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Arel Launches Spotlight II Conferencing Solution

Arel Communications and Software recently launched the newest version of the companys Arel Spotlight conferencing and collaboration solution. Arel Spotlight II is a Web-based conferencing and collaboration solution combining voice, video and data collaboration in a single software solution that is designed to enhance communications, facilitate workgroup collaboration, and drive productivity in the enterprise. Arel Spotlight II offers key features including new quality of service (QoS) mechanisms, dynamic video bandwidth and interoperability with heterogeneous networks and endpoints (SIP and H.323 end-points, multipoint conferencing units, and PSTN and satellite networks). Arel has implemented a new QoS system that manages the bandwidth utilization of the Spotlight II in order to accommodate more complex application sharing while enabling simultaneous audio and videoconferencing at lower bandwidth thresholds than ever before. The QoS feature enables Spotlight session participants to collaborate on larger, heavier files in more sophisticated applications such as product life-cycle management (PLM) applications that require significant resources; all this with enhanced application response times. Arel Spotlights dynamic video bandwidth feature enables participants of varying connection qualities to always receive the maximum quality available on their network without compromising the video quality of others. This capability ensures that broadband users leverage the full bandwidth capacity of their network to receive the highest quality videoconferencing experience possible even if low-bandwidth users participate in the same conference. Although Arel Spotlight II traditionally requires a PC, Web cam, and an Internet connection to participate in a conference, the softwares flexible architecture allows participants to utilize a variety of other endpoints and devices to connect to a Spotlight session. Users can connect to an Arel Spotlight session through a telephone, mobile phone, IP phone, PDA, and legacy videoconferencing system over a hybrid of networks including IP, PSTN, H.323, SIP, and Satellite.

Quintum, Unified Communications In SS7 Deal
By Johanne Torres

VoIP technology provider Quintum Technologies has reached an agreement with Unified Communications, a telecom signaling provider, for the companies to jointly support Signaling System 7 (SS7) on Quintum Tenor Carrier MultiPath Switch (CMS) and DX product lines. The agreement between both companies is designed to allow the SS7 Signaling Gateway to support multiple Quintum Tenor VoIP switches over the IP network, enabling service providers to support SS7 in their VoIP networks. Quintums Tenor DX and CMS products provide the functionality required to support applications such as Wholesale VoIP Termination, Tandem Switching, IP Local Access Services and Calling Card Services, H.323, SIP, intelligent call routing, TDM switching and QoS. The Tenor DX supports up to 4 T1/E1/PRI trunks, whilst the Tenor CMS supports up to 32 T1/E1/PRI trunks. We have been working on SS7 signaling for more than six years and have a strong base of technical competency in this area. Our SS7 Signaling Gateway is a flexible, high-performance, and cost-effective solution that can work seamlessly with Quintums Tenor CMS and DX product lines without any change in hardware. As part of our agreement with Quintum, we will be introducing the SS7 Signaling Gateway to Quintums global network of resellers and distributors, who will be able to integrate the products to provide a complete VoIP solution that supports SS7 to their customers. This deal not only strengthens our existing relationship with Quintum, but will also boost our existing distribution network, said Wong Tze Leng, CEO of Unified Communications. Recognizing the growing popularity of SS7 signaling in the modern international traffic market, this collaboration with Unified Communications will allow us to compete well in the market for VoIP solutions that require SS7 signaling. Together with our own Analog/R2/ISDN offering, we will have most of, if not all, major signaling protocols used in todays telephone network to offer our customers, said Mr. Cheng Chen, CEO of Eatontown, NJ-based Quintum. Unified Communications SS7 Signaling Gateway is available now via selected Quintum certified channel partners.

TalkSwitch, Mediatrix Team On VoIP For SMB

Centrepoint Technologies had confirmed SIP interoperability between the TalkSwitch telephone system and Mediatrix 1102, 1104, and 2102-20 gateways in November 2004. Since that time, hundreds of units have been deployed and customer reports indicate they are delighted with the joint solution. As a result, Centrepoint has announced it is adding the 2102-10 and 2102-21 gateways to the suite of Mediatrix products it carries, and has made the solution even more affordable by reducing prices on all Mediatrix products available from Centrepoint. Interoperability with industry leaders like Mediatrix allows us to offer the first truly cost-effective, complete solution for companies looking to use VoIP to tie in all their branch offices and teleworkers, said Jan Scheeren, President and CEO, Centrepoint Technologies

Inter-Tel Launches Unified Communicator 3.0

Inter-Tel, Inc., has announced the release of Unified Communicator 3.0, a software application designed to deliver powerful presence management and collaboration tools to users throughout an enterprise. Unified Communicator 3.0 was developed to allow team members to control and prioritize how, when, where, and from whom they receive calls, as well as remotely videoconference with colleagues, share files and documents, deliver presentations, co-browse the Internet, and participate in online chat sessions. Unified Communicator 3.0 joins two recently released applications, Inter-Tel Web Conferencing and Inter-Tel Remote Support, to form Inter-Tel eCollaborations Solutions, a suite of IP-enabled presence management, mobility and collaboration applications, designed to empower users to streamline and enhance business communications. Todays evolving business climate is causing companies to seek new tools that will empower their staff members to increase their productivity, whether they are working in their office, at their home, customer site, an airport terminal, or virtually any other location, said Craig W. Rauchle, president and chief operating officer for Inter-Tel.

Fonality Releases New Phone System For Small Businesses

Fonality recently announced PBXtra, an IP-PBX designed to deliver enterprise-class capabilities to small businesses for up to 80 percent less than the cost of traditional PBX systems. PBXtra combines the powerful call handling and advanced features companies expect from an enterprise-class PBX system at an affordable price. Configurable from anywhere on the Web, PBXtra is easy to set up and administer, and eliminates the need for specialized phone support. PBXtra runs on standard PC hardware and routers and uses layers of open-source Linux and Asterisk technology to provide the least expensive option for small businesses deploying new IP-PBX phone systems. Plus, PBXtra includes new features not found in any PBX solution for such an affordable price including: click and call from your PC, four-digit dialing, easy telecommuting, Microsoft Outlook integration, CRM and Web browser integration, MP3-based music on hold, unlimited extensions, unlimited voicemail, hybrid VoIP/PSTN, support for IP and analog phones, and automatic desktop notification of callers. Companies that require call center functionality, such as agent and queue support, can use PBXtras Call Center Edition.

Zultys Announces 24-Port PoE Switch

Zultys Technologies has announced the release of the EPS24. This switch has 24 10/100 Ethernet ports and a 1Gb/s fiber port. It provides industry standard power over Ethernet (PoE) on all copper ports, and fully embraces open standards including IEEE 802.3af. The EPS24 can be used to power devices such as IP telephones, keyless entry systems, security cameras, and WiFi access points.

Siemens Deploys Into Financial Co-Ops

Siemens announced today that FIDUCIA IT AG, an IT service provider for the Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken banking cooperatives in Germany, has chosen the Siemens HiPath 8000 Real-Time IP system as its telecommunications platform. The SIP-based HiPath 8000 solution will become the central softswitch in FIDUCIA ITs network and act as a hosted, or overlay network, for the companys customers in the banking industry.

Ingate Interoperable With Avaya

Ingate Systems announced that its Firewalls, SIParators, and application modules for remote connectivity and VoIP survival are compliant with key IP telephony solutions from Avaya. All Ingate products have been compliance tested by Avaya for compatibility with the Avaya Converged Communication Server, an application that enables SIP services, and with the Avaya Communication Manager software.


Excel Switching Carrier-Grade Media Gateway

Excel Switching Corp. announced the general availability of its Integrated Media Gateway (IMG) 1010, the latest addition to its AnyGen 1010 family of VoIP gateways and open service platforms. Excel's IMG 1010 offers service providers the performance, reliability, and flexibility to introduce services across fixed and mobile networks worldwide. With its compact 1U package, integrated SS7 and rich media processing capabilities, the IMG 1010 is designed as a carrier-grade VoIP gateway and/or VoIP transcoder that enables service providers to reduce costs while improving service quality. LatiNode, a Miami-based telecommunications company that provides international transportation of calls using VoIP, is currently using Excels IMG 1010 for IP-IP transcoding to lower transport costs and provide a higher quality of service. "We look forward to continuing our work with Excel as we build out our network," said Miguel Tarrau, CTO, LatiNode. The unique capabilities of the IMG 1010 teamed with Excels exceptional customer service and support creates a compelling package that we can leverage to quickly introduce new services. Excel says that deployment of the IMG 1010 provides carriers with immediate benefits, including:

Reduced capital expenses, resulting in the ability to quickly introduce new revenue-generating services to the marketplace
Reduced operational expenses, including those associated with training, sparing, OA&M, environmental, and service agreements
Carrier-grade reliability to ensure better system and network performance
Investment protection via compatibility between existing systems and new offerings, eliminating the need for forklift upgrades.

Telstra Launches Asia Express In Collaboration With tel(x)

Telstra Incorporated announced its Asia Express offering to automate and simplify the global bandwidth procurement process. Asia Express is Telstras indirect channel solution for connectivity from the U.S. to Hong Kong at aggressively-priced, monthly flat rates with no term commitment. Bandwidths from E1 to STM 4 international private lines are provided. As of July 1, Clear channel E1 to DS3 activation should take less than a week to install. This offering changes the rules and revolutionizes the way that carriers are going to be able to procure connectivity into Asia, said Arthur Weissman, Director, Channel Development, Telstra Incorporated. We are introducing a new business and service delivery model that greatly simplifies the procurement process. tel(x) and Telstra have entered into an arrangement allowing tel(x) customers to obtain a direct connection to Asia by simply cross connecting to the tel(x) Brilliant Platform. This service is designed to provide service providers the flexibility to enter into new relationships and to offer the services that their customers require ranging from voice services to global virtual LANs. Asia Express provides the streamlined transactions that carriers have been asking for while saving them from the activation delays and lengthy negotiations that plague todays global bandwidth marketplace, Weissman added. It gives them the flexibility they need to try out new business relationships and new routes, or to manage risk on behalf of enterprise customers. This is not just a PoP to PoP (point of presence) solution. We can also provide connections directly to a customers premises in Asia, as well.

Citizens Selects TANDBERG

TANDBERG Television announced that Citizens Cablevision has selected TANDBERG E5710 MPEG-2 encoders for its high-action and premium channels that require very high compression performance. Citizens Cablevision, based in Floyd, Virginia, deployed a new IPTV headend in early 2005 that delivers digital television to customers in two separate areas. The new IPTV headend creates a triple play scenario of voice, data, and digital television for the companys current customer base, with the potential to reach more than 10,000 customers between the two businesses. The delivery of digital television services as part of a triple play package is essential to the long-term growth of Citizens, said Danny Vaughn, Network Manager, Citizens Cablevision. It became very clear that our traditional business could not survive on legacy services alone. When we made the decision to offer video over DSL and hybrid fiber-coax, we recognized that certain encoders were incapable of delivering pristine-quality images for high-action, high-end channels that offer movies, sports, and other fast motion, highly detailed programming. We identified 12 channels that required the best possible encoding performance and invited eight vendors to participate in side-by-side testing. Each vendor encoded the same signal at the same data rate. TANDBERG Television proved that they could most reliably deliver high-quality video for our most detailed and premium programming. The compact 1U E5710 with 2 option slots provides low bit rate performance through a unique combination of pre-processing, encoding techniques and enhanced noise reduction circuitry. The E5710 also provides an easy upgrade path to both the Windows Media 9 Series and MPEG-4 AVC platforms should Citizens decide to upgrade to advanced compression for significantly reduced bit rates in the future.

Pirelli Completes Trial Of Persona FMC Solution

Persona Software, Inc., has announced that Pirelli Broadband Solutions, and Pirelli Labs have completed a successful trial of the Persona OnePhone Personal Mobility Application for Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) using Pirelli Broadband Solutions Discus access gateways. Persona OnePhone is an application that is designed to enable mobile users to roam seamlessly between WiFi and cellular networks with one phone, one identity, and one phone number. With Persona OnePhone, mobile users can access advanced IP voice features anywhere, anytime, plus a new world of advanced Personal Mobility Applications that provide road warriors and consumers with convenience, productivity, control, and savings. Persona OnePhone uses the SIP standard, which has been embraced by service providers worldwide and is at the heart of the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). Persona OnePhone is in trials with leading carriers and service providers worldwide.

Pyramid: Mobile Infrastructure To Reach $190 Billion

Mobile carrier capital expenditures (CAPEX) on infrastructure will enter a progressive decline beginning in 2006 that will see infrastructure investments decrease from 47percent of total operator CAPEX to 33 percent by 2009. While infrastructure spending will remain the largest slice of the CAPEX pie, Pyramid Researchs new report, Mobile Operator CAPEX: Charting the Transformation of Mobile Carrier Spending, examines how vendors must adapt their business models to address the evolving mobile operator expenditure patterns to capture new, non-infrastructure investment opportunities. According to report author Ozgur Aytar, The rapid growth of non-infrastructure spending is due to the combined effect of factors ranging from demand for additional capacity to convergence and network evolution towards next-generation networks (NGNs). To provide end-to-end solutions, vendors will increasingly rely on partnerships and acquisitions of other sources of expertise. In the NGN world, service providers will evaluate the ecosystem as much as they evaluate the vendor itself.

Endavo EnHances Entertainment Product Line

Endavo Media and Communications, Inc., announced the latest addition to the Endavo Entertainment Product Line, the EnHance solution. EnHance powered by Red Swoosh is designed to enable owners of Web-based portals to transmit DVD quality video and audio content to their community of end users with broadcast economics allowing for unlimited video delivery at a fixed cost while leveraging the full scale of the Endavo EcoSystem. The EcoSystem provides content capturing, transcoding, storing, delivery, and transaction processing. The addition of EnHance to the EcoSystem allows content developers to store and retrieve content from both the EcoSystem and from a grid of connected machines within their own network that are idle, leveraging dormant bandwidth and providing twice the download speed of current delivery platforms for content-hungry end users. Global Entertainment Media Group (GEMG) will be the first to deploy the solution in July.


Reef Point Systems To Launch UMA Security Gateway
By Ted Glanzer

Reef Point Systems announced that it is launching a massively scalable, multi-service UMA Security Gateway for UMA Wireless LAN or 802.xx networks. The gateway, according a statement from the Burlington, Mass.-based company, solves the problem of the VoIP handset-to-network security challenge in the converged services infrastructure. In a recent briefing, Reef Point Systems CEO Stephen Diamond highlighted several features that separate the UMA Security Gateway from other solutions. For example, Diamond said that other solutions, such as session border controllers, cant support the Reef Point solutions scalability, which can secure a half a million simultaneous connections. Such scalability enables secure WiFi roaming and provides subscribers with confidentiality by encapsulating the call and signaling data in secure IPsec tunnels. All of this significantly reduces capital and operating costs, Diamond said. UMA is a pre-cursor to IMS networks and enables operators to easily expand their coverage and introduce new mobile data services, said Diamond said. These new services will not be widely adopted if there is a threat to the availability or integrity of the service. Reef Point offers a complete security solution and understands that these new services are critical to operators profitability. Diamond quoted AT&T CTO Hossein Eslambolchi, who said, Its almost impossible to scale by putting all the security at the end of the network . . . We need to go somewhere in between . . . an intelligent network with smart devices. According to the Reef Point, by deploying UMA technology, mobile operators can enable subscribers to roam and handover between cellular networks and public and private licensed wireless networks using dual-mode mobile handsets providing subscribers a consistent and transparent user experience as they transition between networks. WiFi and cellular convergence serves as a cost-effective method to improve residential coverage and keep churn down for operators, Diamond said. While users are on local wireless LANs, UMA enables free VoIP when in office or home. The user, equipped with a dual-mode handset, can make called across any generic wireless LAN and IP network, with the call and signaling data encapsulated in secure IP tunnels. These tunnels terminate on an access gateway, which processes and passes call data to the circuit-switched or packet-switched mobile core network. Additionally, the UMA Security Gateway offers the following:

Comprehensive Multiservice Security Threat defense, including firewalls with Denial of Service attack prevention, intrusion detection services, custom firewall filtering, dynamic virtual routing with Network Address Translation, and session limiting to protect against external threats.

Purpose-built, Carrier-class Design Performance and reliability through Reef Points patented Flow Application Streaming Technology and optimum mix of custom ASICs/FPGAs and network processors.

Wireless Standards Support Reef Point solutions support Internet Key Exchange v2 and Extensible Authentication Protocol
Method for GSM Subscriber Identity Modules (EAP-SIM) to provide scalable mutual authentication, encryption and data integrity safeguards for signaling, voice and data.

Viper Testing, Looking To Deploy WiFi Phone

Viper Networks, Inc. announced it is also joining the group of next-gen developers who are currently testing and will begin marketing a WiFi enabled phone that operates on its global VoIP network. According to Viper, the device, called WiFi vPhone 3100, will replace the 2100 model that the company launched in April of 2004. The WiFi vPhone will allow users to make phone calls over Vipers global VoIP network from any hotspot or location with 802.11 wireless Internet access. The company explained that it hopes that increased availability of WiFi hotspots such as those found in many Starbucks, airports, restaurants, and other public and private locations, in conjunction with a new lower equipment price, will lead to increased sales of the 3100. Viper Networks CEO Ron Weaver, who spoke about the potential of the product at last years WiFi Business development Summit in Paris, commented, I am ecstatic, as this moves Viper Networks far ahead of our competition in the VoIP market. We have been offering a WiFi VoIP device to our customers for over one year and are already offering a new and improved product at a better price. The company will make the phone available for purchase on its Web site, through its distributors, and in its recently launched retail partner stores.

Wireless Valley Announces Advanced Capabilities

Wireless Valley Communications announced new capabilities for capacity and traffic planning. Available in its EnterprisePlanner and LANPlanner wireless network design products, this new functionality is designed to enable businesses to tailor the design of wireless networks down to the user and application level. The products will ensure the capacity and coverage needed to handle the ever increasing demands being placed on wireless networks. With this announcement, the company is expanding the predictive design capabilities of its software to include the number of users and the types of applications they are using. Wireless Valley has established itself as the leading supplier of design and management software for companies making the transition to wireless networks that support VoIP and other business critical applications, said Jim Welch, CEO of Wireless Valley. Given the vital nature of these applications, it is not acceptable to experience dropped calls or delays in information transmission, which is exactly what will happen if the wireless network is not planned to support the proper amount of bandwidth and coverage. Only our software enables companies to consider all the factors impacting wireless network performance to create a highly customized, robust network. SpectraLink, the leader in workplace Wi-Fi telephony, uses Wireless Valleys LANPlanner software to design wireless networks for customers using their NetLink Wireless Telephones. To ensure the excellent voice quality our customers require, the wireless infrastructure must be engineered to provide adequate bandwidth and coverage to support call volume and seamless roaming, said Wayne McAllister, senior director of SpectraLink Service. Wireless Valleys software has been invaluable in designing or upgrading customer networks to meet these requirements.


Voice Call Management For TDM And VoIP

GL recently announced their Voice Call Management System (CMS) a voice call logging application designed to remotely monitor, record, and log every voice call occurring at any or multiple points in a voice network (TDM or VoIP). Distinguishing features include its ability to remotely listen to active or pre-recorded calls in real-time. In addition, the CMS can access multiple network locations simultaneously, whether VoIP or TDM, or both. The CMS works with associated probes such as GLs Call Capture Analysis (CCA) application with T1/E1 Analysis cards, or GLs VoIP PacketScan. The supported calling protocols include: CAS, PRI ISDN, and SS7 for TDM networks and SIP and H.323 for VoIP networks. Significant features include: remote monitoring and playback of calls in real-time, call filtering and sorting, statistics gathering, recording of unlimited calls, and search for unique calls. Calls are monitored and recorded in real-time at TDM and IP probe sites. The call records are then transferred via IP to the CMS central location where they are immediately indexed and displayed as either active or completed calls. Filtering of call records can be based on a variety of user-defined parameters, and is available for real-time capture as well as for post processing. Complete statistics and/or user-defined statistics can be displayed and printed to file. The recorded voice calls can be played to the CMS speakers, regardless of where the CMU is located with respect to the probes. In addition, all recorded calls are stored on the probes and may be searched/filtered based on called or calling number, time of day, or length of call.

Fluke Adds Real-Time VoIP Diagnostics To OptiView

Fluke Networks announced that real-time VoIP diagnostics, including call-by-call Quality of Service tracking, are now part of its OptiView Link Analyzer and Protocol Expert network monitoring and analysis solution. The addition of the VoIP diagnostics is intended to enable network managers to view all levels of VoIP activity on their network, from very broad-based call volume and call quality to individual call channel details, thus allowing for real-time identification, isolation and repair of call quality issues. "Voice over IP is one of the most mission critical applications being deployed by corporations around the globe, says Robert Finlay, Fluke Networks Product Manager. Yet many IT managers cant check to see if their existing infrastructure will support VoIP, and even fewer have a plan for managing VoIP once its deployed. Without useful monitoring and troubleshooting solutions like the new versions of OptiView Link Analyzer and OptiView Protocol Expert, call quality may cause nothing but user complaints and frustration." The VoIP analysis features in OptiView Link Analyzer provide a real-time view of call volume and Quality of Service (QoS) for instantaneous identification of trends leading to call degradation. This enables troubleshooting before end users are impacted. Additionally, this information can be used to track down misconfigurations in network infrastructure. The real-time capabilities provide IT professionals with continuous vision of VoIP call quality in dynamic, changing network environments. OptiView Link Analyzer and Protocol Expert are available for immediate delivery through Fluke Networks sales channels worldwide. OptiView Link Analyzer 7.0 has a suggested U.S. list price of $18,995. Protocol Expert 7.0 has a suggested U.S. list price of $3,195.

Silver Telecom Launch Power over Ethernet Module

Silver Telecom announced recently the launch of the Ag9000 series of Power over Ethernet (PoE) modules. According to the company, the Ag9000 is ideal for any Ethernet peripheral up to 12W, such as IP phones and gateways, wireless access points, Web cameras and security cameras, door entry systems, RFID tag readers, security systems (PIR, fire detectors, etc), network drives, Bluetooth access points and video servers. The device is a fully self-contained 10-pin SIL (single in line) device, providing an isolated DC-DC converter with signature recognition compliant to IEEE 802.3af. Available with outputs of 3.3V, 5.0V or 12.0V, the Ag9000 requires just one external capacitor. The combination of features and packaging offers extremely efficient use of board area, saving significant system size and cost, minimizing time to market for developers of Ethernet peripherals.

Acterna Integrates Telchemys Technology

Telchemy announced that Acterna has expanded their use of Telchemys VQmon/SA VoIP analysis and call quality monitoring technology. The technology will be integrated into Acternas ng DA-3600A and DA-3400 Data Network Analyzers, PVA-1000 VoIP Analyzer, Digital Services Activation Meter (DSAM), and Remote Services Activation Meter (RSAM). For service providers and enterprises, Acternas VoIP Analysis Software is designed to provide a comprehensive suite of problem-solving capabilities necessary to deploy, troubleshoot, and maintain todays complex VoIP networks. The DSAM and RSAM are part of Acternas Application-Aware suite of products that provide cable operators with tools that test complete digital and IP services with simplicity, flexibility, and ease. Adding VoIP support to these leading edge products make them more powerful than ever VoIP deployment for network operators becomes increasingly easier to manage with the ability to place and listen to a live call, measuring the quality of the user-experience before going live to the customer.

Z-Com Selects TI Embedded WLAN And VoIP Solutions

Texas Instruments has announced that Z-Com has selected TIs WLAN and VoIP products for its universal serial bus (USB) adapter and residential gateway (RG) module product lines, enabling consumers to benefit from high-quality, integrated broadband data, wireless, and voice applications. Z-Com has developed the XG-750 USB adapter, which plugs into the computers USB port to enable seamless wireless connectivity. The product is based on TIs TNETW1450 WLAN solution which features a compact design and high security and quality of service (QoS) standards. In addition, Z-Coms RG module incorporates TIs TNETW1350A solution, which features industry-leading output power enabling extended range operation. Z-Com has also selected TIs TNETV1060 VoIP solution for its P-1050 VoIP gateway, the companys first product targeting the VoIP market. A highly integrated software and silicon system-on-a-chip, TIs expandable and scalable solution is designed to address the requirements of residential and small office/home office (SOHO) gateways.

Spirent Partners With Objective Concepts

Spirent Communications and Objective Concepts announced the availability of the Spirent TradeTest solution powered by Objective Concepts. The new offering is designed to provide the financial securities industry with a highly sophisticated toolset for automated testing of trading systems. Using real-world market and trading data feed interface simulators for order entry and primary exchange feeds, TradeTest creates a virtual market place in the quality assurance lab.

SEI Receives PoE License

SEI has received a non-exclusive license to manufacture and market Power over Ethernet (PoE) solutions under U.S. patent number 6,476,608 from PowerDsine. This patent forms the basis of the IEEE 802.3af powering standard both for the powering algorithms inherent in the standard and also for the delivery of device power over the Ethernet in using the spare pair.

Intel Turns To Psytechnics

Intel Corporation has selected Psytechnics to develop perceptual video quality management solutions. Psytechnics has dedicated the last five years to developing voice quality solutions, and now the company has applied the same methods to deliver its video solutions. The burgeoning market for video-based services, such as IPTV and video streaming, combined with new technology, is driving the demand for video test and monitoring applications.


Contact Center Companies Concerto And Aspect To Merge By Johanne Torres

Concerto Software and Aspect Communications Corporation announced a definitive agreement to merge operations. The new agreement will assign Aspect shareholders $11.60 in cash for each share of common stock, which represents an approximate 15 percent premium to the average closing price over the last 30 trading days prior to the announcement. The merger also asks for holders of Aspect Series B Preferred Stock to receive an equivalent amount of cash per share on an as-converted basis. Based on the number of shares of Aspect common stock, common stock options and Series B Preferred Stock outstanding on July 4, 2005, the transaction is valued at approximately $1.0 billion.

The companies involved in this transaction claim that the merger will form one of the largest companies solely focused on contact center products and services in the space. The deal will combine Concertos predictive dialing and unified contact center system products with Aspects contact center workforce management applications and performance analytics. Its also key to mention that the merger will combine both companies traditional voice and VoIP automatic call distributors (ACD), enabling the new entity to offer multi-channel routing, self-service interactive voice response (IVR), Internet contact and virtual contact center capabilities, reporting, monitoring and recording.

"With greater resources and scale, we will offer customers a more robust product suite, an expanded services and support infrastructure, and increased investment in research and development, making the new company uniquely positioned to be the contact center solutions provider of choice," said James D. Foy, Concertos president and CEO. "Concerto has a proven track record of integrating people and products following acquisitions. Given the customer- centric philosophy that Concerto and Aspect share, we anticipate a rapid, successful transition."

"The merger with Concerto is an exciting opportunity to create a new standard of excellence in customer interaction. The contact center market is evolving with the advent of new technologies, like voice over IP, and growing customer demand for reduced complexity and increased capabilities. Together, we will focus on continuing to support our customers today and bringing converged solutions to them as their business needs dictate," said Gary E. Barnett, president and CEO of San Jose, CA-based Aspect. "We are pleased with this outcome. I and other members of the Aspect executive team look forward to being a part of the combined company."

Aspect had recently announced the latest release of its contact center operating environment, the Aspect Uniphi Suite 6.1. The product offers businesses ACD, CTI and IVR, on a single, centrally managed, switch-agnostic platform. The company said the new version 6.1 simplifies application development, system administration and management, while doubling the number of agents supported by last year's release. Uniphi Suite v6.1 is currently available and it includes support for up to 500 agents (blended and voice-only), Microsoft .NET and Windows, Aspect Call Center, Cisco CallManager, Microsoft Exchange and eGain Service. The software is built on core standards, such as VXML, SOAP/Web Services and SIP.

"Aspect Uniphi Suite helps companies greatly simplify contact center infrastructure and manage contacts and resources easily, so agents can deliver superior customer service experiences," said Brian Gentile, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Aspect. "The quality of customer care suffers when contact centers are stuck with mismatched enterprise technologies. Even making simple changes in business processes becomes a complex and frustrating task, adding to implementation time and cost, as well as maintenance. We designed Uniphi Suite to address these challenges and to provide excellent support for the migration to VoIP networks and for replacing traditional PBXs with IP-PBXs."

Genesys Announces IP-Enabled Voice Platform

By David Sims Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories Inc., has announced an IP-enabled version of the Genesys Voice Platform to serve enterprise customers of all sizes, according to Genesys officials. The introduction of the new IP-enabled enterprise edition of GVP is part of Genesys strategy to expand IP capabilities throughout the Genesys Voice Platform product portfolio. One feature thats key in marketing the GVP to enterprises actively considering migrating to IP is that the product has been designed to help them do so without an extensive system overhaul. The new IP-enabled version of GVP allows for time-division multiplexing (TDM) and IP to coexist within the same environment. Existing TDM-based environments limit the return on investment on contact center software due to the inherent complexities and high cost of ownership at the infrastructure level. Genesys is hoping their adoption of an Open IP approach will convince enterprise customers that they can increase their ROI. Enterprise customers that are actively moving forward with IP initiatives will find value in the self-service and ROI deliverables of the IP-enabled Genesys Voice Platform, said Elliot Danziger, chief technology officer, Genesys. The GVP supports open standards, such as VoiceXML 2.0 and Session Initiation Protocol, and migration isnt rip and replace, but a phased approach. The transition to IP will not require a drastic cutover as the GVP TDM and IP versions can coexist within the same environment, allowing for customer choice for voice-over-IP infrastructures, officials say.

Avaya Tweaks Contact Center Express

By David Sims Avaya Inc., has announced enhancements to Avaya Contact Center Express that "will enable medium-sized businesses to use intelligent communications to better serve their customers," according to company officials. "We know that medium-sized contact centers want to benefit from the same IP telephony, multi-channel and agent empowerment capabilities as larger enterprises but need solutions that are much easier and more cost effective to deploy," said Eileen Rudden, vice president and general manager, Enterprise Communications Applications Division, Avaya, explaining the targeting of the mid-market. Rudden added that the features added to Contact Center Express are designed to lower contact center costs for their mid-size business target. The software enhancements to Avaya Contact Center Express, which is tightly integrated with Microsoft applications, include a new Microsoft CRM connector that identifies incoming calls received by the contact center and provides an appropriate "pop up" with customer history on an agent's screen. The Microsoft CRM connector also enables agents to click a button on their Microsoft CRM screen to place outgoing calls. Contact Center Express now also handles and routes instant messages from customers using Microsoft Messenger for another channel of contact. Other enhancements include simplified management tools, easier e-mail handling and spell-checking, greater customization capabilities and more detailed reporting. Contact Center Express has always been aimed squarely at the mid-size business market. Its multi-channel features of inbound and outbound voice, e-mail, Web chat and Microsoft Messenger for instant messaging, packaged with Avaya's IP telephony and contact center routing and reporting and priced from $425 per concurrent agent for voice to $1,000 per concurrent agent for all channels is a classic mid-market offering. It's where the actions going to be over the next few years, too. The global market for contact center technology is expected to grow to $5.1 billion by 2008, with the most growth over the next five years in the mid-market in contact centers with up to 250 agents, according to Datamonitor.


Powerdsine Joins Cisco Technology Developer Program

PowerDsine Ltd. has recently been granted membership of the Cisco Developer Program. Program membership is reserved for companies offering complementary and compatible solutions that hold a market leadership position in their respective market sector. It offers customers and resellers the reassurance of timely resolution to support enquiries involving both companies solutions. PowerDsine produces IEEE 802.3af-compliant PoE Midspan solutions that supply operating power via Ethernet cables to powered devices such as Voice over IP (VoIP) phones, wireless LAN access points and IP-based cameras. PowerDsines PoE products can reduce the time and costs associated with installation of such end-devices because PoE technology eliminates the need to wire additional AC outlets. PowerDsine joined the Cisco Technology Developer Partner Program as a Cisco Compatible Wireless Partner in April 2005.

SNET DG Partners With Stealth Communications

SNET DG (Diversified Group) and Stealth Communications announced that SNET DG will interconnect with Stealths Voice Peering Fabric (VPF) as an application services provider to offer VPF members SIP access to Intelligent Network Database Information such as, CNAM, 8XX, and LNP. VoIP providers need access to legacy telco database information for calls that interact with the PSTN. By joining the VPF family, SNET DG is offering VPF members quick and easy access to the information they need without the complexity and expense of an SS7 network, or handing off database queries to a TDM-based carrier, remarked Suzette Taylor, Business Development Manager at SNET DG. Our service supports the spirit of the VPF, which is to extend the reach of VoIP and help VoIP providers operate more efficiently and therefore, more profitably.

Equant Announces Communications Outsourcing Contract With STMicroelectronics

Equant has signed a multi-year contract with STMicroelectronics, for more than $100 million, to provide a complete outsourcing service that includes data, fixed and mobile voice and service management to more than 100 sites in 34 countries. As part of this communications outsourcing deal, Equant will provide a full set of communications services, including data services based on IP VPN, fixed and mobile voice services including VoIP and IP Telephony, as well as service management. Equant has already installed 40 VoIP sites in 22 countries. This contract also includes the transfer of several hundred third party contracts to Equant. This new contract demonstrates the success and development of Equants services strategy, said Michel Picaud, senior vice president and head of Equant Solutions & Services. We are extremely pleased to provide the worldwide communications infrastructure for STMicroelectronics, a true industry innovator.

Uniden, 3Com Work Out Cordless Phone Deal

Uniden America Corporation and 3Com Corporation announced an agreement to deliver VoIP cordless multi-line phones for enterprises. Available immediately, the 3Com 3106C cordless phone and 3Com 3107C cordless phone can seamlessly be used with the 3Com NBX IP telephony system to deliver complete and cost-effective IP offerings to business owners.

Earthlink And Covad Announce Market Trial

Covad and EarthLink have announced a new VoIP joint market trial that will give EarthLink the ability to offer its customers low-cost phone services along with high-speed Internet access. The three-market trial is slated to begin in October in Dallas, TX, San Francisco and San Jose, CA, and Seattle, WA.

Cisco Adds D&H As Authorized U.S. Distributor

Cisco Systems announced it has added D&H Distributing to its list of authorized distributors in the United States. This distribution relationship focuses on accelerating SMB customer adoption of networking technology, combining Cisco SMB-tailored technology with D&Hs commitment to provide superior service and support to the value-added resellers that serve this rapidly growing customer segment.


Mindspeed And Netbricks Collaborate On VoIP Integration

Mindspeed Technologies, Inc., has announced an enhanced system-on-chip (SoC) voice processing solution for enterprise PBX, gateway, and voice-enabled router equipment with the integration of Netbricks SIP-Bricks session initiation protocol (SIP) software into Mindspeeds Comcerto integrated VoIP processor. Mindspeeds Comcerto processor provides superior processing power for implementing the features of our SIP-Bricks solution, providing faster time-to-market for our customers said Didier Raffenoux, president of Netbricks. The combination of Netbricks SIP-Bricks software and Mindspeeds complete VoIP system-on-chip portfolio offers the industrys most compelling solution for OEMs who wish to leverage their development across enterprise and carrier applications, said Steve McClure, executive director of marketing for Mindspeed. Mindspeeds Comcerto architecture is optimized for VoIP applications with separate signal and packet processors. It integrates high-performance DSP cores and a packet-processing engine with industry-standard streaming packet interfaces to provide a high-density VoIP and voice-over-ATM system on a single chip.

Ubiquity, IBM In Service Creation Pact

Ubiquity Software recently announced an agreement with IBM to provide an integrated next generation service creation and delivery solution for service providers. The joint solution is designed to enable service providers in both enhanced VoIP and 3G IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks to design and streamline the creation and deployment of new services in fixed, mobile and broadband networks. The integration of Ubiquitys SIP Application Server into IBM WebSphere software provides service providers faster, easier runtime deployment and management while orchestrating the high availability strengths of J2EE and SIP Servers. Integrated with IBM Rational software, the Ubiquity SIP Toolkit offers service providers a unified development environment, managing the lifecycle of service creation. Ubiquity solutions are enabled with Linux, IBM DB2 Universal Database, IBM eServer BladeCenter and IBM eServer xSeries. The IBM BladeCenter integrates servers, storage, networking and software to create an environment that is reliable, secure and easy to deploy and manage. Formally integrating the Ubiquity SIP Application Server with the unified service creation, deployment and management capabilities in IBMs middleware portfolio provides carriers with accelerated time to market for new SIP services, while reducing the complexity. said Tim Greisinger, director, Worldwide Communications Sector, IBM Software Group. As service providers continue their network transformation to next generation networks, the IBM and Ubiquity integrated software solutions enable the enhancement and blending of services that become available with IMS adoption.

Net-2Com Develops Softswitch, Phones On RADVISION SIP Kit

RADVISION has announced that Net-2Com Corporation has used RADVISIONs SIP Toolkit to develop its new WiPCom1000 wireless IP telephone as well as its SubCentrex IP-Centrex carrier-class softswitch. Net-2Com uses a proprietary VoIP technology to develop and distribute innovative VoIP and networking-related products for enterprise environments. Its WiPCom1000 is a wireless/IP phone that features built-in wireless LAN (WLAN) functionality, allowing it to be used automatically in public WLANs. The SubCentrex carrier-class softswitch is an IP-Centrex enterprise solution that supports the conversion between SIP and H.323, enabling end-to-end IP telephony between PSTN users. By selecting the RADVISION SIP Toolkit, we realized immediate benefits, ranging from direct access to an up-to-date communication protocol to unparalleled development flexibility made possible by the multiple API layers, commented Kiyoshi Oh, CEO of Net-2Com. With RADVISIONs SIP Toolkit, our development team was able to focus on service functions rather than protocol and interoperability details, which directly resulted in faster service rollout and lower costs.

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