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January 24, 2008

Changing the World One SIP at a Time

By Erik Linask, Associate Editor,
Internet Telephony magazine

The communications is changing, that is clear. However, it has been changing for years, even decades, and will continue to change. As part of a trio of keynote speakers Wednesday morning at INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO, Sharone Ben-Levi, vice president of Marketing for Enterprise Enhanced Services at AudioCodes, took is audience on a trip through time, and a bit into the future, as he discussed the changes in the communications industry — and what businesses can do to take advantage of those changes.

Stepping into the proverbial time machine, Ben-Levi reminded the audience that, for years, our technology has come in the form of single-vendor solutions, where companies like DataGeneral, Digital, and IBM (News - Alert) in the 1980s provided not only the PCs, but also the tables, printers, and just about everything else. These vendors were truly one-stop shops. Then IBM changed things with its open interfaces that gave way to various accessories and operating systems, changing the landscape.
In the 1990s, we had again fallen into a siloed communications space, which was again opened up with the development of SIP-based communications solutions. Open standards once again gave way to a new breed of accessories, new applications, softswitches, and standard hardware.
But SIP has more significantly changed the communications landscape than previous innovations. Not only does it mean standardization and O/S independence, it also is highly scalable, reliable, and easy to deploy and manage. With SIP, businesses no longer need proprietary APIs to control their communications or to adapt to market change. 
And so, a new ecosystem was created, where each member would be in a position to both benefit and contribute — distributors, VARs, systems integrators, ISVs & application partners, enabling technology vendors.
The question, however, is, why does this matter to us? The answer is that we all long for better quality voice, but achieving that is not a simple feat — and it certainly is not aided by skeptics who are still asking, “Will it work?” or “Is it really happening?” 
The simple answer is, “Yes.”
To date, AudioCodes has forged relationships with a number of high profile vendors including Microsoft, Broadsoft, Sylantro, Pactolus, VocalTec, Avaya, Nortel (News - Alert), Digium/Asterisk, PingTel, FaxBack, and Apex Voice Communications, as well as with more than 20 distributors — all of which combine to show how the ecosystem really works
According to Ben-Levi, AudioCodes’ (News - Alert) vision is to continue to grow this ecosystem, to develop more solutions and grow the market, all the while creating new business and increased resources for the entire community. In fact, AudioCodes is hard at work promoting SIP applications that can enhance your communications environment.
To find out more, visit, where you can listen to five archived Webinars on SIP applications, download whitepapers, and find additional resources on SIP-based communications. Also be on the lookout for new Webinars from AudioCodes for even more on how to build your communications system using SIP applications.
So, as the telecom industry continues to evolve, this is the time to embrace that change, for with change comes opportunity. And in order to succeed, it is imperative you focus on what you do best and work with the best — the best technology, the best partnerships, the best applications. Doing that will ensure you have the resources available to not only succeed, but thrive in this new environment where single-vendor solutions are becoming increasingly less common.
Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Associate Editor of INTERNET TELEPHONY, IMS Magazine, and Unified Communications (News - Alert).  Prior to joining TMC, he was Managing Editor at Global Custodian, an international securities services publication. To see more of his articles, please visit Erik Linask’s columnist page.

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