A few weeks ago, PacketMan was thawed from his nine year ice cave and took the time to explore some of the changes during his hibernation, and future expectations of the Packet network. Another big change right now for PacketMan is what he actually sees as he’s traveling through the network with the other packets. Increasingly, as he’s traveling along with the packets, he notices multicolor packets, and if they congregate close enough, he’s able to actually view something. Yes, because a key part of IP communications now is video of all sorts – downloading movies, watching YouTube, making video calls, etc. But sometimes the quality of service isn’t that great, so PacketMan may get misappropriated from the rest of the packets, or go slower than the other packets at times, or even see artifacts of various sorts. In the coming years, PacketMan will likely notice more video analytic engines along the way and will have to pass through these engines as the packets are “inspected.” This way, the delivery mechanisms will know that the video has been delivered properly (or not, and if not, where the source of the problem is) and the subscribers are happy.
Packetman will also notice that he’s increasingly going to many different kinds of devices, even for the same person. Yes, in the years while Packetman was frozen at the South Pole, the consumer gained much, much power. Devices now rule, and curious to Packetman, got “big in size’ again, and some computer company named Apple came out of nowhere. Increasingly, consumers are expecting to talk on, and view video on, all the different devices they own, be it mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. And they want the same quality of experience on each one! Blasphemy, even to Packetman, though he’s warming up to this concept.
Packetman has also emerged big-time in the enterprise. In the nine years since Packetman last flew, the enterprise has truly been transformed. It is commonplace now for company employees to talk over IP to each other through the company IT network that was originally put in place to handle email and other types of data. In fact, Packetman typically goes through a day with internal conference calls on OCS, and talking with others, either in the building or in remote offices this way. Packetman’s headset is the new office cool. And the handset, while still at his desk, does not occupy prime real estate any longer. Changes indeed.
Packetman is also contemplating just what is the enterprise? Yes, he used to contemplate this ten years ago, given PBXs enabled remote workers, but now it’s truly the same experience, because you have the same tools. If you talk over your laptop and VPN into everything, and connect your PDA and/or tablet into the office network, then what really is the office? It’s just a place, a cube if you will.
So while Packetman is happy since he’s seen the explosion of VoIP, where the V can now stand also for Video, his work is not yet done. And he is anxious to explore more.