Video conferencing was a lot more interesting to watch in 2011 than was VoIP. It wasn't that nothing happened in VoIP during the year. It was just that a lot more happened in video conferencing. This was especially true in the SMB space. Early summer saw a slew of significant announcements from vendors and providers. These announcements figured prominently in the VoIP Evolution report "SMB Video Conferencing: Getting Beyond Clouds & Interoperability."
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One of the great attractions of IP-based voice and video communication is their capacity for integration with other applications and services. Such integration becomes even more compelling when it involves social networks, which represent the hottest tech trend going. So it was no surprise when the winner of the recent StartupCamp Comms Edition was a company that had created a platform for integrating voice, video and chat with Facebook, as a tool to help students study better together.
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One of the more elusive dreams of emerging VoIP services is integration with social networks. The idea is compelling: if tens or hundreds of millions of people make calls to their social network "friends," someone will be able make a lot of money from it. So far, though, no one has had much success in appealing to such users. A startup that presented at the recent DEMO conference is trying to change that. OrganIP, run by France-based Digitrad, is trying to turn social networks into giant phone books.
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