Last night’s first keynote address at the 2005 VoIP Developer’s Conference was delivered by Alan Percy — AudioCodes’ director of business development.
Percy began by asking the audience the simplest of questions, “Why are you here?”
Essentially, the majority agreed that they were here to learn. Percy went on to define learning as the act of gaining knowledge, and pointed out that there are many ways of acquiring that knowledge. In a classroom environment; reading; learning from your peers by sharing perspectives; or attending trade shows like this one.
The speaker from AudioCodes went on to explain that as an enabling technology vendor… “we have a unique perspective and viewpoint on the industry.” Percy proceeded to name a number of conclusions that he and his colleagues have come to accept as fact. Among these, was the simple declarative statement that: This is the year VoIP has gone mainstream. “My father even knows what VoIP is,” said Percy.
The list of observations culled from direct experience as a major supplier to the industry’s vendors continued.
*VoIP enables best of breed.
In the past one vendor controlled all technology. The benefit of VoIP is that it opens up many opportunities, creating value and products that fit needs, by bringing together disparate, standards-based components, adding value, and enabling best of breed technological solutions.
*Enhanced services are what differentiates the old from the new.
“That’s why you are all here, to learn how to develop the enhanced services that will differentiate the new and move it beyond the old,” said Percy
*Moore’s law continues to push technology forward shifting the role of specialized hardware.
New form factors are emerging, enabling significantly larger cards that use less power and offer better cooling. This results in greater density applications and more creative enhanced services – all in a smaller footprint.
*Death of the PCI driver.
Onboard protocols are becoming the preferred control mechanism. Standards are displacing the traditional API/drivers model as well as eliminating operating system dependence.
*Adoption of blades versus boxes.
Software developers prefer distributed architecture, Percy said, but product managers and integrators prefer blades due to their multiple needs and the specific challenges hat they face, essentially saying “I love decomposed architecture, but I want it in one box.” This is driving a shift to more blade-based development.
*Transition in software model.
There is a movement to a single code base from doing two implementations (TDM and VoIP). Essentially developers are choosing to support only one standard (i.e., SIP, H.323, MGCP, etc…) and take advantage of gateways to connect into TDM networks. This saves engineering resources, allowing engineers to focus on applications not plumbing.
* There is an increasing need for transcoding.
Wireline and wireless carriers have different voice compression formats, and someone needs to translate between the networks. Thus, the need for transcoding.
*Focus on Security.
In the wake of major encryption advancements, customers will demand that equipment vendors will support new security standards. Percy also offered up his opinion that session border controller functionality will begin to be built in to the enterprise to insulate LANs from the outside world.
Percy ended his presentation with a quote from Benjamin Franklin, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
“Use this event as a learning opportunity, said Percy, wishing the developers well. “Get good ideas from the group.”