VoIP Developer Conference Off to a Great Start

Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

VoIP Developer Conference Off to a Great Start

The VoIP Developer Conference got off to a fantastic start this morning, with keynotes from Chris Wood of AT&T’s CallVantage service and Michael Stanford of Intel.

Speaking to a full house, Chris Wood, director of AT&T’s CallVantage service laid out the basic groundwork for the conference by pointing out that VoIP introduces some substantial changes to carrier product development, for example driving the need for networks to evolve from multiple, closed proprietary legacy services to integrated standards-based open IP architecture.

Wood went on to describe his view of the building blocks for growth – the very things that the VoIP development community will need to focus on to drive the adoption of this technology. Open, scalable, reliable development tools, access to key markets, simplified devices… these are just some of the things companies need to think about to be successful in this space. One of the key messages of Wood’s speech was the need to remember who the customers are. Several times, the audience heard him mention the truism that customers buy solutions, not technology.

The second speaker of the morning was Intel’s Technology Strategist Michael Stanford, who hammered home the message that “convergence” is not something that’s going to, maybe, sometime happen – it’s already here, and we’re in the middle of it.

Developers have a choice ahead of them. They can continue to offer simple voice – which will be less expensive to provide, courtesy of VoIP. Or they can integrate voice into a multitude of applications, increasing the value of both the voice element as well as the value of the solution overall.

Stanford discussed the need to leverage the existing set of development tools to create new and exciting applications. By using existing tools, developers can lower the cost of creating these apps. Lowering cost drives innovation, allowing companies to increase their investment in software development for differentiation.

As an example of what VoIP makes possible, Stanford described what he calls an “Ambient Phone” application. One of his colleagues was traveling in Hong Kong. Using the Skype VoIP service, he called his wife, who was just waking up back home. She carried her computer with her into the kitchen and the couple continued their conversation. Seeing as Skype enables free calling, they left the connection up at the end of their call, and continued about their business, he in his hotel room, she in the family’s kitchen half a world away, listening to each other all the while, interacting occasionally as if they were in the same room. At one point, the couple’s daughter came into the kitchen: “Hi Dad!” The concept of communicating on this level is unthinkable before VoIP enters the equation.

Both speakers delivered the message that the market is expanding and that VoIP developers have a tremendous opportunity ahead of them. As VoIP becomes more mainstream, and as the underlying enabling technologies become more readily available to the world at large, developers will have to create new and interesting applications, changing the very way they view their target audience and delivering truly innovative methods of allowing the world to communicate.

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