For the Internet Telephony Magazine 100th Issue, Greg Galitzine asked all of the “Top 100 Influencers” to write 150 words on the the impact of IP Communications.Â I couldn’t help myself… I wrote a little over 300.Â Â Here it is, in case you missed it, in all it’s unvarnished glory.
IP Communications, in and of itself, is fundamentally uninteresting.Â There.Â I said it.Â Heresy, right?Â But really, who cares whether the packets on your network are encoded using IP or some other scheme.Â
A packet is a packet is a packet.
The dawn of IP communications has ushered in a period where networks and applications are converging, all around the IP standard.Â Itâ€™s forced us all to confront very basic questions â€“ do I need that many phone numbers, email addresses, IM handles?Â Why should there be so many bills for so many services?Â Why isnâ€™t my voice mail accessible from my email box?
As regulators have made rules allowing for increased competition, networks have started to disaggregate, just as computers did 30 years ago.Â In 1970, a computer was a monolithic, vertically integrated solution.Â It was expensive.Â Software was expensive too.Â Fast forward 15 years to 1985, and suddenly microcomputers built from commodity components were everywhere.Â And computing was cheap, and becoming cheaper all the time.
Todayâ€™s networks are going the same.Â Want to set up a phone company?Â Get yourself an application server (a PC running Asterisk is probably a good start), outsource your connectivity and DIDs, and youâ€™re in business.Â
So, just as commodity PCâ€™s ushered in an era of personal computing, driven by the applications that you and I wanted to use on the PC, and not the ones placed on the computer by the tyrants in the IT department, commodity networks are going to usher in an era of personal communications services.Â Weâ€™ll pick and choose applications and services that we want to use, from the providers that we want to buy from.Â We wonâ€™t have 10 email addresses, 3 voice mail boxes, 5 phone numbers, and 8 bills. And you know what? The tyrants at Ma Bell will be powerless to stop us.
And thatâ€™s what IP Communications is all about.Â Me.