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The Current State of the Voice over Ip Marketplace for Enterprise-Class Deployments - 2005

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Essay title: The Current State of the Voice over Ip Marketplace for Enterprise-Class Deployments - 2005

The Current State of the Voice over IP Marketplace for Enterprise-Class Deployments

August, 2005

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ANALYSIS 2

AVAYA CORPORATE 4

AVAYA COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER 5

MEETING EXCHANGE 6

EXTENSION TO CELLULAR 7

SUPPORT FOR SIP 8

SIP CONVERGED COMMUNICATIONS 8

SIP TRUNKING 9

AVAYA SEAMLESS COMMUNICATIONS 10

CONCLUSION 11

Analysis

At the onset of writing this paper, I intended to research and analyze the relevant companies and associated product offerings in the Voice Over IP (VoIP) space. What I found was a plethora of players in the small to medium office market, and less than a handful of players in the enterprise-class market. I also quickly realized that any organization looking to deploy VoIP needs to consider much more than the cost savings of converging voice and data traffic. It is the �applications’ made possible by IP Telephony that should be driving the purchasing decisions, and my research discovered that we are at the brink of major technological breakthroughs that will transform our daily communications as we know them today. VoIP is an �enabler’ technology for IP Telephony applications; while the Telecommunications/Network Manager needs to manage the infrastructure costs of delivering �information’, the CEO and IT Management can leverage the investment in VoIP to truly transform workforce productivity.

To qualify the �enterprise-class’ market, I used the marker of 250,000 busy hour call attempts (BHCA). Three industry-recognized vendors met this qualification: Alcatel, Avaya, Inc. and Cisco Systems, Inc., support 300,000, 300,000 and 250,000 BHCA, respectively.

I was surprised to find that all product lines supported the same features, generally. The differences were not glaring deficiencies, but need to be considered seriously when evaluating a communications partner. My line of work requires I purchase from American firms. Because Alcatel is a French company, they were struck from the list which shortened it to Avaya (NJ) and Cisco (CA). The problem with Cisco is they still use a propriety VoIP call control protocol called “Skinny Client Control Protocol” (SCCP), nicknamed “Skinny”. All devices that connect to Cisco VoIP must support this protocol. Cisco supports H.323 for call control, but it’s done in an �afterthought’ manner and is enabled via a separate proxy for end devices. In addition, Cisco is just plainly not in a lead position with regards to “Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and integrating it into their product line. Even if they were to adopt it today, it would take months and years for them to fully adopt it, even though the standards are not completely defined. Interoperability is a key criteria when select a VoIP/Converged Communications vendor. Cisco has quite a bit of work left in this area, and as a result they were scratched from the short list of viable options.

This leaves Avaya as the superior VoIP/Converged Communications product vendor for the Enterprise. The remainder of this paper will not detail the multitude of functions, options and required connectivity specifications that need assessment when purchasing an IP Telephony system. I also did not evaluate cost into my analysis. I will, however, describe why Avaya is an extreme competitor in this market space by identifying where their products have a significant strategic advantage to any large organization.

An Avaya solution is not without shortcomings. For example, they do not encrypt H.323 call control. They also cannot support quite the number of stations that a Cisco solution will support, nor do they offer the robust system management delivered by a product such as Cisco Works. However, Avaya is working to address these issues, and, combined with their dedication to open standards, market presence and foresight engineering, and superior reliability and survivability built into their products, these shortcomings can be overlooked.

AVAYA Corporate

Avaya, Incorporated is a worldwide leader in the communications industry performing advanced research, product development, applications development, systems integration

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