Skype & Asterisk – A Marriage made in Heaven?

There has been a pretty big buzz since yesterday when Digium announced that Asterisk will now include a Skype channel driver!

A first look this seems to be a very big announcement so lets look at what has changed and then if it is really earth shaking as some have described it to be.

Until now, Skype has been nothing more than a glorified IM program with a very good voice interface. Asterisk on the other hand is a tool box which enables almost any kind of communications application.

As many voip pundits have written frequently that while Skype while has a gigantic user base and voice quality better than most voip services they have missed the IP communications boat. Skype
could have taken the business world by a storm and introduced voice into mainstream business processes. Instead they stayed in the peer to peer IM world. Think for a minute, how many businesses do you know who actually use Skype for their mission critical applications??

So what has changed? Well now you can use Skype and connect it up to your business applications via the Asterisk toolbox. Skype is no longer stranded on the IM island. Skype has in one shot, integrated itself into the business world. If done right, that may be earth shaking. If done right.

Who is the winner here? Well in my mind – Skype is the clear winner. Asterisk users and developers do not gain much. Businesses already have softphones and click to call solutions, adding a Skype interface is just another interface, not a new paradigm to get excited about. Skype on the other hand in one smart move has broken into the business world. Now that is a smart move!

Want to discuss it more? Join Alec Saunders today on Calliflower. Alec will be hosting a discussion on this interesting subject.

All in a blogs day…

I was chatting earlier today with my favorite IP Communications analyst, Jon Arnold. Jon mentioned that he had missed me at ITexpo in LA and the report is posted on his blog. While reading Jon’s ITexpo report, I also notice his post about pal Thomas Howe winning yet another mashing contest.

So, there I was off to Thomas’s blog to read his report on his latest mashup adventure. While on Thomas’s blog I was happy to read (as a former Chicagoan..) about the big buzz that Chicago based ifbyphone.com (note – gotta learn more about them) is making….

You get the idea, I could go on and on… but I guess I have to get back to work, reading blogs ain’t gonna make me money … but it is sure an interesting way to spend the day!

BTW – mashups are becoming a big business and Thomas Howe is the man to follow!

Cisco takes a Jab at Jabber

By now you probably saw the post on Techcrunch that the Big C has bought up Jabber.com.

Just to set the record straight, they have bought the jabber.com team and not of course the jabber open source project. For those of us who are not familiar with Jabber, there is a good definition on Dean Collins blog.

There still is the question, what does that mean for future development of Jabber. What are Cisco’s intentions? How will this work out, after all Cisco culture may be a little foreign for the Jabber geeks, but it will be interesting to follow!

One of the better comments I saw on this acquisition was on Techcrunch by Remko Tronçon –

Wow, talk about how confusing bad wording in an article can be. It was mentioned before, but Jabber, Inc. is one of many *companies* that was built around the XMPP (also called Jabber) protocol, and was acquired by CISCO. Compare it to buying a company called “Web, Inc.”, which does not mean you buy HTTP and can do whatever you want with it.

Voxbone overcomes EU Bureaucracy

Voxbone, a provider of local telephone numbers and VoIP transport, today announced that it has been awarded licenses to operate in all 27 member states of the European Union!

The 27 EU member countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Erik De Herdt, general counsel for Voxbone said that “While the EU has standardized currency, the rules and requirements of its telecom regulatory bodies vary from country to country, gaining compliance in all 27 member states requires a level of personal and financial commitment that to date, only Voxbone has demonstrated. ”

Congratulations to Rod & Company on a job well done! As someone who breaks out in a rash when ever I have to deal with a bureaucracy, I am truly impressed!

Buy $50 Dollars for only One Dollar!

No I am not talking about trading in the Forex or Stock markets. I am talking about buying a real company.

I was shocked today when a friend showed me that IDT the $2 billion communications company is trading at 83 cents a share down from a 52 week of $9.52 for a market cap of only $63 million. So basically you could buy up the company and get about $50 in sales for every dollar you spend.

Though the company has problems, there is probably still room to turn it around and concentrate on the core competences.

VoIP works Miracles!

Last night I got an email about a customer who is using a traditional telephone solution. He is moving into a new office and his phone system will be ready only in a week… Can I help?

With VoIP it is a no brainer, in less than 5 minutes we allocated a few sip accounts on the Flat Planet server, this morning one of the FPP resellers will send over preconfigured IP phones and the customer is good to go.

Now try that with POTS :-)