Now the dust has settled (literally) on the Icelandic Volcanic disruption it got us thinking about people being stranded in a remote country for some time.
With modern VoIP systems and Unified Communications users could easily work from their remote location assuming they had Broadband access then they would have a VoIP Client, Voicemail and email access – in fact was there any reason for them to rush back
In the last few months with the Snow problem and now the volcanic ash we can see compelling reasons to have remote access to the office.
We saw a really interesting article over on VON here about the decline of landlines in the USA, this got us thinking about some predictions we remember from the recent past.
Wth the explosion of mobile phone use and when WiFI was becoming popular it became clearly expected that all offices would become mobile and that fixed networks and PBX systems would die, to be honest we were believers in this. Mobile and WiFi has clearly had an effect on the way we do business but no where near to the extent that was predicted, desk users still prefer a PBX phone and a monitor, full size keyboard and mouse so for the majority of users not much has changed. For casual office users such as those on the road or home workers then their use of office technology has been made much easier and the growing use of FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) has meant their mobile phone can become an extension of the PBX when they are in the office.
For sure landlines re reducing as many new house owners do not bother getting a line connected and the growth and improvements in mobile broadband mean a user does not need an ADSL line, however we cannot believe that fixed land line use will die 100% as there is still a place for such technology.
We all remember watching old sci-fi films that showed the future (as in now) with us all driving flying cars and of course the reality is somewhat different !
A few weeks ago there was real talk about a new directory enquiry service that would allow you to find out mobile numbers for individuals – lots of people were talking about how to opt out of the service so you were ex directory.
The service is provided by 118 800 and it seems the service has been temporarily suspended, we had a look over on their website www.118800.co.uk and there is a statement as follows :
’118 800 mobile phone connection service is currently unavailable
We are undertaking some major developments to our ‘Beta Service’ to improve the experience for our customers. So the service isn’t available at www.118800.co.uk or by phone. We’ll be back as soon as possible .
All ex-directory requests made by people in our directory to date are being processed. There will be no need to resend these requests. And we will take further ex-directory requests when the service resumes. We will not be taking ex-directory requests by phone or text whilst the service is unavailable.’
Rumours on various sites say the service had to be taken down due to a large number of ex directory requests – most people I know did this but it seems to be fair to 118 800 that the service offered is not an open directory but merely a call filtering system, it seems calls are filtered and you can choose to accept a call or not after receiving a text.
It will be interesting to see if this service will be succesful – it looks like general business SPAM calls will not use it as it costs £1-00 to get a number request.
So after much speculation and jostling for position Avaya has signed agreements to purchase Nortel’s enterprise solutions business for $475 million USD a bargain even considering the current economic climate.
It will be interesting to see what happens as the two manufacturers share some common distribution for the dealer channel in Europe, in some cases this makes the acquisition easier but Avaya will need to be careful to ensure that one plus one does not end up equalling one. With care this should see Avaya being able to widen their sales reach right across Europe and beyond.
There should be some manufacturers who will be sitting up and taking notice such as Cisco, Siemens and Alcatel-Lucent as this new combined entity may push some of them off top spot in some European countries.
We wait to see if the Nortel name survives and what will be the consolidated product range in a few years time.
We have been testing some new products to add to our portfolio in the area of contact centres and it suddenly stuck us – what is a contact centre ?
In the good old days (you always sound like your father when you say this!) all contact to a contact centre was via the telephone that is why they used to be called call centres but now a company can receive regular telephone contact, VoIP Calls such as Skype services, On Line Chat, emails and voicemails and in reality these all need to be handled in the correct manner. All companies are chasing business hard and who are we to advise a potential customer of the best way to contact us so we need to handle all contacts in the same efficient manner.
For Contact centre developers this brings a new challenge of being able to handle all these contacts and order them and feed them to the correct or best agents and then be able to report on how they were dealt with. I am sure that soon contacts from Social Networking will become an important part of business.
We also see that new generation customers are much more comfortable to do business without using the telephone and relying on chat or email for contact so contact centres have to move with the times and work patterns adjusted accordingly as these contacts still need to be handled in the way a phone ringing is handled.
Google has announced it has begun accepting new users for Google Voice, but this is not the full public launch. After a lot of speculation about when the service would actually go live, Google began sending emails to users who had registered interest back in March.
Google did not say how many invitations would be sent at this limited release for the service or when a general launch will begin.
Google will be using the transcribed voicemails for contextual advertising this has led to complaints from consumer groups that this may be an invasion of privacy, however it is obvious that like Gmail many users are prepared to accept targeted advertising for a free service. It seems that correctly targeted advertising sits OK with most users as opposed to being bombarded with glossy flashing general adverts.
See the announcement on the Officail Google Blog Here.
We are seeing lots of rumours about who is going to buy the Enterprise division of Nortel – it seems Avaya is the favourite with Nokia Siemens Networks and GENBAND also interested and for sure there will be several other parties looking closely as the price will be very good on account of Nortel’s financial problems.
We are interested to see what happens should Avaya acquire Nortel, they have in the past bought SDX Business Systems in the UK and what was originally the Network Alchemy system became the IP Office which is the mainstay of the SME business sector for Avaya. They have also in the past purchased Tenovis in Germany but that was more a market share acquisition and that product range seemed to disappear.
If Avaya completes the acquisition then it will need to be smooth and they will have to ensure that customers have a migration path from existing Nortel products to Avaya product or else the competition will be all over them.
On the IridiaBlog in the main we like to talk about the VoIP and GSM industry in general but now and again we make a plug about our own business (something has to pay the bills !!!)
We have recently seen a demand from users who wish to purchase GSM and VoIP gateways online as they feel they have enough technical competence to implement them themselves with out the need for a reseller. So due to popular demand we have launched Voice and IP our on line store at www.voiceandip.co.uk
You are able to purchase our most popular gateways online and we will be adding more products over time. You will receive our usual high quality after sales service. Pop over and have a look.
Here in Hertfordshire today we have had around 8 inches of snow with more to come later today and tomorrow. Lots of people have decided to stay at home and it got me thinking that this weather shows the power of Voice over IP. Today I can stay at home work remotely from the office using our VPN and using a VoIP telephone I have my office extension at home with access to voicemail etc. So really no difference to normal except I am at home in the warm looking out at the snow
So now I am wondering why do I go into the office at all ?!?
This month seems to be developing in to a Google Android themed one – our regular readers will know we are fans of Open Source as this seems to promote developments and brings more people to the party for innovation on products.
Our previous post shows an Android based Desktop device, the NIMble from Touch Revolution, this time we are discussing a portable device that is not a mobile phone but can support Skype and VoIP. The GiiNii Mini Movit is being touted as a Mobile Internet device aimed at young people who want to access the internet on the go and a lot more besides.
WiFi for hotspot use anywhere
Built-in microphone/speaker to make Skype calls and more
Bluetooth 2.0 if you want to use a headset or pair with other Bluetooth device
Video & still camera can be used as webcam
Address book gives you easy access to desired phone numbers
Stream video and audio
Built-in lithium battery so you can take it anywhere
Easily connect to social networks like Facebook™, MySpace™, Twitter™, etc.
The specification looks good but I think they missed a trick by not adding mobile access such as 3G but it seems that Android is lending itself well to Touch Screen access so lets see what other innovative devices come out with Android.