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02/27/2011

Adding PSTN Connectivity Advances Nefsis Video Conferencing Service

Nefsis offers an excellent illustration of the growing power and capabilities of Internet video conferencing services for small to medium-size businesses. The San Diego-based company offers a cloud-based conferencing service with document and app sharing, text chat and the like. The highlight of the offering is high-quality video conferencing via Web cam-equipped PCs running downloadable client software. It offers 1080p resolution, 30 frames per second speed and effortless firewall and/or proxy traversal, for meetings with as many as 20 or more participants. Given that the service runs over high-speed Internet connections, it's natural that the audio portion of the conference uses VoIP by default.

Recently, however, Nefsis added a new option: PSTN audio. The addition means callers can participate in conferences via ordinary phone lines even if they're nowhere near an Internet connection. This greatly expands the number of people who can use the service, and the places where they can use it. And while on the surface it might seem to be a technological step backwards, in reality it's a significant advance.

In fact, the new capability represents a recognition of the reality that no matter how technically sophisticated an organization gets, it exists in the real world. Thus there will inevitably be people who can't get to a high-speed Internet link. Services for their part will have to find ways to accommodate such users. That doesn't mean the service or organization is less advanced than those without such capability. To the contrary, it means it has made a superior use of its technology, by adapting it to the needs of its users.

A future step for Nefsis, according to marketing VP Tom Toperczer, is to bridge VoIP and PSTN calls in the same session. Another inevitable move is to offer client software for the Mac platform, in addition to the existing Windows client.

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Resources

  •     A selection of free documents for download to help make purchasing decisions when shopping for a business phone system.
  •      Get customized price quotes on a business phone system from top vendors.

Reports

  • Choosing the (Near-) Perfect Cloud Video Conferencing Solution
         This 7-page buyer's guide gives SMBs the information they need to choose the cloud-based video conferencing service that fits their needs. As a for-purchase download priced at $9.99, this document avoids the conflicts of interest of papers and guides that are offered for free, or sponsored by, vendors and service providers. Instead, it provides the kind of objective and authoritative information that would otherwise require assigning a staffer to spend days or weeks searching out and evaluating.

  • SMB Video Conferencing: Getting Beyond Clouds & Interoperability
         This 31-page VoIP Evolution report provides an in-depth analysis of a market that has suddenly become very competitive. It identifies and dispels some of the misconceptions that have become part of the conventional wisdom surrounding SMB video conferencing. Chief among these are unrealistic expectations regarding the cloud approach and interoperability.
         The report provides an innovative approach to analysis by illustrating that these issues are just two of many important factors that differentiate solutions from one another. The report surveys 10 Companies to Watch and compares 16 cloud solutions using a unique Differentiation Matrix that clarifies their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Voice Over LTE: More Pitfalls Than Promise for Now
        This 18-page Heavy Reading Insider report, written by Robert Poe, analyzes the prospects for delivery of voice calls over cellular networks using LTE (long-term evolution) 4G wireless technology. Operators are originally looking to use LTE mainly for mobile data services, since a number of technical issues make delivering voice traffic over LTE complicated. The report describes the various options available to operators, and explains why they are likely to move to voice over LTE later rather than sooner. Information about the report is available at Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider.

  • Making HD Voice Happen: Choosing Codecs, Connecting Islands
        This Heavy Reading Insider report by Robert Poe evaluates the impact HD voice will have on voice services providers ranging from traditional telcos to cable MSOs to cellular carriers to VoIP operators. The 20-page report also analyzes the role vendors' and providers' choices of codecs will play in ensuring that HD voice services can be delivered end-to-end, rather than only within individual providers' or enterprises' networks. It also surveys the HD voice efforts of 14 vendors.
        Information about the report is available at Heavy Reading Insider. A column about the report is available at Light Reading.

  • Disruptive VoIP Services: What Carriers Need to Know
        A report by Robert Poe for Heavy Reading, analyzing the innovative VoIP services with the most potential to disrupt the telecom services market over the next three to five years.
        The 57-page report describes the changes VoIP innovation brings to telephony models, practices and concepts. It identifies 17 categories of potentially disruptive VoIP services, and analyzes their potential impact on the market. It also profiles 50 potentially disruptive companies and services.
        Information about the report is available on the Heavy Reading Website. Coverage of the report is available on the Light Reading Website.


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