Nortel (News - Alert) Strengthens Support for SMBs with New Products and Enhancements
By Stefania Viscusi
In a bid to help SMBs maximize their efforts towards cost savings, productivity, streamlined operations and superior customer service, Nortel announced new products and enhancements for their SMB portfolio, which provides a complete end-to-end solution that addresses the specific needs of the SMB market, including voice, data, wireless, and Internet solutions.
As part of their latest move to strengthen their SMB offerings, Nortel has announced two new products. The Business Ethernet Switch 200 and the Business Ethernet Switch 50. The introductions of these new products are an enhancement to the companies recently announced SMB portfolio that includes solutions to “bring the power of wireless LAN, Ethernet switching, security, and converged voice and data to smaller business,” according to the company.
To further strengthen their foothold in the SMB market, Nortel also announced a series of enhancements to their already existing SMB offerings. One of the key enhancements can be seen in the Business Communications Manager (BCM) 50 Release 2. This platform, providing converged voice and data communication capabilities for SMBs, will now feature reporting, real-time and Web presence features, with the addition of the Intelligent Contact Center and Multimedia Contact Center.
MobileAccess Networks and Cognio Team on Quality for Enterprise Wireless Networks
By Laura Stotler
Cognio and MobileAccess Networks are teaming up in an effort to ensure quality and reliability of enterprise wireless networks. The MobileAccess Universal Wireless Network will be used in tandem with Cognio’s Spectrum Expert to ensure customers receive real-time spectrum analysis capabilities to help detect foreign causes of interference that can degrade network performance.
The Universal Wireless Network from MobileAccess mitigates interference risks that are associated with separate or parallel wireless networks. It features a “Wire-It-Once” architecture to deliver all of a customer’s wireless services through a single, multi-service infrastructure in which the interference challenge is contained to one network. The solution conditions every signal to ensure there is no service-impacting interference between wireless services running on the system.
When the Cognio Spectrum Expert is added to a multi-service wireless environment, enterprises may protect against unexpected external interference and enhance their wireless environments. The tools from Cognio offer real-time spectrum analysis, enabling customers to isolate where and when their wireless networks are at risk from foreign interference. When combined with MobileAccess, the Cognio solution is ideal for large enterprise customers requiring multiple wireless services indoors as well as those who require ongoing interference detection capabilities.
“Disparate infrastructures and networks create huge challenges when it comes to the predictability and resiliency of wireless applications and services,” said Jeff White, executive vice president at Cognio. “We are excited about our relationship with MobileAccess because together we address both the interference issues caused by multiple wireless networks and the introduction of foreign devices. Cognio provides enterprise IT managers the unprecedented ability to identify devices that degrade network performance, ensuring that WiFi (News - Alert) and other networks operate at peak performance and support mission-critical network services.”
Ericsson (News - Alert) Announces New Version of its MX-ONE Platform
By Anuradha Shukla
Ericsson has launched the third release of its MX-ONE, which optimizes business communications with unique mobility features that increase efficiency and reduces total cost of ownership. Version three of MX-ONE can seamlessly handle voice and data applications and combine mobile and fixed functionalities across private and public networks.
Enterprises can use the solution to control and reduce total cost of ownership by delivering high accessibility and flexibility. They can also smoothly and safely migrate to a future-proof IP network at their individual pace. With extended system capacity for up to 50,000 end-users, standardized management, and Web-based tools, the new version of the MX-ONE IP PBX (News - Alert) can maximize business communications.
The version also includes SIP support, in both terminals and trunking for networked systems. MS Office users can now look up and dial people directly from any MS Office document or application thanks to the integration towards Microsoft (News - Alert) Live Communication Server.
Businesses can also use the new version to integrate messaging and multimedia services with business class voice communications. Additionally MX-ONE Version 3 enables wireless telephony over WiFi and allows the network to identify the origin of emergency calls made from IP phones. Moreover security has also been enhanced on all areas of management accesses, and media encryption has been introduced.
Ericsson’s recent acquisition of Netwise has strengthened converged enterprise services and new business applications like contact and presence management. The company can offer businesses a complete solution to meet their needs together with other Ericsson Enterprise products, such as WLAN base stations and applications.
The Ericsson Corporate Telephony client for mobile smartphones P990 and M600 is a further enhancement of the MX-ONE Mobile Extension. The enhancement enables integration of mobile users with corporate databases and support functions.
Askey and Texas Instruments (News - Alert) in VoIP Deal
By Johanne Torres
Askey Computer announced it has opted for Texas Instruments (TI)’s VoIP systems for its IP phones and residential and enterprise gateways. Specifically, Askey chose to deploy TI’s integrated VoIP silicon and software systems, which include the Telogy Software for VoIP and PIQUA software used for better voice quality and IP performance. The first IP phone and gateway products which will incorporate TI’s technology from Askey, the VPD1120 phone and the VGE1020 residential gateway and VG603 enterprise gateway, are all currently in production.
“TI’s high-performance VoIP technology with embedded quality features offer us the most integrated hardware and software solutions to deliver the best and most flexible VoIP products to our customers,” said Wangson Wang, senior director, broadband communication division I, R&D group at Askey in a statement. “We are very impressed with the company’s solid roadmap for developing and enhancing its VoIP product portfolio.”
TI’s TNETV1055 will power Askey’s IP phone products by expanding the options for designers to create a wide variety of IP phone offerings. With TI’s software, Askey will also be able to integrate different features into its IP phones.
Alternatively, TI’s TNETV2021 and TNETV2840 will enable Askey to provide products featuring echo cancellation, adaptive jitter buffering, and tone detection. This combo seems to be a good option for small to medium enterprise applications to be used at places such as apartment buildings and college dorms.
Aruba Plots Course for True Mobility
By Erik Linask
Aruba Networks (News - Alert) announced several major new features and product enhancements designed to enhance its Voice over WiFi (VoFi) solutions. The enhancements are part of the company’s overall five-stage roadmap for reaching what many agree is the holy grail of communications, true and complete fixed/mobile convergence (FMC).
“You can have fast handoffs or secure handoffs, but the trick is to get them both at once,” says Peter Thornycroft, senior product manager at Aruba.
The latest enhancements take into consideration quality and management issues that are likely to present themselves in larger deployments as Aruba continues its drive to make the combination of hardware and network handover better, and more secure.
Improved Quality of Service (QoS) — Full implementation of the WMM specification, plus additional enhancements, ensure consistency between the QoS level and traffic type and permit adjustments to the QoS level as appropriate, delivering voice packets within acceptable delay, jitter and loss parameters. In other words, Aruba has the capability not only to negotiate different levels of priorities, but also to ascertain whether a packet labeled “high priority” actually is such.
Increased Call Capacity — Full support for the WiFi Alliance’s TSpec protocol (which is akin to an RSVP system for calls) to allow increased control over the number of active voice calls on an access point (AP) at any given time, assuring bandwidth availability and better call quality, even as voice clients roam between APs. Aruba has been able to get as many as 76 calls on a single AP in a controlled environment.
Improved Battery Life — Because people have gotten used to their small form factor phones, batteries in dual mode handsets cannot be much larger. Improvements include full network-side implementation of WMM-PS, U-APSD and several enhancements, which together can improve talk time by a factor of two and sleep time by as much as five times, by extending sleep times and reducing unnecessary battery drains. Aruba has been able to increase talk time up to four hours and standby time up to 120 hours.
Faster Handoffs — In many cases, dual mode phones have not yet been equipped with the latest state of the art algorithms for faster handoff. Opportunistic Key Caching (OKC) for both WPA2 and WPA clients saves considerable authentication time and reduces call interruption during handover between APs by limiting the number of frames that have to be exchanged at a new AP. The standard reference point tends to be 50ms, but Aruba is measuring handoffs in the 6ms range.
This latest set of enhancements mean that Aruba is able to scale its solution to meet the needs of even the largest enterprises, such that it can move ahead with the third phase of its roadmap, enterprise integration.
SERVICE PROVIDER NEWS
Verizon (News - Alert) Business Intros Web Conferencing Service
By Johanne Torres
Verizon Business announced the introduction of Advanced Net Conference, its new Web-based conferencing suite of services. The telecom’s new service suite includes features such as Reserved Net Conference, Instant Net Conference, and Customized Net Conference. These features can be accessed via Microsoft Office Outlook and Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005. Advanced Net Conference users will also be able to instantly schedule Web meetings though these software clients.
“This next generation of our successful Net Conference product is meeting a growing demand and desire for virtually ‘anytime, anywhere’ meetings,” said Tom Roche, vice president of marketing for Verizon Business’ network voice and data services in a statement. “Whether we’re helping to break down geographic boundaries for employees of multinational companies or helping to quickly assemble government workers in response to an unforeseen situation, Verizon Business continues to harness the latest collaborative technology to help enhance teamwork and productivity for our customers.”
With Advanced Net Conference, users will also be able to collaborate from anywhere in the world at anytime. Implementing a solution like this will surely slash enterprises’ travel expenses. Verizon Business currently handles millions of meetings a month via IP.
Hosted VoIP Includes FMC, Naturally
By Erik Linask
Natural Convergence (News - Alert) is a hosted VoIP solution provider, which takes a familiar system with its familiar features, adds the advantages of VoIP, and focuses the modernized solution on small businesses with aging solutions and no in-house IT team. These, the company believes, are the companies most desperately in need of an easy to install, easy to use VoIP solution that requires no in-house personnel.
Natural Convergence provides ample features in its platform, including three-way calling, voice mail, and others its customers are used to having. But, among the features of release 3.0 of silhouette, the one that stands out is its Mobile Twinning capability. With the Natural Convergence solution, each user has a Web page that allows them to configure various options, including identifying a mobile number, to which an incoming call can be “twinned.” When a call comes in to the user’s office phone, the system simultaneously places an outgoing call to the predefined mobile device, creating an increased level of productivity.
In addition, the desktop phone will indicate the user is ‘busy,’ even if the call is answered on the mobile device, and when the user reaches his desk, he can press that line appearance key and automatically transfer the call to the desk phone without the other party realizing it (save for any call quality improvements).
An added benefit is that users will once again be able to separate their business lives from their personal lives, which, Cork believes is a significant advantage to small businesses. Not do they no longer need to give out mobile numbers, their voice mails will once again be separate — calls dialed to the business number are automatically directed to the business voice mail, even though they ring on both lines.
The twinning feature also accommodates calls being directed to remote offices simply by logging into the system there and enabling the user’s main office extension at the remote location.
Business VoIP Solutions Provider Voxpath Launches Harmonica Connect Services
By Cindy Waxer
For businesses with mobile workforces such as real estate agencies and IT consultancies, routing countless inbound phone calls can easily become a jumbled and disorganized affair. It’s a reality that can especially have a devastating impact on small businesses eager to keep customers happy in a competitive environment. Voxpath Networks, however, offers a solution. A provider of hosted communications solutions for small businesses, Voxpath has launched Harmonica Connect services.
Specifically designed for small businesses, Harmonica Connect services gives them a single number to automatically manage and route their inbound phone calls. Small businesses with distributed or mobile employees like service professionals, real estate and mortgage companies, small medical offices, and business services and consultants, are well suited to take advantage of the benefits and features of this hosted business phone service.
Harmonica Connect provides small businesses with the tools they need to streamline their business. A Virtual Receptionist automatically answers and routes calls to individuals or groups, freeing up employees to focus on other critical aspects of the business. A company directory can be easily programmed to include answers to common questions as well as provide callers with direct access to the person or department they need, quickly and professionally.
Employees continue to use their existing mobile phones and land lines, so there’s no need for a large upfront capital investment in equipment. In addition, the service is easy to manage, so employees can configure their own forwarding and Find Me preferences to ensure calls get to the right person every time, no matter where they are, minimizing lost calls and reducing the number of call backs.
Espial (News - Alert)’s Evo Server Based on a Strong Pedigree
By Michelle Pasquerello
Espial, a provider of IPTV middleware and applications, is launching its latest IPTV (News - Alert) offering called Evo Server, a carrier-grade product collocated with the services provider’s head-end or operations center. Evo Server is not an immature product — it has had trial deployments with two lead customers since 1Q06. What sets Evo Server apart from the competition is its open environment which it calls the “Future-Proof Framework” that allows operators and third parties to add applications, integrated third party IPTV ecosystems, and make easy ports to new set-top boxes.
“Open means something very specific to us,” said Brian Mahony, VP of Marketing for Espial, in an interview with TMCnet. “Our Future-Proof Framework has tangible financial benefits that allow the operator a much greater level of self-sufficiency at less cost. The ability to create new services or SkinTones without an army of consultants alone is a major benefit, and something not available by the more closed solutions available on the market right now.”
The other benefit of the Evo IPTV platform is the superior quality of experience it offers. Just considering EPG navigation time, it can be 2-10 times faster than what Espial calls “first-generation solutions.” Aside from its open architecture, the Espial Evo data-driven architecture has “special sauce” resulting in faster performance for end users. Again, Mahony did not elaborate on Espial’s trade secrets, but compared the system’s performance to “imbedded C code.”
Another key attribute of Evo is scalability. In comparison to “monolithic solutions” (we know who Espial is talking about), Espial’s scalability has a 10,000/1 server/STB ratio whereas the numbers for some of the other middleware players work out to be in the hundreds.
Cingular, Samsung (News - Alert), Microsoft Launch BlackJack Smartphone
By Mae Kowalke
Cingular, Samsung, and Microsoft announced the launch of BlackJack, a multimedia device for making phone calls, listening to music, taking photos, and a whole lot more.
BlackJack pulls together Cingular (News - Alert)’s BroadbandConnect service and Windows Mobile 5.0 in a sleek handheld.
The three companies BlackJack stressed the device’s business-related functionality such as wireless access to e-mail accounts and over-the-air synchronization with enterprise applications like calendar, contact lists and address book, and mobile versions of familiar desktop apps like Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer, and Outlook.
“BlackJack is a true converged product that serves voice and data needs with strengths in multimedia and organization satisfying today’s on-the-go consumer,” said Kitae Lee, president of Samsung’s network business. “Samsung is excited to be working with Cingular and Microsoft to bring the BlackJack to the US market.”
BlackJack isn’t just for work, though. The device is souped up with a variety of entertainment features. One of those is access to Cingular Music, a service that includes 25 commercial-free XM Satellite Radio channels.
Content available with Cingular Music includes not only songs but music videos, ringtones, and music chatrooms, among other features.
A similar service, Cingular Video, is available for visual entertainment. Content delivered with that service includes sports, news and weather programs; and HBO shows such as “The Sopranos” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
“We have hit on the right formula in developing a handheld device that will appeal both to the most discerning business users and the most entertainment savvy consumers,” Cingular president and CEO Stan Sigman said in a statement.
Steve Ballmer, CEO at Microsoft, added: “For millions of mobile professionals, this is the device that will be the bridge between work and play.”
www.samsung.com www.cingular.com www.microsoft.com
Cypress Introduces 2.4 GHz Wireless VoIP Headset
By Cindy Waxer
By uniting interference technology with clean signal delivery, Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (News - Alert) has successfully introduced a demonstration kit for a VoIP headset. The new CY4638 VoIP Demonstration Kit pairs the interference immunity of Cypress’ low-power WirelessUSB LP (CYRF6936) 2.4-GHz radio system-on-chip with the clean signal delivery of Winbond Electronics Corporation’s W681360 CODEC to provide an easily replicated, fast time-to-market design. According to Cypress Semiconductor, the new solution results in fewer interruptions than headsets using competing wireless technologies, and offers a range over 20-meters.
The WirelessUSB LP headset board includes a Cypress Wireless enCoRe II flash microcontroller, a low power Winbond CODEC, and a rechargeable battery with the radio module. Winbond’s W681360 single-channel voice CODEC is a 13-bit linear analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converter. The W681360 offers high performance voice quality at the lowest power consumption in the industry, directly impacting talk-time and battery life.
“A primary concern of VoIP headset manufacturers is dropping packets due to interference, making the extremely robust WirelessUSB LP solution a natural fit to deliver an uninterrupted flow of data,” said Matt Branda, senior strategic marketing manager for Wireless Products at Cypress. “Not only does the interference immunity of our WirelessUSB protocol outperform other 2.4-GHz solutions, its robust operation outdoes more expensive Bluetooth and DECT (News - Alert) solutions as well. When you add in the excellent signal quality of the Winbond Codec, the CY4638 VoIP Demonstration Kit provides the groundwork for a winning VoIP headset.”
The CY4638 VoIP Headset Development Kit includes items such as an innovative dual antenna design for robustness; a small form-factor bridge; and hardware schematics, bill of materials and firmware for Wireless VoIP headset design.
Gennum Releases New VoIP Headset
By Cindy Waxer
Delivering a combination of Bluetooth simplicity and high-tech innovation, Gennum Corporation, a provider of technology for personal audio products, has released the nXZEN VoIP headset, its newest Bluetooth product offering. The nXZEN VoIP headset system is a Skype (News - Alert) certified combination of Gennum’s nXZEN 5000 extreme noise-cancelling Bluetooth headset with the new nXZEN USB audio dongle. Together, this nXZEN pair creates a powerful, plug-and-play VoIP solution that introduces Gennum’s own extreme noise cancellation technology to IP telephony users.
The nXZEN VoIP headset system allows call answer/terminate and last number redial up to 10m (33ft) from the PC. In addition, the nXZEN dongle eliminates the need to install Bluetooth drivers directly on a PC. The headset can be paired with multiple devices and offers a full seven hours of talk time and 100 hours of standby to accommodate any user’s VoIP and Bluetooth enabled mobile phone needs.
Furthermore, the nXZEN VoIP headset incorporates the newest version of the industry leading extreme noise cancellation technology found in Gennum’s nXZEN 5000 headset. The nXZEN VoIP headset combines an integrated Digital Signal Processor (DSP) that can process more than 120 Million Instructions per Second (MIPS) with Gennum’s patented FRONTWAVE EXTREME technology which utilizes a two-microphone array to sample two separate points in space. A custom engineered algorithm in the DSP creates a hyper-directional ‘near field’ pick-up beam to target the speaker’s voice and cancel the signal created by all environmental noise. Users are able to make calls in loud settings where phone conversations would previously have been impossible, all while retaining natural voice inflections and eliminating unwanted noise.
Sprint (News - Alert), Microsoft Strike Deal to Offer Windows Live Search on Mobile Phones
By Mae Kowalke
Microsoft has entered an alliance with mobile phone company Sprint to offer its Windows Live Search on wireless phones. Sprint is offering Windows Live Search on its mobile phones to provide customers with a way “to conveniently search location-based content from the Internet, such as nearby stores and restaurants, as well as Sprint’s catalog of ring tones, games, screen savers, and related services,” the company said.
Sprint Chief Marketing Officer Mark Schweitzer said that the two companies share a vision to help customers more easily access information while on the go: “By adding Windows Live Search for mobile to Sprint devices, customers now carry with them a depth of relevant local search information, in addition to quick and easy access to their favorite Sprint content.”
A key element of the new service is the ability to assign particular keywords or phrases with specific, relevant online content — a method of making searches on a mobile device easier and faster.
“In recent years, the search box has fundamentally changed the way people interact with the Internet, but we have only just begun to scratch the surface for what search and live Internet services can do in the mobile space,” commented Steve Berkowitz, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Online Services Group.
Skype Selects iSkoot to Deliver Services to Mobile Operators
By Johanne Torres
Partners Skype and iSkoot announced a deal that will enable 3, a mobile operator, to launch a service which includes a pre-loaded version of Skype’s software on Nokia (News - Alert) and Sony Ericsson handsets, as well as iSkoot’s mobile client and network servers. The 3 Group has recently built a new mobile broadband network. The company has marketed the network globally under the 3 brand. The group provides dual mode 3G services.
iSkoot’s client software allows mobile customers to use Skype’s service on-the-go. iSkoot’s servers are integrated into the operators’ network so that seamless calling and billing can be offered to their users. The partnership will also enable users to make and receive Skype calls from any mobile phone by using the existing cellular voice network.
“Skype on mobile will quickly become a must-have feature. By combining Skype with iSkoot’s mobile solution, users will never be out of touch with their online Skype contacts,” said iSkoot’s CEO Jacob Guedalia in a statement. “3 is first out the gate, reaffirming the company’s cutting-edge, pioneer reputation. By utilizing existing network resources iSkoot enables maximal availability with minimal software investment. Now mobile operators can satisfy user demand for Skype and expand average revenue per user, it’s a clear win-win situation. With iSkoot-enabled Skype calls, 3 has a clear differentiator to offer mobile users.”
iSkoot’s Skype client combo for mobile operators allows the use mobile handsets for Skype calls, without the need for PCs, special hardware, mobile broadband or WiFi; the ability for users to take their Skype Contact Lists with them on their mobile phones; and the chance to let contacts know if users are available by using Skype status icons such as Online, Away, and Not Available.
VoIP DEVELOPER NEWS
Patton Now Shipping VoIP IADs with Integrated G.SHDSL Modem
By Patrick Barnard
VoIP equipment maker Patton Electronics announced that it is now shipping the SmartNode 4650 BRI Multiport VoIP IAD and the SmartNode 4960G PRI Multiport VoIP IAD, new additions to the company’s impressive portfolio of VoIP customer premises equipment designed for next generation networks. The new VoIP IADs, which include a built-in G.SHDSL modem, are designed to reduce deployment costs and increase profits for carrier-providers that offer business trunking and corporate VoIP services in ISDN markets.
“Now, with the SN4960G and SN4650, Patton is further expanding VoIP profit potential by eliminating the expense of installing customer-site network-access modems,” the company said. “Because thousands of units are required for a new service, any CPE cost reduction is multiplied on the provider’s bottom line.”
These low-cost, high-performance IADs deliver business-class VoIP, voice, and data over broadband access at up to 5.7 Mbps. The ease of installation means businesses can immediately realize the cost savings of VoIP, using advanced hardware and software that seamlessly integrates with existing ISDN systems. The SN4650 provides three to five BRI ports and supports 4 to 8 VoIP calls, while the SN4960G provides 1 to 4 PRI ports and supports 15 to 120 VoIP calls. Additionally, Patton is offering a free VPN license and five-year warranty with each unit ordered before year’s end.
“Profitability is not a given with voice-over-IP, “said Burton A. Patton, EVP of Patton Electronics, in the release. “It’s a two-way street. Enabling profitable service models for our carrier customers has taken hard work and innovation on our part. Now comes the payoff – Patton’s advanced technology is making VoIP profitable ... first for our customers, then for us.”
Ixia (News - Alert) Consolidates Triple Play Testing
By Erik Linask
Ixia, which develops performance and functionality testing systems for IP networks — including the applications that run over them — has taken its testing applications a step further by developing Aptixia Test Conductor. This software application provides Ixia customers a central interface for managing the automation of multiple test applications.
While Ixia’s line of testing software — IxLoad, IxChariot, and IxVoice — provide a comprehensive testing platform for triple play providers, this latest products ties them all together and makes the assessment process simpler and more efficient for service providers as they evaluate various elements of their converged networks.
With Test Conductor, can set up custom regressions — any combination of tests from the various test applications — that are combined and defined with consolidated pass/fail criteria. Each regression can be scheduled to automatically run at a given time, with individual tests running simultaneously or consecutively, as network resources allow. Test engineers design and coordinate testing via an easy to use server-based GUI, allowing multiple technicians to identify and schedule tests. In addition, these same engineers can connect to the server while on the road to monitor or edit scheduled tests or analyze results.
Perhaps the single most significant feature of Aptixia Test Conductor, though, is its ease of use — automation is one thing, but enabling it in a manner that is conducive to easy customization and use differentiates successful products. Especially today, in an environment where new multimedia services are being introduced more rapidly than ever, the ability to quickly, easily, and accurately test them can make the difference between being a leader or a follower.
In addition to enabling the cumulative test process, Test Conductor also enables filtering and reviewing of test results across multiple test runs all without any required scripting, a point on which Ixia prides itself, as it truly enables a much simpler and efficient analysis of service quality.
Raytheon Selects Themis RES Servers for the Distributed Adaptation Processor (DAP) Program
Themis Computer announced that Raytheon Company will use Themis Rugged Enterprise Servers (RES) for the Distributed Adaptation Processor (DAP) deployed on the DDG 1000 next-generation destroyer. The Navy’s DDG 1000 destroyer, developed under the name DD(X), will lead a class of next-generation, multi-mission surface combatants tailored for land attack and littoral dominance, with capabilities designed to defeat current and projected threats as well as improve battle force defense. Raytheon will accept delivery of development RES systems in 2006, followed by an anticipated initial production delivery in 2007, for the first two DDG 1000 shipsets.
The RES system is based on AMD’s fast Opteron processor. Designed to keep operating in environments where other systems fail, Themis’ 2RU system uses sophisticated thermal and mechanical techniques to deliver outstanding reliability. To ensure continuous operation in harsh environments, the RES server is designed to withstand shock loads of 25G. When bundled with Red Hatsymbol 210 \f “Symbol” \s 12 Enterprise Linuxsymbol 210 \f “Symbol” \s 12 OS, Themis Rugged Enterprise Servers provide all of the vital components needed to serve the most demanding mission-critical applications.
Ed Geisler, vice president and program manager of DDG 1000 for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems stated, “the selection of Themis RES Servers is a great example of how DDG 1000 is executing the Navy’s Open Architecture (OA) strategy. From a technical perspective, DDG 1000 uses a modular architecture that is based on open standards. The Themis product fits well with that architecture.”
AMTELCO XDS Adds New Driver Support for H.100 PCI Boards
AMTELCO XDS announced software driver support for Gentoo Linux 2006.0 (kernel 2.6), and Fedora Core 3 (kernel 2.6) operating systems. These new software driver packages are designed for use with AMTELCO XDS H.100 PCI boards.
AMTELCO offers a complete line of XDS H.100 boards, including MC-3 Multi-Chassis Interconnect Boards, Enhanced 256-Port Conference Boards, 8-Port E&M Boards, High Density 24-Port Station Boards, 12/24-Port Loop Start Boards, 16-Port S/T Interface BRI Boards, and 4 or 8-Span T1/E1 Boards. AMTELCO XDS also offers a complete line of H.110 CompactPCI (News - Alert) boards.
A full range of easy-to-implement software drivers are available free of charge to XDS customers.
Marking more than 20 years supporting data transport applications in military, aerospace, medical and other mission-critical applications, Sangoma Technologies Corporation, a provider of connectivity hardware and software products for VoIP, TDM voice, WANs and Internet infrastructure, has announced that the A102d, a dual port E1/T1/PRI card with carrier-grade echo cancellation, is now shipping.
The A102d includes the same digital processing and PCI/PCI Express technology as the highly successful four-port A104d card and is intended to provide the benefits of hardware-based echo cancellation and voice enhancement for smaller, two-port T1/E1 installations. The A102d also supports DMF encoding/decoding and tone recognition, voice quality enhancement and adaptive noise reduction.
“The A102d was developed in response to the continuing demand for a small capacity, low-cost E1/T1 card with telco-grade echo cancellation,” said Sangoma Technologies president and CEO David Mandelstam. “As an integral part of Sangoma’s AFT design family, the A102d inherits the compatibility, enhanced performance and reliability of its siblings.”
The A102d supports PBX, IVR, and VoIP applications, such as Asterisk (News - Alert), Yate, FreeSwitch, and many proprietary telephony projects.
BroadLogic Intros TeraPIX Video Processor for Cable Operators
By Niladri Sekhar Nath
BroadLogic Network Technologies, a company that specializes in solutions for broadband networks, introduced its new TeraPIX video processor, designed to help cable operators triple their digital spectrum.
The processor provides bandwidth sufficient to make the performance of multiple system operator (MSO) networks on par with fiber-to-the-home. The result is that operators can offer more and better services — HD channels, telephony, high-speed cable modem — without upgrading their networks.
BroadLogic claims that the BL80000 TeraPIX chip is the world’s first massively parallel, multi-channel video processor capable of decoding dozens of digital video streams and generating a full analog and digital service tier, including an 80-plus analog channel lineup.
“The BroadLogic TeraPIX video processor is the cable industry’s best path to tripling their digital bandwidth while sustaining the cable-ready competitive advantage they enjoy today,” said Danial Faizullabhoy, the company’s CEO.
The TeraPIX processing is being marketed as a tool to help the cable industry regain its position by making it easier to provide the type of bandwidth-intensive services (such as HDTV and triple-play packages) that consumers demand.
Pactolus Becomes an Open Source for VoIP Developers
By Erik Linask
Pactolus Communications (News - Alert) Software Corporation has introduced its online developer community, www.SIPdev.org, which features a SIP-based service creation environment, application server, and software media server — a comprehensive environment including everything developers need to rapidly create innovative, media-rich applications for next generation VoIP and IMS networks. In addition, the site contains complete working applications and supporting application frameworks, all provided in open source to help developers quickly gain proficiency and create quickly deployable applications for their markets.
The SIPdev.org initiative is based on the core underlying Pactolus RapidFLEX Service Delivery Platform (SDP) technology, which is driving a multitude of different IP services at carriers and service providers, but other resources that are available include the RapidFLEX Service Creation Environment (SCE) software, RapidFLEX Application Server software, RapidFLEX Media Server software, and RapidFLEX Element Manager and Prompt Manager software utilities.
In addition, a fully functioning open source reservationless audio conferencing reference application is available for use with both the RapidFLEX Software Media Server and other popular DSP-based media servers.
Essentially, Pactolus is allowing downloads of what it has productized over the last six years and is running in carrier networks today, allowing developers to create applications and services that can quickly and easily be deployed in service provider and enterprise environments.
For educational institutions, the community will provide unrestricted licenses for the RapidFLEX SCE, with the goal of driving innovation back to the Pactolus platform. Developers at schools are looking to develop new applications anyway, so, from Pactolus’ perspective, they may as well use what is commercially available to build as big a platform as the want.
IP CONTACT CENTER NEWS
Exit41 Improves Fast Food Drive-Thru
By Patrick Barnard
One of the newest trends in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry is call center-based order taking, where your drive-thru orders are actually placed with someone in a call center that is miles — perhaps even thousands of miles — away. After the call center agent takes your order, he or she beams the information over a WAN, VPN, or the Internet directly to the kitchen staff in the restaurant, who then prepare and package your order.
Indeed, restaurant owners who have been bold enough to deploy such systems are likely to tell you that call center agents generally do a better job taking orders compared to on-site employees, because they can focus on just that: taking orders. By the same token, freeing up the restaurant staff from having to take orders allows them to focus on what they do best: preparing and packaging meals, cleaning the restaurant, and handling the transactions. In fact, these new systems deliver efficiencies that are proven to result in happier customers and, subsequently, increased business.
One of the leading companies supplying these systems to the QSR industry is Andover, Massachusetts-based Exit41 Inc. — “the next generation restaurant ordering solutions company.” During a recent interview with TMCnet, CEO Joe Gagnon explained that the company’s system can nearly double the number of drive-thru orders a restaurant can complete each hour, while improving the accuracy of order taking “up to 90 to 98 percent.” He said for most restaurants, Exit41’s system can deliver ROI “in less than one year.” The system is already being used by the major fast food chains — including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Panda Express — and is, so far, deployed in more than 40 locations across the United States.
In addition, the system greatly improves order tracking. A digital camera mounted on the menu board takes a photograph of the driver and the car, so that when that car pulls around to the pick up window, the employee at the window can match the person’s order with the photograph on his monitor. This greatly reduces the possibility of the guy in front of you driving off with your order… while you’re picking up his. In fact, Exit41 has dubbed this part of its system the “Picture Perfect” solution. Similarly, its proprietary technology, which just recently won patent approval, is known as its “Order Perfect” solution.
Telrex (News - Alert) Announces CallRex Support For Cisco Unified Contact Center 7.0
By David Sims
Telrex, a developer of VoIP call recording and monitoring software for businesses using IP PBXs or hosted PBX services, has announced CallRex support for Cisco Unified Contact Center 7.0 Enterprise Edition. With this integration, Telrex officials say, “call centers can now trigger their CallRex recordings with Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise Agent ID and DNIS fields.”
CallRex’s ability to record agents based on their Agent ID is meant to enhance the value of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise deployments by allowing call recording for agents in free seating contact center environments.
Michael Gyger, senior product manager at Telrex, said CallRex has frequently been deployed alongside Cisco Unified Contact Center, and “now this custom integration will make it easier for our joint Cisco-Telrex resellers to offer call recording products that help them close contact center deals.”
By recording calls by agent instead of by phone, CallRex will track all of a given agent’s conversations, regardless of which phone they use. Combined with CallRex Agent Evaluation, tracking calls associated with a specific agent, the system allows managers to evaluate and score phone calls made, regardless of the agent’s location in the contact center. These calls can then be reviewed with call center agents to ensure the appropriate training is consistently applied.
UCN (News - Alert) Announces Real-Time Contact and Call Center Benchmarking
By David Sims
UCN, a vendor of all-in-one, off-premises contact center technology services, has announced inContact/PeerCompare, what company officials describe as a “real-time performance benchmarking service” to be provided in conjunction with BenchmarkPortal. PeerCompare lets contact center managers compare their center’s performance against that of other call centers in similar industries.
This service will enable participating inContact call centers to have their automated contact distribution performance metrics automatically uploaded to the BenchmarkPortal database of best practice indicators. Submitted data is compared to other call centers in the same industry, then a gap analysis table is presented within the inContact real-time reporting tool. All individual data is kept in strict confidence by BenchmarkPortal, UCN officials promise.
This service is provided in conjunction with Dr. Jon Anton of the Center for Customer-Driven Quality at Purdue University, and the guy you’re most likely to see quoted on a benchmarking issue. The Center has been collecting call center performance data since 1995, and their data warehouse now contains data from over 35,000 call centers in 43 industries and 28 countries.
“Why own on-premises technology when you can gain significant cost advantages and automatically, month-to-month, compare your performance improvements against your peers with the UCN hosted solution?” Anton asks.
Avaya has acquired Traverse Networks, a privately held developer of enterprise mobility solutions for unified communications. According to Eileen Rudden, vice president and general manager, Unified Communications Division, Avaya, the acquisition will strengthen their current mobility solutions and extend Intelligent Communications.
“The new capabilities will enable us to support simplified employee collaboration and more productive use of communications, wherever people work and across a broader range of devices,” he explained in a press release.
Durk Stelter, CEO, Traverse Networks sees the latest development as a good fit for their solutions and organization. “With a vision similar to our own, Avaya brings additional energy to the goals Traverse set for itself when we started the company. We become part of a larger group of technology innovators, and we look forward to working together to expand our strengths,” he concluded.
Based in Fremont, California, Traverse delivers professional call handling applications and sophisticated voice mail management to mobile devices. This enables mobile workers to be more productive and responsive to customers. With Traverse, users can see and hear office voice mail through an email-like inbox on their mobile devices, which offers streamlined access to messages and quick ways to respond.
The inbox displays office voice mail messages with information about the caller, the message duration and the time it was sent. Users can listen to these messages in any order without requiring a number for access, PIN, or touch-tone menus.
The Traverse solution allows users to control office calls and manage voice mail from a mobile device and therefore extends the capabilities of enterprise communications from the desktop.
WildPackets (News - Alert) Teams with Gigamon to Deliver Expert Analysis of 10-Gigabit Networks
By Patrick Barnard
Network analysis technology provider WildPackets has forged an alliance with Gigamon, a leading provider of data access solutions for out-of-band network monitoring, to bring expert analysis to 10-Gigabit networks.
As a result of this new partnership, IT departments now have at their disposal a range of solutions for troubleshooting and monitoring 10 Gigabit networks, including an Intel (News - Alert) PRO/10GbE adapter card, which can be installed in a standard Windows system running WildPackets OmniEngine software — or an integrated solution with the Gigamon’s GigaVUE-MP Data Access Switch, which enables IT managers to capture full-duplex 10 Gigabit traffic for analysis across multiple OmniEngines.
Subsequently, WildPackets has also announced a sales and marketing partnership with Gigamon that will enable the two companies to more effectively market their combined solutions.
“Customers who are deploying 10 Gigabit networks tell us they want to take full advantage of all the expert analysis, application monitoring, and VoIP troubleshooting capabilities of our OmniAnalysis Platform,” said Mahboud Zabetian, president and CEO of WildPackets. “The options we’re announcing give customers a broad range of choices for integrating OmniEngines easily and affordably with their 10 Gigabit networks.”
Gigamon Systems’ GigaVUE-MP is an out-of-band data access switch. By filtering, aggregating, and multicasting critical data to support multiple network monitoring tools, GigaVUE-MP significantly reduces capital and operating expenditures, and improves network uptime by enabling more flexible network security, monitoring, and troubleshooting, while using fewer and less intrusive tools.
VoIP Supply and CyberData (News - Alert) Partner
By Cindy Waxer
In an effort to satisfy the paging needs of today’s companies, VoIP Supply, an Internet retailer of VoIP equipment, including IP phones, telephone adaptors, and WiFi VoIP solutions has partnered with CyberData Corp, an OEM design and manufacturing firm. Together, these vendors plan to deliver VoIP paging solutions to the North American marketplace. The partnership will further expand VoIP Supply’s product catalog and CyberData Corp’s presence in the North American marketplace.
“CyberData’s suite of VoIP Paging product’s answer the paging needs of businesses making the switch to VoIP,” said Benjamin P. Sayers, president and CEO of VoIP Supply, in a press release. “VoIP Paging is an underserved sector of the VoIP equipment market and with the recent growth in the popularity of IP PBX systems in North America, VoIP Supply and CyberData are in an outstanding position to meet the growing demand for VoIP Paging solutions in the market place.”
“With broad adoption of VoIP phone systems in the corporate sector, VAR’s and resellers are quickly beginning to move from analog paging systems to networked paging devices that are easily connected to existing IP networks with a single Ethernet cable connection,” said Matt Brahmana, director of VoIP product management.
The partnership will focus on the sale of CyberData’s VoIP Ceiling Speaker, VoIP Paging Gateway (News - Alert), and their VoIP Loudspeaker Amplifiers through VoIP Supply’s Internet retail and reseller channels in North America.
Tektronix (News - Alert) Acquires VoIP Test Solutions Provider Minacom
By Mae Kowalke
Tektronix, a company that specializes in testing, measuring, and monitoring solutions for a variety of industries, including communications, announced its plans to acquire Montreal, Canada-based telecommunications and VoIP test solutions manufacturer Minacom (News - Alert).
Tekronix said its purchase of Minacom for $27 million will expand its reach into the market for next generation network management solutions.
Tektronix’s offerings include passive telecommunications testing solutions for various types of networks (including mobile, IP, SS7, and WiMAX). Minacom’s active test solutions for VoIP, voice, video, Internet, fax, and fax over IP complement Tektronix’s existing products.
Michel Nadeau, President and CEO of Minacom, told TMCnet a key reason the two companies fit together so well is that Tektronix specializes in passive testing (which looks at the signaling of calls) and Minacom specializes in active testing (which looks at the media involved).
Customers of both companies have been asking about the other type of test solutions, Nadeau said, and now they will have access to a complete range of test products.
“This acquisition will enable Tektronix to offer both active and passive probing capabilities for modern and legacy networks,” Tektronix’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, Rich McBee said. “The integration of these products into one solution will accelerate delivery of our product roadmaps in key areas such as IP voice, video, and data services and for access and edge network service management.”
CounterPath’s VoIP Softphone Certified with BroadSoft (News - Alert)
By Erik Linask
CounterPath Solutions provides VoIP and Video over IP SIP softphones, and has seen its market presence grow for the past year or more. Part of the company’s growth has been due to its early focus on SIP (Session Initiation Protocol (News - Alert)), which has since become widely adopted across the industry. Having already worked the bugs out of eyeBeam, its SIP-based softphone, CounterPath is able to certify interoperability with infrastructure and application vendors.
Early adoption and adherence to SIP standards allowed CounterPath to proven interoperability with a variety of systems vendors like Siemens (News - Alert), Alcatel, Lucent, Nortel, and Cisco, and it has now announced successful testing between eyeBeam 1.5 and the BroadWorks platform from BroadSoft. BroadSoft’s voice and multimedia applications and incorporate advanced features that allow service providers to roll out new services, increase revenue, and retain a high level of customer satisfaction.
This latest collaborative effort will provide added flexibility to service providers, knowing their customers will have the benefit of seamless, high-quality audio and video calls, conference calls, and call transfers with the combination of CounterPath and BroadSoft.
The eyeBeam 1.5 softphone — which is can be branded by the service provider —combines voice, video, IM, and presence, thus offering all the key features customers expect from their telephony devices today. Combined with the BroadWorks VoIP application platform, mobile and wireline carriers alike can combine the scalability, open architecture, and proven reliability required by the world’s most discriminating businesses and consumers, while offering them the power of integrated SIP-based communications.
The testing on the BroadWorks platform included interoperability trials with the Application Server, Network Server, Media Server, and ComPilot Call Manager, all of were validated.
Inter-Tel (News - Alert) 7000 SIP Softswitch Available
By Greg Galitzine
Inter-Tel has announced that its much-anticipated Inter-Tel 7000 communications platform is now available for sale. Serving enterprises with up to 2,500 users, the Inter-Tel 7000 provides full PBX-style functionality, and is designed to enable customers to integrate standard SIP devices and applications into their networks to meet their business needs.
The Inter-Tel 7000 delivers a multimedia communications solution offering mid-size businesses and enterprises a series of IP telephony applications. Among these are Inter-Tel’s presence management and advanced call routing capabilities; powerful mobility solutions; collaboration, Web and audio-conferencing applications; and user-friendly system administrative and diagnostic tools.
In addition to supporting a broad range of full-featured Inter-Tel IP endpoints, customers also have the flexibility to integrate existing and future standard SIP endpoints, gateways and vertical market applications into their infrastructure to meet their individual business needs.
Data Connection Participates in Global SIP Interoperability Test Event
Data Connection Limited (News - Alert) (DCL), the world’s leading independent provider of communications protocol software, announced today its participation in SIPit 19, the nineteenth SIP interoperability test (SIPit) event organized by the SIP Forum. SIPit is a week-long event, held twice a year, to improve the quality of the SIP specification and forge global interoperability among SIP implementations. Data Connection was one of over seventy vendors who participated in the event, which was hosted by the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory.
At the event Data Connection deployed DC-SIP, its carrier grade protocol stack utilized by softswitches, gateways, servers, phones, access devices, and IMS applications throughout the world. DC-SIP, which includes IPv6 functionality, successfully interoperated with a number of SIP solutions in peer-to-peer and multiparty test environments.
“The SIPit events are a great opportunity to ensure industry compatibility and advance SIP technology in general. For example, we were able to confirm multi-vendor interoperability with our IPv6 implementation in a matter of hours,” said Jonathan Cumming, Data Connection’s Director of VoIP Product Management for Networking Protocols.