For those of you who missed ComNet 2003, you also missed an opportunity to hear a great panel on voice over IP enhancements led by Steve. The good news is we'll cover many of the issues and topics raised by the expert panel in the near future.Steve Taylor introduced the theme, giving his impressions about how the debate over VoIP is moving from an emphasis on cost savings on long-distance calls to a more strategic view on how new applications are improving productivity.Steve Davis, CTO of Ridgeway Systems, said two issues remain to be resolved before VoIP use can expand: how to safely use firewall "pinholes" to allow VoIP across networks and how to solve the problems network address translation can cause for VoIP.Cisco's Craig Cotton explained how to solve E-911 issues in a VoIP environment. (We've covered this in substantial detail in previous issues so we don't plan to readdress this one anytime soon.)Finally, Phil Hippensteel, associate professor at Penn State in Harrisburg, raised three issues which he believes the industry still needs to address. First, how can we be assured that our data applications won't be adversely affected when we implement VoIP? Second, how do we improve our discipline about security? And third, what are the issues with all the data created by VoIP-enabling applications - like common directories - and how should we address them?Stay tuned for some more detail on each of these issues (except E-911) in the coming weeks and months.