I was listening to the radio this afternoon and the topic being discussed was how to save gasoline. There were plenty of suggestions; practical ones like keeping your tires properly inflated and driving at the speed limit, and bad ones; like driving in the slip stream of big rigs! But the suggestion that made most sense to me was work from home at least one day a week. By working from home one or two days a week you can save 20% or more on gas, reduce travel congestion and lower green house gases. A win-win situation. I work out of my home office as often as possible and cutting out the trip to downtown Chicago saves me more than gas money. I am able to be more customer focused, be less stressed, and get to spend more time with my family. Being connected to the office via my VoIP phone means I can fully participate in all the work calls.
Posted by Tim Cleves at 03:53 PM EDT
Posted by Mike Oeth at 10:59 AM EDT
Inc. Magazine has a great article in their current - May 2008 - edition. In it they discuss how a company can cut their IT budget by outsourcing services like e-mail, CRM and their phone system. Yes, Junction Networks is mentioned in the article including a glowing customer review. We are very excited to be singled out by a magazine that is such a great resource to our target market, namely entrepreneurial business. The main focus of the article is well reasoned. Outsource what you can, and allow your company to focus on what I call 'the center of the plate.' For example, we here at Junction Networks, we use Salesforce.com for CRM, eFax.com for our faxing and Google for application sharing and e-mail.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 06:46 PM EDT
Junction Networks is a software company and our Hosted PBX product, OnSIP, is 100% software based. Therefore, software patent reform is a high priority for us. Even though we are based primarily on in-house software and OpenSource software, we are not immune to software patents. In my opinion, software patents are akin to patenting ideas. One my favorite business books is The Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski. In one chapter the author traces the history of the patent of the paperclip. If we had software-like patents in the late 1800's, then the first person to patent the "idea" of fastening two or more pieces of paper would have received that patent and today we'd be stuck with fastening paper together with hat pins. Instead of encouraging innovation, software patents stifle them. It makes it difficult for any software company to write anything new as some low-level part of the functioning of the software may already be patented.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 06:26 PM EST
Welcome back from the holiday weekend. Junction Networks had two marketing hits today. The first is a podcast we did on Friday and the second is a business piece in a local Philadelphia newspaper. Firstly, I would like to thank the folks at Voip Users Live Conference/Podcast for inviting me to speak at their weekly podcast last Friday. I had a very enjoyable time and the hour flew by. There were some great questions from the participants and good feedback on our OnSIP product. The podcast can be listened to or downloaded from the above link. The actual recording occurred on 1/18/2008. Secondly, last week I spent an enjoyable morning with John Anastasi from the Bucks County Courier Times.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 06:34 PM EST
2007 Recap I love receiving the end-of-year holiday letters. My wife writes our family Holiday Letter and it is always a literary masterpiece. I have stopped even making the attempt to add my two cents to the letter as whatever I write eventually is edited to non-recognition by the time the letter goes to "press." This blog is different: I get to write this with no editorial input what-so-ever (for those reading this, that part is obvious.) With much fanfare, I give you the 2007 Junction Networks year-end Recap Letter: 2007 was truly a fantastic year for Junction Networks. We started the year by launching our Hosted PBX product and Junction Networks being named as one of CRN Magazine's 15 Leading VOIP Companies. The Hosted PBX was launched as a compliment to our already successful PSTN Gateway product line. It received some good traction, but the overwhelming feedback was that an easier-to-user interface was needed.
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org at 03:29 PM EST
I just read an article in the NY Times that purports to advise SMBs on how to take advantage of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). While the story’s gist is true -- that VoIP calling in and out of the PSTN may save the SMB money – it dismally fails to paint the full picture of business telephony options. Start with their first SMB recommendation: “First off, if you don't already have a private telephone exchange (PBX), you'll need to install one. A PBX is a piece of equipment that switches calls between enterprise users, allowing a group of people (at a company or campus, for example) to share a specific number of external phone lines, saving the added cost of having an external phone line for each user.” When was this written? These days, an SMB has no business buying, installing and managing PBX hardware.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 03:26 PM EST
It has been a busy month since the 2007 Fall VON trade show in Boston. We met a number of interesting companies and talked extensively to the press. It was a good show and we were glad to see such activity. Overall, we saw a lot of new VOIP handset hardware and some interesting VOIP applications.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 05:18 PM EDT
The Junction Networks management and development teams are at VON this week. I am posting from the lovely Westin hotel adjacent to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Expect posts from everyone this week. We will post any company announcements as well as new/interesting people/companies/technologies we find. If you are here from VON, please stop by the Junction Networks booth.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 01:00 PM EDT
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 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.