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�Round the Horn

By Greg Galitzine


As we reach the midpoint of 2006, I thought it would be prudent to take a quick look at a couple of companies � one in the service provider space and one in the enterprise space � and check in on their progress. I�ll also toss in some developer related information as well.

Skype (News - Alert) enjoys some of the best brand recognition in the world. With countless millions of downloads and a high-profile acquisition by eBay, Skype is considered by many to be a poster child for the VoIP industry. Never mind that Vonage (News - Alert) just went public, when eBay acquired Skype, the industry�s most creative minds started to speculate on how the former would integrate the latter. Consensus was that eBay would combine Skype functionality with eBay�s product and service listings, enabling prospective buyers to contact sellers with questions related to their offerings.

Well, it�s finally here.

eBay announced it would add a �Skype Me� button to certain categories of listings connecting buyers and sellers in 14 categories of products where eBay determined instant communication can better facilitate trade, such as automotive GPS devices, NBA basketball trading cards, diamond solitaire rings, real estate, and cars and trucks.

The news comes fresh on the heels of an agreement with Dell (News - Alert), whereby Skype software will come preloaded on Dell�s XPS mobile systems � the XPS M1210 and XPS M2010.

The company also recently announced that all U.S. and Canadian Skype customers can now make free SkypeOut calls to traditional landline and mobile phones in the U.S. and Canada. Free SkypeOut calls to the U.S. or Canada will be available until the end of the year, but I find it hard to imagine Skype will revert to a paid model, at least in these markets.

On the enterprise side of things, the good people at Inter-Tel (News - Alert) told me that their forthcoming SIP communications solution, the Inter-Tel 7000, is still in trials awaiting imminent general availability.

A native SIP communications system that scales up to serve businesses with 2,500 users, the Inter-Tel 7000 provides customers with all the features and functionality users have come to expect from traditional PBXs. On top of that, the Inter-Tel 7000 is fully redundant and secure and supports Inter-Tel�s complete portfolio of IP applications and devices, including its contact center, collaboration, and conferencing solutions.

The system features embedded presence management capabilities, as well as a number of advanced mobility features designed to facilitate seamless communications between the enterprise network and cellular devices. The Inter-Tel 7000 can be implemented either as a premises-based or tenanted solution.

I�ll throw in some info from the developer space as well: TMC is hosting the third annual VoIP Developer Conference this August 8�10 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, CA. This year�s event promises to be the largest developer conference to date, with over 1,000 attendees expected.

The conference program has been posted online at If you�re interested in learning more about the hottest areas in communications application and product development, there is simply no better venue.

Well, there you have it, a quick look around the horn as we hit the midpoint of 2006. It�s hard to believe we�re half way to 2007.

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