No more SPIT!

This article is not a roaring plea from baseball fans. No, this article is about SPam over Internet Telephony or as it is often shortened—SPIT. Those annoying, unsolicited messages that clutter your email inbox have an ugly cousin that seeks to bombard your digital phone messaging system with pre-recorded messages and cause much more damage. The problem with SPIT is that if it isn’t controlled it can quickly eat up your valuable bandwidth and clog up your system, which can prevent legitimate callers from reaching you. There are software programs on the market to tackle SPIT. Many of these function similar to the tools used to control and prevent email spam.

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VoIP Bandwidth: Quality vs. Quantity

Digital leased lines are no longer the favorites of bandwidth-hungry businesses. As many alternative sources of affordable Internet bandwidth became available, dedicated point-to-point leased lines begun to fall out of favor with many small businesses. Their relatively high cost, by today’s standards, per megabit of bandwidth make them unattractive in comparison to the generous shared bandwidth offers from various telecommunications and cable carriers. That said, it seems like rumors of their rapid demise are being greatly exaggerated. T-1 lines, for example, seem to be entering their 7th life as market for them is getting sudden support by those who had to deal with at least one DSL or Cable outage.

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The Future of Unified Communications As a Service

Recent studies claimed that the market for cloud-based voice over IP services is expected to grow to $30 billion USD by the year 2013. These numbers might sound really encouraging, but what is the real future for Unified Communications As a Service (UCaaS)?

Here, in the U.S., UCaaS hosted PBX services are experiencing tremendous growth. Small businesses, especially in the current economic climate, are always looking for more efficient, less expensive ways to handle their telecommunications needs, and hosted telephony has served them admirably well thus far. Hosted PBX services give them access to a whole host of really sophisticated features, without relying on a large initial investment for equipment or set up.

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Hosted PBX Unwrapped: The Challenges of Automatic Voice Recognition

As computer use becomes ubiquitous, it is increasingly desirable to communicate with them in the same way that we communicate with one another: using human speech. Voice or Speech Recognition technology aims to do just this. Personally, I fell in love with the concept of voice recognition ever since I first saw “Star Trek, The New Generation” series. Unfortunately, my first attempt at making a productive use of speech recognition in Microsoft Windows 3.1 was rather disappointing.

Today our ability to use voice recognition is limited to issuing system commands to speed up familiar functions. So what prevents us from talking to our personal computers and phone systems (those are quickly converging into one) ? What you may not realize is that speech recognition is a rather complicated and resource intensive task. 

Humans easily and efficiently relay information via speech despite many complications, including background noise, slips related to spontaneous speech (stammers, filled pauses, false starts, etc.) and the inherent variability of human speech.

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Cloud-based VoIP vs. Dedicated Hosted PBX Service

Cloud Computing and Virtualization has received a lot of attention lately, largely due to a huge marketing push initiated by a number of big corporations hoping that peddling shared computing infrastructure solutions is the “next big thing.” If these advertising messages are to be believed, Cloud Computing and Virtualization provide increased reliability, reduced expenses and an unprecedented level of convenience for most I.T. applications.

Call me a technological heretic but I believe that virtualized cloud infrastructure guarantees neither of those things while taking away a lot of control over how your resources are allocated.

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The Continued Importance of Stationary Handsets in the Smart Phone Era

The rise of the Smart Phone has been dramatic. It seems like everyone has one of these devices these days, and nearly every single Smart Phone owner raves about their device. Smart Phones certainly represent attractive and powerful telephony technology. Not only are they sleek and stylish, Smart Phones also provide a huge range of features and applications which you can take with you everywhere you go. While Smart Phones have presented a superior alternative to previous mobile phones, does that mean they stand to replace all telephony devices?

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What VoIP Readiness Assessment Does Not Tell You

In the previous posts I had covered many obvious business reasons driving business VoIP adoption in the enterprise including costs savings, productivity increases, and image benefits. These benefits are typically enabled by VoIP infrastructure on a converged network, but achieved through IP telephony applications such as messaging, conferencing and geographic independence.

Realizing VoIP Hosted PBX benefits can be a challenge, and organizations may experience frustration, stress and even despair as they work to deploy it in their environments. Generally speaking, VoIP is much more than just another application on the network, and most organizations have never managed an application with high availability and performance requirements like those of VoIP.

The only real way to ensure lasting trouble free voice quality in an enterprise VoIP Hosted PBX deployment is through proper management of all of the devices within network path between the endpoint device (be it a handset, computer or a softphone) and a VoIP Hosted PBX service provider system.

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Hosted PBX Trends

Over the past few years there have been numerous online discussions and articles on the subject of “cost” and “price/performance” of the Hosted PBX. Today these discussions are sounding more and more like outdated statements of the obvious. Yes, it is obvious that Hosted PBX is far more feature rich and cost effective than traditional PBX or outdated Centrex services, but that isn’t the point. Appropriately chosen communication technology very directly impact ways and speed with which business is being conducted, more important than ever in the current economic climate.

For most businesses, however, communications does not fall into realm of their core competencies. Conventional school of thought preaches that you are not going to be a better law firm, architecture firm, pizza shop, etc by running a better phone system than the competition. But that simply isn’t true any longer. With Hosted PBX services reaching beyond simple voice or SIP trunking and becoming full Unified Communications solution, we see promotion of Hosted PBX as a smarter strategic play for SMBs. The value of converging — or integrating — data, voice and video communications over a single IP network comes in the improved ability of people to share, discuss and develop ideas with colleagues anywhere in the world. Voice itself can become a “killer app.” The new standard environment integrates voice mail, global telephone network, directory, presence, unified messaging capability, text-to-speech, conferencing, online phone, address book and more. Enterprises adding voice to other IP-compliant applications really begin to see what the technology can do for them.

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Integrating Hosted PBX and Cloud Desktop Services Into Move Strategy

Business relocation and expansion decisions are among the most important ones company executives have to face. The rapid advances in information and communications technology over the past few years have dictated a change in the attitude towards working practices, employment patterns and, subsequently business relocation.

When moving a business, small or large, IT relocation strategy matters. Many businesses can not afford to be off their computers for more than a couple of hours. The process of relocation involves the difficult task of packing and a risky affair of moving. The IT department is often called upon to coordinate an internal department move, help relocate a remote office, or be involved in an entire company move. But IT and communications relocation are far more than just disconnecting, packaging and moving equipment. Among most common reasons of business moving disasters are: poor planning, lack of understanding of all of the essential IT components and services that are required and inability to develop a realistic and practical timeline. Many times a decision to move is dictated by availability of space, contract obligations and a desire to minimize the time of operation in multiple locations during the transition.

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DLS Announces Hosted PBX Development Roadmap

With a focus on more advanced Unified Communications features and improved price performance model, DLS Internet, a leading provider of Hosted Unified Communications solutions, unveils vision and service roadmap for its new Hosted PBX service until spring of 2013. Among other features, the roadmap reveals future plans for integration with Microsoft Office, Skype, addition of Web Conferencing, desktop sharing and support for latest handsets from Cisco, Polycom, Grandstream and SNOM. It contains changes to service features, explains naming guidelines and a release timeline for DLS Hosted PBX service releases.

Since 2004 DLS had focused on continuously advancing its VoIP Hosted PBX service. It now possess a powerful combination of technology leadership and service capabilities enabling the company to provide end-to-end turn-key Unified Communications solutions that fulfill the most demanding expectations from its customers and business partners.

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