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Top Voices of IP Communications

By Greg Galitzine

October 2006, Volume 9/ Number 10


Brough Turner, NMS Communications
Brough Turner is SVP, CTO and co-founder of NMS Communications, where he oversees the evolution of NMS�s technology and product architectures and works on business strategy and new market development. Turner writes and is quoted widely on telecommunications topics in both trade and general business publications and he is a frequent speaker at telecom industry events around the world. He maintained a column in TMC�s CTI magazine for several years. According to Turner, �IP Communications has already had a sweeping impact on areas as diverse as local and international phone rates and PBX (News - Alert) design, but it�s been technology enabling arbitrage � today�s VoIP is conventional telephony, slightly enhanced. While we�ve reshaped the economics of telephony, wireless operators have changed the nature of the service � making it personal and mobile. �Now it�s our turn for service innovation. Skype (News - Alert) is an early example. It�s not mobile, it lacks business features and it�s PC-centric for now, but it has several advances. First in coordination � before calling, I see the other party�s availability and can use text to coordinate a time to talk. Second in rich media � HiFi audio, video, text and file transfer, in the same session. �Our vast opportunity is to use IP technology to combine features � personal, mobile, context-aware � with rich media in truly new communication services.�

Mike Katz, NMS Communications
Mike Katz has over 20 years of in-depth communications market experience. His experience includes high-level product marketing and management positions at communication market leaders including Boston Technology, Voicetek, and now NMS, as well as next-generation network application pioneers such as NetPhone and Iperia. Mike has a history of leadership in new markets, including the early computer telephony market, and is a �patented� early innovator in the VoIP space. He now brings his market insight and career experiences to the burgeoning mobile video arena. Katz believes IP Communications to be �momentous.� As he says, �To be working and creating in this industry right now is to be part of telecom history. The next generation of telecom innovators (if they still refer to our industry as telecom) won�t blink an eye when someone mentions any type of IP communications, because it will be woven into the very fabric of future telecom. The changes will be so profound to the when, where, and how communications takes place and will so completely disrupt the past 100 year old behavioral model that the next generation won�t understand what it means to �make a call on a (wired) telephone. �IP communications is communication freedom for the everyman.�

Phil Edholm, Nortel (News - Alert)
Phil Edholm is the Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Strategy and Architecture for Nortel�s Enterprise Solutions group. At Nortel, Phil has led the development of VoIP solutions and multimedia communications as well as IP transport technology. This included the first soft clients and many early VoIP initiatives. Edholm believes that �IP Communications promises a fundamental transformation in how we work, play and interact. The power of reachability and presence of SIP, combined with the packet transformation of voice, communications capabilities will fundamentally alter the way we interact. Combining this interaction with information will create a new paradigm that will change business by enabling new collaboration capabilities and dramatically impact how businesses relate to their customers. This convergence will create �Information and Interaction Technology� (IIT) defining how technology and process innovation will transform business, bringing the front and back office together. The last decade of the 20th century will be remembered as the advent of the World Wide Web of Information, while the first decade of the 21st century will be remembered as the advent of the Inter-Human Web. This new web of people, communicating on a variety of devices, over many networks, with common capabilities will forever change our world.�

Tony Rybczynski Nortel
Tony graduated in 1972 with slide rule in hand, and over the past 33 years, has contributed to numerous industry transformations that likewise transformed Nortel. Tony has written over 100 articles just for TMC publications (including his current �Inside Networking� column in Internet Telephony), spoken at numerous industry conferences, including a keynote at the Wharton Technology Conference, and contributed to two books. Tony echoes Phil Edholm�s statements regarding Unified Communications, which is creating what his colleague calls the �inter-human web�. �But as impactful as this is on collaboration anytime, anywhere over any device,� Rybczynski says the opportunities for enterprises go beyond productivity gains through person-person unified communications. �The reason is that the industry is at an inflection point: IT convergence is bringing together the telecom and IT industries, while application interoperability is being enabled through Service Oriented Architectures (SOA). By making Unified Communications a software application, and by leveraging SOA to integrate UC into business applications and processes, IP Communications becomes tightly linked to the running of the business. UC-enabled business processes minimize the effect of human delays on business effectiveness and customer service, and allow enterprises to increasingly operate in real-time, eliminating time to service, time to revenue and time to decision, or in general, �time to X� where you define X.�

Jason Talley, Nuvio (News - Alert)
Jason Talley is chief executive officer and co-founder of Nuvio Corporation, a provider of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. Mr. Talley brings extensive telecommunications and technology expertise to his position and is a frequent speaker at industry functions worldwide, regularly commenting on timely telecommunications and Internet issues such as taxation and FCC (News - Alert) and state regulation of Internet telephony. Previous to Nuvio, Talley founded Atipa Linux Solutions in 1998 � one of the first Linux solution companies in the world. In 1994, he also founded Talley Technologies, Inc., a large regional network and telecommunications company, which eventually was a leading provider of data security, internet access, and telephony products in a four-state area. Mr. Talley was recognized as the North America Collegiate Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 for his work, growth and management of the company.

Dave Horton, Pactolus
As President CTO and founder of Pactolus, Dave has built several generations of network-based enhanced services platforms for the carrier market. He was instrumental in architecting the RapidFLEX Application Server and Service Creation Environment at Pactolus. Most recently, as Vice President of Engineering for Open Development Corporation (ODC) he led the development of calling card, conference calling, and ACD applications. Horton recognizes the significance of IP communications. �IP and specifically VoIP has already brought both unprecedented service feature innovation and new entry point economics to telephony. For example, SIP Trunking service providers use PSTN interconnection services to launch services with only modest investments in SIP-based service delivery systems - an application server, an IP media server and a database. IP Multimedia Subsystem (News - Alert) (IMS) interfaces are about to reshape this service reach, unifying fragmented services and subscriber populations, and supporting new content such as video messaging, gaming, and other multimedia capabilities.�

Dr. Christian Stredicke, Ph.D., snom, pbxnsip (News - Alert)
Christian Stredicke is founder and CEO of snom technology, Berlin, Germany since 1996, where he initiated the first SIP UA hard phone implementation in 2000. He studied computer science, business administration and holds a PhD degree in engineering from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany. Recently he co-authored his first RFC in the IETF. His latest activities include pbxnsip, which addresses businesses that want to use SIP for their enterprise communications. He uses SIP every day. According to Dr. Stredicke, �IP-based communication is the declaration of independence. Vendors do not own customers any more; customers choose their building blocks. This will reward vendors of great products and put pressure on vendors that offer mediocre products. Better to be on the side of the winners! But not everything that has been done so far is bad. Winners in communication balance innovation and continuation. We can learn a lot from the computer and telecom industry history.�

William J. Rich, Pingtel (News - Alert)
Bill Rich brings a 20-year background in Voice over IP (VoIP) and telecommunications to Pingtel. Prior to joining Pingtel, Bill was an entrepreneur-in-residence at St. Paul Venture Capital, where he assisted with new ventures and the development of SPVC�s portfolio companies, including serving as CEO of Aravox Technologies, which provided session border controllers for service provider VoIP networks. Prior to St. Paul, Bill was president and CEO at VocalData, a leading provider of feature servers that enable service providers to deliver next-generation IP telephony services. Earlier in his career, he was the senior vice president of marketing and senior vice president of operations development at ICG Telecom Group, where he launched the company�s retail competitive local exchange services and its wholesale products. Before ICG, Bill led wholesale product marketing at WilTel and was a sell-side telecom industry analyst.

Jeff Pulver, pulvermedia,
Jeff is one of the true pioneers of the IP Communications industry with more than a decade of hands-on experience in IP Communications and innovation. He is the chairman of, pulvermedia, the VON conferences, and the publisher of The Pulver Report and VON magazine. Additionally, Mr. Pulver is the founder of a number of IP Communications companies. He has testified before the FCC, the United States Congress, and numerous agencies that have a growing interest in IP Communications. Pulver believes that �IP Communications has finally brought us to the point where the individual is no longer obligated to a large corporate service provider for spoon-fed delivery of telecom, entertainment, and media content and applications. The individual can now take control of her own communications experience and make it as personalized and creative an experience as the individual�s own imagination, or the creative power on the Internet might deliver. �The greatest technology shift we are seeing in IP Communications is clearly in the Internet video space. The same DNA that disrupted the telecom industry is well on its way to revolutionizing the way the TV, film, and broadcast are created, distributed, and consumed.� According to Pulver, �While we pioneer new markets in IP, we must also act responsibly to ensure that domestic and international government policy stay in tune with the evolution and changes in our markets. IP Communications cannot only help create new forms of wealth, but also help improve society as a whole.�

Charles Rutledge, Quintum (News - Alert) Technologies
Chuck has over 20 years of experience in marketing, strategy, and business development in the high tech industry. He has been leading all marketing and business development activities at Quintum Technologies since its beginning in 1999. Rutledge shared his thoughts on the significance of IP Communications:

� �IP communication is expanding our interpersonal connections, and will continue to do so.
� IP communications will allow users to take advantage of applications enriched with samless integration of voice and video capabilities, and that will inter-work with other applications.
� IP communications will give people more control over how and when they communicate.
� IP communications will improve employee productivity and business competitiveness.
� IP communications will address people�s communications needs at home and at work.
� IP communications will offer �any time�, �anywhere�, �any media� communication.
� IP communications will simplify and enrich people�s lives.
� In short, IP communications will become ubiquitous.�

As co-founder, President and Chief Strategy Officer, Mr. Doron is the visionary behind RADVISION�s innovative leadership in the unified visual communications arena. Mr. Doron has been defining and designing video and communications systems for over 30 years, and he pioneered the original standards for video communication and integration between legacy and next generation networks. According to Doron, �Almost every vision we have for the future of communications is either based on progress made because of IP or that which will become reality due to IP. IP did not just give us the Internet and innovative ways to improve efficiency and lower cost of ownership. Rather its underlying technology freed us to envision the feasibility of solutions that were previously relegated to science fiction. The industry�s pursuit of unified visual communications, and the ultimate network that is a combination of separate technologies, will enable us to create and deploy multiple applications such as videoconferencing, video gaming, IPTV (News - Alert), video on demand, and use them in ways we never dreamed on a single network (e.g., for security and surveillance). This common network is based on the fundamental building blocks of IP communications.�

David Mandelstam, Sangoma (News - Alert) Technologies
As a pioneer in the connectivity hardware and software products for telephony, Wide-Area Network (WAN) and the Internet, Founder/President/CEO of Sangoma Technologies, David Mandelstam, is responsible for overall management of the company and its future strategic direction. Before starting Sangoma in 1984, David ran an engineering company and was engineering VP of an energy conservation company. According to Mandelstam, �IP is the ultimate API for everything. Consider: Pre-IP the world was full of protocol converters. Every time a medium changed there was a new protocol. But once your data is being transported by IP, you neither know nor care how it gets to its destination. The path may include dialup modem, OC3, Frame Relay, Ethernet... and none of it makes any difference. Your data will get through.�

Andy Voss, Sansay (News - Alert)
Andy Voss is a co-founder, President & CEO of Sansay, Inc., a leading provider of VoIP infrastructure to service providers worldwide. Andy co-founded Nuera Communications (News - Alert) in 1995, where serving as VP of marketing including product management, he led the initiative to develop carrier packet voice systems and to build the first deployable carrier grade VoIP gateways, later serving as VP of strategy and business development. Voss offers the following take on the significance of IP Communications: �We have enjoyed a reverse �Wal-Mart Effect� in our industry over the past several decades. Many more options now exist for data/tele-communications industry workers to pursue entrepreneurial dreams than have ever existed (other than perhaps an exceptional period in the late 1990s). I can attest that it�s possible to start a company and build a solid company with little or no VC funding, using expertise instead of cash, building on standards to interoperate with a broad range of complementary and competitive solutions, and by leveraging rather than replicating huge investments which have already been made by other companies. Which is why one of our customers claims that in the VoIP world versus the PSTN, whether anyone likes it or not, it�s a democracy now.�

Harald Braun, Siemens (News - Alert) Communications, Inc.
As President of the Networks Division of Siemens Communications in the United States, Harald Braun leads operations for the following product groups: wireless networks, broadband solutions, photonics, next generation switching products and solutions, and digital home. In addition, he is helping to drive the company�s strategy for deployment of IMS technology and is also responsible for overall management of the division�s sales, marketing, and service and support functions. Braun has led the Networks Division since September, 2005. Prior to this, he was President of the Carrier Networks Division since 2002. �IP communications� significance is its tremendous potential to simplify people�s lives and help them live and work more effectively and enjoyably, whether in the office, at home or on-the-go. The beginning of IP�s journey was all about infrastructure. Now it�s about moving from voice-centric applications toward converged ones that provide users even greater benefits of ease-of-use, ease-of-collaboration and ease-of-access to information and entertainment. It�s about putting people and their needs at the center of IP development efforts, resulting in ground-breaking applications that can help make our lives simpler, easier, and better.�

Mark Straton, Siemens Communications, Inc.
Mark Straton is Senior Vice President of Marketing at Siemens Communications, Inc., overseeing such efforts as strategy development and market intelligence, analyst and consultant relations, industry and solutions marketing, strategic messaging, events and tradeshows, e-marketing, and marketing programs and promotions for fixed and mobile carriers, enterprises, mobile devices and services. Straton is also a member of the company�s enterprise product decision-making boards. According to Straton, �Siemens believes that first generation VoIP systems are a tranistionary technology and will be replaced by open unified communication systems that operate using open Internet standards and SIP. These new software-based open UC systems must be architected from the ground up and will offer a totally new communications experience unifying multiple communication medias and offering advanced presence, conferencing, collaboration, mobility and cellular integration.�

Hassan Ahmed, Sonus Networks (News - Alert)
As CEO and chairman, Hassan Ahmed is responsible for the strategic direction and management of Sonus Networks. Prior to joining Sonus Networks as president and CEO in 1998, Dr. Ahmed was executive vice president and general manager of Ascend Communications� Core Systems Division, which grew under his direction to a $1 billion business. Before Ascend�s acquisition of Cascade Communications, he served as Cascade�s chief technology officer. �Just like airplanes took you off the fixed route of railroad tracks and enriched your travel experience, IP communications takes you places that the TDM telephony world never dreamed was possible,� he says. �Communicating is one of the most important things we do in the world today, and if you look back 15 or even 10 years ago, there�s no way you could have imagined doing things over a telecom network that are commonplace today � looking up baseball scores on your cell phone, sending photos or text messages, or transmitting CD quality music � and IP is the key enabler of all of those things and more. �Today�s telephones aren�t simply a means to having a conversation; they�re portals to a world of information that enriches the communications experience and adds new dimensions to the idea of �conversation.��

Ben Guderian, SpectraLink
Ben Guderian is vice president of Market Strategies & Industry Relations for SpectraLink Corp. He is currently directing the efforts to establish strategic market and technology partnerships for SpectraLink�s WiFi (News - Alert) telephony technology. He has been instrumental in developing vertical markets and driving product development to meet the voice communication requirements of mobile workers in a wide variety of enterprise applications. Guderian recognizes the transformational power of IP Communications. �IP networks are the great equalizer for communications � bringing together voice and data, wired and wireless, and traditional and emerging applications. IP communication brings the industry together to work on standards and compatibility, but it also provides opportunities to innovate and differentiate. WiFi telephony is a perfect example of how two IP communications technologies � wireless LAN and VoIP � add up to let us be more accessible, responsive, and productive. IP communications is more than just technology. It�s the catalyst to improving how, when, and where we communicate.�

Todd Landry, Sphere Communications (News - Alert)
Todd Landry is a Senior Vice President with Sphere Communications, leading new initiatives in software-based communications for all-IP communications solutions. Landry views IP Communications as a new frontier enabling opportunity ona massive scale. �The introduction of human communications over such a broadly available and economically desirable medium undoubtedly had the making for a significant impact on traditional telecom. Just watching future leaders (teenagers) communicate provides insight for this emerging world. �The value in communications is no longer infrastructure; instead the real value is in connections that enable new forms of interactions, exchanges, and relations between people and the tools they use every day. �For example, the device on your belt you refer to as your phone, even though you read e-mail, access the Web, and text message with it. The machine on your desk is your PC, yet it is now a telephone. Information about your connections (people) is emerging in multiple applications everyday, creating a new level of intelligence in how we interact with one another.�

Andy Huckridge, Spirent Communications (News - Alert)
Andy Huckridge is Director of IMS Solutions Marketing at Spirent Communications, where he leads Spirent�s IMS strategy for the VoIP market. His responsibilities include business planning and market development. Andy has worked in the communications industry for 12 years and has a broad background in defining and marketing products in the Semiconductor and IP Telephony space. Prior to Spirent Communications, Andy was Director of Product Marketing at Centile, Inc., and 8x8 (News - Alert), Inc. When asked what he thought was the real significance of IP Communications, Huckridge replied, �IP Communications has made the world a smaller place! It has improved the way we communicate, provided businesses with more cost effective solutions and revolutionized the way we work, live and play. Over the last decade, we�ve created an industry from what was essentially an experimenter�s paradise. We�ve proved that innovation is strong and implemented the biggest advance Telecommunications has seen over the last 100+ years. It�s made us all more productive and introduced new methods by which to interact with each other. �IP communications has revolutionized the way our industry conducts business, it is now revolutionizing the way people live.�

Shrihari Pandit, Stealth Communications
Shrihari Pandit has been President and CEO since founding Stealth Communications in 1995. Prior to Stealth, In the early 1990s, Shrihari was a network securities consultant to various software and telecom companies which include MCI, Sprint (News - Alert), and Sun Microsystems (News - Alert). Shrihari was also an independent consultant to various U.S. Government Agencies such as NASA and National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), now part of the Department of Homeland Security. In the past ten years, Shrihari has developed Stealth into New York City�s largest Internet gateway. Pandit reasons that IP Communications are the foundation upon which all communications of the future will be built. �It is not only an enabler,� he says, �but it has simplified the layers of technology we have relied on over the last millennium.� �Like the public airwaves, IP Communications is a common language in which our devices and applications may communicate openly, in a peer-to-peer fashion, without limits.�

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