ITEXPO is over. I agree with Rich Tehrani’s assessment that the focus is now on the next generation. It was a busy show, too, although I had the impression that the Tehrani’s planned for a larger crowd. Some of the halls appeared quite empty, despite the fact that reports put attendance at a very respectable 7,000 attendees.
I had a short conversation on the last day with Rich Tehrani and Mark Spencer about Tehrani’s proposal to do a VoIP demo event. Personally, I think this is a great idea. A showcase of the hot emerging technologies in the industry would help to distance IP telephony further from the current "state of the art" — replicating Class 5 features on IP.
In fact, I think my only complaint about the show was the show’s slogan itself — VoIP 2.0 is here. I had a chat with Aswath Rao in email about this too. It concerns me because ultimately VoIP vs PSTN is nothing more than swapping one transport for another. In fact, that’s what we’ve been doing up until now. Everyone agrees that our industry needs to focus on next generation applications. It’s the way that we will demonstrate the value of changing the transport. Those applications are really the reinvention of voice communications, not VoIP. Voice itself is morphing from just voice into real time communications on voice, text, and video. The basics of realtime communication are also evolving into a rich platform for applications, woven throughout our connected world. So, in my opinion, VoIP 2.0 is better named Voice 2.0.
Richard Stastny had an excellent summary of the show, as well as some other compelling thoughts on stealthy roll outs of VoIP.