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Archive for January, 2010

Laying Down Some Hate on Handsets

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Posted by Brian Riggs, Current Analysis | Jan 19, 2010 for No Jitter Blog

The desk phone is dead. I’m used to hearing Microsoft hating on handsets, but IBM? The obsolesce of the desk phone was by no means among the overarching themes at the Lotusphere 2010 conference this week, nor did session and keynote speakers drone on about it. But the message was there, and frankly it took me by surprise.

I first picked up on it in David Marshak’s Sametime Unified Telephony break-out session. In it he described the Cisco IP phone on his desk as “lonely” since the majority of incoming calls get routed to his mobile. David went on to note that in most companies there exists an easily defined set of end users who are either highly mobile (and therefore live by their cell phone) or spend precious little of their workday away from PCs perfectly capable of running a soft phone client. In fact, according to David, IBM is currently identifying employees who don’t really need their desk phones–probably among the 3,500 employees connected to Sametime Unified Telephony, a number that is supposed to increase to a startling 30,000 by the end of the year. A couple hours later Software Architect Chris Price briefly echoed the who-needs-a-desk-set sentiment in his Sametime Unified Telephony deep-dive, and during his UC keynote Vice President Bruce Morse played a video of an IBM customer who hailed the decommissioning of handsets as a key benefit as they consider deploying Sametime Unified Telephony.

IBM talking smack about desksets is so surprising because of the stress the company places on partnering with, not displacing, the PBX developers who are still very much in the business of selling IP phones to SMBs and enterprises. After all, Sametime Unified Telephony has no inherent call control software. Rather, it relies on integration with third-party PBXs–systems from Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, NEC, and Siemens Enterprise are currently supported–to process calls. This is fundamentally different from Microsoft’s approach since OCS can integrate with PBXs but possesses the call control software that allows it to replace them at the heart of a company’s voice network. For a number of years now Microsoft has been very aggressive in positioning the Microsoft Office Communicator client as a viable alternative to a PBX-attached desk set.

The Sametime client can of course provide the same click-to-call and other telephony features. And with the release of SameTime Unified Telephony last year, IBM can now deliver a soft phone that combines instant messaging presence, telephony presence, and the ability to initiate and receive calls in a multivendor PBX environment. So while IBM has stayed out of the PBX business, it is quite capable of delivering a UC-enriched soft phone that works with a variety of voice systems. Until now I’ve only heard of these telephony-capable IBM clients positioned as alternatives to the soft phones and UC clients that PBX developers themselves sell. IBM now seems to be comfortable talking to customers about completely replacing digital and IP handsets.

I can certainly see why certain businesses would want to consider decommissioning either some or all desk phones. Why bother investing hundreds of dollars in an IP phone when a UC client or mobile phone can provide a richer communications experience? As UC clients proliferate it will make perfect sense to begin using them as replacements for, rather than adjuncts to, traditional desk phones. But this is all crazy talk if you’re in the business of selling IP phones, and in the unified communications market IBM remains closely allied on companies with just such as business. With the sale of IP phones such a lucrative business for IBM’s many PBX partners, I wonder if they will try to put the kibosh on all this no-need-for-desk-phones crazy talk.

How to Manage Your Company’s VoIP Phone System Without an IT Department

Monday, January 25th, 2010

by Kent Hellebust for TMCNet

Every leader of a small business is a general manager, and generally, they have to manage everything!  So, it’s up to the business owner to source phone equipment and services, often without an IT manager to help manage what can be a very complicated process. How should the small business work through this challenge? It’s as simple as 1-2-3.
  1. Start with what you know: Money. Small businesses need the best phone equipment and service at the best price they can find. Fortunately, technology developments have driven prices down in recent years. Extremely advanced digital phone systems are now available to businesses with as few as three or four employees. These systems have all the advanced features of the systems which larger businesses buy at a fraction of the price. They deliver the key benefit of “line leverage” or line sharing, in which multiple phones can be supported by a single phone line. This saves substantial money on a small business’s monthly phone service.

    Regarding the business phone service part of the equation, VoIP or “Voice over Internet Protocol” technology is the most rapidly growing segment in the telecommunications market, offered by most of the major players. In general, a VoIP business line runs between $25 and $30 a month, versus a traditional business phone line running between $40 and $60. The price is better because the technology is much more cost effective than older technology; most vendors pass this savings on to you.

  1. Look for a simple purchase process. The reason most small businesses don’t buy phone systems is that they are forced to buy the equipment separately from the service. They then have to figure out how to get the equipment to work with the service they bought! Look for a package deal, where the equipment and service come together, pre-configured to work with each other. Then you won’t get stuck in a finger-pointing battle between your equipment and service provider.
  1. Look for a simple installation process. When faced with the prospect of finding an equipment supplier, finding a service provider, and getting it all installed, most small business owners throw up their hands and hire an “independent telco agent” to do it for them. These agents charge between $1,000 and $2,000 to install everything, on top of equipment and service costs. Don’t spend this money! Find a provider who has focused on simplifying their technology, and who do the hard part of the installation for you. They should have simplified their equipment enough so that they are able to send you the phone system preconfigured, so all you have to do is plug it in. It’s a warning sign if they can’t do this, and insist that you hire someone or pay extra for the installation.

    Also beware of hidden installation fees. Agents typically charge $100 per phone to install wiring in your home or office. Then, if you want to change the location of your phone, you have to pay the fee again! New wireless technology allows you to avoid this charge by buying a simple $35 wireless adapter, so you can put your business phone anywhere you want it.

Phone (NewsAlert) service is necessary for your business, but you shouldn’t have to get a PhD in telecommunications, or hire an expensive IT manager, just because you are a 10 person company. Today, you can have all the latest telecommunication productivity and savings features, without the headaches of complex purchase and installation.

Avaya Lays Out Nortel Migration Road Map

Monday, January 18th, 2010

by Tim Greene for Network World

Avaya tomorrow will reveal a road map that shows how its customers – in particular its newly minted Nortel customerscan move to unified communications technologies without ripping out existing gear.

The plan particularly addresses how the company will eliminate overlap between its own and Nortel’s product lines, sometimes favoring Avaya technology, sometimes Nortel’s, in the areas of unified communications, contact centers, small and midsize businesses as well as network infrastructure. At the same time the plan enables cost savings via SIP trunking which will let customers send voice and data over one pipe rather than multiple lines and other reduced costs by centralizing administration of corporate phone systems, Avaya says.

The net result, says Alan Baratz, senior vice president and president for Global Communication Solutions at Avaya, is expanded capabilities, reduced costs and less disruptive change.

Promising to accomplish a significant part of this within the year is an aggressive goal that may impress Nortel customers looking for an attractive path to unified communications, says Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with the Yankee group.

Delivering on time is important because former Nortel customers that want to aggressively pursue UC won’t want to wait and wait, he says. Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy’s time at Cisco may help because of that rival’s experience in buying other companies and integrating them smoothly, he says.

“Every Nortel customer is going to have a competitive vendor trying to create a path to their own unified communications solution,” he says. Fumbling won’t be fatal, Kerravala says, but it could mean a loss of the impressive 25% marketshare he says Avaya has amassed in telephony.

As for the specifics of the road map, adding an essential SIP layer into the communications hierarchy will be accomplished via Avaya Aura, the company’s SIP-based communication software platform that will be sandwiched between communications infrastructure – such as PBXs – and services – such as voice, video, messaging, conferencing and mobility.

With Aura in place, legacy Avaya and Nortel PBXs will interoperate with SIP-based VoIP gear. So Nortel Communication Server 1000 IP PBX with Aura layered on top of it could interface with SIP-based phones plugged into the Aura side of the network. All the phones would have CS 1000 features and the same button sequencing in order to navigate those features, Baratz says. Also, legacy Nortel phones could be plugged into the Aura side of the network.

This move will reduce cost of adopting unified communications because it reduces the need for replacing PBXs and phones as well as the cost of retraining end users in how new phones work, he says.

The plan requires software integration and it won’t happen overnight, Baratz says, but it will be accomplished by the end of this year, likely in November, Baratz says. Nortel’s Business Communications System Manager will be incorporated into Aura, as will Nortel’s Agile Communications Environment (ACE), which enables infusing applications with communications capabilities.

The changes will be distributed as software upgrades to current Aura customers.

This strategy isn’t surprising, Kerravala says, because Aura was designed to embrace an SIP-based gear, no matter who the vendor. Integration with Nortel equipment should be simpler because Avaya owns both sets of assets so can make their SIP implementations compatible. Standards-compliant implementations of SIP can vary enough that they don’t interoperate, he notes.

In the area of contact centers, Avaya has decided that Nortel’s Contact Center will be integrated into the product line in lieu of Avaya’s. Over the next six to nine months, revisions of Nortel’s Contact Center will prepare it to become the Avaya offering for midsize businesses rather than Contact Center Express.

The contact center software from Nortel will be further developed to incorporate all of the architectural features Avaya envisions for contact centers, then further developed so it can scale to enterprise proportions. These two revisions will take six to nine months each. At that point the software will become an upgrade to replace Avaya’s high-end Contact Center Elite.

Baratz says that even before the acquisition of Nortel, Avaya acknowledged that Nortel’s midsize contact center was better. “It was very close to the ultimate product we wanted,” he says.

Avaya plans to slowly reduce the number of telephony options available for small and midsize enterprises. It plans to bring legacy Avaya Partner and Integral 5 key systems as well as Nortel Norstar systems under the umbrella of its IP Office gear.

IP Office will be developed to support Norstar systems and Nortel Business Communications Manager hybrid PBXs, and a few years down the line will replace them. But in the meantime, Norstar and BCM will remain available. “Nothing abrupt is going to happen here,” Baratz says.

Nortel’s Software Communications System SIP appliance will join the portfolio as is. There is no analogous Avaya product.
Nortel brought along a portfolio of switches, network security and wireless gear for which Avaya has no competing equipment. Avaya plans to sell these products and develop them to interoperate more closely with its unified communications infrastructure, Baratz says.

For instance, the wireless gear and switches can be tweaked to give more complete data about the presence of mobile workers. Currently they reveal whether an individual is available via voice. With better integration they could say that the individual is available on a mobile device and where it is located, he says.

But Kerravala says that Avaya needs to develop its gear to be competitive with other infrastructure vendors feature for feature, not just to have switches and routers that augment communications. He says Avaya owns 5% of the infrastructure market by virtue of buying Nortel and should let it operate as a separate division directly taking on Cisco, HP and others. “It’s a big installed base,” he says.

This story, “Avaya lays out Nortel migration road map,” was originally published at Follow the latest developments in unified communications at Network World.

Survive a Recession- Keep Your Small Business Going

Monday, January 18th, 2010

via Ezine Articles

The economic situation that we are dealing with right now has everyone wondering how they are going to make ends meet. Not only does this include the average family, but also the small business owner. As an owner, you have seen your business grow from the start, but that does not mean you want to see it fall. There are ways that you are able to survive a recession and keep your business going strong. One of the first things you can do is listen to your customers. Have you been noticing them complaining about one particular problem in their lives? Maybe they have stopped buying one of your products? Whatever it is, see if there is anything you can do to remedy the situation for them.

Showing your customers that you will be there for them, even in such a difficult time for yourself, is the best way to survive a recession. Not only will your customers trust you more, you might even end up with a better product. Another thing you can do is diversify your product line as much as you can. You do not have to go out and completely double what you offer your customers, but maybe try offering one or two new products or services. This ties in with the listening tip because your customers will appreciate the variety that you are giving them. Of course it also will increase your profit because you are selling more merchandise.

Another reason why offering new products or services are a good idea is because it is much easier to keep your current customers than it is to gain new customers. That has never been truer than during a recession. If you want your business to survive a recession, you need to keep giving your current customers reasons to keep coming back. If you spend all your time trying to get new customers, you might overlook the basic needs that gained you any customers in the first place. Another thing you can do is to increase your company’s value. You can do this by bettering your customer service, for example.

Perhaps one of the best things you can do to survive a recession as a small business owner is to increase your marketing. You want to make sure your customers remember you, even if they might cut back on how much they spend. If you stop marketing to save money, you run the risk of your customers forgetting about you, which will be tragic for your company’s future. There are many free and inexpensive marketing tactics you can use so you do not feel as if you are wasting your money.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions – Six Sigma Online ( ) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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“Technology Beats the Big Freeze”: How to still run your business in brutal winter storms

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Technology Beats the Big Freeze

by Martin Courtney for Computing.Co.Uk

With thousands of people across the UK unable to get to the office because of the freezing weather last week, experts are urging businesses to look more seriously at equipping staff so that they can work from home.

The severe weather has had a huge impact on productivity. The Federation of Small Businesses estimated that on Tuesday 5 January the economy lost £600m through absenteeism. But with a little IT planning and investment, even small firms should be able to ensure snowbound staff do not have to spend their working hours vegetating in front of daytime TV.

Julien St John-Dennis, head of business products at UK service provider ntl:Telewest Business, has been working from home regularly since joining the company in the early 1990s.

“Now that we are used to staff doing a bit of remote working, we expect it to be dependable,” he said. “If you go back a few years, homes did not have the fast broadband services or other devices including home PCs, laptops or smartphones, that they have now.”

Communicating with the office

Email is a mission-critical application for most organisations, and with Microsoft Outlook installed by default on many home PCs, configuring the software to hook up to a central Exchange mail server back at the office can be a simple task. For those running Lotus Notes, delivering messaging and calendaring to remote PCs is a simple matter of installing the small web-based iNotes client.

Where access to company email is difficult to arrange, at least at short notice, web-based email such as Hotmail or Googlemail provides a backup, with the advantage of integrated instant messaging (IM) enabling contact with colleagues using the same mail client.

Unified communications platforms from the likes of Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft and Siemens Enterprise Communications make liaising with remote workers relatively straightforward. Aimed primarily at larger corporations, these plat forms provide manageable access to voice over IP (VoIP), voicemail, IM, white boarding and videoconferencing.

The cost and complexity of configuring unified communications platforms means that installing individual elements often offers better value. For example, a hosted VoIP service, which allows remote workers to keep the same fixed telephone number irrespective of the location at which they plug their IP handset or softphone into the internet, costs comparatively little.

Using mobile phones and call forwarding can avoid clashes between company and private telephone use, while IP bridging configured in a private cloud environment can provide additional telephony conferencing services.

“Part of [ensuring that remote working runs successfully] is good IT support, and thinking about, for example, how routers are configured with quality of service to make sure certain applications only use the right amount of bandwidth,” said Phil Bird, managing director of the PC Support Group, a company that provides support for home-working.

“Those are the sort of things that make a difference in terms of whether VoIP works or not.”

Similarly, the quality of video conferencing systems has improved significantly over the past few years, almost as much as the reliability of telecommunications last mile and backbone networks to deliver voice and video traffic. Good-quality videoconferencing equipment such as Logitech’s QuickCam Pro 9000 can be picked up for less than £90, while video-to-video calling, like audio conversations, remains free with software such as Skype, which is quick and easy to set up.

Ad hoc arrangements
While many of these technologies require prior investment in new hardware and software, there are also solutions available to organisations looking to set up ad hoc access to company systems in advance of installing more sophisticated longer-term remote working technology.

A terminal services client such as Logmein or GoToMyPC can provide a window onto an office PC that allows workers to use all the systems and applications installed on that office PC as normal.

All users need to do is download the appropriate software client onto their home PC, and for somebody else to do the same on their office computer.

Many of these software tools are free, but users have to pay for features such as file transfer between the two computers – though emailing them to web-based email accounts works just as well.

These tools can also be used by the IT department to remotely configure virtual private network (VPN) connections, email clients or other types of more secure remote access on users’ home PCs.

Security can often be an issue for many organisations, and one which a range of different remote access technologies can successfully address.

“If you are going to enable people to work remotely, you need to know who they are, and authentication is the key to any solution” said St John-Dennis, who highlights two factor authentication requiring a password, pin number and/or token as a preferred remote access method for remote users of corporate applications.

A common example would be Citrix Remote Access, which provides a terminal window into an application running on a central server. These are often easier for the organisation to control and secure but more complex and expensive to implement, while the applications themselves are often time sensitive and require particularly high speed broadband links at the user end to function efficiently.

Unless you count the chemistry of the human brain as a technical resource, the single biggest barrier to working from home is the mindset of managers employed at the organisation in question. There are always some situations that require somebody’s physical presence in an office, but the biggest obstacle to remote working is nothing to do with technology, and everything to do with attitude.

“There is a culture that needs to be there as well,” said St John-Dennis.

Choosing a Multi-Line Phone System

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Choosing a Multi-Line Phone System

by Jeremy Sacco for Buyer Zone

Most multi-line phone systems offer all the standard features you’ll want, such as voice mail, call forwarding and transfers, attendants, music on hold, and more. So your primary concern when buying a multi-line phone system should be choosing the system that is the right size for your business.

First, get to know the main types of multi-line phone systems:

PBX systems
If your company has more than 40 employees, you’ll probably want a PBX system. These days, a powerful PBX for a small company can sit unobtrusively on a desk. Most come standard with all the features you might want in a multi-line phone system. In addition, they are totally programmable, so they can support the most complex implementations. You will likely pay a premium for this flexibility, but in many cases the price difference between PBX systems and less adaptable solutions will be smaller than you might expect.

Key Systems
In the 5 to 40 employee range, key systems are more typical. This type of multiline business phone system uses a central control device called the key system unit (KSU) to provide features that are not available with ordinary phones. For example, a central unit typically allows users to make calls to another in-office extension, and prevents other users from accidentally picking up a line that is being used. Modern key systems also come standard with most features a business would expect – but in some cases they are less customizable.

KSU-less systems
If your company has fewer than 10 employees, you may be able to meet your business telephone needs with a KSU-less system. For a much lower initial investment, KSU-less phones are designed to provide many of the features of a multi-line phone system in a decentralized manner. The phones themselves contain the technology necessary to provide business telephone features, instead of connecting to a central control unit. Because they are so inexpensive, KSU-less systems are not usually sold or supported by telecom vendors – you will need to do the shopping, installation, programming, and maintenance yourself.

How big do you need it?

There are two main factors that will determine the size of the system you need:

  • Lines. Also called “trunks,” lines indicate the total number of outside phone lines the system connects to.
  • Extensions. Extensions are needed for every device in the company that needs to connect to the phone system. Most will be telephones – however fax machines, credit card terminals, modems, and any other equipment that requires a phone connection must also be tallied.

In key systems, system size is usually indicated as a combination of lines and extensions. For example, a 12 x 36 system accommodates up to 12 lines and 36 extensions. In contrast, most PBXs define size in terms of “ports.” Ports indicate the maximum number of connections that can be made to the system, including both outside lines and inside extensions, as well as phone system accessories such as voicemail or automated attendants.

Advice For Your Small Business Telephone System

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Business Telephone Systems For Small Businesses

by Alex Tipu from Online Business Help

The basis of business operations is communications. People involved in running a business have to contact, and coordinate with each other through a variety of departments, and with other business partners and clients, so that the vehicle can continue to function.

Nevertheless, start-up/growing businesses, and home-based businesses tend to ignore this essential aspect of their dealings taking place on a daily basis. They do not know much regarding the essential facility that is easily gained in numerous varieties, and options, considering a particular business and its needs.

Besides internal operations, business communications are meant for the customer service image, and for the view of outsiders in reference to how efficiently your business is handled. Because it is the high-tech age of the Internet, new, and already established companies are mostly planning to join their small business phone systems along with the latest technology IT systems, since these services are attainable at cheap rates, very easily.

Many handy, and versatile services such as flexible automated call answering features, call messaging, and call routing that can lead to a professional image for a company, handle communication costs, and result in a rise in connectivity, and responsiveness, come hand in hand with such phone systems. Talkswitch, Bizfon Inc. and Vodafone are a few companies that offer these services at extremely nominal rates.

Before selecting a phone system for your business, a few things have to be kept in mind. The first thing is the line or extension requirements; this is primarily based on the total number of expected internal as well as external calls that your company will make. For a small business, this would be enough at the starting stage. Direct extensions are required if the company is still using the older analogue systems in some places. This condition is also rare as all the new businesses are now using digital systems.

A choice between handset requirements is also to be made, whether you want to use traditional, cordless for convenience, hands-free for simultaneous computer use, or inbuilt microphones/speakers for conference calls. If you want particular prefixes to be added in all your numbers, it can also be done, but only if the provider is serving this functionality. For example, if you want to add national-type codes like 0850 before all the phone numbers, in order to create a national image of the company locally, it is offered by many service providers.

Other points in this checklist include voice mail, which minimizes business losses when no one is available to attend an important call, and conference call, which is an important tool through which representatives sitting at distant places can have a meeting as if they were sitting in the same room. It should be checked whether the provider is offering VoIP or not, as it is an important technology being used in all successful companies. Furthermore, the image of the provider in the business industry and their customer support should also be kept in mind in case of a mishap.

What are the advantages of having a wireless headset for your office?

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

What are the Advantages of having a Bluetooth Wireless Headset ?

by Frank Anderson for Street Directory

In today’s busy world everyone tries to fit 24 hours of life into an 8 hour day, we are so busy with kids, jobs, spouses, deadlines and commitments. In this busy world we answer the Question, What are the advantages of having a Bluetooth wireless headset?

So, what are the advantages of having a Bluetooth wireless headset you ask?

Well the First and best advantage of a Bluetooth wireless Headset is that both of your hands are free to be of use to you at all times. Have you ever seen a person with a broken arm or no arm at all? Why limit yourself to only having one hand free as you go about your business? Think about this because this is exactly what you are doing when you talk on your cell phone without a Bluetooth wireless headset.

The second advantage of having a Bluetooth wireless headset is when you do any activity your focus is more on that activity than keeping your phone glued to your ear.

Another advantage of a Bluetooth wireless headset which is my favorite is that when you are making business (or personal) calls you are free to roam around the house or office to be more productive, if your are calling somewhere that puts you on hold (for the next available agent) without a Bluetooth you tend to sit around waiting for a extended period of time, being unproductive, but try this with a Bluetooth wireless headset. When I am at home trying to take of business I don’t just sit around on hold, now I will do whatever I can, the trash, clean, laundry, unload the dishwasher or anything else that needs to be done while I am on hold. This makes me extremely more productive in life and I never have much time so I am grateful when I can save a little, you should try this too.

The fourth advantage I can think of in owning a Bluetooth wireless headset is I seem to be more apt to call my family (sometimes I don’t know if this is good or bad) but overall this is a good thing my parents are getting older and I need to check in with them more often. I can usually accomplish this while still going about my daily business.

Another use for a Bluetooth wireless headset is, while driving it keeps your hands on the wheel and not plastered to your ear, personally I DO NOT recommend this except in emergencies, but I know many people are going to do this so at least it is safer than having one hand on the wheel, this is where my wife makes all of her phone calls on the way to work. But please remember driving is difficult enough without any distractions so the more things you try to do the more dangerous it becomes.

In this day and age of the internet and other outlets it is easier than ever to own a Bluetooth wireless hands free headset it does not matter which area of the country you live in urban or rural buying a Bluetooth is just a click away, many websites offer free shipping or discounts one site like this is my own we offer free shipping for orders over $49 and a discount for those who try to save a little more, ours is “UPS” which you enter in the checkout page of the site in the preferred customer code area, this will save you 10% off your entire order.

Another advantage of a Bluetooth wireless headset is not getting an expensive ticket, many states have current or pending laws regarding use of cellular devices while driving, if it’s illegal you will get an expensive ticket. Many states allow for hands free devices like Bluetooths. Bluetooths wireless headsets come in many styles and colors; also Bluetooths that clip on your cars visor or lay on a table are available for those who do not like to wear earpieces.

One last advantage to buying a Bluetooth wireless headset it they make Great Gifts, so if you need a gift that people will remember a Bluetooth is truly a great one. You can get most bluetooths for under $100 and many under $50. A gift like this is sure to be remembered for a long time and its so easy some web-sites offer gift wrapping (for a Fee) but the gift goes directly to the person and no hassles for you, so just sit back and take the credit,” What a country”.

Toshiba Intros New DECT Phone for its Strata CIX VoIP Systems

Monday, January 11th, 2010
Toshiba America Information Systems Inc (TAIS) has reportedly unveiled its new DKT2404-DECT — a next-generation digital DECT cordless telephone for the Toshiba (News – Alert) Strata CIX family of VoIP business communication systems.

Toshiba DECT cordless telephone which is currently available through authorized Toshiba dealers, offers a two-line LCD with 24-character display, plus one line for icons; dedicated talk, redial, hold, message, conference/transfer, menu/mute and speaker keys; four programmable keys plus four speed-dial keys; and up to 16 hours of battery talk time and seven days standby time.

New DKT2404-DECT set has the ability to use up to six repeaters per base station for an extended range of up to 1,000 feet in open areas. It is compatible with Toshiba DKT2000, DKT3000 or DP5000 series desk telephones, including simultaneous ring. It also features secure adaptive differential pulse code modulation (ADPCM) voice code combination.

“For enterprises where mobility is essential, the new Toshiba DECT telephone delivers exceptional range, long battery life, high-audio quality and access to advanced telephony features on the Strata CIX VoIP system,” said Mark Carpenter, senior product manager at Toshiba America Information Systems, Telecommunication Systems Division. “Toshiba’s new DECT cordless telephone also delivers the features, integration, flexibility and durability users expect in Toshiba telephony products.”

The new Toshiba DKT2404-DECT telephone is compatible with Toshiba’s full line of Strata CIX VoIP systems, including CIX40, CIX100, CIX200, CIX670 and CIX1200 running Release 2.0 or later software.

TAIS is an independent operating company owned by Toshiba America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, a company focused in high technology and integrated manufacturing of electrical and electronic components, products and systems, as well as major infrastructure systems.

TAIS also provides sales, marketing and services for its wide range of information products in the United States and Latin America.

Avaya and The Olympics

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Posted by Sheila McGee-Smith, McGee-Smith Analytics | Jan 10, 2010 on

A number of news stories hit the internet in the last couple of days proclaiming that with just five weeks to go, Avaya had replaced Nortel as a sponsor of the Vancouver Olympics and Paralympics. There seemed to be a hint of potential gloom in the story leads that surprised me. Having visited Vancouver, and spoken with the Director of IT for one of the key Olympic venues, GM Place, I knew that the Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) had locked down the network to changes months ago. (The picture is me and the Canucks mascot, Fin–not the IT director.) That said, the articles caused me to wonder just how the Avaya acquisition of Nortel would impact the Vancouver games. I spent some time today talking to Dave Johnson, general manager of the Olympic program at Avaya to get the answers.

If I were to choose one word to describe Dave’s answers to a series of questions about Avaya and the games, be it about leadership, technology, or staffing, the answer was continuity. Dave has been responsible for the Olympic relationship since the contracts were signed in August 2007, cradle to grave. The network has been in lockdown since early 2009. Since then it has gone through a series of tests, small tweaks and optimizations and is now fully tested and ready to go.

Asked if the acquisition had brought any changes in the support team, Dave said there has been as much continuity as possible. Because of the unique requirements of the Olympics solution, there were a number of certifications to get people up to speed, beyond what typical systems engineers usually have. That ops team, heritage Nortel, has remained 100 percent intact.

It is in the marketing arena where the team has seen additions, of Avaya marketing people. Asked if the Nortel name or logo will be seen at all at the games, the answer was that the Nortel brand has been completely phased out at this point and will not be seen.

The Olympics are often used as an opportunity for customer relationship building with executives from top tier accounts. Elizabeth Ussher, Director of Avaya’s Global Demo Program, tells us that it is in the hotel where Avaya customers are staying (the name of which is apparently a state secret) that the company will be showcasing Avaya Aura solutions, like Guest Media Hub, working side-by-side with Nortel gear. The Avaya technology will be run from an outpost of Avaya’s global demo facility at the hotel being powered from Avaya’s Denver Works.

Asked what technologies being deployed in the Olympic network he’d highlight, Dave chose the data networking solutions. Avaya will be powering over 40K Ethernet ports, 15K VoIP lines, 4K TV drops and 500+ wireless access points for the games, and another 1,100 access points for the media. Thousands of athletes and media will join millions of spectators–a CMO’s dream global launch for the new Avaya.