I just returned from travels south, to Fort Lauderdale and Internet Telephony EXPO -- and arrived in Winter in New York. It was bound to arrive at some point (although I thankfully missed the deep freeze, eight-degree temperatures of a couple of days ago).
The show was great -- well-attended and full of good content in the conferences. Jon Arnold and I spent some time together basking in the glow of our recent announcement. See Jon's post about show highlights.
And yes, I did spend a little time in the sun -- and barely escaped serious harm. I keep forgetting that the Florida sun can burn you alive -- even in the dead of winter...
Here are a few takeaways from the show -- a mix of events, observations, and the like:
Peering is Hot:
Apparently the VoIP Peering Fabric sessions had to be relocated to larger quarters due to the overflow turnout. Greg Galitzine has more on this and other happenings in his show recap.
SIP Trunking Adoption Gaining Momentum
The other standing-room-only crowds I saw were soaking up as much as they could about SIP Trunking. A number of sessions, including the SIP Trunking Series hosted by Ingate with presenters from BandTel, Cbeyond, Sphere, Ericsson, Objectworld, Level 3, pingtel, and Shoretel, covered everything from a basic introduction to SIP and SIP trunking, to deep dives into the service provider and enterprise networks, a look at SIP trunking in Latin America, and case studies showing SIP trunking actually at work -- delivering real-world benefits.
I've been covering the SIP trunking movement for a while -- here's a link to a whitepaper I authored a ways back -- so, I'm glad to see the excitement over it -- and the adoption rate -- is building nicely.
VoIP Security Issues Finally Getting Respect
Some really good education came out of the sessions covering VoIP Security. It's an area I've covered before in blog posts and columns, and I'm glad that not only is information about current VoIP vulnerabilities coming into the light, but awareness is also growing about the ways to effectively deal with them. Greg also wrote up a nice review of the issues that were presented by Mark Collier, CTO of VoIP security specialist SecureLogix and VoIP security blogger.
Billing Takes Front and Center
I had the pleasure to moderate the session, "VoIP and NGN Billing: A Primer" last Thursday at the show, and was very impressed by each and everyone on the panel, which included Bruce Trvalik, Director, Product Management at Sonus Networks; Joe Hogan, CTO and Founder of Openet Telecom; Jim Dalton, CEO, TransNexus, Inc.; and David McNierney, VP of Market Development at Highdeal Inc.
The discussion was lively and insightful, and I found it very interesting to hear that billing and other "back office" functions are starting to migrate to the "front office" of providers -- all the way into the executive suite -- as they start to play a bigger and bigger strategic role and become integral in various marketing, cross-selling, and promotional activities.
For more about current billing trends, you should check out Rich Grigonis' terrific article in the January issue of Internet Telephony magazine.
I was sure the Harley was mine. Then the next day I was sure I was driving the Toyota TJ Cruiser home. But alas, this did not come to pass...
The bike and SUV were in close approximation to Internet Telephony yellow -- and were definite crowd-pleasers -- and great choices for grand giveaways.