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How was our crystal ball?

Jan 02, 20063 mins

* Evaluating last year’s predictions

It’s that time of the year again – today we’ll take a retrospective view of our predictions for 2005, and next time we’ll look at our predictions for 2006.

A year ago we predicted that someone would define “Web services” in a way we can all understand. For lack of a better industry view, Steve and our colleague Jim Metzler took on the task and defined Web services in a study on the subject. So if nothing else, we fulfilled our own prophecy. By the way, we define Web services as “a standardized way of integrating applications using open standards (like XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI) over an Internet Protocol backbone. These ‘Web services’ do not provide the user with an interface – like a browser-based Web page. Rather, they provide an application-to-application interface for programs.”

We also predicted that video over IP would hit will hit the consumer market, and a war between the cable companies and the telcos would ensue. We recently gave an update on that battle.

We correctly predicted that vendors would actually deploy purpose-built IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture, and that 3G broadband wireless deployments would lay the foundation for cellular-based VoIP services.

As predicted, enterprise applications have begun their move from the desktop to the mobile environment. However, we credit enterprise mobility progress more to IP PBX and enterprise infrastructure as opposed to the progress we anticipated from mobile service providers.

As anticipated, information security continues to be the biggest concern for the enterprise and a roadblock to VoIP’s progress, although there are a couple of “close seconds” identified as impediments to VoIP. (Steve will highlight these in a future newsletter in his annual report on the state of the VoIP market.)

Although we expected digital rights management to become an issue, especially for service providers offering content and applications, the fact of the matter is that it isn’t an issue – yet. So we’ll put it on the list again for 2006.

In our final prediction for 2005 we suggested that VoIP might become even more popular than our newsletter, as measured by the raw numbers of subscribers to each service. Sad to say that this prediction came true by a huge margin. While we’d like to think we have many millions of subscribers (like VoIP) we guess we’re happy enough with a numbers of subscribers well into five figures. Thanks to each of you for continued loyal support.

Next time: Our predictions for 2006.