VoIP? A Question of Perspective
By Gary Audin, Delphi, Inc.
Published 2004, Posted June 2004




Moving to VoIP raises fundamental questions for both data and voice sides of the ‘net. There is an inherent dilemma when it comes to building integrated voice/data networks—the problem of perspective. To the telephony world, the fact that voice is “mission critical” is so painfully obvious that it goes without mentioning.


However, in the data world—and particularly the IP world—applications are graded as “best effort,” “better-than-best effort” and “critical,” with “best effort” being the most common. Many applications have not moved to an IP network because of concerns about security, performance and reliability.


Given voice’s mission-critical status, any company planning an integrated voice/data network must consider a wide range of elements. While it has been proven that VoIP phone calls work, we must now examine all the other functions: VoIP’s features, administration, billing, performance and management issues.


Many business questions arise when confronting convergence:



Should data or voice people manage VoIP?


Can the voice management system modify the performance of the IP network in real time to improve voice quality?


Will there be separate management systems for voice and IP network components?


How is Quality of Service delivered for voice and who pays for it?


Will the VoIP billing follow data billing concepts, for example, a flat fee?


Is there a standard VoIP Call Detail Record (CDR) and how does it operate with existing billing and traffic analysis software?


Looking ahead, the most important task will be to make VoIP ubiquitous while at the same time making it interoperable with a variety of VoIP products, as well as with the legacy telephone environment.


About the Author:


Gary Audin has over 40 years of computer and communications experience. He has planned, designed, specified, implemented and operated data, LAN and telephone networks. These have included local area, national and international networks as well as VoIP and IP convergent networks in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He has advised domestic and international venture capital and investment bankers in communications, VOIP, and microprocessor technologies.


He has been an independent consultant for 25 years. During this time he designed a national bank ATM network. He specified the functional requirements for a wide area and local area network for the data transmission of the City of New York. He also designed a statewide multi-agency frame relay network for Louisiana.


Mr. Audin has been published extensively in Data Communications Magazine, Business Communications Review, Infosystems, Computerworld, Computer Business News, Auerbach Publications and 4 other magazines. He has made over 200 presentations at trade shows including INTERFACE, COMNET, INFO, PC Expo, VoiceCon and MultimediaCom. He has been the Keynote speaker at several user conferences. He is a founder of the ANSI X.9 committee. He is a senior member of the IEEE. He is on the steering committee for the VoiceCon conferences.


He has a BSEE from New Jersey Institute of Technology and graduate work in Computer Science at Syracuse University. He has presented over 2000 seminars for BCR, Telcordia, ACUTA, Nortel, Datapro Research, American Management Association, Washington University (St. Louis), Princeton, IBM, NCR, Burroughs, Sperry, UNISYS, Bell Northern Research and the American Institute of Banking. He has been an Adjunct Professor at Pace University and an instructor at Boston University.



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