Getting ready for VoiceCon 2008

* Pre-show announcements from Aspect Software, Clarus Systems, CyberData, XO Communications, and others

With VoiceCon in Orlando opening this week it's been a busy few days for the unified communications sector. Today, we'll highlight a number of the announcements made prior to the show, from companies including Aspect Software, Clarus Systems, CyberData and XO Communications, and next week, we'll update readers with some more in-depth news on some of the additional announcements made at the conference.

* 911 ETC announced that its V911 Connect 911ETC now offers Enhanced 911 software-as-a-service features for VoIP or for a hybrid PBX/VoIP.

* Aspect Software enhanced its contact center to better manage customer interactions, allowing calls to be routed to subject matter experts in the enterprise.

* Clarus Systems unveiled the latest release of ClarusIPC, which offers enhanced business intelligence and performance management capabilities like enhanced reporting, data augmentation, analytics, advanced monitoring and alerting.

* CyberData introduced its upcoming VoIP Intercom, which operates as a door entry phone with access control capabilities, or as an emergency phone with mass notification capabilities.

* GN released a dedicated Electronic Hook Switch (EHS) for Polycom's SoundPoint IP desktop phones. The adapter lets users with a wireless headset use Polycom's VoIP desk phones at up to 500 feet away from the phone.

* Iscoord showcased its is-phone Communicator, a SIP softphone integrated into Microsoft Outlook/MSN Messenger. It also unveiled new is-phone features, such as a feature enabling anonymous instant calls from any Web site to any phone.

* Litescape announced a new unified communications application to improve customer interactions eliminating inefficiencies of disjointed Web and phone requests to customer service reps.

* NET introduced the VX1800 Voice Exchange for Unified Communications, a high capacity intelligent media gateway that is purpose-built for enterprise VoIP and unified communications. It is Microsoft UC Certified and supports up to 1000 "any-to-any" simultaneous calls.

* NetQoS launched VoIP Monitor Version 1.1 with automatic investigations into problems when a performance threshold is exceeded as well as enhanced reporting capacity.

* Phybridge released the Phybridge Uniphyer, an appliance that enables voice/data network convergence with Power over Ethernet and guaranteed QoS.

* Prognosis launched monitoring support for Nortel IP communications with Version 9.5 of its Prognosis IP Telephony Manager software.

* Sagem-Interstar announced that its new XMediusFAX 5.5.2 fax server will support Cisco Unified Communication Manager, Version 6.1, using SIP trunking.

* Star2Star Communications announced the availability of the S2S3000 soft phone. It comes with  fully integrated, end-to-end monitoring and management.

* Taske Technology, a call management software solution provider released Taske Contact 8.8 to provide customer driven enhancements like a new user-defined desktop.

* XO Communications touted its XO SIP Service, which won Internet Telephony's 2007 Product of the Year award. The XO SIP XO SIP delivers converged voice and data services which are delivered to businesses with IP-PBX systems over a single, high-speed IP connection. The services include unlimited local calling and long distance calling with optional voice compression over an MPLS IP-VPN at speeds up to 45Mbps with dynamic bandwidth allocation. Online feature management is done through the XO Business Center.

* Zeacom released Version 5.0 of the Zeacom Communications Center with new applications for mobility and conferencing. Conferences can be now established “on the fly” for as many as 64 parties and with the mobility module, users can “push” all the functionality of the unified communications system out to BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices.

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