What equipment you need to smoothly run your home phone service?

VoIP or home phone service lets you make phone calls and receive them through internet instead of the usual telephone networks. However, you need certain type of hardware to accomplish that and without which you won’t be able to use this phone system. You will need a computer and a phone set. Some companies such as Axvoice provide high quality home phone service while others just charge you without providing you the services worth the money you invested in them. You should therefore go through the customer reviews to know whom you should trust and whom to avoid. Before making the final decision to subscribe to internet phone, you should also look for the different internet connection options and choose that connection which would aptly run your phone without any glitches. Usually when buying an internet connection specifically for internet phone, people often forget that the internet connection they are subscribing for will eventually be used for other purposes as well and not for the phone alone. An internet connection with just enough speed to run the internet phone won’t suffice when you will put the connection for other data type transfers as well like text files, video steaming and large documents sharing online. Internet connection should be much faster than the requirement so you can accomplish different tasks at the same time with a single connection. Here is the equipment that you would need to easily run your phone service.

VoIP ATA

ATA which stands for Analog Telephone Adapter is a must piece of equipment in order to run the internet phone. This equipment acts as a hub and connects the telephone with the VoIP digital phone. When you are using a PC to PC VoIP then all you need is software that is installed on your PC and the other PC with which you wish to communicate and an internet connection will connect both the PCs without any equipment needed. ATA is used for the dedicated VoIP services only which cannot function without it.

Handsets and headsets

Handsets are very important for fully utilizing your internet phone service. Handsets can be connected to the PC through a USB port and used anywhere in a home or office. Headset is used for making and receiving phone calls through a PC. It has a speaker with which you can listen to a person at the other end and the mic provides you the facility to speak. This particular hardware is only required when you want to use your PC to make and receive phone calls. Headset makes it easy for you to listen to different calls and you don’t even need to hold your handset for a very long time, which can be tiring.

Proper hardware equipment is very important in fully utilizing the VoIP service. Good quality equipment not only converts the voice perfectly which makes the phone usage experience more pleasant but you can enjoy better sound quality too. Even with high quality VoIP equipment, there is still need to have a reliable phone service because that would also ensure a trouble free phone service.

 

Published on March 24th, 2011 under

QuickFuse: An Intuitive Cloud Telephony Service to create Smarter Voice Applications

Source: voip-hype.com

QuickFuse (http://quickfuseapps.com/)a one-of-a-kind interactive voice response (IVR) editor and platform that’s controlled from a web browser, puts APIs in the background and brings visual call flows to the foreground, allowing anyone to participate in the creation of dialogs that communicate with consumers, utilizing the most advanced speech technologies.

QuickFuse eliminates the complexity of using disparate technologies to build voice applications by offering a self-contained cloud service that has all the features of an enterprise voice platform, at a fraction of the cost. The QuickFuse editor enables visual modeling of call logic and call flows by “snapping together” components from a library of application models that cover all of the requirements of IVR, messaging, telephony applications and data management.

Voice applications often derive their sophistication and utility from integration with corporate data; QuickFuse facilitates integration with external databases and business logic via ready-to-go web service modules. QuickFuse also caters to rapid development by incorporating a self-contained cloud database with every QuickFuse account. 

QuickFuse’s features are designed to make the platform accessible to any business, and with a simple pay-as-you-go price model, it’s the most cost-effective, feature-rich platform on the market. Features include:

  • Powerful Outbound Calling: Launch outbound call campaigns in minutes. There’s no need to program outbound call mechanisms or voice scripts. Simply use the QuickFuse call queue to place calls and create automated caller dialogs with the QuickFuse editor.
  • Operates on Real Data: QuickFuse’s easy-to-use database stores business data for use in any voice applications or use REST APIs to integrate with external databases.
  • Visual Interface: To build voice applications, developers and business administrators don’t need a programmer’s reference manual, a server in a data center or technical expertise. All applications are created in a web browser and stored in the cloud.
  • Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech: Choose from three TTS engines and nearly 40 voices in a variety of languages. Speech recognition and TTS are supported to let developers create more sophisticated applications.

Companies are already using QuickFuse to build:

  • Virtual receptionists
  • Notification systems
  • Order-taking hotlines
  • Automated surveys
  • Bill pay systems and more

In the 30 days immediately following its commercial release, more than 10,000 developers and business users created voice applications on the (QuickFuse) cloud telephony platform.  

The applications created on the QuickFuse platform range from simple call routing systems to complex programs that integrate with back-office data while utilizing speech recognition and text-to-speech.  A survey of users indicates the value of the QuickFuse platform lies in the ability to visually map call flow and business logic as well as rapidly iterate voice applications using the platform’s versioning, cloning, and sharing capabilities.

QuickFuse was designed to reduce the cost of developing and supporting voice applications by empowering non-technical personnel with the ability to administer software that will automate any phone call through a web browser.  Data shows that QuickFuse has attracted a user base mostly comprised of businesses that want to minimize the diversion of important technical resources to the tasks associated with creating and managing telephony systems

In the months since its launch, QuickFuse has integrated functionality that enables developers to build applications using SMS, Twitter, and Email.   QuickFuse is becoming a multimodal application that ensures accessibility on virtually every communications platform possible.  In the future, Plum intends to make QuickFuse both HIPPA and PCI compliant so that companies looking to implement an enterprise solution can utilize the QuickFuse platform for their service level business needs.

Published on March 18th, 2011 under , , , ,

Vocalocity’s New Partner Program Offers Added Development Tools And Expanded Revenue Opportunities

Source: voip-hype.com

Vocalocity, the leading cloud-based phone service for small business, today announces a more comprehensive reseller program for solution providers and channel partners. The program was designed to enable partners to grow their consultative business and build new revenue opportunities. A new integration toolkit gives developers and resellers an easy way to customizing applications they can monetize.

Vocalocity is turning to solution providers and partners — the trusted advisors to thousands of small businesses — to help their customers get the most out of current and future enhancements in cloud based communications services.

“We are counting on our channel partners to help us sustain our rapid year-over-year growth,” says Wain Kellum, CEO of Vocalocity. “The new program allows tremendous flexibility from partners who simply send us leads, or those that actually manage sales cycles, and up to ones creating sophisticated plug-ins adding tremendous value to our core service offering.”

Since 2005, Vocalocity has continued to grow at an accelerated rate, recently making Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies” based upon its investment in technology, quality and customer service.

According to Vocalocity partner James Snodgrass at Phoenix PC Networking, the enhancements compliment an already successful offering. “Vocalocity’s program is the most lucrative out there – margins have been outrageously good,” says Snodgrass. “We are a computer company and we do the whole hosted thing. Vocalocity is the most flawless.”

Vocalocity officials say the program enhancements represent a ten-fold increase in their commitment to the channel with that investment trajectory expected next year too.

“As small businesses learn more about cloud computing and look for innovative ways to increase their productivity and reduce costs, they’ll turn to existing relationships for advice,” says Steve Byrd, VP of business development for Vocalocity. “We took great care in retooling our partner program so many different types of companies can now take advantage. It is not another ‘One size fits all’ approach which is prevalent in our industry. Our partners get to make decisions on where they’d like to invest in order to build their business with Vocalocity.”

The reseller program now includes:

  • Cooperative Marketing and Sales Programs
  • Extensive sales training,
  • Technical certification training for professional services and support
  • Technology and tools for acquiring customers, provisioning end users, management consoles, reporting and advanced application integration
  • Access to Vocalocity Technical resources via the Vocalocity Partner Portal

For more details on the program, go to http://www.vocalocity.com/partners/.
To learn more about the new program in person, simply drop by booth 1637 at Channel Expo 2011 in Las Vegas.

 

Published on March 10th, 2011 under

Voice over WiFi or No Calling From The Sky-It’s About Manners

Source: andyabramson.blogs.com

USA Today had a well penned story yesterday about the pros and cons of WiFi calling from the air on the GoGo and Row44 service. The story highlights a call being made via client Truphone’s service from the sky using their application on an iPhone. USA Today reports that the reaction was more positive in tone from the in-flight crew, but there’s no question this is a topic that remains highly controversial.

The reason this was possible is how the GoGo service from Aircell watches for Skype packets, not others as much. Last year Joanna Stern (then of Laptop Magazine and now with Gizmodo) and I had a very well documented Phweet call to the sky that proved voice calls are possible. Over the past year I’ve heard of others also making calls, but despite the protests from some parts of the flying public and the claims by the airlines and Aircell, I’ve yet to hear of any "confrontations" in the air over a call being placed. What this really comes down to interpersonal behavior. Making a call on a red eye flight when other passengers near you are trying to sleep is a non starter, as it’s just plain rude. But what about the crying baby or the non-stop chatter seated in the row behind you. You know the type. They’re the ones who nervously talk like a blue streak to their companion or simply a seat mate whom they just met. That doesn’t sound much different, and is just as annoying or more so than a short call via Truphone or Skype would be. Besides, the background noise from the plane makes it not much of a conversation from the flights I’ve been on.

Now, if the new airliners, ala the AirBus 380 could have a phone booth, just like they could have a baby changing station too, we’d all have privacy and a place to call from, but as for existing aircraft, unless the airlines set up a calling section, ala the smoking sections of days gone by, we won’t be dialing much. On the new super airlines coming from Boeing and the Airbus 380 their "private compartments" are so protected that WiFi calling wouldn’t disturb a soul, so in those situations calls should be permitted, once they get WiFi installed globally.

Bottom line–prohibiting calling out right would be a mistake. Teaching manners, and when to call, now there’s something we all can live with.

Published on September 30th, 2009 under , , ,

Verizon Hub is Discontinued

Looks like Verizon has pulled the plug on the HUB, their VoIP product.
Strike two for them, as they also pretty killed off Voice Wing too.

Published on September 29th, 2009 under

Clearwire Positioning For More Money

Source: andyabramson.blogs.com

The New York Times has what we in the media world refer to as a positioning piece about both Sprint and Clearwire.

It provides a nice overview on the state of the company and signals the financial community that the leadership is coming to Wall Street and other investment hotbeds that they will be heading there way.

Personally, my experience with Clearwire/XOHM was limited to a demo during the original launch in Baltimore about a year ago so I’m hopeful on a trip to Las Vegas or Portland I can see how it really has changed, and if those changes are for the better.

Published on September 28th, 2009 under ,

Mask and Gun or Just Very Smart?

Source: andyabramson.blogs.com

Florian Seroussi is saying Google Voice is a Missed Robbery Attempt along the information highway. I’ll call that "highway robbery" as his post today is very thought provoking but as a former sports guy, and being it’s football season, I’d say GoogleVoice really is all about splitting the seams and throwing a touchdown when the opposition is bigger, better and stronger, but not as fleet a foot. Or to put it in hockey parlance, they went around the defense when the defensemen were caught flatfooted.

Google Voice, like Skype takes advantage of IP packets and networks, that despite being limited in the USA of who provides access, once you’re on, tends to be like the wild, wild West. It’s a free for all and both Google and Skype know how to navigate packets around it very, very well.

The "company stores" meaning Verizon, AT&T, Qwest and others all charge rates they set, and really if you look at mobile overall they seem to all charge the same, for about the same services, features and even for the most part, coverage. They offering you nothing new until they’re ready to, and for the most part give very average customer service.

Then along comes the disruptors. GrandCentral which disrupted termination; Skype which disrupted both origination and termination, as well as just hijacking minutes overall, Gizmo which did the same as Skype and even to Skype, without as much hoopla, but every bit of the same logic as others.

Each one has at some point likely had a conversation or two with Biz Dev folks at the major USA carriers, offering them the chance for some type of relationship. Each has likely shown how they can do more for the carrier or Mobile Network Operator and their customer and each has likely walked out saying "they just don’t get it."

So they go it alone, figure out how to do it on their own, and when enough minutes get diverted, someone at the carrier/MNO wakes up and yells "we’re getting beaten and these guys are doing it with our networks." That’s when the fun begins and is what we’re seeing now.

I would contend that AT&T had as much of an opportunity to embrace GrandCentral, and actually, had much of what GC was providing with CallVantage, before the boys in Texas, from SBC killed it.

1) It was a one number solution BEFORE GrandCentral was even alive

2) It offered one number to multiple destinations BEFORE GrandCentral was even alive

3) It offered Do Not Disturb and Number blocking BEFORE GrandCentral was even alive

4) It used VoIP to carry the traffic, using other carriers networks BEFORE GrandCentral was even alive

5) It provided the ability to dial in and hear you voice mail, from anywhere BEFORE GrandCentral was even alive

6) It delivered your voice mail to email BEFORE GrandCentral was even alive

7)They had begun offering a softclient for use on a PC BEFORE GrandCentral or GoogleTalk with voice was even alive

8) They had the ability to bridge calls ala GoogleVoice BEFORE GrandCentral was even alive

So, to go one step farther, AT&T had so much of what GoogleVoice is today, and a massive head start long before GrandCentral became even a dream of Craig and Vincent’s as they were still at Yahoo having sold DialPad when CallVantage was launched.

Had AT&T not abandoned CallVantage the way it did, (and is now starting up another VoIP project that will basically do the same thing I hear) but instead looked at how it could blend the services of CallVantage with their then small mobile network they would have had something unduplicated at the time and likely still unduplicated today. But like so many mistakes, AT&T sold off perhaps at the time, the most advanced technically mobile network to Cingular, which then became AT&T Mobility post SBC merger, and at the same time cut the balls off of CallVantage, eliminating all marketing and further technical development. Had the vision of what the AT&T Labs guys had likely seen, the combination of software as a service in the cloud of CallVantage, with the most advanced mobile network in the USA (after all of Cingular/AT&T Mobility had caught up–which it is still trying to do) there wouldn’t be a GrandCental/Google Voice vs. AT&T battle. And what’s more, it would have forced the other mobile operators to go along and work to bring more GV/GC like services to market sooner. This is no different than what the then TimeWarner Cable execs did to AOL’s VoIP offering, basically telling the AOL executives you will not have a voice play because it will cut into TimeWarner Cable’s attempts to start selling voice too. Like with AT&T the currently in power executives at the top won the battles, not because of anything more than fear that someone would do better with less than they could do with more.

I’m sorry, Florian, and all those who take the view of this being a robbery attempt, or as I call it "highway robbery." It was simply the fact that instead of wanting to offer the public better options, which they would likely pay for, the carriers in the USA simply want us all to make do with lousy coverage, poor call quality, less than available and desired features and most of all higher prices than we need to pay. Instead of looking at Google and GoogleVoice as the enemy, they should figure out how to make things work better with them, and share in the pie that’s out there, instead of wanting it all, and just lining the pockets of lawyers, lobbyists and investment bankers.

Published on September 27th, 2009 under

New App Store App Reduces Calls To Premium Rate Numbers

Source: andyabramson.blogs.com

One of the problems folks in the UK have is calling premium rate numbers. Well not any more.

Check out the details about this application that works on both the iPhone and the Android.

0870 turns 08* numbers — such as 0870, 0845 and 0800 — which cost 35p per minute to call (on top of what you’re already paying for your contracted minutes) into 01* or 02* numbers, which come out of your allowance or are very cheap on Pay As You Go.

What’s more interesting is how it took Apple 429 days to approve the application.

Is Apple protecting it’s carrier partner relationships and taking the hit on app store approvals?

Years ago in my days in sports, famed Flyers coach, Fred Shero, taught me and others about the way to examine the opposition. He called it "tendencies." Shero was a follower of even more famous Soviet hockey team coach named Anatoly Tarasov, the recognized father of Russian hockey in the modern era. The two were masters of understanding how tendencies and patterns seemed to replicate in teams and Tarasov used those approaches to wine world championships, just the same way that Fred Shero won back to back Stanley Cup championships. This leads me to a global perspective being needed to uncover what may or may not be a pattern and tendency on someone’s part to always do things the same way.

Published on September 26th, 2009 under , , , , , ,
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