VoiceCon – Day One

Day One at VoiceCon was pretty exciting – we spent the morning getting our booth ready – last minute tune-ups on the demos and applications we’re showing. I get the sense that Mitel is demonstrating a ton of really new innovative stuff compared to what I saw at other booths – lots of same-old same-old…

Pictures from today are here on Flickr.

Some highlights from the show today:

  • Asterisk/Digium showing a hardware appliance running Asterisk Business Editon, with 8 analog ports, 4 lan ports, and in a really sexy package about the size of two paperback books. You configure the hardware through a browser, plug it into your lan, plug in some phone lines or analog phones and go! You’re online. It appeared to have a CF card slot – probably for voicemail storage. Very nicely done. This company will go far.
  • is||coord from Switzerland was showing their SIP softphone – with a nice API. I’ll be talking to them in more detail in the next couple of months. Odd name.
  • Saw a couple of companies with SIP speakers – for public address systems in schools, etc. Cool market I had heard about, but hadn’t realized how big this is. I guess if you’re a speaker company, this is the only way to innovate – but it’s a really useful item – since it eliminates having to run more cables around. I guess we’ll run everything off of an ethernet cable before too long.
  • Avaya is giving away Segways, and I am SO entering this contest. They are giving away huge-ass off road Segways. Very cool.
  • Microsoft has some really nice stuff happening with Office Communicator and the latest Exchange server. You can truely build a PBX with voicemail with MS products now. Scary for the old-guard. Of course they have really nice integration between applications – assuming you are running the latest version of EVERYTHING. So, start saving your upgrade pennies. Microsoft is working with Mitel – their integrated solution appears to be the most advanced of the big phone companies.
  • Most of the phones are still pretty lame (are you listening Cisco, Avaya, Nortel?) The screens are small, and they just don’t get the power of running decent applications on the phone. Nortel’s solution is to run a Citrix back end and have the phone be a dumb device that displays static images. Also, they said that users don’t want this functionality, and are worried about security. I imagine they’ll change their tune when they actually release something. I think what users actually want is powerful, useful applications – that are secure.

The Gaylord Palms is impressive. Their atrium is HUGE, and has Alligators. How cool is that!

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