G Business VoIP Newsletter
February 2013
   Business VoIP News

New Releases

Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX Office R9.0 Addresses Social Networking, Video and Mobility
Alcatel-Lucent updates the OmniPCX Office Rich Communication Edition (OXO RCE) for small and mid-size business (SMBs) with an eye toward key technologies driving today's businesses, including social networking, video and mobile technologies. R9.0 adds the new MY IC Social Networks software application, two new video solutions, a Smart Call Routing capability and increases SIP capacity and SIP device options. (more…)

En Pointe Adds Cloud UC Backed by Cisco HCS
En Pointe Technologies, Inc. has expanded its cloud offerings to include an enterprise-class hosted voice and collaboration service based on Cisco's Hosted Collaboration System (HCS), as well as some unique partner solutions. The En Pointe Collaboration Solution (ECS) targets mid-enterprise companies in the U.S. with about 200-2,000 users across multiple locations, a market segment where En Pointe sees good activity and opportunity. (more…)

ESI Enters the Cloud UC Market, Acquires Vintalk Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking Services
Estech Systems Inc. (ESI) gained instant entry recently into the cloud UC market by acquiring Vintalk hosted PBX and SIP trunking services from San Diego-based Vinculum Communications. ESI is already offering the SIP trunking service, along with audio conferencing, fax and disaster recovery services, and will roll out the hosted PBX service in 2Q2013 in conjunction with its own line of SIP telephones now in beta testing. (more…)

Toshiba IPedge R1.5 Enhances Mobility, Survivability and Administration
Toshiba introduces a new software release for its IPedge family of IP business telephony systems for SMBs. R1.5 adds a new mobile client for Apple iPhone and Android-based smartphones, as well as voicemail survivability and new wizards to simplify management. The free standalone client called IPMobility requires no additional user license - a more advanced smartphone solution without cost and complexity. (more…)

Toshiba VIPedge Hosted UC Service Adds Scale and Mobile UC
Toshiba updates its VIPedge cloud-based business telephone solution with a capacity increase to 500 users (up from 60) and Call Manager Mobile for Android, a new version of the company's Call Manager Desktop for Windows UC application that runs on Android-based smartphones. The new client also enables single and group instant messaging and XMPP server integration for sharing presence and IM with external users. (more…)

More Highlights

8x8, Cisco, Facebook, Genesys, Grandstream, Mitel, Radvision, ShoreTel, Windstream …

New Releases

Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX Office R9.0 Addresses Social Networking, Video and Mobility

Alcatel-Lucent (www.alcatel-lucent.com) updates the OmniPCX Office Rich Communication Edition (OXO RCE) for small and mid-size business (SMBs) with an eye toward key technologies driving today’s businesses. Today’s professionals require high-quality voice, but also the latest unified communications, social networking, video and mobile technologies that allow workers to remain connected to colleagues and customers anytime and from anywhere. In 2012, Alcatel-Lucent rebranded its SMB portfolio as Alcatel-Lucent OpenTouch Suite for SMB which includes the OXO IP communication infrastructure.

The latest OXO RCE Release 9.0 focuses on facilitating conversations with new software and hardware that will enhance information-sharing, collaboration and productivity among an increasingly mobile and social workforce. R9.0 adds the new MY IC Social Networks software application, two new video solutions, a Smart Call Routing capability and increases SIP capacity and SIP device options. Read more below.

What’s New with R9.0?

  • My IC Social Networks is a new licensed software application that syncs the users’ Outlook directories and presence with external social networks like Skype, Facebook, Yahoo! and MSN.  Users can view presence status information for both internal and external users and utilize a consolidated contact list, plus receive automatic notification when a contact becomes active, among other features.
  • Two new video solutions are available, including internal peer-to-peer video calling via a USB camera attached to the My IC Phone (2nd Generation) and the LifeSize Passport Unity 50 all-in-one video solution (camera, codec and screen) for personal use and desktop users.
  • The My IC Web for Office browser-based application lets users access, monitor and manage their calls, change settings or issue a call from a Web browser. New call controls include forwarding an incoming call directly to voicemail, transferring calls and putting calls on hold.
  • Open SIP capacity is increased to 120 SIP phones (up from 20). This includes My IC Phones, 80x2 Desk Phones, 4135 IP conference modules and third party SIP devices connected with the Alcatel-Lucent’s Open SIP level of services. Alcatel-Lucent offers two levels of SIP endpoint support: Basic SIP for simple calling features (IP user license required) and Open SIP for more functionality such as voicemail, group features, conferencing, Instant Messaging and presence; Open SIP requires an additional system-wide software license called the SIP Open Pack. OXO RCE supports 200 third party Basic SIP phones and now 120 Open SIP phones.
  • Additional third party SIP phones are certified through Alcatel-Lucent’s Application Partner Program, namely Linkom Doorphone, Atlinks IP800, IP600 & IP200, Thomson TB30, CounterPath Bria Softphone and Polycom IP 670.
  • Smart Call Routing is a new system feature that uses multi-criteria rules to connect incoming calls to the right destination by analyzing the caller number, the called number and optionally an account code. SCR runs in Standalone mode and does not require Alcatel-Lucent’s ACD solution.
  • A new 4080 IP Access Point functions in both IP-only and IP/TDM networks, enabling full IP deployment for onsite mobility and the reuse of the IP cabling. The new AP is available today in most European countries, with wider coverage planned for March 2013.

Availability: Alcatel-Lucent OXO RCE R9.0 is generally available worldwide as of December 3, 2012.





En Pointe Adds Cloud UC Backed by Cisco HCS

En Pointe Technologies, Inc. (www.enpointe.com/ecs), a CA-based IT solutions provider since 1993, expanded its cloud offerings in 2012 to include an enterprise-class hosted voice and collaboration service based on Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration System (HCS). After achieving Cisco Cloud Provider Certification with a Cisco Powered HCS Service designation, the company announced the En Pointe Collaboration Solution (ECS), a subscription-based collaboration service that integrates voice, mobility, audio, web and video conferencing, presence technology and call center applications.

Cisco offers its voice and collaboration portfolio as a subscriber-based service through Cisco partners, including En Pointe and other service providers, systems integrators, wholesalers and resellers around the world. End-user organizations pay a fixed monthly fee to utilize the hosted services for their communications in lieu of purchasing on-premises equipment and incurring the associated monthly telecom and data costs. Hosted solutions are appealing to today’s businesses, not only for budgetary reasons (reduced CapEx, installation and energy savings, predictable per-user monthly fees, fewer IT personnel required), but also for the range of business productivity applications and built-in redundancy and disaster recovery capabilities and the ability to take advantage of innovative technologies as soon as these become available. Multi-site and growing organizations, in particular, appreciate the scalability of an on-demand, pay-per-user model and how quickly new locations can be up and running.

ECS Targets the Mid-size Enterprise

En Pointe has a national footprint and currently offers its cloud-based services across the U.S. via data centers located in Los Angeles and Chicago. The data centers are fully redundant with complete backup and load balancing to ensure call continuity and applications are always available. En Pointe’s Network Operations Center promises 7x24x365 support.

Though Cisco HCS is capable of scaling to hundreds of thousands of users, ECS targets mid-enterprise companies with about 200-2,000 users across multiple locations, a market segment where En Pointe sees good activity and opportunity.

The ECS hosted service includes subscription-based access to all Cisco HCS services, namely Cisco Unified Communications Manager (telephony), Cisco Unity Connection (voicemail, unified messaging and fax), Cisco Unified Mobility (desktop and mobile clients), Cisco WebEx Meeting Center (voice, video and Web conferencing), Cisco Jabber and Cisco Unified Presence (presence and instant messaging) and Cisco Contact Center.

Additionally, En Pointe differentiates the ECS services with some unique partner solutions:  

  • Calabrio (Full Suite of Call Center applications, Call recording to Optimization)
  • Spanlink (Cisco Call Center Enterprise Specialization)
  • Shore Group (Call Center Business Process and Support)
  • Equinix (Worldwide Data Center and Colocation Services)

To complement the services, En Pointe offers Cisco’s line-up of IP telephones, namely the Cisco 9900 media endpoints with optional video camera, the high-end professional 8900 models, the established 7900 business phone series and the entry-level, energy-efficient 6900 phones.  

A Complete Solution

En Point can deliver a complete solution for businesses that prefer to get all of their communications from a single vendor. The company has technical expertise in both on-premises and cloud solutions, including IT support and integration, solutions expertise in data center, Microsoft software (full suite of Microsoft products including Lync), networking (Cisco backbone), storage and security, consulting and professional services and the recently added cloud-based collaboration services backed by Cisco. En Pointe can also act as a Service Provider since the company offers Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and local and long distance telephone service if needed.

Availability and Pricing

ECS cloud collaboration is currently available nationwide. Customers can subscribe to one of several packages for varying basic, mid-level and advanced requirements, ranging in price from $17.00-$29.99: a basic analog phone and fax service, an everyday office worker package, a conference room or shared office package, an information office worker package and an advanced package for mobile and collaborative professionals. Packages include support and maintenance and are offered for 36-, 48- or 60-month terms.






ESI Enters the Cloud UC Market, Acquires Vintalk Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking Services

Estech Systems Inc. or ESI (www.esi-estech.com) gained instant entry recently into the cloud Unified Communications (UC) market by acquiring Vintalk (http://vintalk.com/) hosted PBX and SIP trunking services from San Diego-based Vinculum Communications. Vinculum has been providing hosted communications services since 2001, including hosted IP-PBX, SIP trunking, audio conferencing, fax services, disaster recovery, Internet access and international calling to over 50 countries.

Specifically, ESI has purchased the retail assets of Vintalk, namely the infrastructure and the customer base associated with Vintalk’s SIP trunking and hosted PBX solutions. The transaction closed on January 9, 2013, and ESI is already offering the SIP trunking service, as well as audio conferencing, fax services and disaster recovery (these services are available as of January 20, 2013).  The company also supports "bursting" to give customers additional peak capacity if needed.  ESI will roll out the hosted PBX service later in conjunction with its own line of SIP telephones now in beta testing. ESI resellers will primarily target businesses in North America (U.S., Canada), but also in Mexico.

The hosted or cloud UC market is maturing quickly, and the buzz of innovation around this market is refreshing and encouraging.  In fact, though forecasts differ slightly, the various market research firms all predict strong growth in the cloud UC market. Research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan says the North American Hosted IP telephony installed base will reach 17.5 million users by 2018, representing 15% of the total business telephony user base. Hosted PBX services offer an alternative to traditional on-premises phone systems. Businesses can simply subscribe for a monthly service fee to access telephony system features and applications without having to deploy or maintain any system equipment on-site. Many small businesses are finding that a fixed-rate (pay-as-you-go), quickly deployable hosted solution is appealing in today’s challenging and uncertain economic environment - this makes budgeting easy and also avoids getting locked into a particular solution for the long-term.

ESI has been developing and selling premises-based business communications products for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) across North America since 1987. The company currently offers a family of IP-enabled Communications Servers (ESI-50/100/200/600/1000) and a new, scalable, native IP system (IP Server 900), as well as associated phones and applications. Now, with the acquisition of the Vintalk assets, ESI resellers can offer customers a subscription to a hosted PBX solution in lieu of purchasing on-site equipment.

ESI sees multi-site businesses with small, branch locations as a particularly good opportunity since hosted services make it so easy to scale and tie in remote locations as requirements grow and change. So whether a business decides to subscribe to a hosted service or prefers to purchase and install PBX equipment on-site, ESI resellers are now in a position to meet any requirement.

ESI Hosted Services Fast Facts:

  • Services: SIP Trunking, Audio Conferencing, Fax Services, Disaster Recovery (GA January 2013); Hosted IP-PBX (scheduled for 1Q2014)
  • Target market: Primarily North America (U.S., Canada), plus Mexico
  • Capacity: Scalable (sweet spot 4-400 seats)
  • Data Centers: Los Angeles, New York
  • Call Control: Based on NetSapiens SNAPswitch technology
  • User Devices: ESI SIP phones (GA 1Q2014) or 3rd party SIP phones from Panasonic, Polycom, Yealink and snom; Linksys analog telephone adapters

ESI joins a number of other traditional business telephony vendors that are adding hosted UC services to their portfolio of premises-based IP-PBX, contact center, messaging and other UC solutions. Several are also beginning to offer (or are developing) ‘hybrid’ solutions that include both hosted services and on-site solutions for businesses that are not yet ready to move all of their communications to the cloud. For example, a business with an existing PBX already located on-site may find that subscribing to a call recording service or a disaster recovery service is more desirable than installing additional hardware and/or software for this on-site. ESI and others anticipate that these hybrid solutions will be a winning combination and will likely make sense for many businesses.

Availability: ESI’s SIP trunking service based on the Vintalk acquisition was launched on January 29, 2013, along with Audio Conferencing, Fax Services and Disaster Recovery services. The ESI hosted PBX services is expected in first quarter of 2014 in conjunction with a new line of ESI-developed SIP telephones for entry-level, mid-range and advanced needs.





Toshiba IPedge R1.5 Enhances Mobility, Survivability and Administration

Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Telecommunication Systems Division (www.telecom.toshiba.com) rolls out a new software release for its IPedge family of IP business telephony systems for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), adding a new mobile client for Apple iPhone and Android-based smartphones, as well as voicemail survivability and new wizards that simplify system management.

Toshiba introduced the IPedge family of Linux-based servers in 2011 designed to be cost-effective, easy to install and simple to administer with call processing and multiple applications running on a single server. Three models (1U footprint) are available for varying capacities: IPedge EM (1,000 users per server), IPedge EC (200 users per server) and IPedge EP (40 users per server).

What’s New?


With the latest Release 1.5, Toshiba’s IPedge now supports IPMobility, a new mobile client application for Apple iPhone and Android-based smartphone devices. This new capability may garner the most attention among the latest enhancements as it addresses the fastest growing business communications trend - Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work. Today’s professionals are frequently on-the-go and juggling multiple tasks, so the ability to communicate effectively and efficiently from any location and from any device has become essential. Using the same smartphone for both personal calls and as a business telephone is not only convenient for the user, but results in a real boost in overall business productivity as staff members are always available to collaborate with customers and colleagues. 

By downloading the IPMobility client, users will be able to make and receive business phone calls from their smartphone device and also invoke call control features. IPMobility is a free standalone client with no additional user license required so it presents a more advanced smartphone solution without the cost and complexity of a full Fixed Mobile Convergence client/server solution (Toshiba offers the add-on Varaha FMC solution for those that require full WiFi-cellular integration and additional smartphone support).

Toshiba already supported a standard follow-me feature that sends incoming calls to alternate phones, including cell phones; however, the new IPMobility feature goes further by allowing the smartphone device to initiate outbound calls, as well as invoke some call control features.

  • Incoming calls utilize the existing IPedge follow-me feature to simultaneously ring the desk phone and the mobile device (sequential ringing is also an option).
  • For outgoing calls, IPMobility dials through the IPedge (directly or with a system callback), so that the user’s office number caller ID is displayed to the called party; IPedge utilizes the system’s least cost routing feature to provide the lowest cost for long distance and international calls.
  • Users can access call control features from the mobile device, including extension dialing, call transfer and call record.
  • Users can visually manage voicemail by viewing, playing, replying to and forwarding voice and fax messages and managing status and greetings, among other features.

Survivability and Administration

Aside from the new mobile option, R1.5 also improves system survivability and reliability with a new licensed voicemail backup solution that utilizes direct cluster networking technology; each server holds a backup copy of the voicemail database for every other server in the network. IPedge R1.5 also simplifies administration, a big benefit to both dealers and customers, with new integrated wizards, including a configuration wizard for ADTRAN gateways, as well as a Network DN Import/Export wizard and default database configurations for quick installation.

Availability: Toshiba IPedge R1.5 is available as of January 15, 2013. The IPMobility client for Apple iPhone and Android-based devices is a free download directly from the Apple or Android Market (no extra user license required). Additional mobile options for IPedge are forthcoming, including the Call Manager Mobile UC client for Android with detailed presence and instant messaging (XMPP federation) and softphone capabilities.





Toshiba VIPedge Hosted UC Service Adds Scale and Mobile UC

Toshiba (www.telecom.toshiba.com) has announced the next phase of its VIPedge cloud-based or hosted business telephone solution first introduced in mid-2012, addressing larger businesses with a capacity increase to 500 users and adding a new mobile application for Android smartphones (Call Manager Mobile for Android).

The VIPedge hosted service is designed for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) as an alternative to purchasing an on-premises telephony system. Businesses can simply subscribe for a monthly service fee to access telephony system features and applications without having to deploy or maintain any system equipment on-site. VIPedge is based on Toshiba’s IPedge premises-based business phone system, so it provides similar IPedge features and functionality, including complete telephone features, voicemail, unified messaging and the Call Manager Unified Communications (UC) application.

VIPedge is available nationwide and is fully supported by Toshiba dealers, from the initial assessment and quotation to the installation of the router (from Adtran) and Toshiba phones and followed up with ongoing support for future needs or issues.

What’s New?

  • VIPedge Release 1.4 now accommodates 500 users in a single site or a multi-site deployment, up from 60 users in the initial offer in July 2012. The extended user capacity makes VIPedge appealing to multi-site enterprises and growing SMBs that can scale up as their requirements change.
  • Call Manager Mobile for Android is a new version of the company’s Call Manager Desktop for Windows UC application that runs on Android-based smartphones and gives users the freedom to make and receive office calls via their mobile device. The per-user license is included with the VIPedge service.
    • Call Manager Mobile utilizes Toshiba’s new IPMobility solution for single number reach; incoming calls ring both the desk extension and mobile device (either sequentially or simultaneously), while outgoing calls dial through the VIPedge system and display the user’s office caller ID.
    • Call Manager Desktop for Windows and Call Manager Mobile support single and group Instant Messaging (IM) and broadcast messages; user avatars from the XMPP Server can be displayed (previously, Call Manager Desktop supported only single user chat).
    • XMPP server integration enhances presence status information, allowing users to share presence and exchange IMs with external users. A subsequent release will enable access to the user’s Microsoft Exchange Calendar and will federate with XMPP-based Microsoft Lync and Google Talk.
  • New and improved features for Toshiba’s dealer portal for ordering and provisioning include multiple logins with different access levels and more detailed Line Number Portability (LNP) status information.

On the Roadmap

Additional VIPedge capabilities are coming in 2013. These include ACD and reporting, Toshiba’s Meeting application for meet-me conferencing and voice/video/Web collaboration and peer-to-peer video support for the Call Manager UC application. A few hosted-specific services are planned such as Microsoft Hosted Exchange UM and SQL software services, data storage and cloud backup services and managed data center services for customers that require a dedicated IPedge server in the data center.

Availability and Pricing

Toshiba VIPedge R1.4 is generally available as of January 22, 2013 in the U.S. from Authorized Toshiba Dealers; existing VIPedge customers will be automatically upgraded. Call Manager Mobile for Android (available as of February 5, 2013) is downloaded from the Android Market. Call Manager Mobile for Android is planned for Toshiba’s premises-based IPedge system in the first half of 2013.




Related Highlights

Quick Takes:

8x8 (www.8x8.com) expands its cloud UC services for SMBs outside of U.S., now offering service in most Canadian provinces. The 8x8 Virtual Office cloud communications suite includes hosted VoIP, contact center, UC and videoconferencing. The company reports that over 30,000 U.S. businesses currently use 8x8. Additional expansions outside of the U.S. are planned.

Alcatel-Lucent (www.alcatel-lucent.com) updates its OpenTouch Suite with a new Release 1.2, focusing on visual collaboration and mobility. OpenTouch Conversation for iPad now enables video meeting invitations (users can record a video invitation or send an instant video message); the 8082 My IC Phone supports an add-on camera for 2-party video calling (multi-party, switching video will be supported in a subsequent release). The OpenTouch Video Store for recording, storing and sharing conversations supports a native iPad client (downloaded from the iTunes App Store) and additional editing capabilities. OpenTouch 1.2 also supports some new devices, including IP Touch 8002 and 8012 wired desk phones and new DECT handsets. The OpenTouch Suite is VMware certified (and hardware agnostic).

Allworx (www.allworx.com) has developed the ‘Reach’ SIP Mobile Phone Client for making, receiving and controlling calls and listening to voicemail via an Apple iOS or Android OS mobile device; users can also view a call history list and see the status of other Allworx handsets or Reach users; no additional Allworx hardware is required (GA 1Q2013). Also, Allworx System Software R7.5 adds new user features, including multiple call handling, presence and user device status, shared call appearances and improved call parking, plus new administrative capabilities such as user permission levels and enhanced security. Allworx is a Windstream company (www.windstream.com).

Alteva (www.altevatel.com) parent company Warwick Valley Telephone Company has taken on the Alteva brand name; the official name change will reflect a single unified brand and vision for the company. In August 2011, cloud UC provider Alteva became an independent subsidiary of WVT (www.wvtcg.com/default.aspx).

AVST (www.avst.com) has updated its CX-E unified messaging and communications platform (formerly known as CallXpress) for medium to large enterprises. The latest CX-E 8.2 SU3 addresses the growing trend toward hybrid premises- and cloud-based UC deployments by adding integration to cloud email services such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google Gmail.  Customers can deploy public cloud-based email services while maintaining their voice infrastructure on-premises.

BlackBerry 10 (http://us.blackberry.com/) is the company’s new mobile operating system (Research in Motion has officially changed its company name to BlackBerry). New features of interest to business users include BlackBerry Balance that hosts personal information separately from corporate information; BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service with Screen Share and Video; a Touchscreen and Predictive Keyboard; BlackBerry Remember, a central place to store all files, lists and notes; and the BlackBerry Safeguard tool to encrypt user data, manage online privacy policies and lock the smartphone.

Cisco (www.cisco.com) is adapting its Jabber UC application (voice, video, presence, IM) for virtual desktops. The forthcoming Cisco Jabber for virtual environments, enabled by new VXME software, will be initially available on Cisco's thin client, the Virtualization Experience Client (VXC) 6215, in the first half of 2013. Third party devices will follow, namely Dell Wyse's Z50D thin client, Windows-based thin clients and Windows PCs. In other news, the Cisco Jabber for Windows desktop supports new exclusively designed accessories from Jabra (hands-free speakerphone, cordless handset) and Logitech (UC Keyboard, Webcam).

Cisco (www.cisco.com) continues to make acquisitions, recently buying a 1% stake in Parallels, known for its desktop virtualization software that runs Windows and Mac applications at the same time (an alternative virtualization technology for Cisco). Cisco is also planning to buy Israeli mobile infrastructure startup Intucell which has an expertise in self-optimizing network (SON) software for carriers that need to plan, configure, manage and optimize cellular networks per real-time changing demands. In other news, Cisco’s Home Networking Business Unit (the Linksys brand) will be sold to Belkin, a private company based in Playa Vista, CA.

Ericsson-LG (www.ericssonlg.com) replaces LG-Ericsson as the corporate name, allowing the company to take advantage of the full range of Ericsson’s global brand assets, including Ericsson capital font/typefaces, icons, colors, images and global campaign materials. Ericsson-LG will maintain its existing business portfolio, business strategies and management policy.

Facebook (www.facebook.com/oficialvoip) has upgraded its messaging service to allow users to send voice messages via the application; the new “social voice mail” lets users record a message and send it back as an alternative to typing a lengthy text message.  Facebook has also introduced a VoIP audio service in the U.S. for free calling among Messenger for iPhone users; calls transmit over Wi-Fi or the phone's data connection. The new VoIP service competes with Vonage, Skype and others.

Genesys (www.genesyslab.com) is enhancing its contact center offer by acquiring UTOPY workforce optimization solutions and customer interaction analytics, including SpeechMiner which automatically assesses and retrieves customer interactions over multiple channels, including voice, e-mail, chat, and social media for added visibility and insight. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013. In other news, the Genesys SIP contact center has achieved integration with Microsoft Lync Voice, making the Genesys solution available as a Microsoft Qualified Contact Center application.

Grandstream (www.grandstream.com) is introducing three new GXV HD IP outdoor cameras in mid-February designed for harsh outdoor conditions and applicable to business or residential markets. The GXV3672_FHD (US$499) and GXV3672_HD (US$329) IP Cameras are outdoor day/night tube cameras, with weatherproof casing and an infrared (IR) capability for nighttime and low-light video surveillance recording. A third camera, the GXV3662_FHD (UX$599) HD IP Camera, is weatherproof, vandal-resistant and tamper-proof for challenging outdoor surveillance applications. Grandstream also introduces video monitoring/recording management software (GSurf Pro) that controls up to 36 cameras simultaneously (free download). In other news, Grandstream GXP IP Phones, DECT Cordless, Gateways & ATAs are certified with for Ringio CRM-friendly cloud-based Virtual PBX calling service. Also, Grandstream is partnering with RingByName and distributor TeleDynamics to offer the Biz in a Box solution for SMBs, a turn-key package with telephony and built-in CRM.

Mitel (www.mitel.com) has a new release for its Mitel Communications Director (MCD) enterprise-level IP PBX software. Release 6.0 adds Location-based Call Routing that directs a user to appropriate services located in the same zone they are calling from; Hot Desk PIN security; Embedded Unified Messaging that allows users to manage their voice messages with one or more IMAP-enabled e-mail clients; several SIP-related enhancements (SIP Hot Desking, SIP Call Billing, TLS security for SIP connections) and more. 

NEC Corporation of America (www.necam.com) certifies MegaPath SIP Trunking for NEC’s UNIVERGE SV8100 and SL1100 communication platforms for SMBs, bringing the number of certified SIP Trunking providers to nearly 40 for SV8100 and 20 for SL1100. MegaPath offers SIP Trunking for single-site businesses and Enterprise Trunking for multi-site businesses (with free on-net calling and shared call capacity between locations) via MegaPath’s nationwide MPLS-enabled, all-optical IP network.

Nice Systems (www.nice.com) launches a comprehensive cloud-based Workforce Optimization (WFO) suite that includes Recording, Quality Management, Analytics, Workforce Management, Performance Management, Incentive Compensation Management and Nice’s Voice of the Customer (VoC) solution - all deployed as hosted services in the cloud. The cloud WFO suite supports hybrid integrations of on-premises and cloud-based applications, allowing customers to combine an on-premises NICE IEX Workforce Management solution, for example, with cloud-based Interaction Analytics, Performance Management or other cloud-based applications.

Ooma Inc. (www.ooma.com) introduces its first phone service designed for the small business community (previously offered only home phone services). The new Ooma Office (GA 2Q2013) targets the very small business with 1-10 employees, supporting five phone extensions and up to 15 virtual extensions for remote or mobile workers. Business features include a virtual receptionist, extension dialing, conferencing, music-on-hold, conference bridges, separate modes for business hours and after-business hours, HD Voice technology and more. Ooma Office starts at $19.99 per line per month with unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada.

Radvision (www.radvision.com), an Avaya Company, has announced two new video products: the Scopia Elite 6000 Series Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) and the eVident video network assessment and monitoring solution. The Scopia Elite 6000 Series MCU, the latest addition to the company’s MCU product line, has a new hybrid software/hardware architecture that enables high quality full 1080p/60 high definition video communication, while minimizing bandwidth requirements and providing error resiliency, and hence, lowering power usage and cost. A single 1U server supports 1080p/30 (40 ports) or 720p/30 (80 ports). The eVident intelligent monitoring tools enable proactive monitoring and network readiness before and after voice and video applications are deployed. New tools include PreVideo (for simulation and issue identification before deployment), RVMON (for real-time Quality of Experience monitoring) and  VQInsider (for quality measurement and analysis).

ShoreTel (www.shoretel.com) has some new offers, including enhancements to the company’s Enterprise Contact Center solution; ECC R8.0 focuses on multi-device, multi-channel interactions with new functionality for the agent-customer e-mail and chat experience (single click to answer an email, improved auto response formatting, etc.), as well as reporting, management and IVR enhancements. In other news, the latest ShoreTel 13.1 adds support for a new Web conferencing application compliant with Apple iPhone and iPad; users can host and control audio/Web conferences via their mobile device.  ShoreTel has also introduced the Call Flow Editor for the ShoreTel Sky Portal which gives visual view and control of company call flow in real-time (available without additional charge to all current ShoreTel Sky hosted customers).

Tadiran Telecom’s (www.tadirantele.com) software-based Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) platform called Aeonix is now generally available, following successful beta testing in a few major sites around the globe, including a school district in the U.S. with over 1,000 users and several installations in Europe, Israel and the Asia Pacific region. Aeonix is an open standards, Linux-based platform (deployed on-site or as a cloud solution) that supports 10-15,000 registered endpoints in a clustered, multi-server, fault-tolerant configuration (to 100,000 endpoints in subsequent releases).Tadiran is encouraging its existing Coral (legacy) customers to migrate to Aeonix by offering them 70% of user licenses at no charge.

Windstream (www.windstreambusiness.com) adds Endpoint Security Protection by McAfee to its suite of network communications and technology solutions. Endpoint Security Protection gives small and mid-size businesses a single desktop security solution for protecting PCs and laptops by detecting and blocking viruses, spyware, spam, phishing attempts and hacker attacks. Endpoint Security Protection is a cloud-based solution with automatic updates and upgrades; customers utilize the online management portal to specify websites and email content to be blocked. The service starts at $4.99/month or is included in Windstream’s Small Business Internet and Phone Super Bundle or Professional Bundle.



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