Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Microsoft and Skype

On the 10th of May it was announced that Microsoft had agreed a deal to acquire Skype for US$8.5 billion. Since then there has been much industry chatter about ‘why’ and ‘what’ this means for the industry. For me the only question mark is over how much they paid.

Microsoft has been moving into telephony for a number of years now. It was a natural progression for its business offering to include telephony, voice and video, in the evolution of work-based collaboration and in fact voice and video have been available as part of MSN Messenger for many years. This highlights an area of synergy between Microsoft and Skype; Microsoft, with MSN Messenger, allowed people to communicate over the Internet for free, exactly the area of the market that has proved to be so successful for Skype.

So, why Skype? Well, Skype is the world’s only truly global telephony service provider. It can offer it’s users connectivity to the PSTN, allowing calls to any phone/mobile phone in the world whilst offering the new generation services such as instant messaging, presence and video calls, to its on-net customers. When you start to look at the services Skype can offer it’s customers  - yes some are free, but many do have a cost associated with them  - then you start to appreciate how Microsoft can exploit this with it’s own products and not just for the home user but for business as well.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Come see us at the NENA show

Day 2 of the NENA trade show starts in an hour. Whether you are interested in hearing about gateways to support next generation 9-1-1 , software only solutions for enterprise or emergency service specific needs, or the latest in cloud-based telephony, Aculab has something for everyone.

Come and meet the team:

David Samuel - Global Sales and Marketing Director
Ian Colville - Product Manager
Mile Donoghue - US Sales Director
John Kozlowski - Account Manager

Here they are yesterday on the stand, booth 324.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Don't wait for an emergency before you call Aculab - NENA 2011 booth 324

Tomorrow will see the team from Aculab flying to the National Emergency Number Association – NENA 2011 – conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center in the appropriately named ‘City of Lakes’. That is, unpronounceable Icelandic volcanoes permitting – well, you never know when an emergency situation will arise. Although I guess you wouldn’t call 9-1-1 to get out of that kind of disaster.
So, barring accidents – touch wood and all that – we’ll be arriving at the Lindbergh terminal in Minneapolis-Saint Paul International on Saturday evening, before heading downtown to our hotel near the Convention Center.

The NENA 2011 event takes place between June 18th and 23rd in downtown Minneapolis and is the public safety industry’s premier annual conference and tradeshow. The primary theme of this year’s event is the next generation transformation of the 9-1-1 system, in which, incidentally, Aculab’s GroomerII gateway plays a key role.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

HD Voice – it’s all about connecting up the disparate islands

File:Oeresund Bridge.jpg
Oresund Bridge, image source: Wikipedia

This weeks announcement[1] by Orange that it plans to roll out mobile HD Voice to several more countries throughout Europe, and from UK operator Three that they will roll out HD Voice capability to ‘most’ phones by the autumn is good news for the spread of HD Voice, but Orange are missing a trick.

Read down to the bottom of the Orange press release and you come to the part about hooking up its HD Voice capable mobile networks with its own broadband fixed network service that currently has approximately 800,000 subscribers. Orange is not planning to enable a customer who might have its wideband service on their home network to talk to someone (possibly a member of the same family) in HD Voice quality on a mobile phone until 2012 or 2013!