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Posts from September 2009

Humorous video - in how many movies is the "No Signal" theme over-used?

It's Friday, so here's a bit of humor... I admit that I had not really paid attention to how incredibly over-used the "my cellphone has no signal" theme has been in recent movies until I saw this video. Keep watching, though, because after the "no signal" theme, it does go into other amusingly over-used themes like dropping mobile phones in water, ripping them apart, burning them, etc....

Kudos to someone named Rich Juzwiak for apparently editing together pieces of 66 movies!

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Skype takes a SIP of Cisco with UC500 Skype For SIP certification

skypeforsip.jpgIt's been a busy month for the folks in the Skype For SIP project. First, back on September 9, Skype announced ShoreTel interoperability. Then last week on September 17, Skype announced interop with the open source SIPFoundry sipXecs product.

Today, though, is Skype's biggest announcement yet - they are announcing the certification of Cisco's Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business as interoperable with Skype For SIP.

Beyond simply the interop, what's perhaps more interesting is to note the direct Cisco involvement with this news release (through a quote). Looking at the overall industry, it's interesting to see Cisco and Skype connecting. I admit that I haven't studied Cisco's UC500 product much at all, although per the news release it sounds like they are doing some interesting things with it:

The Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series platform is part of Cisco’s Smart Business Communications System which continues to expand having just added a new set of IP phones with high definition audio, a unified threat management device as well as support for third party application integration, including products from healthcare, automotive and insurance industries.

Congrats to both Skype and Cisco on this announcement. I expect we'll be seeing more of these announcements in the weeks and months ahead as Skype continues to aggressively court partners. The Skype For SIP offering does provide some useful functionality for on-premise IP-PBX systems:

  • Ability to receive inbound calls from Skype users
  • Ability to receive inbound calls from PSTN users through "online numbers" (formerly SkypeIn)
  • Ability to place outbound calls to PSTN users

The Online Number functionality is particularly interesting as you can easily set up any series of numbers in other parts of the world that ring back into your IP-PBX. Sure, you can do that with any other SIP trunking provider, too, but Skype makes it incredibly easy to provision those numbers - and for a very low annual cost, too. Making your IP-PBX accessible to all the Skype users, too, is quite powerful.

Now if only you could make outbound calls to Skype users... (NOT possible with Skype For SIP, but possible with Skype For Asterisk).

Anyway, congrats again to Skype and Cisco on this announcement.

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I'll be at VON in Miami on Monday, Sept 21, 2009

von2009logo.jpg If any of you will be down at VON next week in South Beach, Miami, FL, next week, I'll be part of two presentations on Monday, September 21, 2009. The full abstracts are outlined on a Voxeo events page, but the titles are:
10 – 11:15am, Beyond Boxes: The Future of the PBX 11:30 – 12:30pm, The Apps Race: Building a Developer Community in the New Telecom World

The second one should be fun as it's with my good friend Thomas Howe (who also has a spiffy new website). It's just Thomas and I and a moderator, talking about developer ecosystems. Good stuff!

I'm only there at VON on Monday. That evening I'll be driving up to Orlando where I'll be spending Tuesday through Friday at Voxeo's corporate office. But if you are down at VON, please do say hello.

P.S. And yes, this is the "new" VON put on by Virgo Publishing after they purchased the VON name and tradeshow from Pulvermedia. It will be interesting to see how it is as a show.

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Onward the disruption - Skype's sale to private investors is a great step

skype_logo.pngBack on Tuesday, the online news and blogs sites were buzzing insanely with the word that eBay was selling Skype. Somewhat bizarrely, Skype was also issuing a news release the same day about Skype For Asterisk now being available to all. As if that even remotely had a chance of being written about...

In the midst of all that, I was in transit to ITEXPO in Los Angeles where I was speaking and had no time to add my own commentary. So let me just point to some others. First, the "official" statements:

There were obviously MANY blog posts written, but here were a few that caught my eye:

Phil also created a great chart based on Om's data:

From my perspective, the sale is a great step forward for Skype. The acquisition by eBay always seemed a bit odd and never seemed to fit quite right. Returning to a private and focused ownership will hopefully give the company a chance to focus and grow.

Despite any criticism I may make of Skype (primarily around their fractured product strategy), I'm a huge fan of Skype, a HEAVY user of Skype on a daily basis, a paying Skype customer (for inbound numbers and calling credits) and yes, I do write about them a good bit. They are a fun company to have around the industry... they have definitely disrupted the industry in so many ways... and it's definitely good to have them around to keep people thinking about what's possible. Plus, the product's just a great communication tool. So I am glad to see this news.

Now let's see how this "New Chapter" really does begin...

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