Connectivity - Still an issue

As mentioned in the last newsletter, this newsletter will be going away at the end of September, so we're taking a quick look back at some of the major changes we've seen over the past 13-plus years. And while there is no way that we can cover all of the issues, we're looking at some major trends.

Today, we'll take a look back at the concept of "connectivity." In 1998, we were still living in a world of "phone numbers" and limited connectivity. Transmission services, with the exception of the Internet, tended to be based on point-to-point connectivity, and one of the solutions being considered for telephony connectivity was the use of SVCs for frame relay for Voice over Frame Realy. Voice over IP was still considered to be experimental at best and was especially considered to have overhead that was much too high to be a realistic solution.

And, perhaps most important, there was virtually no connection between the connectivity of "computing devices" and "voice."

Even though it has taken most of the 13 years, we are finally seeing the start of a solution here, although we are probably still a good three or so years from full implementation. In particular, the line between modes of communication is quickly evaporating. A phone call, a collaborative computing session, presence, instant messaging, video conferencing, etc., are all finally coming together under the umbrella of "Unified Communications."

And most importantly, a unified control plane is coming into place. In essence, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is coming into place to perform essentially the same functions for UC as SS7 did for years for telephony.

We're not totally there yet. At this point, most solutions are still "point solutions." It's really tough to find a way to have a readily available method to have a conference call with video and collaboration between a tablet computer, a smart phone and a laptop. But the solution is in sight.

If you would like some additional information about SIP, a great place to start is to check out the SIP-related resources at Webtorials.

Also, as mentioned in the last newsletter, Jim and I would love to keep in touch with you. To make sure you have continuous access to this communication, please let us know by clicking here.

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