Our industry is renowned for producing lots of acronyms – it makes sure no one else knows what we are talking about !
VoIM or Voice over Instant Messenger is the ability while instant messaging to then have a voice call using VoIP, the question here is are we talking an IM client with VoIP capability or a VoIP client with IM capability, by this we mean MSN Messenger which most users will use for Instant Messaging and probably not think about the VoIP capabilities or Skype where most people will use the VoIP capability and not think too much about Instant Messages.
I guess this technology will grow and grow as it seems logical to turn an IM conversation into voice if more clarification is needed (we can still talk faster than we can type – for now anyway !)
Currently this is very much a Peer to Peer type technology but more solutions are being implemented in the Enterprise space for group chat which will then lead to the ability for group calls, conferencing etc.
We are old and grey enough to remember when IBM with ROLM were a major force in the PBX market but after stellar success they faded and were overtaken by the competition. It seems IBM are dipping a toe back in the PBX market by pairing up with Digium and offering a version of the popular Opensource Asterisk PBX system as an add on to their Smart Cube office in a box package.
Customers purchase the Asterisk application from IBM’s Smart Market, and then go to IBM for support. Digium support staff is on call to IBM for tier 2 support, but customers will dealy directly with IBM. The PBX software is sold in two sizes, 20 and 40 concurrent calls.
Smart Cube is sold as a hardware platform with a base set of applications on it and a second set of applications available for customers to buy via Smart Market to address their specific business needs. The Asterisk software can be configured and managed via IBM’s Smart Desk management dashboard, which gives a common look to management of all the Smart Market applications.
Lets see how successful this is and maybe IBM will produce their own flavour of Asterisk in the future.
One of our personal pet hates and I am sure yours also is the way mobile phone manufacturers use different chargers and headset/earphone connectors. Some manufacturers change from model to model so a family household with a number of mobiles will end up with chargers plugged in all over the house and a range of different headphones left lying around often being searched for in vain.
We are pleased to see the CTIA International Wireless Association is pushing for manufacturers to standardize on 3.5mm jack for headphones/headset and the Micro USB for data I/O and charging. This has to be common sense and will be good for the consumer and for the environment as think of all the spare headphones and chargers in the world that end up in landfill.
If the manufacturers follow the CTIA requirements then we should be in a situation where a charger, data cable and headphones will fit any mobile phone so you will not need to purchase them every time you upgrade your phone.
Press release on the CTIA website here.