SIP, Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum
- Issue #240
Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum provides
thought leadership on SIP,
Communications Apps, Lync CEBP Apps, Cloud Communications,
OTT-Over The Top
Apps from SIP Trunk Providers, Network Providers, Microsoft, Facebook,
Google, Apple and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence
and other communications companies.
Lync is a trademark of the Microsoft Corporation.
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Technologies is a premier Microsoft Lync Voice Partner as Microsoft
Unified Communications Partner of the Year for 2009, 2010 and 2012 with
over 800 UC Deployments.
prevent your organization from such attacks at the network perimeter,
the security filter for the Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Edge Server
monitors sign-in attempts and enforces account lockout at the network
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Lync Protocols Poster.
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developed software for more than 30 years and faced the either
buy or build scenario more than you can count. I have seen
entire divisions of thousands of people terminated for failing
to deliver ontime and onbudget. I have also seen
companies in total frustration trying to get the software vendor
to add features which they don't seem important but vital to a
customer operation. Lync is in its infancy but its
success will largely depend on this balancing act.
is the craziest concept because like art it is really dependent on
the user not just reports. The RTCP-XR reports can report
everything good but cannot test the hearing of the user.
However, being prepared and having a plan is better than spending
your time looking for a new job.
you on Twitter? Follow us @techtionary
and we will follow you back.
Lync Apps Build or
is an abstract of a White Paper from Instant Technologies
regarding the age old issue of build or buy. Given that
Lync is a new platform for UC there are ample opportunities for both
building and buying.
Q - Buy to Standardize or Build to
Let's see what they say. Note: There are more issues
explored in the complete White Paper, click here for
- Communications media (email, IM, fax, voice) and their various
add-on components (anti-virus, anti-spam, VoIP, voicemail, etc) are
commodities on which nearly every company in the world has
standardized. Would an in-house anti-virus solution give you an edge
over your competitors? Unless you are in the business of selling
anti-virus software, the answer is almost certainly no.
Q - Features and Functions
the part of the paper that hits home to companies I talk to nearly
everyday - keeping up with all the features. Here is what Instant
Technologies has to say.
- The complexities of complying with regulatory requirements, meeting
discovery orders, and enforcing internal policies give rise to a host
of technically challenging feature requirements. Whether it's built
or bought, your solution needs to address these (and many more)
Security and Confidentiality
role-based access control
pass-through client authentication
of AD and SQL
authentication with Active Directory and/or SQL
authorized users (legal, HR) to search vs. IT to maintain privacy of
data and employees
Q - Timing
my experience you will never have all the features exactly when you
need them and ontime. However, timing, workload, PM, funding
and other factors some into place when you decide to build. Here is what Instant
Technologies has to say.
- In a build situation, time-to-market pressures will dictate the
functionality that you can include in your solution. Do you have
enough time to match the stability and maturity of commercial
software products that have improved over numerous versions via
feedback from the market?
a buy situation, you have the opportunity to evaluate multiple
solutions-quickly, immediately, and without risk. And depending on
the vendor, you might also be able to request custom features
There are more issues explored in the complete White Paper, click here
for the paper.
Bottom-line - I find that the Lync apps
marketplace has a number of companies devoted to
building powerful apps for your business. In that light, I
agree with Instant when they say, "Similarly, an in-house
solution to search your Lync archives is unlikely to yield any
competitive advantages. The conclusion in this case, therefore, is 'buy to standardize'
because your business has nothing
to gain from reinventing the proverbial wheel."
Lync QoE Apps Get Road
and Ixia are collaborating to test and qualify mobile devices for
Microsoft Lync applications using the Ixia wi-fi mobile device test
testing is complete, the company will deliver a qualification report
to Microsoft and the technology partner with performance, security
and reliability findings. Based on this report, Microsoft determines
whether the technology is qualified for use with its UC
platform. During the past year, Ixia has worked as the official
test house to qualify Lync applications against wi-fi networking
devices, such as wi-fi access points. It has also worked directly
with Microsoft partners to test and qualify the technology used with
the system. Here is their thoughts on the process - "Mobile
usage is growing exponentially with more and more users depending on
mobile devices to connect to and use mission-critical tools such as
Microsoft's Lync collaboration suite," said Joseph Zeto, Senior
Director of Product Marketing for Ixia. "Quality of Experience
is no longer a 'nice to have,' as enterprises and individual users
rely on mobile devices to work anywhere and anytime. Working with
Microsoft and mobile device manufacturers, Ixia is helping to prepare
today's devices for tomorrow's applications."
is present in all profiles, constituting from 0.5 percent to 15
percent of network utilization. Even though only a small part of the
overall throughput is used for VoIP, the quality of experience for
voice calls is critical. Users expect the same quality for VoIP calls
as for land-line service. Transporting real-time voice over the same
network used for all other data traffic presents challenges for
service quality. Verifying VoIP performance under conditions of high
data stress is important to ensure expected results.
Challenges in VoIP Networks
to voice traffic's high sensitivity to delays, packet loss and
jitter, a converged network can have a negative impact on the voice
quality when is not properly configured. Quality of service
(QoS) configuration helps to guarantee required bandwidth while
minimizing latency, jitter and packet loss. Minimizing those effects
is assured by detecting and prioritizing voice traffic, thus
controlling available bandwidth.
traffic may be impacted when voice traffic is prioritized, because it
is restricted from accessing bandwidth when VoIP needs it. However,
data applications are less sensitive to packet loss and delay, and
user experience is less affected. Proper testing of device
handling of both data and voice traffic requires generating a mix of
data and voice traffic that is common in the environment(s) where the
DUT will be deployed. Baseline performance tests must be conducted
for each individual
protocol passing through the network.
a distributed architecture in which devices from multiple vendors are
used, VoIP networks add an additional layer of complexity.
Interoperability between different protocols (for example, SIP to
H.323, H248 to SIP) and the interaction between different media (for
example, PSTN, wireless, and pure VoIP networks) can lead to
additional issues related to protocol translation (for example, SIP
to H.323) and multiple media encoding-decoding operations that lead
to degradation of speech quality.
VoIP shares a common network with data applications, unified services
and extended feature sets can be provided beyond those available with
regular PSTN networks. The performance impact of common, complex
features, such as Class 5 telephony features (for example, call
transfer, call conference, call parking, call waiting), is
underestimated. In practice, the complexity and message overhead
added by those features may lead to system stability issues if
minimal testing was performed at low scale using just a few phones.
VoIP system is susceptible to a number of attacks and threats,
including denial of service (DoS) attacks, eavesdropping,
registration and session hijacking and server impersonation. Multiple
levels of security are implemented at the transport and application
levels to prevent attacks. Protocols such as IPSec, TLS, and SRTP add
additional complexity, and system performance can decrease.
- Take this seriously or face the RGE-resume generating event
which which will happen but may save you from being tossed of
Customer Case Study in Seamless Integration in Minutes
This is a
customer case study from AudioCodes. Here is what they
say. Behind Microsoft's UC strategy
is that Lync can integrate with the vast majority of existing voice
systems (including most of the Avaya PBXs sold in the last 20
years). This allows those businesses that have significant
investments in Avaya PBXs to stay right where they are, surrounding
the PBX with UC capabilities at a much lower total cost than a
complete replacement or major upgrade.
This is exactly the goal set by Michael Williams, Director of IT at
Western Growers Association, an agricultural
trade association based in Irvine, CA. "Western Growers
was based on a legacy Nortel system... upgraded through Avaya, but
was still very limited in its functionality outside of doing anything
other than what a basic phone system would offer," says
the help of their partner Datalink Networks and AudioCodes, Western
Growers was able to introduce Unified Communications and
Collaboration with their current PBX, enabling mobility and improving
productivity for their staff. William also noted "Our
customer service personnel can communicate to Corporate through
instant messaging, voice and video services and take full advantage
of Lync services, while still fully communicating with the legacy
The result is one unified corporate
communications system that enables legacy Avaya users and Lync users
to seamlessly communicate, preserving all of the existing
corporate voice and messaging functions. AudioCodes media
gateways have the ability to transition legacy PRI lines, connecting
them to Microsoft Lync.
gateway routes those calls and decides whether they continue on to my
legacy PBX or on to Microsoft Lync. It makes those decisions for
you," says Williams. When asked whether the AudioCodes
media gateway was important to his network, Williams noted "I
would say it's an extremely vital piece of equipment because it's
going to control every line I have coming into the building. You'd
want to make sure you use a quality vendor like AudioCodes so that if
you have a problem, you have experienced people behind
Skype TX Takes HD Audio
TX is taking on a new voice for global communications. This
potentially means Skype is going to be a major media player not just
a telephony, chat, sharing and collaboration tool. Here is what
they say. Skype TX is an easy-to-use hardware and software
combination that allows Skype video calls from anywhere in the world
to be seamlessly integrated into any production.
Benefits of using Skype TX:
Skype TX hardware and software is easy to set up, with experts on
hand should you need advice or assistance.
The hardware has been designed for use in a studio environment, with
call output in full frame HD-SDI formats with embedded or balanced
HD-SDI video can also be sent back to the caller along with balanced
Video and audio are free from all notifications, signals, adverts or
Skype TX takes care of aspect ratio mismatches automatically and the
software operator has full control over screen aspect ratios using
Skype TX software.
Here are three examples of customer uses:
Collaboration Project and other lifestyle campaigns aim to bring
audiences closer to the industries that interest
them - and even teaches us a thing or two about the hard work
going on out there. To do that, we've joined forces with top names in
art, fashion and music.
you're streaming a live gig, interviewing stars or on-site at one of
the world's biggest sporting events - Skype allows you to get
audiences closer to the action than ever before. We've connected fans
with movie stars at film premieres and helped people from around
the world join industry events.
the big news stories break, you want to hear from the people on the
scene. You want to see what they see. Hear what they hear. Skype is
often used in bringing on-the-ground coverage straight to your TV,
radio or desktop - with many of the world's famous newsrooms -
including the BBC and CNN integrating Skype into their reports.
Look Putting Some Energy into Compliance
Energy Group Meets IM Compliance Requirements with the Help of HR Auditor
Energy Group with nearly 5,000 employees across the Midwest and
beyond is committed to fulfilling their vision of "People
Creating a Premier and Growing Energy Company."
Microsoft Lync is heavily integrated into the workday at Integrys
from trading natural gas and electricity to scheduling board meetings.
With the huge role that Lync plays in the business, it was absolutely
necessary to have a reliable IM archive reporting solutions prior to
implementing and deploying Microsoft unified communications back in
2006. Natively, Microsoft did not provide a viable option for easily
searching and viewing the IM logs.
from Instant Technologies successfully balances a comprehensive
feature set with an intuitive interface that requires little or no
training for administrators, managers, or end users. Integrys has
been managing their search and discovery queries with HR Auditor
for 7 years now and as a result is able to perform IM discoveries
quickly, easily, and discretely whenever needed.
solution not only provided us with a fully functional solution, but
the easy out of the box deployment meant HR and other departments
were up and running without any additional training needed."
Alan Weber, Senior Server Analyst at Integrys.
line: "By granting HR Auditor
access to select HR staff we have enabled them to conduct their
searches whenever they need to without requesting and waiting for IT
resources to perform database queries. This has saved valuable time
for both HR and IT departments."
from Instant Technologies provides:
Advanced searching capabilities based on keyword, user or date range
Ease of use from installation through setup and discovery searches
Instant information access - data becomes usable (and valuable)
About Instant Technologies
Technologies specializes in developing social applications for the
enterprise including IM-enabled service desk and compliance. Instant
Technologies is a Lotus Advanced Business Partner and a Microsoft
Silver Certified Partner, headquartered in Portsmouth, NH.
Click on Linkedin logo to
One Last Look Fashion Fone
Solutions for SIP
would doubt that the biggest problem with the iPhone is the
battery life or rather the lack of one. Few would also give up
their iPhones for any other phone much less a deskphone.
Lastly, charging is a pain and your desk often looks like a
plate of spaghetti than something sleek they show in the
movies. Here's comes a very cool chic tech solution from the
country that really invented IMHO fashion via Coco Chanel. The
country is France.
Invoxia NVX 620 is a VoIP SIP and Skype Phone made for
small businesses. This device is both a desktop phone and a
conference unit. Configured to your SIP account and /or Skype account
in a few seconds, you'll benefit from a powerful and clear sound
during all your calls while using the handset or speakerphone.
a convergence tool, you'll also be able to use your mobile line or
any voip apps running on your smartphone and tablet and find all your
mobile contacts from your voip line.
device is now completely compatible with iPhone 5S, iPhone 5c and
iPhone 5... and with Android (beta).
are the core features:
Vivo Acoustic Technology: 6 broadband speakers, 4 digital
microphones, 1 passive radiator
with Android (beta) smartphones and tablets, from 4.0 (Ice Cream
Sandwich), fitted with Bluetooth and an Internet connection.
All iPhone, iPad versions compatible
Incoming call reception via handsfree, mobile or corded handset
iPod Touch 4th & 3rd generation, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5,
4S, 4, 3GS, iPad mini, New iPad, iPad 2 and iPad compatible
- 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports
with integrated PoE
2 USB ports
Broadband codecs support
Created and designed by invoxia Paris
Patented technology, design registered
For the techheads, here's the tech scoop. These innovative
technologies are further improved through the use of wide-band, or
high definition, codecs (G.722, SILK). In conventional telephony,
speech is encoded at bandwidths ranging from 300 Hz to 3400 Hz, and
as a result only transmits the most essential part of the human
voice. Our telephone has been designed to encode the human voice
using bandwidths ranging to 8kHz. These bandwidths also pick up voice
harmonics: the human voice's natural qualities, a sense of the
speaker's physical presence and the space around him or her.
HD telephony, you can discern every nuance of the human voice. Nasal sounds
are reduced and similar sounding consonants such as S and F can
clearly be discerned. You no longer need to repeat yourself; your
conferences are now crystal clear and stress-free.
But that's not all. The speaker array, driven by the in Vivo
acoustic engine, can produce sounds coming simultaneously from
different directions in the room.
- In hands free telephony, this allows to separate people of a
conference call. In a 3 way conference with two remote callers, the
phone will reproduce the two voices in two distinct auditory spaces:
one on your left, the other on your right. As the human ear is very
sensitive to sound localization, you'll be surprised how easy it is
to distinguish the two participants, even if their voices are similar
to you because you've never met them and that they have a different
accent to yours . Once again, you will get
the impression that they are right next to you at your desk. The
conversation becomes less strenuous and easier to follow, and you can
focus on the task at hand without any distractions whatsoever.
- For music, in vivo acoustics allows a surprisingly wider stereo
image. Left and right channel separation is very impressive,
especially regarding the actual small dimension of the product. You'll
hardly notice the sound comes from the speakers. Throughout the room,
enjoy an immersive listening experience, where each instrument is
spatially isolated and distinctly heard.
its discreet elegance lie 4 digital MEMS microphones placed around
and in the middle of the console, which pick up the room's soundscape
in its entirety. Combined with 6 speakers, the resulting whole brings
acoustic comfort unrivalled on any telephony product today.
Bottom-line - Time for fashion to meet tech
and that for tech to be fashion it needs to be fashion-first then
Jobs taught us that when he introduced the iPod in
"pastels." Invoxia is such a cool approach to blending fashion with tech just
don't show your C-levels this unless you want a raise.
There is also an Invoxia app.
you want a really good clue about Microsoft's strategy is
then click on this link. As a fan of and author of
the first book on Telecommuting, working remotely is entirely the
wave of the future. People are more productive, often much
less-distracted than working on in cubicles or worse open
space offices where people who are sick, smell bad and seriously
obnoxious can be avoided. Adding to the hazards of
people constantly (70% or more) texting while
driving, delays, wasting time/gas, etc commuting has never been a
viable option for most workers. As a fan from the beginning,
Kinect is the most human of all user interfaces available
today. Smashing it together with Xbox and Skype, this is a
really exciting business solution. Here is some of what they
What you can do with Skype on Xbox
Use Kinect to make HD, wide-angled, one-to-one video calls or get
everyone together with group video. For 1080p video call, both users
must have compatible HD displays, web cams and messaging clients, and
broadband internet. Up to four people can be added to a group video
call on Xbox One. At least one person on the call must have a Skype
Call landlines and mobiles around the world at really low rates -
right from your sofa.
Get call and message alerts on your TV screen, so you never miss a
Send instant messages with friends while you watch live TV or play
Bottom-line - With Google, Facebook, Amazon and
so many on Microsoft's tail, this is a very important global
business strategy not just consumer solution.
Seriously FB Want User
to Wear This
did it again in hardly more than two weeks after gobbling up WhatsApp, there surprise $2B purchase of virtual
reality headset maker Oculus has many investors wondering how it fits
into Facebook's long-term strategy. The analysis on PBS
NBR-Nightly Business Report was one of the best. NBR analysts
suggest that Facebook is not in social media but they are a social
platform. Actually this is a good assessment of what FB is
morphing into a
technology platform which users can perform social,
personal (health, family, church), business,
public caring and other "human platforms." Click on
image for NBR report.
Making You More Like an Android
Google ever more on the wearable
tech road announced Android Wear: Information that moves with you.
This is yet another attempt to thwart Apple from iWatch and
anything Apple might do in fashion tech. Remember Dick Tracy, circa 1931 watch
was 2-way TV even today that would be a feat if it worked
for more a minute (battery-life for a watch might be only a few
is what Google says, "Today we're announcing Android Wear, a
project that extends Android to wearables. And we're starting with
the most familiar wearable-watches. Going well beyond the mere act of
just telling you the time, a range of new devices along with an
expansive catalogue of apps will give you:
- Useful information when you need it most. Android Wear shows you info
and suggestions you need, right when you need them. The wide variety
of Android applications means you'll receive the latest posts and
updates from your favorite social apps, chats from your preferred
messaging apps, notifications from shopping, news and photography
apps, and more.
- Straight answers to spoken questions. Just say "Ok
Google" to ask questions, like how many calories are in an
avocado, what time your flight leaves, and the score of the game. Or
say "Ok Google" to get stuff done, like
calling a taxi, sending a text, making a restaurant reservation or
setting an alarm.
- The ability to better monitor your health and
your exercise goals with reminders and fitness summaries from Android
Wear. Your favorite fitness apps can give you real-time speed,
distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or
- Your key to a multiscreen world. Android Wear lets you access
and control other devices from your wrist. Just say "Ok
Google" to fire up a music playlist on your phone, or cast your
favorite movie to your TV. There's a lot of possibilities here so
we're eager to see what developers build"
If you want to waste your time watching a vid about a watch, click on
however, you are more interested in living think of something more
interesting than finding out that someone is going to late via a
watch, the weather, sport scores or other trivial nonsense and oh,
you will still need your smartphone for anything you want to see
larger than a postage stamp.
Today, Lyncosphere -
"Lync Visualized" is released.
image for Lyncosphere (uses Flash)
a lot of beta testing and feedback this new microsite that is
designed for indepth explanations and explorations of Lync by
providers of Lync solutions and applications.
are some view comments:
"Lyncosphere is an innovative
way to help sales, channel and end users "see" how Lync
works. This really helps me engage with customers
faster and get solutions understood by all the decision-makers."
Matt Jolly - Senior Support Engineer Vology.com
"Lyncosphere visualizes how Lync works and
helps you understand which 3rd party Lync solutions are available to
provide additional functionality to your Lync environment."
Rui Maximo - CEO Lync-Solutions.com
"This is a very good - well done indeed,
it would be of great use to both channel partners and end users
GreenPublisher, TelecomReseller/Usernews Publications - The
World's Leading News Source for Unified Communications, Collaboration and
Security Issue - Restricting Remote Access
to Only Corporate-Issued Computers
security policies require employees to use only corporate-issued
computers to connect to the corporate network. Personal devices
aren't permitted to connect to internal resources. How can I enforce
security policies for users connecting to Lync Server from a
configuring the Security Edge Filter and Security Web Filter to block
NTLM authentication requests as well as restricting authentication
requests from only authorized Active Directory domains, the Security
Filters prevent users from connecting to Lync Server from a
non-corporate issued computer at the network perimeter.
Server when published to the Internet are
susceptible to many types of attacks. Without a solution such as the
Security Edge Filter and Security Web Filter, user accounts can
easily be locked out in Active Directory Domain Services, passwords
can be brute-forced, internal Lync Server resources can be consumed
unnecessarily by DDoS attacks, Lync meeting attendees can be hacked
by cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, and many more attacks (SOAP,
XML, etc) as shown in the following figure.
Security Edge Filter and Security Web Filters, attacks can be blocked
at the network perimeter as illustrated in the following diagram.
Solutions to Distributed Denial of
Services (DDoS) and other Hacker Attacks
Why are DDoS attacks disruptive to your
are the most common reasons:
Each failed authentication attempt counts in Active Directory Domain
Services as a failed login and locking out the account in Active
Directory Domain Services.
It becomes trivial for a remote attacker to lock out any of your
Active Directory user accounts if the attacker knows (or can guess)
the account name.
No credentials or privilege is required to mount a DDoS
Locked-out Active Directory user accounts often generate the largest
number of support calls to IT.
DDoS attacks can represent a substantial disruption to users when
employees are unable to reach the resources they need to do their
work while internal Lync Server resources are under
Organizations that allow employees to remotely sign in to Lync Server
from the Internet can be susceptible to password brute-force attacks.
Security Edge Filter is an application layer firewall
for Lync Server. It augments the Edge Server by enforcing a soft
lockout at the network perimeter to prevent account lockouts at the Active
Directory Domain Services. Security Edge Filter tracks failed sign-in
requests and block further sign-in attempts before the Active
Directory lockout limit is reached. The Security Edge Filter protects
the SIP traffic.
- Security Edge Filter provides an additional tier of account
Security Edge Filter prevents password-guessing by blocking
authentication attempts after the number of failed authentication
attempts reaches a threshold.
Even when the account is locked out by the Security Edge Filter at
the network perimeter, the user can still sign in to Lync Server from
within the corporate network or through a VPN. As a result, the DDoS
risk is substantially mitigated, with minimum inconvenience.
Security Edge Filter can enforce that remote users
to sign in from a corporate-issued computer. By blocking NTLM
authentication, external users are forced to sign in by using TLS-DSK
authentication. It requires that a client certificate be installed on
the user's computer when it's connected to the corporate network.
Security Web Filter is a Web application firewall for
Lync Server Web Services. It protects the Lync HTTPS
traffic traversing the reverse proxy. Similar to the Security Edge
Filter, it protects against DDoS attacks by enforcing a soft lockout
in the network perimeter. The Security Web Filter monitors Web
traffic originating from the Internet for potential attacks. In
addition to Lync Web traffic, the Security Web Filter can monitor
authentication traffic from external Exchange and SharePoint
Security Web Filter provides an additional tier of account security,
safely locking out the account at the network perimeter without
locking out the account inside the corporate network.
Security Web Filter prevents password-guessing on the extranet by
blocking authentication attempts for that account after the number of
failed authentication attempts reaches a threshold.
Security Web Filter monitors external traffic for XSS attacks, SOAP
attacks and XML attacks, and blocks those requests at the network
The enterprise edition of the Security Web Filter allows the
administrator to block unauthorized Lync mobile devices from signing
in to Lync Server.
When combined with the enterprise edition of the Security Edge
Filter, the lockout policy and logging can be centralized with both products
in a SQL database.
Tips for #Hast Tags
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