It took us a while, but Junction Networks is finally on both Facebook and Twitter. Click on either or both of the above links to see the Junction Networks' OnSIP Hosted PBX site on Facebook and Twitter feed to join as a fan or to follow our feed. Enjoy. If you're not on Facebook or Twitter, never fear, we will always update our blog posts, especially network alerts, as well as update our social networks whenever there are issues, or when we have something important to convey. (Added 2/16/2009) Just so it's all in once place - how to get our RSS feeds is found here.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 01:30 PM EST
Posted by Mike Oeth at 07:46 AM EST
VoIP Calling on the iPod Touch with Junction Networks and TruPhone
On Saturday, a group of kids burst into my house looking for me. They were led by my 12 year old son telling the rest of the group that I could 'hook them up.' So far, the scenario sounds like a bad after-school-special. As it was, Maddie handed over her new iPod Touch that she had just received for Christmas. The active application was TruPhone. She stated that she could make phone calls with it and proceeded to call our home phone. The phone rang, I answered the call, but there was no audio. There is no external speaker or microphone on the iPod Touch like on the iPhone. I thought for a second and then grabbed my iPhone headphones and plugged them in. They have four segments on the connection; ground, right channel, left channel and microphone. Worst case, I thought, was at least I could hear the person talk on the other end.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 02:27 PM EST
SIP via UDP vs. TCP
One of the things I enjoy doing is taking complex subjects and explaining them in such a way that nearly any interested party can understand. I spent nearly an hour last night explaining the Big Bang theory to my 12 year-old son. I think, eventually, we got there. The task before me today is to explain why SIP, the protocol of VoIP, is best left as a UDP service as opposed to a TCP service. This is nearly as formidable as explaining the Big Bang to a sixth grader.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 09:26 AM EDT
It has finally happened and I couldn't be happier. When I first got my iPhone I couldn't wait for the time when I could make extension to extension VOIP calls via my iPhone. The iPhone has wifi access. All it needed was someone to put some SIP software on the phone and, combined with Junction Networks OnSIP hosted PBX, it would be ready to go. That time has come. Over the weekend I downloaded fring and after just a little tweaking I got it to work. The device registered to Junction Networks and my first call was to extension 7008: Tim in Chicago. All I had to do was bring up the 'dialer' in fring and dial 7008 and hit the 'SIP' button and it dialed Tim's extension. Tim only saw a call from me, ext. 7001. As far as he knew I was at my desk.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 04:02 PM EDT
Junction Networks is the opposite of the companies mentioned in this MarketWatch article. Not only are we not imploding, but just this week we hired two new employees. You can look forward to speaking with Eric P. as he starts on the sales/technical support phones next week. Steve is a developer who was hired to help further increase the functionality of our product. Since we are not VC funded, we are not living in fear that our VC will either pull their funding or not help us 'get to the next level.' Secondly, we are cash flow positive today and plan to stay that way. We did not start Junction Networks nearly five years ago to 'get rich quick' in any sort of dot.com or Internet 2.0 bubble. Our goal was to provide a real service with real value to real customers.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 04:44 PM EDT
There is a great post over at Bradley Holt's blog about using Google Talk's XMPP service in conjunction with SIP from Junction Network's OnSIP Hosted PBX. Here is my take on XMPP and SIP. XMPP is an XML-based open standard with, among other things, built-in protocols for subscribe and publish, e.g. subscribe to someone's presence information and publish your own presence. SIP, another open standard, is good for a bunch of rapid-fire, short messages back and forth. It's kind of like DNS on steroids. SIP is currently (and for the foreseeable future) the de facto standard for VOIP. Internally we have been running an XMPP server for presence and instant messaging for a few months now at our domain: junctionnetworks.com. Additionally, using open XMPP servers like Google Talk, I can see the presence of my XMPP 'buddies' at other domains as well.
Posted by Tim Cleves at 06:16 PM EDT
With Hurricane Hanna bearing down on Florida last week I got a call from a Sunshine State customer who was worried about how his phone service would be effected if he lost power. The customer is using Junction Networks PSTN Gateway product to provide SIP trunking for his Switchvox PBX. He was looking for more than plain failover routing, where, in the event of a PBX failure, all calls are forwarded to a single cell phone or POTS line. We set him up with an OnSIP Hosted PBX as his failover solution. When calls to his inbound numbers are unable to complete due to power failure they automatically get forwarded to an OnSIP auto-attendant. The caller hears a familiar menu choice (1 for sales, 2 for support etc.) and then the calls are routed to the POTS lines or cell phones of staff who are unaffected by the hurricane. Calls can even be routed to hunt groups, and ACD queue, or directly to voice mail boxes. Luckily for Florida, Hurricane Hanna didn’t cause the damage it could have done.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 09:22 PM EDT
ZD Net has the following article predicting the demise of SaaS in two years. For those of you who do not know, SaaS is Software as a Service, a la Salesforce.com. We at Junction Networks use Salesforce.com and I love it. Anywhere I go, home office, NYC office, iPhone, I can get salesforce.com status. The same for gmail (who handles our corporate e-mail). It's the 'access it anywhere' model that makes SaaS such a success. As computers become more and more mobile, think iPhone, the business user is going to want even more software as a service. I can't image having to load software on every device I may want to use across three or more different operating systems just to get at the information I need. VOIP is increasingly becoming SaaS. Our own OnSIP Hosted PBX is one such example.
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org at 11:02 AM EDT
First, let’s address SIP: Session Initiation Protocol is the de facto standard protocol for establishing, conducting and ending a VoIP call. If you are really interested in technical details, check the Wikipedia entry on SIP or our dedicated section to SIP for the condensed version.
SIP is to VoIP as SMTP is to E-mail. Just like the standard protocol, SMTP, which allows two email servers to exchange email data, SIP allows two endpoints (IP Phones) to connect to one another using a standard protocol. Without such a standard, two phones would not share a common set of instructions and guidelines in order to properly exchange packetized voice.
Posted by Mike Oeth at 02:36 PM EDT
It has been a very busy week with the Junction Networks developers. There are two new enhancements to the OnSIP Hosted PBX platform: External Phone Numbers in Groups and Call Details in Reports. External Phone Numbers in Groups Many of you have been asking for the ability to have external phone numbers (cell phones, home phones, etc.) as part of a Group. Now, with all Groups (found under the 'Groups' tab) you can have up to 10 addresses (users) in a group and up to three of them can be external phone numbers. This feature is now active and live in the OnSIP interface. With our $39.95 per month Hosted PBX plan, you get up to three Groups. If you choose 'Simultaneous Ring' strategy, all users (and now external phone numbers) in the group are dialed at the same time. The first user to answer the call is handed the call. With the 'Hunt Group' strategy, calls are sent to each user individually up to the 'Ring Each for:' time limit.