Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Elvis Isn't Taking Any Calls
Harold Pulhug gives a presentation in the California Room of the Hilton Hotel at One Hegenberger Road in Oakland. Elvis Presley is his dummy account. Harold uses Elvis to demonstrate the 7969 telephone, a new IP PBX system, which means you can set its properties through a web interface. “Why don’t you take a break. You can refresh your coffee, check your email, and then we’ll start the demonstration,” he says.

He says this several times, at key interludes, between frames. This is the only signal we need to stroll to the back of the room and graze the remainders of the fruit and pastry trays. We’re back. Harold is small-taking at the edge of the projection screen about voice conferencing and data collaboration and about a gateway in Sacramento so the system in question will not hit public service cuts. “Some customers will see that all they want is long distance with pri’s coming in, and that’s definitely doable.” Two guys in the front row nod.

Now we’re back to discussing the 7969. Harold rings Elvis’ phone to demonstrate a pixilated screen that can display content for disability instruction, warnings (this phone is loaded), and application hints. He presses soft keys on the console and alludes to a rocker key that can scroll between services. Now we’re cooking. Harold talks about a directory that can keep track of missed, placed, and received calls with room to grow a corporate directory that’s LDAPted. This web phone doesn’t require twisted cables. Potential cost savings right there.

He’s in the home stretch. Speed soft keys say select. Harold explains the line appearance away and VLAN access as well as digital feed and video conferencing via a Tandberg unit, but then moves from the visual back to the digital, showing how you can drag and drop calls into the web interface after you’ve authenticated the network and can use a batch administration utility primarily for set up purposes. He rings Elvis’ phone again and points to its attendant icon, which shows us that Elvis is idle.

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