8 Hot New VoIP, UC Wares

Many new IP telephony products centered around voice and unified communications were brought out to the market recently. A host of new solutions, highlighted at last month's Interop New York 2008, are poised to take the market by storm. Here are of some of the latest VoIP and unified communications solutions that could better your business.

Polycom Distributed Media Application (DMA) 7000

At Interop New York Polycom debuted the DMA 7000 to the masses. The DMA is a network-based application that can manage and distribute multipoint video calls within an enterprise network. The appliance is designed to unify visual communications infrastructure, ultimately improving the efficiency and performance of video calls on the network and making it easier and more cost-effective for companies to deliver on-demand video conferencing to the entire enterprise.

While on the surface, Agito Networks focuses on mobility, it's the integration with the corporate PBX that makes it a contender in the VoIP world. Agito recently unveiled the latest release of the RoamAnywhere Mobility Router, a fixed-mobile convergence appliance sold through the channel to boost mobile worker productivity and ultimately reduce cellular costs. The box enables secure VoWLAN calls and the ability for users to split between personal and corporate contacts while still offering one-number access to both their desk phone and mobile device. The Dynamic Least Cost Routing feature ensures the cheapest call is made at all times. The router supports a host of PBXs and Symbian or Windows Mobile handsets.

Aastra has let the ViPr loose. The Virtual Presence system offers secure, high quality, remote communication and collaboration that lets users share documents, multi-media content and real-time applications. It wraps in a touch-screen and an intuitive user interface. Built as an IP endpoint, the SIP-based ViPr integrates into IP telephony systems and includes bridges to PBXs and PSTN. Based on the H.264 standard, ViPr offers high resolution with low bandwidth consumption and is available in various configurations from personal desktop units to rack-mounted or table-mounted conference room models.

While the VoiceGuard VoIP Adapter may be more for a consumer, with more and more teleworkers out there it may be just the fix to keep communications flowing. VoiceGuard tackles the growing number of ISPs who either degrade or block voice service over their networks, whether they block or degrade Yahoo Messenger, Skype, Microsoft Messenger and Vonage. Its suite of solutions trick VoIP blocking systems to let VoIP traffic through undegraded, whether by disguising it as standard data packets or simulating how other traffic behaves. VoiceGuard's portfolio includes the Border Controller, the SDK for Softphone/ATA/Gateway/IAD/IP Phone, VoiceGuard Plug-in for Windows and Linux, VoiceGuard Extension Server Software and VoiceGuard Standalone Client.

SimpleSignal recently unveiled SimpleScribe, a new voicemail-to-text service that VARs can offer as a white label solution. The tool is designed for SMBs to help them more easily manage their voicemail by reading it. Essentially, the SimpleScribe service converts voice messages into text and delivers them via email. SMBs can review their voicemail at a glance, saving time. It also can send the voicemail to a users email inbox as MP3 or WAV file attachments. Voicemail can be forwarded via email and message text and audio files can be archived for easy retrieval.

WatchGuard Technologies, a network security and connectivity solutions vendor, unveiled at Interop New York its new extensible threat management (XTM) network security appliance, the WatchGuard XTM 1050. While the device can achieve 10 Gbps firewall and a host of other security functions, the XTM 1050 adds HTTPS inspection and VoIP security. On the VoIP side, the XTM 1050 uses NAT, port obfuscation, and SIP and H.323 proxies to thwart would-be VOIP and network attackers.

While Network Instruments GigaStor is best known for keeping tabs on network traffic through retrospective network analysis, the latest mode, the SAS, has a capacity of 288 TB to store and capture network packets and transactions for later analysis and investigation. On the VoIP side, GigaStor VoIP Analysis continually monitors VoIP performance. It can save or play voice conversations and obtain high-level VoIP traffic summaries and in-depth call detail records. Companies can track jitter, MOS and other areas of voice and video communications.

In its continuing bid to go green and its strong focus on remote workers, Cisco Systems recently released the Cisco Virtual Office (CVO), a solution that brings in-office functionality to a home office environment. Tying together routing, switching, security, wireless, IP telephony and policy control into a centrally-managed remote solution, the CVO offers secure voice, video, data and wireless service to home offices. CVO consists of a Cisco 800 Series Integrated Services Router and a Cisco Unified IP Phone 7900 Series in the remote site and a Cisco 7200 Series VPN aggregation router, Cisco Security Manager, Cisco Secure ACS and a configuration engine at headquarters.