VoIP visions: highlights from VoiceCon Spring 2007

Unified communications and VoIP were big topics at VoiceCon Spring 2007. Here are some news highlights from the show.

Some major players in the VoIP and IP communications market -- Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft and Nortel -- last week made important announcements at VoiceCon Spring 2007 outlining their unified communications and VoIP initiatives, and a host of other vendors stepped up with key product announcements to help ease VoIP deployments and ensure that users are getting the most out of their voice systems.

Here is some other news from the VoiceCon show floor:

Extreme rolls out deployment, provisioning tools
Extreme Networks releases the Handset Provisioning Module and Universal Port software that allow the network to automatically discover and configure phones and provision customer network resources as devices come onto the network.

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Check out more news from VoiceCon Spring 2007

Find out what Microsoft is doing for unified communications

Read Avaya's and Nortel's unified communications visions
The Handset Provisioning Module, paired with the Universal Port software framework, is an extension of the ExtremeXOS modular operating system. The module is designed to help IT managers improve accuracy and avoid tedious edge-configuration tasks by applying a pre-defined edge port profile whenever a phone is connected to the network. The module can recognise phones from major vendors, including Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, Nortel and Shoretel. Network parameters related to access control, network topology, power and bandwidth allocation, and quality of service can be consistently configured on an event-driven basis, which can help reduce configuration errors and save time when installing or moving devices on the network. The module also configures the handsets themselves if they support the IEEE standard link-layer discovery protocol.

The source code to the Handset Provisioning Module software will also be released, encouraging users to enhance it to support other phone brands, networked devices and other capabilities.

Clarus Systems announces new IP telephony management services
Clarus Systems, which makes IP telephone testing tools, announced Clarus Certification Services, new consulting services to help customers ensure top performance and ROI from their IP telephony systems.

The certification services are part of Clarus' new Flexible Engagement Model, a menu of software and services for IP telephony deployment for enterprises, systems integrators and managed service providers.

According to Clarus, enterprises can use a comprehensive IP telephony testing and documentation solution that is completely managed by Clarus experts using ClarusIPC software, the vendor's flagship product that tests and validates user functionality in an IP telephony system and enables industry best practices of active, end-to-end testing of every networked phone.

Tandberg extends video functionality
Tandberg announced Entrypoint, a system that allows any videoconference user to connect to a conference via one main number and URL and access information over a video menu system, which lists available resources.

Using Entrypoint, users can connect to a videoconference through:

  • Video menus, through which a welcome screen greets video callers and guides them through various menu options.
  • A 3G gateway for mobile devices, which lets an enterprise add 3G video services to internal communication resources. Employees can call in from a 3G device and participate visually from wherever they are.
  • Audio gateway, through which a user can attend video meetings or use the organisation's video system as an audio speakerphone.

Adomo releases tools for mobile unified communications
Adomo Inc. announced the latest generation of its advanced messaging solution, Adomo 6.0, which builds on the vendor's enterprise messaging solution to give users unified communications capabilities and offer IT an easy migration approach for integrating with their existing infrastructure.

Adomo 6.0 integrates with Microsoft Exchange and existing PBXs and includes SmartMobility capabilities that keep mobile users connected. SmartMobility features include:

  • SmartNumber: A "find me/follow me" capability that gives users a single phone number with a priority caller option to ensure that important calls are routed immediately to avoid delays.
  • BlackBerry Play on Phone: Adomo 6.0 lets users select a menu option on the BlackBerry email client to initiate a telephone call from the Adomo system to the user's phone to play a message.
  • Messaging management: Users can categorise voice messages for easier access.

Citel converts PBX phones to IP phones
Citel released the Portico Telephone VoIP Adapter (TVA), which lets enterprises convert existing PBX phones into IP phones over existing wiring infrastructure, eliminating the need to rip and replace.

The Portico TVA connects legacy PBX handsets to a premise-based IP PBX or to a hosted IP service provider network. VoIP features and services pass through Portico TVA directly into existing PBX handsets over existing wiring, turning them into IP phones.

LiteScape opens unified communications
LiteScape Technologies Inc. made available the OnCast Communications Client, an open source desktop client that unifies access to different business applications and data sources with IP-based communications systems.

The OnCast Communications Client is a standalone desktop client that supports a combination of different communications services such as authentication, presence, remote call control, directory and application integration, collaboration and conferencing, and broadcasting and paging. Users can customise those services and embed them into their own unified communications applications.

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