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David Sims - TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist[February 23, 2005]

Know Thy Keynoters: Phil Edholm

By David Sims, TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist

On Thursday, February 24 th at 4:45 p.m. Phil Edholm will deliver his keynote address to ITEXPO.

Phil Edholm, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Network Architecture for Nortel Networks Enterprise Networks focuses on the Nortel Enterprise Portfolio and driving enterprise edge products to Service Providers and the enterprise customers.

Edholm is tasked with defining the vision and architecture in the enterprise and next generation edge networks.

At Nortel, Edholm has led the development of VoIP solutions and multimedia communications as well as IP transport technology. Phil’s background includes extensive LAN and data communications experience, including 9 years with Sytek/Hughes LAN Systems and 4 years with Silicon Valley start-ups.

Edholm was a member of the IEEE 802.3 standards committee during the definition of broadband Ethernet and 10BaseT, developed the first multi-protocol network interfaces, and was a founder of the Frame Relay Forum. He holds 4 patents with over 10 patent applications pending.

In a speech last October reported in Enterprise News, Edholm said businesses considering VoIP implementations should not only look for cost savings, but focus on the VoIP’s potential for transforming business processes.

He noted that while the average daily cost for a business phone is about $1 per user, the average cost for a PC is $35 a day per user. “Even if you save money [on voice], you are not going to save a lot,” Edholm said. “The big issue is how you change applications and the business benefits.”

The real benefit of VoIP, Edholm argued, is that it transforms the enterprise communications model from focusing on devices to one on people. By integrating mobile and wire line phone communications with presence-based applications, individuals can communicate in many ways and with more versatility.

He also believes VoIP can also decrease the time it takes for an employee to make a decision. Most of the decision-making process is spent waiting to receive input from others or authorizing an action. With an integrated communications infrastructure based on VoIP, people are easier to contact in the way they want to be contacted, and decisions can be made more rapidly as a result.

In addition, Edholm said wireless technology is helping transform how people communicate. The number of wireless computing devices has already surpassed the number of hard-wired ones, and that trend is only growing. At the same time, the bandwidth available to people in every environment – the office, the home and on the road – is also increasing. Soon, no matter where people are, they will be able to sustain the same level of productivity they would in the office.

Still, “businesses should not just adopt VoIP,” Edholm states. “They need to consider what business problem it is solving.”

David Sims is contributing editor and CRM Alert columnist for TMCnet.

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