Gary Hermansen, CEO of Global IP Sound (GIPS), has left the organization. Jon Arnold told me the news at the IT Expo Bloggers Dinner
last night while we were discussing GIPS. I mentioned to Jon how I had a fairly heated discussion with Gary last year about Skype potentially dropping GIPS
as the voice engine / adaptive codec of choice. Gary was displeased that I "pondered" that Skype might drop GIPS in favor of a competitor's solution. In fact, Gary flatly denied
my assertion and said that Skype was under a long term contract with GIPS.
Well, apparently, this wasn't the case, since Skype dropped GIPS and acquired Sonorit, a competing solution. Sonorit was comprised of several ex-GIPS employees and in fact GIPS launched a lawsuit
against Sonorit late last year. I'll have to look into the current status of that lawsuit. In any event, I have to wonder if the voice engine / codec space is getting a tad too crowded for GIPS. GIPS may have been the early pioneer in optimizing VoIP packets to handle jitter, delay, and packet loss, but now you have Spirit DSP and even more concerning, you have Microsoft in this space with their RTAudio and RTVideo adaptive codecs
, which I've written about previously here
. Microsoft is even licensing their codecs to phone manufacturers such as Polycom and LG Nortel. Others licensing Microsoft's codecs include Intel, Texas Instruments, AudioCodes, and Dialogic.
Ironically, I had a draft blog post I started last week wondering the future direction of GIPS, but never got around to finishing it. I'm a huge fan of GIPS. In fact, I wrote the very first review
of their product back in 2003. But with Skype dropping GIPS, competitors like Microsoft entering this space, and now Gary leaving GIPS, who is going to lead GIPS and steer the helm in increasingly shark-infested (competitors) waters?