/WAN infrastructure. Customers either choose to resolve the problems independently followed up with another CIRS or move to the second phase Network Analysis Network Optimization (NANO) service. The NANO takes information from the CIRS, performs problem diagnosis and provides functional requirements for the network to implement an IP telephony solution.

Primal Service Node
Primal Technologies Inc.

2570 Matheson Blvd. East; Suite 112
Mississauga, Ontario
Canada L4W 4Z3
Primal is a leading developer of telecom applications. Primal has developed the Primal Service Node, an open system (Sun-based) telecom grade platform that operates with TDM, SS7 and IP networks to provide a powerful variety of applications. Primal offers a suite of standard applications as well as the ability create custom applications rapidly. Standard applications and features include VM, UM, ICM, SMS, conferencing, fax, and prepaid wireless and wireline.

Sylantro's Applications Modules
Sylantro Systems Corporation

910 E. Hamilton Ave.
Campbell, CA 95008
Sylantro provides a suite of enhanced Hosted PBX & IP Centrex services, as well as other managed telephony services, via the company's Applications Switch platform for next-generation networks. This set of services allows service providers to rapidly deploy and deliver high-margin, high-value enhanced telephony services. Sylantro's solutions offer an advanced class of managed telephony services that replace today's in-house PBX and key system offerings, and generate substantial new revenues for service providers.

Message Time Business Center
Message Time Inc.

124 Washington Ave. North
Kent, WA. 98032
Message Time is a suite of high technology tools of the 21st century... integrated into a single, total solution package which includes: communications, phone system, fax, e-mail, contact management, information-gathering, and CRM tools. The system is "instantly available" from any telephone and/or Web-enabled computer, no matter where you are. You always have access to your customer data. With Message Time you need never miss a call, message or opportunity again.

Shortline Systems Inc.

1212-B Philco Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21237
410 427-9010
High-tech solution for a low-tech consumer service. Shortline's US1 calling service offers domestic long distance by-the-call with no per-minute charges. Shortline customers can talk as long as they want for $1.00. The company uses Cisco's IP Telephony platform with Rodopi's VoIP billing and customer care system. Beginning Q2 2002, the company plans to offer IP dialtone services for business and residential broadband users via SIP registration.

Voice Web Application Platform

910 East Hamilton Ave.; Suite 200
Campbell, CA 95008-0625
The Voice Web Application Platform is a robust software platform based on standard Web tools and technologies, which lets service providers (SPs) deliver Web-driven voice applications over their existing networks to facilitate consistent customer service, improve satisfaction and increase business opportunities for their enterprise customers. With Telera's open application platform, the applications logic is separated from the telephony infrastructure, so enterprise customers maintain control of their voice applications and can modify or customize them at will. Telera's Voice Web Application Platform will provide SIP and RTP interfaces, enabling SPs to leverage their existing infrastructure and migrate to an IP structure.

CommWorks 8250 Unified Messaging System
CommWorks Corporation

3800 Golf Rd.
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
The CommWorks 8250 Unified Messaging System allows users to combine voice, e-mail, and fax messages in one universal mailbox and manage them with a single device of their choice - telephone, cell phone, e-mail client, or personal digital assistant. The CommWorks 8250 Unified Messaging System complies with SIP, IMAP4, SS7, POP3, WAP, SMTP, and virtually all network standards, making it an ideal solution for companies delivering packet telephony services and for any next-generation network.


67 South Bedford St.; Ste 400W
Burlington, MA 01803
W.W.Office is a unified communications platform designed to help service providers and enterprises become a Communications Portal. W.W.Office enables them to customize a portal from a suite of IP-based enhanced services applications, including unified messaging, instant messaging, one number service, and presence management, among others, and support multiple brands, languages, and classes of service. W.W.Office fully integrates data and voice messaging services over Internet, PSTN, cellular, and cable networks. The platform supports a variety of client interfaces including, wireless and landline phones, fax, Web browsers, PDAs, Java-based terminals, WAP, and SMS devices, and interactive TV.

Voice Virtual Private Network Solution
VocalTec Communications

1 Executive Dr.; Suite 320
Fort Lee, NJ 07601
VocalTec's Voice VPN solution enables virtual private business voice services that run on top of shared IP networks. These Voice VPN services are managed and billed by the carrier and integrate seamlessly with the business customers' existing corporate dialing plans. The VocalTec Voice VPN solution can also be used to resolve conflicts in shorthand dialing plans that may otherwise arise when remote offices or campuses are tied together for the first time. It is transparent to customers' existing PBX-based dialing plans, supports additional and complementary VOIP business services, is based on an open and flexible platform which is scalable, reliable and centrally managed and provides substantial cost savings over PSTN-based voice VPNs.

UCN 100 v. 2.1
Voice Mobility Inc.

180-13777 Commerce Pkwy.
Richmond, BC, V6V 2X3
Voice Mobility's Enhanced Messaging solution can replace aging voice mail systems previously deployed by telecommunications providers, or can be a first generation voice mail and messaging platform. The solution offers the same features and functionality of current voice mail systems, with the added capability of providing value enhancing messaging services, such as unified communications. Voice Mobility's enhanced messaging solution enables service providers to update their voice mail systems to the latest technology. The platform provides a more attractive total cost of ownership. Service providers can substantially increase their bottom line by incrementally marketing enhanced messaging services. The company provides a seamless migration from legacy voice mail systems to our enhanced messaging platform.

Solution Platform
Glenayre Technologies

11360 Lakefield Dr.
Duluth, GA 30024
Glenayre is a leader of enhanced services and unified communications solutions for wireless, fixed network, ISP and broadband service providers. Glenayre's solutions support innovative messaging technologies such as Voice Portal and Multimedia Messaging services in 2G, 2.5G, and 3G environments. Based on an open architecture built on a standards-based, IP-enabled platform utilizing Java and VoiceXML for an open applications framework, Glenayre's solutions will evolve with the new SALT standard for full, multi-modal communications applications. More than 200 service providers in over 60 countries have deployed Glenayre messaging solutions for voice, fax, and e-mail messaging.

UNP Messaging & Live Call Management
eRing Solutions Inc.

245, Victoria St.; Suite 440
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3Z 2M6
UNP Messaging and UNP Live Call Management are innovative Internet notification services that allow unified communications subscribers to be instantly notified at the computer of incoming faxes, e-mails, voice mails, and phone calls. The user can then reply to the message by clicking on the notification, which will bring the user directly into the UC/UM inbox. In the case of a phone call, the user can actually manage the call with different options, such as transfer to a choice of third numbers or the voice-mail, ignore the call, or play a pre-recorded message.

CMS-6000 Media Server

4190 Still Creek Dr., Suite 300
Vancouver, BC V5C 6C6
The CMS-6000 Media Server is carrier class packet voice media platform providing high-capacity, reliable media processing for enhanced services. This includes multimedia conferencing, speech processing, interactive voice response (IVR), unified messaging, and announcement services. It offers a comprehensive set of features consisting of speech recognition, text-to-speech, voice/video bridging, DTMF detection/generation, and announcement playback/recording. Delivering up to 18,000 ports in a single shelf, Convedia's CMS-6000 offers unparalleled scalability, performance, and reliability

Virtual PBX

1111 Military Cutoff Rd.; Suite 221
Wilmington, NC 28405
Virtual PBX is a robust and scalable voice service that enables companies to preserve capital and increase operational efficiency without sacrificing the quality, reliability, and feature functionality that today's businesses demand. Now businesses can access a telephone system that is "always current," eliminating the concern that an investment can become obsolete. Virtual PBX has an incredibly low "total cost of ownership," and it removes the burden of purchasing, maintaining and managing an on-premises telephone system. With Web-based administration, users control services and features with a few mouse clicks. Customers can also assign Remote Extensions, which gives remote workers the ability to access all the phone features available at their primary office location. It also enables users within a company to dial one another via four digit extensions, which eliminates long distance charges. 

iBasis, Inc.

20 Second Ave.
Burlington, MA 01803
iBasis' SpeechPort ASP environment enables organizations - such as Sprint, AT&T, ExxonMobile, MapQuest, and Western Union - to enhance customer loyalty through the use of automated speech-activated customer interactions. SpeechPort is an outsourced solution that allows enterprises and carriers to provide speech-activated content through interactive voice or natural speech and forgo the high human and financial costs of in-house implementations - while maintaining tight control over mission critical data and systems. SpeechPort supports rapid application development with reusable, leading-edge speech recognition, TTS, and telephony components including Java and Voice XML. The platform scales exponentially for complex, business-critical solutions that integrate and support critical, legacy data sources such as databases, the Web, ERP, CRM, and e-business solutions.

alexis ESP (Enhanced Service Platform)
alexis communications inc.

PO Box 1090
Del Mar, CA 92014
alexis ESP is designed to provide ASPs and Carriers with a software only voice solution (no special hardware required) that's scalable to a million+ subscribers. alexis ESP breaks down the boundaries of traditional unified messaging solutions by offering subscribers an innovative set of unified communication features. Voice controlled Personal Assistant, One Number, Remote Notification, and the ability to manage multi-party conversations via the Web are just a few of alexis's features subscribers won't be able to live without. alexis ESP utilizes the latest ASR and TTS technology and can be connected to any MAPI or IMAP4 based mail system.

Voxis VoIP Management Suite
ADIR Technologies

520 Broad St.
Newark, NJ 07102
The Voxis VoIP Management Suite is a VoIP network management and monitoring solution available that provides real-time, call-level information and end-to-end network visibility. Developed by Net2Phone to support its global VoIP network, this proven platform handles tens of thousands of simultaneous calls across thousands of gateways every day. Voxis indicates what is happening before it happens, so you can take immediate action to minimize impact on customer satisfaction. Voxis is essential for rolling-out voice over IP or to improve the quality of, and add enhanced services to, your existing VoIP network.

Unified Messaging
IP Unity

1575 McCandless Drive
Fremont, CA 95035
IP Unity's Unified Messaging application allows end users to access any message from any type of device in any location. Users can listen to e-mails with the text-to-speech feature, or access their voice mail with a PC. Unified Messaging allows subscribers to manage their messages of different media types -- voice, fax, and e-mail -- from a central mailbox. Messages can be accessed through multiple devices-wireless and traditional telephones, computers, Web-devices and PDAs. Unified Messaging leverages the media processing power of the IP Unity Harmony6000Platform and facilitates connectivity and productivity with any device, from anywhere, at anytime.

[ Return To The February 2002 Table Of Contents ]

Five Questions
  1. What services would create a real value add for your customers?
  2. Is there a bundled package of services that would apply to your needs, from one service provider?
  3. Are the services hosted or purchased? What is the support/supply chain associated with the purchase or contract?
  4. What sort of deployments does the enhanced service provider have, are they similar to your situation/needs?
  5. Do you need to consider both wireless and wireline compatibility within one network?

Eye On Tomorrow
Months Later: Enterprise Collaboration Is Still Sizzling


As the shaky economy and recent world events have taken the wind out of travel budgets, service providers that offer audio conferencing, Web conferencing, and video conferencing saw a sudden jump in usage that so far has not abated. �Virtual meetings� are so much less expensive than travel that one wonders why they have taken so long catch on. The answer probably has more to do with the social acceptability of virtual meetings than with technology. In Japan, for example, conferencing is used less than 1/10th as often as in the US -- it is still considered socially rude to not show up in person.

E-mail and instant messaging also required people to change their habits and views of what is considered acceptable forms of communication. These things tend to reach critical mass and then snowball. That�s what seems to be happening to virtual meetings.

There are three components to the virtual meeting: voice, documents, and video. Voice conferencing, of course, has been around a while and is quite mature as an enhanced service. Web conferencing is relatively new, but there are some very successful new service providers that allow participants to present visuals (and more) over the Web while conferencing on the phone. Video conferencing seems to be the laggard, appearing to offer the least benefit for the greatest expense and difficulty. That will change, however, as cheap PC cameras proliferate and network bandwidth improves.

Audio conferencing has largely been a service business, dominated by the big phone companies. Just as we trust the security of our phones, we trust these vendors with our conferences. Web conferences are trickier; many people are loath to upload their most crucial documents to a third-party provider. As usage increases, economic and security consideration will cause enterprises to bring all of this -- audio, Web, and video -- in house. The technology to support the virtual meeting will be as common a part of the IT infrastructure as an e-mail server or a PBX.

David Friend is chairman and CEO of Sonexis, Inc. Please visit their Web site at www.sonexis.com.

Case Study
Satisfaction Through Self-Service: Automation Improves Customer Service


Internet voice communications provider iBasis, through a longstanding relationship with one of the world�s largest U.S.-based telecommunications carriers, has proven that outsourcing enhanced services, such as speech-enabled customer care and self service, rather than building them in-house, can significantly increase revenues and reduce expenses while boosting customer satisfaction.

iBasis SpeechPort, the company�s speech ASP (Application Service Provider) environment, enabled this North American Tier 1 carrier to realize significant savings on customer service, while providing superior capacity and flexibility in handling peak demand. The carrier needed to provide efficient, effective billing and service inquiry assistance to the 52 million customers of its local, long distance, broadband and Internet services.

The carrier asked iBasis to develop and implement a phone-based, automated, self-service application that would employ the latest speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies, and be tightly integrated with critical back-end, legacy and Web data sources.

As part the project, iBasis converted the carrier�s prepaid card customer service application from touchtone to speech recognition. Callers being served by automation jumped nine basis points at the outset resulting in 30 percent greater call completions than those served by the prior touchtone application. And, the application paid for itself within three months.

Additionally, iBasis enabled the carrier to reduce operating expenses by reducing customer service staffing costs. Generally, self-service transactions are only one-tenth to one-fifth the cost of

agent-assisted calls (e.g., 10-20 cents per minute for self-service, versus $.90 to $1.20 for agent-assisted). Not only was there an increase in the level of completed self-service transactions, but these calls were of shorter duration, enabling the carrier to reduce its telecom costs.

Best of all, this new self-service customer service solution was ready to roll in a matter of weeks rather than months. As this global carrier discovered, faster time to market, scalability, lower cost, and greater customer satisfaction are the hallmarks of well-designed outsourced self-service solutions.

Mark Zalubas is director of Solutions Engineering at iBasis where he oversees the company�s technical sales support for the voice and speech enabled ASP business offered by the Speech Solutions line of business. Please visit their Web site at www.ibasis.com.

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