Monday, December 17, 2012

Cisco planning to sell Linksys router division

Bloomberg reports that that Cisco is preparing to sell Linksys, the router company it bought for $500 million in 2003. Cisco is the world's largest manufacturer of computer network equipment, but has been steadily attempting to divest itself of its consumer businesses; it killed Flip just two years after acquiring the pocket camcorder maker in 2009. The company is said to be soliciting TV manufacturers who may be interested in Linksys' established brand and technology.
Bloomberg's sources say that Cisco has hired Barclays to help find a buyer for Linksys — reportedly the same financial firm helping Google sell Motorola's set-top box business — but the company expects to receive much less than it paid nearly a decade ago. While Flip never really made sense for such an enterprise-focused corporation, it's striking that Cisco was seemingly unable to find enough synergy with a company that operated in a similar space.

Source  The Verge

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Two telecommunications companies, Avaya and Nortel, have established a partnership that will allow them to provide new software and telephone services to the customers left stranded with old systems in the wake of Nortel Networks’ disintegration in 2009.
The deal mostly affects customers using the Avaya Communications servers known as the CS-2100 and the SL-2100. For years, these customers have only been given limited updates to their services because Nortel was no longer providing such updates.
With the deal in place, customers will have the opportunity to take advantage of Genband’s advanced technology. There are already upgrades planned that will be offered to these customers.
This will be a major improvement upon the situation since Nortel’s departure from the telecommunications market. Since then, customers using servers based on Nortel’s technology could only receive customer service from Avaya. There were no upgrades and no new products offered to them, however.
That innovation vacuum will now be filled by Genband, which supplies software, hardware, and servers to telecommunications companies like Avaya. Some of the services that CS-2100 and SL-100 users will now have access to include VoIP on mobile phones, video collaborating, and instant messaging.
The first of these new capabilities will be rolled out early next year, in the first quarter of 2013. Avaya said that during that update, customers could expect to get upgraded VoIP, and that after that arrives, there will be a series of other new products and capabilities added as well.
The terms of the agreement between Avaya and Genband stipulate that Genband will become wholly responsible for both systems, the CS-2100 and the SL-100. These phone systems are typically utilized by major clients, with large, complicated phone systems and zero tolerance for downtime. Frequent users of the phone systems include hospitals, financial firms, and critical government departments.
For its part, Avaya will give Genband access to parts of its intellectual property. Spokesmen for the companies said that the result will be that Genband’s products will be more enterprise-enabled, which is Avaya’s strength, and that Avaya products will be more resistant to downtime, which is one of Genband’s specialties.
The companies doubt the integration of their respective code bases should cause any great difficulty or take more than a few months. The software used to run Genband and Avaya products is largely similar, and combining the two is only expected to require adding some small bits of proprietary code from each.

Jason Stephen Ali
Social Media Director | |

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Understanding VoIP Protocols

Nearly any device ever designed to transmit video and audio packets between computers that communicate with one another, uses Real-Time Protocol (RTP). After the can serve as became evident that people communicating online has the potential for ease dropping on their communication, RTP (Real-Time Protocol) was enhanced to us more secure level. The secure RTP was developed for authentication, encryption and integrity of the video and audio packets that were transmitted online to communicating devices.

Part of the process of transmitting video and audio media between computers is the employment of various protocols. One such protocol locates the remote device to negotiate exactly how the media will transfer flow between each device. These types of protocols are known as call-signaling protocols, with the most popular being SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and H.323. Each protocol relies on static provisioning and other protocols as a way to locate a variety of users.

First originated 1995, both SIP and H.323 were developed to solve the initial communication between two computers as a way to effectively exchange video and audio media streams. H323 experienced commercial success while SIP progressed at a slower level before being recognized as a standard in 1999.

Both protocols have the ability to perform the same action: to establish a multimedia level of communication including video, audio and other communications. However, there are designed significantly different with SIP being ASCII-based and H.323 being built on the foundation of binary protocol and legacy communication systems.

Although the jury is still out on whether SIP or H.323 can be held as the true standard for media transfer functionality, no one disputes the fact that both perform well. However, H.323 appears to be superior in a variety of ways including offering better support for videos, optimal interoperability with PSTN, premium interoperability of legacy video systems a more dependable out of band transport of DTMF.

Alternatively, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) was never designed to work as a solution for the problems handled by H.323. Additionally, it gained its popularity by misinformation of being “easy to debug and implement”. Built as a complex communication system, they both perform identical amounts of work using to different approaches.

Of the two, SIP implementation is far easier to troubleshoot or develop. Likewise, H.323 is still the protocol to use in bulk VoIP deployments, especially when transmitting voice calls globally. Additionally, H.323 is the protocol most used for room-based videoconferencing and serves as the #1 protocol for nearly all IP-based video systems.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

BYOD! Is Cisco’s Idea of Bring Your Own Device Really Working for Business?

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, and they’re not just talking about a friendly get-together, but an actual business policy that states workers ought to bring their own iPad, iPhone, PDA or laptop.  More companies are jumping on the bandwagon, and workers have no problem obliging since they are familiar and comfortable with their own Smartphone. 

The claim is that these companies can increase productivity among employees as well as contribute to their own satisfaction by supporting BYOD.  (Workers no longer have to learn a new company system)  Of course with new opportunities for growth also comes significant challenges.  Not everyone is on board…why some companies are still banning employees from taking their Smartphones and tablets to work, since they are considered a distraction and a security risk.  Some companies even “block” these systems. 

According to an IBSG Horizon Study, the Cisco Company states that a whopping 76% of organizations (600 surveyed businesses in the United States) were in favor of the BYOD, particularly for IT departments.  About 95% of the surveyed companies stated that employees are allowed to bring their own devices to work.  Furthermore, statistics reveal that by 2014, connected devices per worker will reach 3.3, a notable increase.  So we’re not just bringing units to work…we’re bringing more than one!

Cisco has supported the BYOD concept, even going so far as to launch a new Smart Solutions kit that helps businesses learn how to take advantage of this increased mobility—and also avoid the most common mistakes associated with such a policy.  Cisco says that BYOD is going to be part of its so-called Cisco Unified Workplace” portfolio, which is a specially created environment allowing workers all the information they need to work more efficiently.  Cisco’s Senior Vice President Padmasree Warrior told the press that the “intelligence network” would help workers to “work anywhere, anytime and [the way] they want.”

The Way Business is Heading

One thing’s for sure.  Whether or not big business approves of BYOD, everyone knows what it is—and has a strong opinion on it.  About 98% of all respondents said they were aware of the option for BYOD and about 68% said worker jobs (particularly knowledge-oriented workers) can be done using desktop virtualization.  A centralized network of information may be precisely what workers and companies need to feel comfortable.  It’s a win-win situation that is starting to look very attractive to pragmatic thinkers.

As for the prejudice against BYOD and bringing “phones to work” only time will tell if the climate changes.  We do know that Bring Your Own Device concept is making a lot of noise in big business and the popularity of mobile devices is pressing the issue.  If we don’t use all of this great technology, are we not squandering resources AND micromanaging workers’ free time?

What do you think?  Are we going to see a widespread BYOD vision fulfilled in the near future?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

BroadConnect Brand, Call and Contact Centres

BroadConnect Telecom has been providing solutions for contact centres for quite a while now and has developed a reputation for quality, easy set up and only minimal investment risk.  Thanks to BroadConnect’s technology, now contact centres can improve upon their infrastructure without having to learn a very complex new system. 

Enterprise Class Technology Comes to the Contact Center

Using BroadConnect technology, now companiescan oversee and operate multiple call contact centres through one centralizedsystem.  This is a great advantage to outsourced centres, as they will be able to quickly and easily scale in operation whenever there is a centralized change.  More importantly, the system allows users to scale up or down, depending on their needs. 

Scaling is a Great Advantage

Naturally, this is a major concern as many technology companies have qualms about planning for the future since it’s hard to estimate where technology will be.  Of course, the beauty of BroadConnect is that it allows companies of multiple sizes to scale things according to their own pace.  The system lets company owners or managers add or remove agents, according to business developments. 

Furthermore, BroadConnect’s web technology allows clients to access the system through a web browser directly, on any PC or any web-friendly device, for that matter.  Since the operations are very easy to learn, managers can change the number of agents available for customer service within minutes.  Why, managers or company owners can even add an agent or move them around between different contact center “groups.”

Customizing Your Experience

The ability to add new agents or subtract them only as needed is a tremendous opportunity for companies that are attempting to control costs by outsourcing.  Customers will no doubt have very different requests and so BroadConnect maximizes flexibility.  The system allows businesses and contact centers to add and remove functionality as needed.  For example, they can change statuses or IVR options by just clicking the mouse.  Debit and credit card actions are also easily handled using only a web browser.  Flexibility means companies can evolve as rapidly or slowly as they require. 

Consistency is Key

IVR, CTI and ACD (via network) allow companyworkers to use the same scripts, messages and databases to conductbusiness.  This will help to make customer interactions consistent and reduce misunderstandings and miscommunications, which can be quite costly. 

Live Viewing

The fact that the company lets agents see “live” changes helps tremendously with keeping the entire contact center operation accurate and standardized.  Why, managers can now even monitor staff when they are online.  This is ideal for studying performance and for access statistics from live phone calls. 

A Boost for Remote Employment

Remote workers are certainly at an advantage with this amazing system, as they will not have the ability to make or receive calls from anywhere in the country or beyond, using only a telephone or web browser.  Managers and CEOs will be able to setup new users easily and offer remote work for a reduced cost.  The integrated, highly flexible and centralized system will allow easy management of agents, to the point where it is a virtual office staff, with little or no room for unmonitored performance. 

Disaster Recovery and Maintenance Reduction

Lastly, consider the advantages in cloud-based disaster recovery (meaning permanent and continual backups of information) as well as lower maintenance cost.  Perhaps what’s most amazing about the system is that it is remotely based and there is no physical hardware or installable software to worry about.  Customers pay only for what they use.  Goodbye huge investment costs and ongoing maintenance fees. 

The business model of pay-as-you-go contact center telephony is bound to revolutionize how we conduct remote business and customer service! For more information or to speak to an account manager please visit our websites at:


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Visit us at Avaya Evolutions Toronto, November 20, 2012 for a chance to win two tickets to the already sold-out Grey Cup Championship game!

Avaya Evolutions, a unique one-day event taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, provides you an opportunity to engage, interact and collaborate with telecommunications executives, peers and industry leaders. Visit us any time on November 20th at Booth 8 to learn more about what real-time advanced business communications can do for your enterprise. Attend our breakout session from 9:00 – 10:00 am for a chance to win two Grey Cup championship game tickets.
Breakout Session:

“VoPI™ vs VoIP: Two Letters Make All of the Difference”

Session Abstract:

As data connectivity becomes increasingly cost effective for reliable dedicated speeds, learn how BroadConnect’s VoPI™ (Voice over Private Internet) model allows you to leverage bandwidth to support Voice and Video on existing and future deployments. We will explore the gains of stabilizing your SIP rollouts by having greater control over the first and last mile of service thus making deployments both predictable and seamless. Join us and discover how SIP Trunking & Radvision’s Video Conferencing solutions, using BroadConnect’s VoPI™ can help your current and future Voice, Data and Video Conferencing requirements.

Ask us about VoPI™! 

Post a tweet with the hashtag #BCTevolutions.

Contest Details:

The Contest « Win a Pair (2) of 2012 Grey Cup Tickets» will start on October 23rd, 2012 at 12:00 AM (EST) and will end on November 20th, 2012 at 11:59:59 PM (EST). (Here after the «Contest»).
The Contest is open to everyone who has reached the legal age of its respective province at the time of entering the contest. Employees of BroadConnect Telecom or their immediate family members and people living with them cannot enter the contest.
How to enter:
No purchase necessary. Contestants simply have to respect the eligibility requirements. The start of the Contest will be announced Via Email and Social Media outlets (Google+, Twitter, Facebook) and winner will be showcased on the BroadConnect Telecom website and BroadConnect Social Media Networks. All existing and non-existing BroadConnect Telecom customers will be invited to ask questions regarding “Ask us about VoPI™!”  for entry to the contest. Contestants simply have to post a question on, or with your name, company name, and job title. Only one ballot per person will be allowed. Further terms and conditions of this specific contest will be posted on BroadConnect Telecom’s website.
The winners will be picked from all the valid formatted questions received on BroadConnect Telecom servers during the Contest valid time frame. The winner will be picked on November 20th , 2012 at 11:59:59 PM (EST) at 11:01 PM (EST), in BroadConnect Telecom offices. Prize will be given to the winner if all mentioned rules and regulation are fulfilled.
Prizes Description:
A Pair (2) of 2012 Grey Cup Tickets: Section 109B Row 7 (Double Blue)
Everything not mentioned as included in the prize will be to the charge of the winner. BroadConnect Telecom has the right to replace the Prize for another one of the same value or to give the same value in money for any given reason as mentioned in the general rules section.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Better Support for Social Media and Mobile Devices with Call Center Software

Avaya Flare is starting to offer quite a few benefits to help improve call centers and provide unified communications. Now, it’s possible for employees to have better access to the contact center, as well as tools that they need to do their job better. One of the ways that Avaya Flare is helping is with the various mobile device options and social media features that it offers now. All of these tools should help to improve the performance of the contact center.

The advanced technology in the smartphones that we use is quite impressive, and they certainly help to make unified communications, no matter where one might be, a simple task. The technology actually makes it possible to interact with contact center operations. Some of the options that Avaya Flare was able tointroduce with call center functionality include automation, self-service options that customers can use, and it makes it easy to connect with a person, all in the quest for more unified communications.

The company also created some better support for social media outlets including YouTube and RSS feeds. They are even offering better support for Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook, the kings of social media. Video collaboration is even possible now, making it a good tool for a contact center. While software is certainly a huge part of the company’s unified communications goal, they excel in other areas as well. Their phone hardware is also high quality. With Avaya Flare and Aura, companies are starting to really see all of the great things that this type of technology is able to do – from better and easier relations in the contact center to easier, better quality unified communications through the company.

The pricing is something that is going to be a concern for many companies. Avaya has their social and mobile capability service starting at $30,000 and up for a session. They also offer Call Center Elite for the contact center for between $350 and $750 for each license. Avaya is one of the most popular choices when it comes to this type of technology and support. They announced that they would continue to offer support for mobile devices other than phones as well, such as the iPad.

When looking for unified communications solutions, companies need to make sure that they are dealing with a vendor who will be able to provide them the support and help that they need for their contact center and other areas of their business. Choose the right company for help.