Home > Articles > Networking > Voice/IP Communications

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

The IPT Difference

During that fateful lunch with David and Richard, I kept wondering why IP telephony was so different. More than that, I wondered why two men that I knew and respected were so excited about it. The answer was brilliant in its simplicity. In their minds, the problem with the efforts to integrate voice and data in the 1980s and early 1990s was not technical, but a matter of focus. Instead of trying to squeeze bandwidth-intensive data into PBX timeslots, the better answer might be to place voice, which needs little bandwidth, into a data network where bandwidth is generally more accessible.

This change in focus provides the premise for the remainder of the issues discussed throughout this book: IP telephony, properly understood and deployed, can help organizations realize numerous benefits that they might not be considering today. At the center of these benefits are applications—new world applications—that transcend the traditional boundaries placed between voice and data environments.

Voice over IP

Voice over IP (VoIP) is exactly what it appears to be: deploying voice over an IP network. In its most basic form, VoIP means placing voice traffic onto the IP network for transport purposes only. Many people in the industry today who adopt this view of VoIP refer to the IP network as "plumbing"; i.e., the network is the plumbing (pipes) used to carry information (in this case, voice). Figure 1-3 shows an example of VoIP, according to this basic definition.

Figure 3Figure 1-3 VoIP: Users from Two PBXs "Talk" Across the IP Network, Thus Saving Long-Distance Charges

Figure 1-3 illustrates how an IP gateway (often referred to as an IP blade) that is added to the existing PBX gives those PBX users the ability to place calls over a company's IP network from location to location in order to reduce long-distance charges. Toll-bypass, as this is commonly referred to, is the most obvious benefit of this type of VoIP deployment.

In Figure 1-3, the IP gateway could easily be a single card that is installed/integrated into the PBX as are other cards on a PBX shelf. Furthermore, it could be a card within a data router that currently resides on a company's IP network. Either approach (integrated as a card in the PBX or a router) provides organizations with a cost-effective means for integrating gateways into their environments. For many companies, reducing long-distance charges has been the desired state, and upon accomplishing this task, they move on to other projects. In their minds, their VoIP project is completed.

The Telephone as Client

Many organizations, however, see VoIP as far more than this. More than simply using the network as transport (or plumbing), many organizations see value in not only placing voice "traffic" onto the IP network, but also in placing the actual voice "clients" (the telephones themselves) and new voice applications onto the IP network. This approach, although technically still VoIP, is commonly referred to as IP telephony; i.e., deploying a total telephony solution (including telephones, components, applications, and by extension, users) within the IP network.

In other words, IPT takes the premise of voice and data integration to its natural, albeit long-awaited conclusion: new voice clients (telephones, wireless devices, and desktop software) that, in their basic form, are designed to interface and interact with an IP network, obeying the rules of the IP network, utilizing its protocols, managed by its resources, and most importantly, accessing the myriad of applications that (can) exist on the network.

NOTE

Whereas VoIP places voice traffic on the IP network, IP telephony places voice clients, applications, and traffic on the IP network, thereby providing a different value proposition.

As shown in Figure 1-4, IP telephony allows phones to be directly connected to the IP network. A new type of phone, called an IP phone, is designed to interface directly to the Ethernet switch on the IP network, much like any other IP device, such as a PC, a laptop computer, or a network printer.

Figure 4Figure 1-4 IP Phones Connect Directly to the IP Network

So, for the purpose of this book, VoIP is defined as technology that places voice traffic onto the IP network, whereas IP telephony is technology that places voice clients and voice applications as well as voice traffic onto the IP network. Each technology has a different goal, or desired state. The value proposition provided by IPT is very different than what was described previously for VoIP, primarily because the desired state for IP telephony is different.

The question most often asked by companies who investigate IP telephony is a simple one: Why should I put my telephones on the IP network? The simple answer is because managing one network instead of two (or more) is easier and more cost-effective, and that is where the majority of applications reside.

Unlike the traditional applications generally associated with voice, this new breed of applications is different. New applications are being developed quickly, with fewer resources, and at a lower cost. Instead of developing applications against a specific vendors' proprietary operating environment, IPT allows organizations to write applications using industry-standard (and widely used) data languages and protocols. In this new environment, just as data applications are written using Java, XML, HTML, Visual Basic or other similar tools, so too are new voice applications. Application development time is reduced from years and months to days and weeks. At Selsius Systems, we saw this trend develop in front of our eyes.

Application Development: The Real Potential of IPT

The greatest benefit to be realized from IPT is in product development. A complex voice-mail application can be written, tested, productized, and delivered to the market in a short time period because of the standards-based environment of IP telephony. The standards-based environment of IP provides protocols and programming languages that are known to a large body of developers, worldwide. This means expanding the pool of talent to create applications beyond the ranks of a manufacturer, and into the entire market of LAN and workstation developers. An example of this occurred at Selsius Systems in October of 1998.

This time, while in a meeting with David Tucker and Richard Platt, we were joined by Dave Corley, who headed up Product Management. The topic of discussion was voice mail; specifically, our own. Up to this point, Selsius Systems, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Intecom Systems, enjoyed a fairly positive relationship with its parent company. However, over time, many Intecom employees began viewing the upstart Selsius organization as competitors and as a drain on their own financial resources. The more than 60 Selsius employees had their own Selsius IP phones on their desktops, but still used the Digital Sound voice-mail system used by Intecom employees. So, in this meeting, we discussed the need to have our own voice-messaging solution to further reduce our dependence on Intecom telecommunications resources.

During this meeting, we discussed our specific voice-mail requirements with Paul Clark, one of the Selsius developers. We knew we wanted this to be a software solution, one that did not depend on hardware ports (channels), and we knew we wanted the solution to be linked to our Microsoft Exchange e-mail environment. Paul Clark was the lone engineer assigned to the project. Not only were we asking Paul to develop a messaging environment for the employees of Selsius Systems, but also a messaging environment for our group to bring to the emerging IPT market as well.

So, in October of 1998, Paul Clark walked out of the meeting with his assignment. Less than two months later, the application was up and running, providing the voice-mail features we required, and linking to our Outlook application so that we could access our voice messages within Outlook and directly from phones.

This was an important milestone for me, because a few years before, I had worked as a senior product marketing manager with VMX, the founding organization of voice mail. In that capacity, I had the opportunity to see many development projects in action. So the notion of putting requirements in the hands of a single development engineer and actually having a product, working and being delivered to clients less than eight weeks later was not lost on me.

Looking back, I can honestly say that was the defining moment for me. Watching a complex voice-mail application be written, tested, productized, and delivered to the market in such a short amount of time convinced me that IPT was going to open a new frontier of application development similar to what is now seen with data-based Internet environments. All of us knew, at that point, that the application potential for IPT could truly be realized.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020