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Mark Donahue Mark Donahue is an associate editor for Telephony magazine. Previously, he worked in The Associated Press’ Chicago bureau, as well as two trade publications. He graduated from...more

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Managment World 2009: Forumville To Spotlight Six Key Strategies

Forumville Sets Strategy for Success at TM Forum’s Management World 2009


TM Forum Innovation Zone to spotlight six key strategies to drive business solutions for today and prepare the industry for the future


MORRISTOWN, NJ, March 26, 2009 –TM Forum, the world’s premier industry group focused on business effectiveness for the communications and media sectors, revealed today six key strategies to combat the economic downturn and prepare the industry for the future. The set of practical strategies and tactics will be unveiled at the Forum’s flagship Management World conference (4-8 May 2009, Nice, France), showcased within the exclusive Forumville innovation zone.


In a world where communications service providers face the continual challenge of maintaining profitability for increasingly competitive and diverse services, TM Forum is leading the way in improving business effectiveness. Through leadership and collaboration, the Forum is delivering the standards and best practices that underpin automation, reduce OpEx and customer churn, and allow service providers to adapt to new business models.


According to Martin Creaner, President and CTO, TM Forum, “Forumville brings together leading industry experts in a series of live Technology Catalyst and Content Encounter demos, providing examples of the innovation and rapid solution development only possible through collaboration. Together with business and technical presentations focused on implementation of TM Forum standards, Forumville will offer conference delegates a one stop shop for essential transformation tools.”


The six key strategy areas will cover:


·Business Transformation — Tuning business for the road ahead

Looking at the big picture of how the TM Forum best practices, business programs and executive communities can help with business strategies for becoming ever more efficient, automated, agile, and customer-centric;


·Software Development — Reducing development cost and risk

IT solutions are the backbone of any business transformation. Attendees will learn how TM Forum standards and best practices are enabling a wide range of service providers and their suppliers to save millions of dollars through standards-based implementation;


·Service Innovation — Getting new services to market faster

Three live Technology Catalyst demonstrations will showcase multi-vendor solutions that enable new services to be created quickly and cost effectively across service provider and business partner environments;


·Revenue Management — Ensuring profitability in a complex service environment

Billing, Charging and Revenue Assurance all have direct impact on the bottom line. Revenue management systems need to be able to handle the demands of the ever increasing service loads and payment choices. Attendees will learn how TM Forum is focusing on business process and proven revenue assurance techniques to make a difference in this straight-to-the-bottom line area;


·Customer Experience — Proactively managing customer loyalty

Keeping customers is generally more cost effective than acquiring new customers – so focus on customer experience paramount. Forum members are leading the way in reducing customer churn by enabling integrated customer care systems;


·Digital Media Value Chain — Enabling business models for the new digital marketplace

Now is the time to prepare for new business models which will rely new services and partnerships. Attendees will see how TM Forum is driving the creation of end-to-end management solutions in the multi-player extended value chain that includes content owners, advertisers, and service providers of all kinds;


Forumville will include two theaters, offering in-depth technology demonstrations, case studies of real-world implementations and educational presentations. Attendees will also receive free registration to the Forum’s new online community, where members can connect to their peers and gain access to the latest industry topics and thought leadership.


The strategies and tactics unveiled in Forumville will be mirrored throughout the Management World 2009 conference, which opens with an impressive keynote lineup on Wednesday, May 6. “Forumville, along with the entire Management World conference this year, focuses on the strategies and tactics service providers need to embrace to survive. The current economic situation presents an opportunity for service providers to transform themselves to support the new business models that will prove to be essential to future growth and profitability for service providers,” added Creaner.


The full conference agenda, keynote and speaker details as well as information surrounding certified training courses available in Nice are available now at http://www.tmforum.org/ManagementWorld2009/


Press and analysts are invited to contact Geoff Devlin, gdevlin@tmforum.org, to apply for press access to the conference.


About TM Forum


With more than 700 member companies in 75 countries, TM Forum is the world’s leading industry association focused on improving business effectiveness for service providers and their suppliers. Serving the information, communications and entertainment industries, the Forum provides practical solutions, guidance and leadership to transform the way that digital services are created, delivered and charged. Members include the world’s largest service providers, cable and network operators, software suppliers, equipment suppliers and systems integrators.


TM Forum provides a wide range of information and support to help its members reduce the costs and risks associated with creating and delivering profitable services. These include industry research and benchmarks, technology roadmaps, best practice guidebooks, software standards and interfaces, as well as certified training, conferences and publications. The Forum also provides its member community with extensive marketing and networking opportunities, enabling business with new customers and partners.


To learn more please visit www.tmforum.org.

Edgeware Enters IPTV Partnership with World-leading Systems Integrator

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – March 25, 2009 – Edgeware, the provider of revolutionary server systems for network deployed on-demand TV, today announced a global IPTV cooperation with Ericsson, the world’s leading supplier in telecommunications.


With this agreement, Edgeware is integrating its solid state video-on-demand (VoD) platform with the Ericsson end-to-end IPTV solution and OpenStream® Digital Services Platform to enable operators worldwide to easily deploy advanced on-demand TV services. Edgeware’s network-distributed server architecture allows operators to utilize their existing network, even when bandwidth and quality of service (QoS) are limited, by caching popular content close to the viewers. 


“We are proud to be part of the Ericsson IPTV solution. Partnering with an industry leader like Ericsson gives us a strong global reach and together we are able to provide advanced IPTV solutions to a large number of operators around the world,” said Mikael Samuelsson, VP of channel sales at Edgeware.


Edgeware’s industry-leading flash memory-based network server appliances bring a number of additional benefits to operators, such as carrier grade reliability, 99 percent energy savings and the highest stream density on the market – 20 Gbps from a single, half rack depth, 1U box. Since early 2007, the Edgeware solution has been deployed by leading Telco´s and cable MSOs, as well as Web TV and over the top (OTT) service providers.

About Edgeware

Edgeware is the supplier of revolutionary server systems for on-demand TV, setting new industry standards for video streaming over IP. Edgeware enables Video On-Demand (VoD), Time Shifted TV, Web TV and Ad-insertion services, with unmatched scalability and at the lowest investment and operational cost on the market.


In 2006 Edgeware pioneered using flash memory by launching a fully solid state flash memory based network appliance, for truly distributed deployment. By combining solid-state flash memory and hardware accelerated streaming, Edgeware offers the most integrated, reliable and power efficient appliances in the industry. The systems solution includes dynamic asset propagation and management to enable highly scalable and resilient architectures with central clusters in combination with caches distributed deep into the network. Caching popular content close to the viewers means substantial savings on network infrastructure and shortened time to market. Edgeware´s server systems have been deployed around the globe by leading Telcos and cable MSOs, and more recently by over the top service providers.


The company is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with a U.S.-based office in San Jose, California.


Edgeware is nominated for the 2009 IPTV World Series Awards in two categories:

“Best On-Demand Technology for IPTV” and “Best Internet TV Technology/Solution”.

These solutions will be showcased at IPTV World Forum in London, March 25-27, Booth 226.


www.edgeware.tv

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RGB Networks Overcomes IPTV Complexities with Advanced Video Test Solutions from Spirent

Spirent TestCenter


Spirent Communications plc (LSE: SPT), a global leader in network testing, today announced that RGB Networks, the leader in network video processing, selected the award-winning Spirent TestCenterâ„¢ platform to facilitate the testing of RGB’s IPTV solutions.  Additionally, RGB chose the Spirent TestCenter Hypermetricsâ„¢ Application Performance module to conduct the industry’s highest performance Layer 4-7, security and vulnerability assessment tests.


The emergence of IP video solutions and services over traditional telco and cable networks and over the Internet through services such Netflix, Hulu.com, YouTube and others has increased level of complexity associated with testing related equipment. Many test systems, unable to accommodate the needs of equipment manufacturers, impact the ability to ship products on time. Fortunately, RGB Networks understood that Spirent could help to tackle these challenges.


“Spirent’s solutions allow us to conduct tests in a realistic network and user environment with a unique mix of traffic while reducing the time associated with successfully completing such efforts,” said Charles Corablis, vice president of Engineering, RGB Networks. “Unlike other products, Spirent addresses port density, high performance and critical aspect of realism required to ensure the highest Quality of Experience (QoE) for IPTV services.”


The high density, multi-core architecture of Spirent TestCenter Hypermetrics provides RGB Networks with scalability and performance along with the capability to reallocate processing power to conduct the complex testing associated with IPTV. The emphasis on performance and application realism rather than just port density enables test engineers to invest in a single solution for all their testing needs while reducing capital expenses and operating within the constraints of limited budgets.


“While there are other products on the market, RGB Networks’ decision to use Spirent test equipment demonstrates the value and unsurpassed capabilities we bring to the table,” said Ahmed Murad, general manager, Multimedia Applications Solutions Group at, Spirent Communications. “By continuing to deliver the most complete set of offerings, we help enable companies such as RGB to introduce technologically advanced solutions that are not only reliable but rich in features and functionality.”


Communications industry leaders also depend on multi-functional, comprehensive solutions from Spirent to help ensure that the multi-play networks and multi-technology platforms of tomorrow deliver the QoE which service providers demand today. Testing the converged network is a strategic imperative for service providers and network equipment manufacturers to reduce churn and increase revenue potential. 


Spirent offers others modules for its TestCenter platform including the Hypermetrics Converged (CV) and Hypermetrics Converged Multi-play (CM). These modules, along with Hypermetrics AP, support a robust and scalable test platform with a flexible user experience for conducting end-to-end Layer 2-7 multi-play testing at gigabit or 10gigabit line rates. Demonstration of Spirent TestCenter family of solutions can be viewed at Booth #202 at IPTV World Forum, London, March 25 -27. For more information visit www.spirent.com/go/hypermetrics 


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Edgeware Opens U.S. Headquarters in Silicon Valley

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – March 17, 2009 – Edgeware, the leading provider of flash memory based server systems for network deployed delivery of TV and video services, today announced the opening of its U.S. headquarters, based in San Jose, Calif., and the addition of David Appleman, a former Motorola senior sales executive, to lead all Edgeware sales efforts in the Americas.


The formation of a U.S. subsidiary, Edgeware, Inc., and the opening of a Silicon Valley-based office, is a strategic move to further increase the company’s North American footprint.  The expansion will serve Edgeware’s current and future American customers include cable MSOs, Telco’s and, more recently, providers of TV and video services over the top (OTT) and over the Web.  In addition to sales, led by Appleman, in the North, South and Central American regions, the new office will provide expanded customer support and engineering services.


“Appleman brings massive experience to Edgeware as he already knows our space and most of our current and future customers,” said Joachim Roos, CEO and founder of Edgeware. “With him, we are up and running and can shift our U.S. efforts into high gear to take advantage of the significant growth potential among service providers for next-generation video services.”


Appleman brings more than 20 years of experience to his new position at Edgeware including executive management of rapidly growing technology companies and more than 10 years experience building sales and marketing organizations in the broadband and IPTV industry.


“Consumers are demanding more and more from their service providers,” said Appleman. “I am confident that Edgeware’s solid state server technology brings a new level of cost efficiency and scalability of delivering Web TV and video services to our service provider partners. Edgeware is truly a revolutionary company that fulfills the needs that the service providers have been asking for and I am very excited to be a part of this team.”


About Edgeware

Edgeware is the supplier of revolutionary server systems for on-demand TV, setting new industry standards for video streaming over IP. Edgeware enables Video On-Demand (VoD), Time Shifted TV, Web TV and Ad-insertion services, with unmatched scalability and at the lowest investment and operational cost on the market.


In 2006 Edgeware pioneered using flash memory by launching a fully solid state flash memory based network appliance, for truly distributed deployment. By combining solid-state flash memory and hardware accelerated streaming, Edgeware offers the most integrated, reliable and power efficient appliances in the industry. The systems solution includes dynamic asset propagation and management to enable highly scalable and resilient architectures with central clusters in combination with caches distributed deep into the network. Caching popular content close to the viewers means substantial savings on network infrastructure and shortened time to market. Edgeware´s server systems have been deployed around the globe by leading Telcos and cable MSOs, and more recently by over the top service providers.


The company is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with a U.S.-based office in San Jose, California.


Edgeware is nominated for the 2009 IPTV World Series Awards in two categories:

“Best On-Demand Technology for IPTV” and “Best Internet TV Technology/Solution”.

These solutions will be showcased at IPTV World Forum in London, March 25-27, Booth 226.


www.edgeware.tv


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Edgeware Secures $8 million in Series B Financing

Second round of financing, led by Micron Technology, to accelerate global presence and strengthen position in North American market

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – March 17, 2009 – Edgeware, the leading provider of flash memory based servers for network deployed delivery of TV and video services, today announced it has closed a $8 million series B round of funding led by new investor, Micron Technology with full participation from Edgeware’s Series A investors, Amadeus Capital Partners and Creandum Advisor.


The funds will be used to accelerate Edgeware’s increasing presence in the global market. In particular, it will strengthen the ambitions in the North American market where the company already has a number of key customers.


Edgeware provides server systems and associated technology for TV services over the Web and for TV on-demand services in Telco and cable network environments. Edgeware was founded in 2004 with the idea of merging delivery capability of on demand TV and video services into the service provider network, using highly efficient dedicated network appliances.


“We were attracted by Edgeware’s novel use of NAND flash memory as the sole storage in their demanding carrier applications, completely eliminating the use of rotating media,” said Ian Blasch, managing director of Micron Ventures, the venture arm of Micron Technology. “Rather than simply using off-the-shelf solid state disks or SSDs, they have developed a unique architecture around flash memory and that gives them a number of compelling advantages - performance being one of them.”


Different from competing products that are usually based on generic computer hardware, Edgeware’s servers are dedicated, highly efficient network appliances that are deployed in anything from central clusters to highly distributed architectures. Edgeware uses a combination of NAND flash memory storage and a hardware implemented data plane to obtain a solution which is highly reliable and by orders of magnitude smaller in footprint and power consumption.


“With this capital injection we are well positioned to actively expand our business, when many of our competitors are downsizing,” says Joachim Roos, CEO of Edgeware. “Our customers continue to invest in infrastructure for home entertainment. The fact that we manage to secure funding like this under current conditions in the financial sector sends a strong message.”


About Edgeware


Edgeware is the supplier of revolutionary server systems for on-demand TV, setting new industry standards for video streaming over IP. Edgeware enables Video On-Demand (VoD), Time Shifted TV, Web TV and Ad-insertion services, with unmatched scalability and at the lowest investment and operational cost on the market.


In 2006 Edgeware pioneered using flash memory by launching a fully solid state flash memory based network appliance, for truly distributed deployment. By combining solid-state flash memory and hardware accelerated streaming, Edgeware offers the most integrated, reliable and power efficient appliances in the industry. The systems solution includes dynamic asset propagation and management to enable highly scalable and resilient architectures with central clusters in combination with caches distributed deep into the network. Caching popular content close to the viewers means substantial savings on network infrastructure and shortened time to market. Edgeware´s server systems have been deployed around the globe by leading Telcos and cable MSOs, and more recently by over the top service providers.


The company is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with a U.S.-based office in San Jose, California.


Edgeware is nominated for the 2009 IPTV World Series Awards in two categories:

“Best On-Demand Technology for IPTV” and “Best Internet TV Technology/Solution”.

These solutions will be showcased at IPTV World Forum in London, March 25-27, Booth 226.


www.edgeware.tv

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FANFARE TO INTEGRATE iTEST WITH AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES’ MULTISERVICES TEST SOLUTION

Companies to Offer Integrated Testing Solution that Boosts Productivity in Current Economic Conditions


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—March 10, 2009— Fanfare, delivering innovative testing solutions to network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) and service providers (SPs), today announced it is partnering with Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A) to offer joint customers the ability to seamlessly integrate their test assets and automate complex system testing. Fanfare’s test automation solution, iTest® will be more tightly integrated with Agilent’s N2X multi-services test solution, accelerating the configuration and automation of test scenarios.


The Agilent N2X is widely used by NEMs and SPs to validate the performance and scalability characteristics of next-generation network equipment, and is designed to test IP-forwarding devices that deliver video, VoIP, data services and business VPNs. It is used in out-of-service lab environments to test at real-world scale with realistic traffic, ensuring quality of multiplay services. The N2X addresses the test challenges that multiplay services impose across the IP/MPLS core, carrier edge and broadband access networks.


Fanfare’s iTest orchestrates system testing by executing simultaneous commands to a multitude of different devices in a network to simulate real-world network testing. This enhances the quality of services that SPs offer, reduces time to market, and improves productivity across the entire service development and product development life cycle. Integrating Agilent’s N2X with iTest will ease the process of automating test assets for existing and prospective SP customers, providing a comprehensive solution for their system testing needs.


“Our customers have been telling us that they want to use Fanfare’s iTest to automate the Agilent N2X in their labs to ultimately get the best of both worlds ,” said Toni Piwonka-Corle, general manager of Agilent’s Data Networks Operation. “We’re pleased to announce that the current version of Fanfare’s iTest supports the latest Agilent N2X software release, and that we will continue the integration of our two products to boost our customers’ productivity.”


“In today’s uncertain economic conditions, productivity-enhancement tools such as iTest can play a critical role in helping carriers maintain their competitive edge,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of Fanfare. “Fanfare will continue to work with leading companies like Agilent to meet the market demand for integration between test equipment and test automation software, contributing to overall improvements in the quality chain.”


About Fanfare

Fanfare provides automated testing solutions that enable service providers, network equipment manufacturers, and enterprises to enhance productivity throughout the quality workflow by streamlining system and device testing, reducing product cycles, and lowering costs. Using Fanfare, quality assurance teams and developers can leverage a common testing platform to deliver quality services and products to market faster and more efficiently. For more information, please visit www.fanfaresoftware.com.


# # #


Media Contact:

Marisa Marzano

Big Sky Communications

(705) 484-5105

marisa@bigskypr.com

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Comptel OSS Sets Record For Charging, Mediation Performance

Comptel Dynamic OSS Sets New Benchmark for Mediation and Real-Time Charging Performance


IBM benchmark highlights Comptel’s ability to protect Communications Service Providers against the growing mediation and charging requirements that ‘lifestyle’ services demand


Comptel Corporation (OMX Helsinki: CTL1V), the leading vendor of dynamic Operations Support System (OSS) software, today announced the results of an extensive scalability and performance benchmarking study undertaken in conjunction with IBM.


The study demonstrates the unique capability of the newest versions of Comptel’s Convergent Mediation and Charging Solutions to address the scalability issue that ‘lifestyle’ services present for Communication Service Providers (CSPs). As these content and bandwidth-heavy lifestyle services are packaged and billed to end-customers in increasingly diverse ways, service providers will require systems that are able to scale to the corresponding exponential increase in mediation and charging support within OSS systems.


“Lifestyle services require CSPs to improve their real-time control and management of services as customers will expect more flexibility in the way these services are packaged together and charged to them.” said Simo Sääskilahti, Comptel SVP Products and Solutions. “In a service provider’s production environment, this translates into a dramatic increase in the number of mediation and charging events that the OSS must be able to handle.”


In this benchmarking exercise, Comptel was able to achieve near linear scaling to over 1.9 billion events per hour on a single IBM Power 595 server with a 64-way POWER6 microprocessor.


“Scalability of this magnitude is critical to meeting the dynamic needs of tier-one service providers and those looking to consolidate multiple billing back-office components into a convergent platform,” continued Sääskilahti. “Comptel is comfortable to deliver our solutions on IBM technology for our largest customers, some quickly approaching 100 million subscribers.”


“The combination of Comptel’s Convergent Mediation and Charging software and the IBM technology is a great cost effective option for customers that require the highest levels of performance and scalability,” said Pierre Perdaems, IBM Telecommunication Servers - EMEA CTO. “By achieving nearly two billion events per hour with Comptel Convergent Mediation and Charging, the IBM Power series server family has again demonstrated why it is proving to be the architecture of choice for CSPs worldwide.”


Today, Comptel has 16 customers on Power series servers supporting over 200 million subscribers, including Airtel, DTAC, Idea Cellular, Telefónica Móviles Argentina and Vodafone Essar. IBM Power series servers are the servers of choice for tier one service providers, with Power 6 servers providing PowerVM – IBM’s industry-leading virtualisation technology – to allow optimal flexibility, server consolidation and cost reduction.


Benchmark Details

* Conducted at IBM Telecommunications Infrastructure Center for BSS in Montpellier France, the benchmark included various workloads such as offline streams, online streams, charging, rating, and customer balance management activities using a variety of conditions modeled after real-life communications service providers. Several joint customers provided validated test scenarios.


* Convergent scenarios covered modeled conditions equal to 1.5 billion subscribers in a developing economy prepaid/postpaid business model. Specific test scenarios for GGSNs and other network components generating high record volumes requiring complex stream aggregation were defined and tested by IBM Global Services.


* The results verified Comptel Convergent Mediation Solution 6.1 and Comptel Charging Solution 6.1 core components’ near linear scalability utilising in-memory data storage. Memory usage correlates to core functionalities, such as aggregation, correlation, duplicate checking, and rating which dynamically drives how many parallel sessions to hold against the data store.


* The benchmark tested Comptel’s solutions running on a single IBM POWER6 processor-based Power 595 server, with IBM AIX version 6.1 operating system and IBM PowerVM virtualisation technology, hosted by an IBM DS8300 storage subsystem.


Additionally, Comptel also ported Comptel Convergent Mediation Solution 6.1 and Comptel Charging Solution 6.1 to support IBM solidDB in-memory database and IBM BladeCenter, for more performance, scalability, and reliability options required for varying emerging and Greenfield market conditions. Comptel plans to make the Comptel Convergent Mediation and Charging Solutions generally available leveraging the high performance of IBM solidDB in-memory database. Comptel Charging Solution 6.1 is also being integrated by IBM into Aritel applying IBM SOA best practices.


About Comptel Corporation

Comptel provides Comptel Dynamic OSS solutions, enabling telecom service providers to deliver services flexibly and charge them effectively. Comptel’s expertise in inventory, provisioning and activation, mediation and charging empowers service providers to focus on delivering the innovative services. Comptel has provided solutions to 280 customers with 800 million subscribers in 85 countries. Net sales were EUR 85 million in 2008. The Group has about 600 employees in 18 countries. http://www.comptel.com

Verizon Business Helps IT Leaders Set Sights for 2009

Global Communications and IT Solutions Leader Identifies Top Technology Trends to Help Businesses Reach New Heights in Year Ahead  


BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – The global economy is front and center, and enterprises worldwide are looking to get the biggest bang for their buck in 2009.  With that in mind, Verizon Business has identified 10 business technology trends to help corporate and government information technology (IT) leaders do more with less.“These challenging times present IT leaders with an opportunity to make technology work harder and smarter to get the job done,” said Nancy Gofus, senior vice president of global business products for Verizon.  “We’re at a crossroads, where cost-cutting and technological innovation can actually unite to create new business capabilities in spite of the economic climate.  Verizon Business stands ready to help large businesses and government agencies worldwide make the most of communications and IT to propel their enterprises forward.”


Here’s Verizon Business’ list of 10 hot trends for 2009:


Enterprise 2.0 


The workplace is ever-changing and yesterday’s work style is being replaced with a more interactive exchange of ideas inspired by social networking tools such as Facebook, Wikis, Mash-ups, Twitter and Digg-it. Web 2.0 is quickly evolving into Enterprise 2.0 as these rich capabilities are creating new business models for some companies and empowering new strategies for others.  Removing traditional barriers of walls, wires, time and distance — reflective of today’s often globally dispersed enterprises — in favor of new social networking tools will enable workers to connect to their extended network of customers, suppliers, vendors and employees in new and exciting ways. Look for Enterprise 2.0 to help organizations take their game to the next level through enhanced collaboration, communications and sharing ideas.   


Work as Activity Versus Place 


Organizations want their employees to get their jobs done no matter where they are.  For that reason, teleworking is becoming a strategic imperative.   Companies will continue to recognize the productivity-boosting benefits of enabling mobile teleworkers or at-home teleworkers to remain securely connected to corporate resources.  The environment will also benefit as more businesses, government agencies and municipalities recognize the energy savings that can result from teleworking and “hoteling” (using office space on an as- needed basis, like a hotel room). Telework, including new high-definition virtual meetings, will create an increased focus on work as an activity versus a physical location, and companies will be able to hire and retain professional talent regardless of where they are located.  Managed mobility offerings will help businesses track, monitor, secure and manage the plethora of mobile devices accessing corporate networks. 


Doing More with Less


Businesses and governments everywhere are looking for ways to do more with less.  That holds true whether it means using managed services or tuning up existing networks instead of building new ones. IT organizations are also looking for the right technologies, such as sophisticated automated speech systems, to better serve customers.  In 2009, it’s all about productivity. Companies can choose which functions to keep in-house and which to hand off to a third party. Flexibility, the need for specific skill-sets and globalization are making selective out-tasking the preferred model. With managed services, companies can focus on what they do best and leave some of the highly specialized work such as IT, security, networks and call centers, to experts. 


Visual Communications 


Video will continue to play a starring role, as companies make the most of their IP connections to create a culture of collaboration.  From the boardroom to the desktop to the laptop to the mobile phone, more collaboration will take place, as companies increasingly embrace the cost-savings, productivity and environmental benefits of virtual meetings versus business travel.   High-definition video will begin to pay off for extended enterprise communications between employees, customers, suppliers and partners.  In addition to interactive video collaboration, video functions will be incorporated in the enterprise for on-demand content distribution, including on-the-job training.  As high-definition video equipment becomes more affordable and interoperable, the opportunity to video-enable corporate IP network endpoints will allow companies to rev-up their existing networks with minimal investment.


Unified Communications Integrated Into Business Processes 


If voice over IP (VoIP) is thought to be the first return on an IP network investment, unified communications (UC) will be the gift that keeps on giving.  Unified communications uses Internet protocol networks to integrate various systems, media, devices and applications to help streamline business processes, accelerate decision-making, and reduce costs. With UC now at the forefront of business communications strategies, companies are making decisions about voice telephony that will help them achieve greater collaboration and productivity.  Workers leveraging presence capabilities in a UC environment can gain more control over work flow and time management as well as expedited communications.  What’s next: UC integrated into automated business processes, where human and machine intelligence commingle in an IP world to drive even greater business growth.


 


Ready, Set Go IPv6            


The number of IP-addressable devices and systems is skyrocketing within enterprises and few organizations have current documented data on what those IP assets are, how they are being used and which ones are most critical to their operations.  Knowing which IP addressable elements are linked to which business needs will enable IT leaders to prioritize the data and applications that will need to be future-proofed with IPv6 capabilities while phasing out those that are idle or counter productive to operations.  IPv6 will be a necessity for companies to achieve mobility and scalability with increased efficiency and ultimately move their businesses forward.   


Getting SaaSy


The network becomes king once again in 2009 making it the perfect platform for software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery. Serving content, applications and security in a centralized online environment will become the rage.  Buying computing resources a la carte will help companies control costs while attaining the security, performance, scalability and reliability required for the enterprise.  Consuming IT resources (connectivity, server and storage) on an as-needed basis will keep IT costs in control and eliminate the need, time and effort to outfit every desktop. Centralization will keep IT departments on top of their game in 2009.    360 Security  


Professionals will need to be security-conscious in and out of the office. Whether at home or on-the-go, security needs to be considered every step of the way.  Three hundred sixty-degree security, mandatory on any IT checklist, requires that the flow of data be protected in and out of the corporate network and through the extended enterprise of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees. Security will touch every endpoint, every device and every situation, both physical and logical. Home and office require equal protection as boundaries continue to blur.


Eco-Responsibility as Sound Business Strategy 


Companies will evaluate eco-responsibility along with their technology investments as part of an overall business strategy.  Corporate social responsibility is becoming increasingly important in how companies are viewed by their employees, customers and investors.  What’s good for the environment also happens to make good business sense.  According to “Smart 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age” published by The Climate Group, information communication technology (ICT) can reduce total global carbon emissions by 15 percent by the year 2020. If companies can reduce their energy consumption, they can also reduce their energy costs to gain a competitive advantage.  What’s more, savvy companies today are embracing the green initiative to get ahead of government and business mandates that will eventually force the issue.


Cutting Through the Compliance Clutter 


Compliance and regulatory oversight are here to stay. In 2009, expect more, not less, with IT in the hot seat for ensuring IT systems are fully compliant and all the right controls are in place. Enterprises should be prepared to be strategic, think innovatively and act decisively.  Professional services and Web-based dashboards that help track, monitor and enable controls for compliance will provide the foundation for companies looking to get it right.  These “smart” tools also will allow an organization to quickly review whether its partners, customers and suppliers, which form an extended network, are complying with relevant standards and regulations, a critical consideration in today’s increasingly connected world. 


“To these predictions,” concluded Gofus, “we will add one more: Businesses worldwide will need to be quick and nimble in the coming year. Those that leverage the benefits of technology to power their business objectives will weather the storm and become even stronger in the long run. Our expert staff is trained to help companies navigate these turbulent waters and deliver a comprehensive suite of integrated, secure communications and IT solutions, including managed and professional services that enable companies to focus on their core business.”     


About Verizon Business


Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with the world’s most connected IP network to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions. We securely connect today’s extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees — enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment.  Many of the world’s largest businesses and governments — including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions — rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com. 


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VERIZON’S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and biographies, media contacts, high quality video and images, and other information are available at Verizon’s News Center on the World Wide Web at www.verizon.com/news.  To receive news releases by e-mail, visit the News Center and register for customized automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.

Transition Networks Unveils New Power-over-Ethernet Media Converter

sgpoe1040-100_l.jpgRounds Out Gigabit Ethernet PoE Media Converter Portfolio


Las Vegas, NV — September 29, 2008 – BICSI Fall Conference — Transition Networks Inc., the switching and conversion technology expert, a wholly owned subsidiary of Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCS), today announced the introduction of a new Gigabit Ethernet Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) media converter. This product expands Transition Networks’ portfolio of PoE copper-to-fiber media converters enabling customers to power wireless access points, voice over IP phones and IP security and surveillance cameras.


These new converters are capable of handling speeds up to Gigabit Ethernet and can be located more than 100 meters from the main PoE Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) without the expensive replication of the PSE. The new devices are fully compliant IEEE 802.3af media converters providing 10/100/1000Base-T to 100/1000Base-X conversion and can be powered by an AC outlet anywhere in the world.


“In addition to helping overcome the challenge of linking remote IP cameras and Wi-Fi access points located beyond the 100 meter distance limitation of PoE over UTP cabling, our PoE copper-to-fiber media converters also help to reduce capital expenditures and installation costs by providing the benefits of PoE at the remote sites,” said Patrick Schaber, Director of Marketing at Transition Networks. “As we expand our PoE product portfolio to accommodate higher bandwidth devices and customer applications, the addition of the new gigabit Ethernet device offers customers the utmost in flexibility for integrating fiber into their PoE networks.”


Product Features

Transition’s AC powered PoE media converters utilize an external AC power supply allowing for a reduced form factor when compared to devices with an internal power supply. These converters combine the data received over a fiber optic link with up to 15.4 watts of power and insert the combination on either the “A” or “B” pairs of unshielded twisted pair cabling to interface with Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) Power Devices (PD). The media converters also include PD signature sensing and power monitoring features compliant with the IEEE 802.3af standard, such as Over-Current Protection, Under-Current Detection and Fault Protection Input. In addition, these products include Transition’s premium selectable features such as Automatic Link Restoration, Auto-Negotiation, Autocross, Link Pass Through, Far End Fault and Pause.


Transition also integrated the following innovative and industry-unique features into these new gigabit Ethernet media converters:


Power Device Reset - With the PSE/LPT switch enabled, a loss of fiber RX will disable PSE power output on the UTP port for 2 seconds to allow remote device to re-initialize. It will then resume power output to the PD device and will automatically re-establish the UTP communication link once the fiber RX is restored.

Redundant, dual speed SFP ports – The 110 model includes two SFP ports that support both 100Base-FX and 1000Base-X SFPs providing the ability to utilize this converter to support a fast Ethernet link today and simply move to gigabit Ethernet in the future by changing out the SFP. These dual speed ports can also be set via dip-switch to provide a redundant fiber path between a mission critical PD and a PSE or to function as traditional three port switch.


Product Configuration and Availability

Transition’s new gigabit Ethernet PoE media converters are offered in three distinct models:


Product Description

SGPOE10xx-100 10/100/1000Base-T (RJ-45) PoE to 1000Base-X (fixed fiber port) offered in either multimode and single mode SC

SGPOE1040-100 10/100/1000Base-T (RJ-45) PoE to 100/1000Base-X (dual speed SFP port)

SGPOE1040-110 10/100/1000Base-T (RJ-45) PoE to (2) 100/1000Base-X (dual speed SFP ports) offering fiber redundancy


These new gigabit Ethernet PoE media converters expand Transition’s already extensive portfolio of PoE products. Transition also offers external AC powered 10/100-base models as well as 10-base and 100-base PoE media converters with internal power supplies in either AC powered or DC powered configurations. In addition, PoE injectors and PoE splitters are available under Transition’s MILAN brand offering.


All models are available immediately. Please contact Transition Networks at (800) 526-9267 or www.transition.com for the latest information.


About Transition Networks Products

Transition Networks’ conversion products are known for their ruggedness and reliability. They have a 99.4 percent customer acceptance rating, meaning that approximately one in 1,000 experience failure in the field. All Transition Networks brand of media converters and switches carry a lifetime warranty.


About Transition Networks Inc.

Transition Networks Inc. offers networking connectivity solutions that make networks perform better, faster and more reliably while helping companies leverage their existing networking infrastructure. The company’s Transition Networks brand of media converters make conversion between disparate media types possible, providing conversion technology solutions that offer the necessary adaptations without affecting the performance, nature or appearance of the network. Its complete MILAN portfolio of multilayer switching products is designed to facilitate low-cost network evolution with unique solutions, easing the stress on networks caused by high-bandwidth applications. Based in Minneapolis, Transition Networks distributes hardware-based connectivity solutions exclusively through a network of resellers in 50 countries, including Ingram Micro and Tech Data. Transition Networks is a wholly owned subsidiary of Communications Systems, Inc., a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: JCS).


Statements regarding the Company’s anticipated performance in 2008 are forward-looking and involve risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: competitive products and other factors discussed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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RAD Brings Olympic Coverage to Chinese Provinces


BEIJING, August 11, 2008: China Radio International (CRI) has selected access equipment from RAD Data Communications to enable it to transmit video on demand (VOD) from the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing.


CRI, which maintains a video server at the Olympics, recommended RAD’s RIC-155GE Gigabit Ethernet over STM-1 network termination unit (NTU) to China Telecom as a reliable gateway for transmitting its Ethernet-based video feed over existing SDH lines to various provincial capitals, including Chengdu (in Sichuan), Xian (in Shaanxi) and Changsha (in Hunan).


Using virtual concatenation technology, the RIC-155GE maps the video streams into VC-4 containers for transport across long-haul fiber connections. CRI first deployed RAD’s RIC-155GE in 2006 to run Ethernet-based video over traditional STM-1 circuits. 


“CRI’s previous deployment of the RIC-155GE to carry Ethernet-based services over both wired and wireless SDH transport networks gave them the confidence to propose this solution to China Telecom for their mission-critical IPTV based Olympics coverage,” states Jeremy Zimman, Director of Operations in Greater China at RAD Data Communications. “The RIC-155GE is guaranteed to be a big winner at the Beijing Olympics.”


RAD’s RIC-155GE NTU provides carriers and service providers with a migration path for connecting IP devices with Gigabit Ethernet interfaces to existing SDH or SONET networks at an access rate of 155 Mbps. It is part of RAD’s suite of EtherAccess family of Ethernet access solutions. EtherAccess enables Quality of Service over low and high-speed SDH/SONET and PDH circuits from fractional and full E1/T1, E3/T3 and STM-1/OC-3 circuits to Gigabit Ethernet.


About China Radio International


China Radio International broadcasts a wide variety of programming both domestically and internationally over both radio and television.  Founded in 1941, CRI is one of the three central media organizations in China, along with China National Radio (CNR) and China Central Television (CCTV).  


About RAD


Established in 1981, privately owned RAD Data Communications has achieved international recognition as a major manufacturer of high quality access equipment for data communications and telecommunications applications. These solutions serve the data and voice access requirements of service providers, incumbent and new carriers, and enterprise networks, by reducing infrastructure investment costs while boosting competitiveness and profitability. The company’s installed base exceeds 10,000,000 units and includes more than 150 carriers and operators around the world. These customers are supported by 21 RAD offices and more than 300 channel partners in 164 countries. RAD is a member of the RAD Group of companies, a world leader in networking and internetworking product solutions. RAD Data Communications site: www.rad.com


Press Contact


Bob Eliaz, Media Relations Manager, RAD Data Communications


Tel: +972-3-6458134


E-mail: bob@rad.com


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