Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Internet Telephony – Leveraging Assets

Keynote: Norman Stout, MITEL, CEO US Operations - Image Credit: Edmund Jenks, copyright 2007

Internet Telephony – Leveraging Assets

In Los Angeles this week, a conference and tradeshow focusing on technologies and strategies aligned to take advantage of the “New Phone” world was covered over a three day period.

INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO managed by Technology Marketing Corporation, was attended mostly by technically directed operatives. It was, however, extremely informative for those who would be familiar with some of the niche communication applications one might use every day ... but may not have been exposed to the whole picture of phone based communications and systems.

Discussions about matching up analog signals with digital, open systems verses proprietary systems, value-added partnerships, small office / home office, scalability, unified communications, access points, enterprise mobility, internet protocol television (IPTV), and more were engaged and further explored on how all of this can be applied to the internet as a business proposition for profit.

It is an exciting time for the world of business phone systems in that many of the analog systems in place require a heavy investment in infrastructure, yet the business operations that own them would like to take advantage of the digital capabilities the internet can offer.

A couple of efforts focused on leveraging assets that exist and are in use as a normal way of communication and effort management.

One company named VoSKY, leverages the proven technology used by Skype to get the most out of voice over internet protocol (VOIP).

VoSKY Exchange 91xx - Image Credit: VoSKY

This excerpted from the VoSKY website –

The company's flagship product is VoSKY Exchange

A family of enterprise-grade VoIP gateways that allow companies to optimize Skype for the business environment. VoSKY Exchange VoIP gateways seamlessly integrate with existing TDM or IP PBX phone systems and enable business-class applications that help companies reduce communications costs and improve productivity. VoSKY's product line also includes cost-effective consumer VoIP devices for using Skype on any traditional handset, mobile phone, or speakerphone. All VoSKY products have received certification from Skype.
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Overview
The VoSKY Exchange 91xx is rack-mountable and adds up to eight outgoing Skype lines without changes to existing PBX or phone equipment. Multiple Exchange boxes can be set up to interconnect multiple offices anywhere in the world, enabling free calls between locations. Calls to other Skype users are free, while calls to non-Skype users are charged at low-cost SkypeOut rates or at a flat rate when using Skype Unlimited.

Skype Trunking for your PBX
Skype is the world's largest VoIP network with over 200 million users, and the VoSKY Exchange enables businesses to leverage Skype as a trunking solution for their existing PBX phone systems. Utilizing Skype trunking as an alternative to the PSTN, businesses can substantially save on both domestic long-distance and international calls.

Works with almost any Analog or IP PBX
A major advantage of the VoSKY Exchange is its seamless integration with existing analog or IP PBX phone systems. Businesses are able to preserve the investment in their existing phone systems while enjoying the cost savings and flexibility of Skype without a major forklift in equipment.
Reference Here>>

“Forklift” is an industry term meaning to move existing equipment out and bring all new equipment in. Basically, a total overhaul of the communications system.

Another business effort that updates an existing system is able to utilize commonly available assets is Interactive Intelligence.

Instead of developing innovation from whole cloth, they asked ... why not innovate off of existing and robust software management, database access platforms, and programs developed and proven by Microsoft? This accounts for some of the vision that drives the solutions put forward by Interactive Intelligence.

Microsoft Suite Of Management Software Solutions - Image Credit: Interactive Intelligence

Excerpted and edited from the Interactive Intelligence website –

Interactive Intelligence Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ)

Provides the most innovative contact center and IP telephony products and services available.
Interactive Intelligence solutions are modular in nature, built with proven, award-winning products that push the edge of technology to deliver a truly best-of-class offering.

The company's innovation and experience maximizes customer value with a product line that helps businesses more rapidly respond to change, while reducing the cost and complexity associated with managing interactions.

From sophisticated contact center automation applications - including automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), speech recognition, Web collaboration, remote agent support, supervisory monitoring, predictive dialing, call recording, reporting and more - to SIP-based enterprise IP telephony, unified communications and messaging, and customer self-service, Interactive Intelligence offers a flexible, easy-to-manage alternative to proprietary, hardware-centric solutions.

The Interactive Intelligence product line is ideal for contact centers of all sizes, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), global 1,000 organizations, and large, distributed enterprises, including those with mobile workers. Key vertical markets include financial services, healthcare, legal, and higher education.
Reference Here>>

Interaction Client .NET Screen where the administrator can drag and drop who needs to attend the conference call - Image Credit: Interactive Intelligence

And this recent product announcement from an Interactive Intelligence Press Release –

Interactive Intelligence to Offer Interaction Message Indicator™ for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging Users
INDIANAPOLIS (July 10, 2007)

Interactive Intelligence Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ) is releasing a new standalone Interaction Message Indicator™ application, which monitors Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging mailboxes so that users are alerted to new voicemail messages via a light on their desktop phones.
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Interactive Intelligence plans to continue meeting customer demand with additional complementary applications for Exchange Server 2007 UM users, such as personal notification features, according to Staples.

Interaction Message Indicator™ can work with existing third-party phone systems, including the Interactive Intelligence IP PBX. The application offers a Web-based interface designed for easy set-up, administration, monitoring and reporting.

Interactive Intelligence first released its standards-based, single-platform business communications software in 1997 to eliminate the cost and complexity introduced by individual point products. The software offers contact centers and enterprises a wide array of communications applications, including SIP-based voice-over-IP switching, automatic call distribution, speech-enhanced interactive voice response, unified messaging, call recording, and more. It also includes pre-integrated plug-ins for Microsoft Dynamics products, Microsoft Office products, and Office Communications Server.

Interactive Intelligence is unveiling its Interaction Message Indicator™ at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, July 10 to 12, at the Denver Convention Center.
Reference Here>>

Adapting and integrating existing functional processes as a transitional strategy makes sense, especially when the weight of an existing investment in an extensive infrastructure allows for very little change.

So get out there ... leverage those assets! Together, the analog and digital waters are fine.

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