Our customers constantly ask us about how to make encrypted VOIP phone calls. Until recently, there has not been an easy way to accomplish that feat. This week, one of our customers - I.D. Rank Security - launched a new product called MyKryptofon that allows just that. We field-tested the application and we love it. We signed up for two accounts to test the software. We received via FedEx two Kflash USB memory sticks, one to Philadelphia and one to Chicago. We placed the USB device in the PC and clicked on the MyKryptofon icon. Literally four seconds later the soft-phone was up and my account was registered. At step one I was impressed. There was no username/password to configure as it was already pre-configured into the software that arrived on the Kflash memory stick.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 01:00 PM EDT
Posted by Mike Oeth at 05:56 PM EDT
As I previously posted, I am resistant to proprietary technology. Services that conform to standards help everyone, provider and consumer alike. Standards also keep companies from hiding from real competition by using patents and lawsuits, but that is a whole separate post. I recently read the article in Network World with the rather inflammatory title of Why Skype and Vonage must Die. Overly dramatic? Yes, but well put. Today, when most people hear the word VOIP, they think of Skype and or Vonage, but they are really the two worst examples of the industry. The article rightly calls for standards-based providers, not walled gardens. It is nice to see that others are coming to the same realization.
Posted by OnSIP Employee at 02:14 PM EDT
If there's one thing that a VC can get behind, it's the idea of the virgin market. Being the first entrant into a sea of untapped, not-yet-tapped consumers gives the possibility of actually owning a whole market. Be the first with the new widget and everyone's catching up with you, fighting for your marketshare and feeding off the scraps you left behind. There's an old business axiom that fits this model: "Those that lead, bleed". I bet you thought that I was going to say "With risk comes reward" or "Building the market is the best way to own the market" - which are all great, but the vast majority of companies that are started with the concept of doing something brand new fail miserably. Let that sink in for a minute. There's a reason it's called the bleeding edge. Regardless of how ripe a new market is for the picking, when you're the first ones out of the gate, you have to build the market - new products, consumer education, heavy sales and marketing.
Posted by email@example.com at 03:42 PM EDT
While I wish I were considered as relevant as Bill Gates, at least at this point in time, we share a common vision of the end of the PBX. Microsoft recently unveiled their unified communications offering. At the launch in San Francisco, Gates stated "The transformation to software-based communications is going to be as profound as the shift from the typewriter to word-processing software." Hey, we feel the same way. Wikipedia defines a PBX or Private Branch Exchange, as " a telephone exchange that serves a particular business or office, as opposed to one that a common carrier or telephone company operates for many businesses or for the general public." We agree that large hunks of hardware, sitting in telco closets, serving individual silos or organizations are a thing of the past. We also agree that the future of unified communications is software based. We are headed in different directions though on our implementation of the PBX replacement.
Posted by John Riordan at 01:58 PM EDT
On and off over the last couple of years, as Skype, YouTube, and more recently Facebook got tagged with silly sums, I've been having the occasional flashback to bubble-land circa 1999. The hype, the parties, and that good old frothy feeling. Ah, the memories. Well, in case you hadn't noticed, eBay suffered "an impairment write-down" recently. In my opinion, Meg Whitman must have been impaired back in 2005 when she judged $2.6 billion to be a good deal for Skype. Skype is a great, disruptive, and revolutionary technology precisely because it doesn't extract much money from its users and it points the way to a time when communication will cost the consumer nothing at all. In the words of its co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, "We want to make as little money as possible per user." So it should come as no surprise that eBay said it would take a $1.4 billion charge last week.
Posted by OnSIP Employee at 02:46 PM EDT
As someone who has been in the thick of the enhanced voice world for well over a decade, it's funny that as much as things change, things really stay the same. Sure, we've made major shifts in infrastructure by beginning the migration from TDM (Time-Division Multiplexing, better known as the common phone network) to VoIP, but these infrastructure changes haven't really shown a significant benefit to business end users aside from cost reduction.
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org at 04:12 PM EDT
It seems Digium is no longer interested in taking a back seat to the some of the IP PBX vendors it helped spawn with the development of Asterisk, the open source pbx. In the last week, Digium first announced the purchase of Switchvox, the makers of an Asterisk based PBX. Only a few days later, Digium inked a deal with 3Com, who will distribute the Asterisk Appliance under the 3Com name. Both deals signal a strong move by Digium to take the lead in the SMB IP PBX race. Digium says it reviewed a number of competing IP PBX vendors before selecting Switchvox. Speaking from experience, they made the right move. Junction Networks has partnered with Switchvox to provide easy-to-configure SIP and IAX Trunking since 2005. Our shared customers report the product is reliable, easy to manage and supported by a great team.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 06:51 PM EDT
This weekend I spent three hours trying to "hack" an AUX port into my car radio. I stood in amazement looking at the jumble of wires and proprietary cable connections. There are "standards" for audio connections, but apparently auto manufacturers have never heard of them. Yesterday Andy Abramson posted about the shake-up at Skype on his blog. (Full Disclosure - Andy heads our PR firm, but he's a Journalist first and his blog is always insightful.) My comment to Andy's post was that as a proprietary protocol it will be difficult for Skype to ever go mainstream. Now, I'm going to throw Apple into the mix and side with Nokia that unlocked is always better than locked.
Posted by OnSIP Employee at 02:25 PM EDT
As we are constantly working to prevent issues like the no-audio condition that some of our customers experienced last week, I realized that it might be a good idea to take a minute and explain a bit about how the phone networks work in general, and how they interconnect with Junction Networks. All telephone traffic - either calls that originate from or terminate to a phone number are carried by the PSTN, or Public Switched Telephony Network. If you really simplify the network, you can imagine that your phone is connected to a wire that runs to a central office of the Local Exchange Carrier (LEC). The central office handles a set of area codes and exchanges (a US phone number consists of a three digit area code, three digit exchange and a four digit extension). To get a call to go between one exchange and another exchange, you have to use an Inter-Exchange Carrier (IXC), also known as a long distance provider. These IXCs know how to get a call from one exchange to another.
Posted by John Riordan at 02:31 PM EDT
Giddy, strung out, and their schedules twisted more than normal, many of my associates are pulling all nighters. Every meeting I've attended recently has opened and closed with the same topic. In my small part of the world, the hottest topic in VOIP at the moment is Halo 3. I can't help wondering if I'm missing out.