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SIP

VoIP Trends

February 2, 2006

I have now been asked three times in one day what the trends were from the last Internet Telephony Conference & Expo last week in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. I would have to say that the fixed mobile convergence and IMS conference tracks had a tremendous amount of energy and were standing room only. These sessions were just about as exciting as it gets and conferees and speakers seemed to feel that the audience was thirsty for more information. We have been asked by more than one speaker to dedicate more time to these sessions just to allow for the large amount of Q&A.

At the opposite end of the VoIP spectrum is IP contact centers where the sessions were also standing room only. The contact center market had seemed to slow for a few years.

What is happening in VoIP

January 27, 2006

If there is a single trend I have observed this week it is that VoIP is really happening. I spent a good deal of time interviewing companies exhibiting at the Internet Telephony show and they told me that the buyers at this show are more serious than ever. Many companies are selling product on the show floor.

I am further blown away by the international nature of VoIP. This week I have seen more and more service providers and enterprises coming from Africa, Asia, Latin America and everywhere else.

At the networking receptions the most frequent discussions I heard were about SIP, IMS, SOA and VoIP security.



SIP Magazine is Here

January 25, 2006

Asterisk's Mark Spencer Speaks

January 24, 2006

The keynotes at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo keynotes kicked off today, the first day of this four-day event, with Mark Spencer of Digium/Asterisk to a huge audience.
 Mark started his talk by saying that his company runs VoIP on a network that is as he calls it "the the worst case scenario" and doing so allows them to find out if products are broken before others find problems. As developers they are thrilled to run on a network not designed for perfect voice delivery but not everyone in the company is as excited by this strategy (for obvious reasons).

Spencer says he also has to be sensitive to customer calls as people associate telephone quality with the products you make. Mark mentioned that his phone system was recently inundated by callers looking for a very funny message (Mark indicated the sound clip is available on CD and did not explain how you could hear it if you missed the conference). The message is a funny take off on a busy call center.


Internet Telephony Countries

January 23, 2006

Homeshoring

January 22, 2006

There was a great article in BusinessWeek a while back titled Call Centers in the Rec Room focusing on how companies are beginning to recognize the problems associated with outsourcing to countries that have agents witch accents. Apparently companies are beginning to realize the cost of losing customers and acquiring new ones.

There was another equally good article on TMCnet titled A Victory for the Home Agent Business Model that focuses on Willow CSN and their contribution to the industry. Having known Willow for about a decade or so I can say without hesitation that this company had the vision to espouse home agents before the industry was an industry. Hats off to Willow CSN for being ahead of their time and more importantly lasting long enough to reap the rewards of being first.

More on SIP

January 22, 2006

The SIP market is growing so quickly it is exciting that it defies growth projections. I wrote about SIP just today and how the standard is now so closely intertwined with VoIP, it is tough to see where one technology stops and the other picks up. Incidentally the first issue of SIP Magazine is printed. I haven’t seen it but will get my hands on a copy tomorrow.

The SIP Standard

January 22, 2006

It is also great see that a single standard like SIP has emerged as something we can all rally around. What may have really slowed industry growth in years past was a plethora of standards that sewed more confusion in the market than necessary. When you have so much confusion in a market you slow purchasing and the industry can't get off the ground effectively. I think we don’t have that problem anymore and now the challenge for the industry is to ensure we don’t have to fear a two-tiered Internet that chokes our access to consumers.

SIP turned out to be not only a standard that was logical for the market to adopt but it also benefited from being the standard that was becoming most popular on September 11th.

ITEXPO Can't Miss Events

January 21, 2006

The worst thing you can do at an industry event is miss one of the most important things that are happening. At Internet Telephony Conference & Expo next week for example there is just so much happening that you will be hard-pressed to find something you shouldn't attend. There are just so many unique educational events that you should make sure to get plenty of rest every night.

Here are some of the things I suggest you do while at the show. First and foremost, come by and say hello to me at a reception.

AT&T

January 21, 2006

This past week was pretty busy with communications news and announcements. For example, AT&T made a number of headlines by providing large-scale videoconferencing in China among other accomplishments. The communications giant seems to be on fire now that SBC and the old AT&T have become the new and much larger AT&T. AT&T's international growth potential is one of the reasons in my opinion the company decided to stick with the internationally recognized AT&T brand instead of SBC.

I am still a bit mystified at the company's branding campaign.

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