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Video Conferencing: Still not replacing the telephone

I’ve never been much of a fan of videoconferencing. While shows like Star Trek have set the expectation in us that ‘in the future, this is how people will communicate’, I don’t see any signs that we’ll ever be replacing all phones (or travel) with video. I have noted two problems with videoconferencing in the […]

Best Phone for Business

When you are looking to purchase phones for your business, you have to ask yourself one question first: Can I accept being locked into a single equipment manufacturer for the next 5-10 years? If the answer is ‘no’, then you need to ensure that the phones you purchase are standards-compliant. In the past, the model […]

Phone Systems For Small Business

Small businesses require flexible, feature-rich telephone services. In the past, this was a costly part of setting up a small business. Usually you would either have to spend thousands of dollars on a complex, proprietary PBX, or you would have to make do with a basic service from the phone company that might not cost […]

What Is VoIP: The Cultural Shift

Voice over IP is a significant technology, however it’s not because it represents any sort of technical advance over traditional voice, but rather because it is disruptive, and changes the game. In the past, telecom technology was a tightly-controlled, old-boys club, monopolized by large companies able to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars required […]

What Is VoIP?: The Basics

Remember the old phone network? You made a call, owned that connection for as long as you wanted it. Then this thing called VoIP came along. Promises of free phone calls, and all sorts of enhanced features, and all you needed was a PhD in Network Design to make it work (or maybe not work). […]

The Future of IVR

People hate talking to Bionic Betty. The IVR has become something that is universally disliked. Still, it has a future, and here’s why. When IVR systems first came into being, the costs to implement such a thing were astronomical. In order to justify the massive capital outlay such projects required, the ROI was often calculated […]

The Tipping Point for VoIP

VoIP technology makes it easy to interconnect between systems. It is likely that many VoIP enabled companies don’t even realize that all the technology already exists to route calls across internet connections using the same numbering plan the PSTN uses. Initiatives such as ENUM have already developed the protocols to handle this, and if you […]

A chat about . . . well . . . high availability embedded systems

Randy Resnick and the fine folks of the VoIP Users Conference kindly invited me to join them for a chat. We ended up having a very interesting conversation about building small, inexpensive systems that would compete on price with a traditional key system, but then also started talking about high availability. Two subjects that would […]

Open source telecom: quietly taking over

Those of us head-down in this business of open source and emerging telecom will sometimes lose sight of the big picture. So busy with the day-to-day routine of running our respective businesses, we need to raise our eyes from the grindstone every now and then and have a look at the landscape. A study recently […]

Nortel and SipFoundry – label me sceptical

The recent announcement that Nortel purchased Pingtel and SipFoundry has left me with mixed emotions. On the one hand, it is good to see that the big boys in the telecom industry are taking open source telecom seriously. Congratulations to the SipFoundry team for having produced something of such obvious quality that they were the […]