Answer The Call: 20 Must-See Products At VoiceCon 2009

VoiceCon Orlando 2009 kicks off on Monday. As in past years, the event has evolved beyond just the dial tone to include everything from video, conferencing, unified communications, presence and virtually every other collaborative form of communication the IP network can facilitate. As such, a host of vendors are set to unleash their latest wares as VoiceCon, now in its 19th year, storms the Gaylord Palms resort from March 30 to April 2. Here are 20 hot products that are sure to catch your eye.

It's about time to pick up the phone, because VoiceCon is calling.

Personal video solutions are going to be a big draw at this year's VoiceCon, and Tandberg knows it. Tandberg is planning to show off Movi, a business-quality mobile video solution for the PC. Offering high-quality, scalability and interoperability, Movi can turn the PC into a high-definition communications device, enabling HD communications from a PC to any other standards-based telepresence and video solution. It makes video truly accessible to anyone from anywhere.

Movi aims to extend the corporate video network to facilitate face-to-face communications with colleagues, customers and suppliers from anywhere at any time, without sacrificing quality and security.

Broadcom at VoiceCon will offer the first public glimpse of the Broadcom Persona design platform, based on its flagship BCM11107 VoIP processor (shown). The Persona enables enterprises and consumer IP phones to offer multimedia capabilities, premium audio, robust Ethernet switching, enhanced security and extensive peripheral support.

Phybridge is storming VoiceCon with the Phybridge UniPhyer. While current VoIP deployments require transitioning voice requirements to the LAN, Phybridge UniPhyer offers users a risk-free, quick and easy way to deploy IP telephony in an office with QoS and Power over Ethernet. The device leverages the existing phone wiring to provide a parallel IP network with a dedicated voice path.

Want a read on what's happening with voice and video? Psytechnics is out to show you. At VoiceCon, Psytechnics will showcase Experience Manager 4.0 (screenshot shown), a solution for voice and video performance management and troubleshooting. The solution offers realtime, objective call analysis that details the actual user experience to unlock a new level of visibility and root cause analysis. The system monitors, alerts, troubleshoots, reports and presents data in an easily interpreted format. And while Experience Manager focuses on voice and video applications, it also looks at per-stream IP transmission characteristics, detecting and reporting issues that can affect the user experience, like noise, delay, distortion and echo.

Grandstream is ready to pull the curtain off of its new IP multimedia phone, the GXV3140. The new phone offers top-notch video quality, advanced telephone features and rich applications in a sleek design. It sports a 4.3-inch digital color LCD screen; a tiltable 1.3-megapixel advanced CMOS camera with sharp clarity and a privacy shutter; dual network ports; rich auxiliary interfaces like SD, USB, stereo headset and audio-video output; advanced video compression; and full duplex speakerphone.

The desk phone ties in realtime videoconferencing with a number of Web and social-networking applications, such as IM from Yahoo, MSN and Google; thousands of Internet radio stations; Yahoo Flickr Web photo albums; RSS news, weather and stock feeds, and streaming music.

Along with unveiling a new desktop phone, Grandstream will preview a new family of next-generation, SIP-based IP video-surveillance products at VoiceCon Orlando. The line comprises one- and four-port video servers and encoders along with IP video cameras (shown). The new gear is interoperable with Grandstream's IP video and VoIP terminals, including the all-in-one PBX.

The video surveillance wares support advanced H.264 video at full rate and D1 resolution, along with SIP/VoIP for bi-directional audio and/or video monitoring, alarm and intercom. It supports SD, USB, integrated PoE and optional Wi-Fi.

Acme Packet will announce the new Net-Net 3800 SBC, a low-end session boarder controller for small enterprises that require up to 500 secure, high-quality VoIP/unified communications sessions. The Net-Net 3800 slashes Acme Packet's entry SBC price by 50 percent, while supporting the features and high-availability operation of higher-cost SBCs.

Siemens is expected to use VoiceCon to show off the latest release of the OpenScape UC Application, which offers integration with Openfire; presence automation with Outlook Calendar; an integrated Netviewer; Web conferencing; and multiparty instant messaging solution.

The application gives customers more options on how they access their communications tools, via Web clients, mobile devices like BlackBerry and the Apple iPhone (shown). It also gives them fewer overall applications to manage. The application integrates with existing environments and leverages familiar user interfaces of existing workflow applications to deliver unified communications to collaborative teams.

Alcatel-Lucent will showcase its OmniTouch 8400 Instant Communications Suite, a solution set that offers new communications and collaboration capabilities by tying together telephony, PBX-agnostic messaging and one-number services suing SIP, fax services, collaboration/conferencing services, mobility services and XML Web services.

The Linux-based architecture lets companies integrate their existing applications into the OmniTouch 8400 ICS platform and make them reachable whether they're in the office, at home or on the road, regardless of devices.

The OmniTouch 8400 offers new support for leading mobile devices, new full-screen HD video and new advanced voice messaging capabilities.

CyberData will showcase seven new VoIP paging and intercom products focused on two-way communications, access control, legacy connectivity and solutions for the education vertical.

Among the solutions CyberData will be showing off at VoiceCon is the Multicast Gateway (shown), a solution that bridges the gap between analog PBX systems and IP-based paging systems. It features an "Audio-IN" mode, which lets line-level audio input be converted into a multicast broadcast that can be used for background music and other audio sources.

CyberData will also demonstrate its VoIP Video Intercom, a two-way access-control device, which includes a color video camera that allows users to monitor and communicate with entry areas using both VoIP and video.

Polycom will give VoiceCon-goers a test-run of the Polycom VVX 1500, a new business media phone that ties together IP telephony with video and application integration.

The VVX 1500 includes an open API and a microbrowser for realtime delivery of personalized Web content and integration with business applications, all available through a color touch-screen interface. The touch interface lets users initiate calls and video meetings with one touch. The phone is also designed for lower power consumption, using PoE and smart-motion technology that flips the phone into power-save mode when no one is in the office.

The VVX 1500 is bundled with a host of applications, including Polycom's Productivity Suite, which lets users initiate and control conference calls from the screen as well as record calls locally using a flash drive in the built-in USB port. The VoIP phone also features a free Web service called My Info Portal, where users can retrieve content like local weather and other personalized information.

Snom has a host of phones to show off at this year's VoiceCon. First up is the Snom 820, a SIP-based business phone combining business-class functionality with a sleek design. The desk phone features an intuitive user interface and a rich set of business communications features that include wideband audio capabilities to ensure concert-quality phone conversations, robust enterprise-class security and Wi-Fi features. The Snom 820 is the first model of a new product line of fourth-generation business VoIP phones from Snom.

The Snom M3 is a compact IP DECT phone that moves Snom beyond the desktop format into mobile VoIP. The M3 combines elegant design and mobility, while not skimping on quality. The company's first cordless offering enables VoIP communication for the home office, SMB and enterprise. It offers an indoor range of 164 feet and an outdoor range of 328 feet.

The M3 is an expandable system with multiline functionality for up to eight handsets and three parallel calls at one time. It features a 128-x-128 pixel color display with backlight function and offers 10 hours of talk time and 100 hours of standby time. Additional features include three-way conferencing calling, call transferring, music while on hold, call forwarding and speed dialing with an address book of up to 100 entries.

Snom also plans to treat VoiceCon attendees to its first VoIP conferencing phone, Snom MeetingPoint. The conference phone enables users to allow a total of four external participants to join a conference from different locations, with additional expenses. MeetingPoint is ideal for business travelers who must make frequent cross-location arrangements.

At VoiceCon, Applied Voice & Speech Technologies (AVST) will debut the next generation of its CallXpress communications platform, CallXpress 8. The platform was designed to protect current and future communications infrastructure while delivering critical features like centralization, high availability and enhanced-mobility options.

CallXpress 8, which is scheduled for general availability in the next 45 days through AVST's channel, delivers a suite of unified communications applications, including advanced call processing, voicemail, unified messaging, personal assistant, fax and notification, all through a single point of administration.

GN Netcom is expected to launch the Jabra BIZ 2400, a line of headsets for traditional desk phones, IP phones and USB. The BIZ 2400 series features a host of improvements to audio quality, comfort and durability for contact center and office environments. The series ties in a number of industry-firsts, such as FreeSpin 360 degrees rotation to prevent boomarm breakage.

The headset also offers gold contacts for clear voice transmission, surgical steel for maximum strength and a Kevlar reinforced cord.

Iscoord ag will showcase its latest is-phone version 8.1 at VoiceCon. Highlights include Mac/Linux versions, tighter IBM UC integration and support for Microsoft Office/Internet Explorer through the toolbar. The latest version will also offer support for IBM Lotus Notes, Sametime and Symphony, and Microsoft Exchange, Outlook and Live Messenger to enable audio and video calls without the need for additional servers.

Shown here is the Is-Phone softphone for IBM Lotus Notes 6/7/8.

Sipera Systems will show a new security tool from its VIPER Lab arm, UCSniff 2.0, an application that lets companies determine if their IP video and VoIP networks are vulnerable to targeted eavesdropping. The tool demonstrates vulnerabilities in video and VoIP design and implementation to alert users that problems exist. UCSniff 2.0 can eavesdrop, capture and record videoconferencing. It also works on regular IP telephony, like version 1.0. Shown here is a screenshot of UCSniff 2.0 in action.

Sipera VIPER Lab will also demonstrate a video attack tool, VideoJak, that creates targeted denial-of-service attacks against video streams.

Both tools are open source and free.

EasyRun is set to unveil EPICAcce, an enterprise-grade PBX agnostic contact center solution. The EPICAcce solution ships loaded with a full Asterisk-based voice infrastructure, meaning it can be integrated seamlessly into an existing legacy TDM or VoIP environment, allowing companies to save on capital expenditures by retaining and optimizing their installed IT and voice infrastructure. EPICAcce offers a host of basic and advanced voice services, including connectivity to the CO or other PBXs, SIP VoIP phones, redundancy and call recording.