Are We Ready for Voice 2.0? - InformationWeek

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06:24 PM
Irwin Lazar
Irwin Lazar
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Are We Ready for Voice 2.0?

At VoiceCon this week Microsoft's Gurdeep Singh Paul argued that the desktop phone is dead, and that organizations who fail to make the switch to PC (or application) based telephony will fall behind those that do.

Our research tells a different story, as we interview end-user organizations for an upcoming benchmark we ask about views toward softphone-based telephony. The overwhelming majority of participants are deploying softphones, but generally only for home or traveling workers. In these cases softphones are delivered as an adjunct to the desktop phone rather than as a replacement (though we do see a fair number of organizations deploying softphones in the contact center).

So Microsoft needs to take a different approach, instead focusing their arguments on the benefits of integrating telephony with collaboration applications as well as web services to extend call control into other applications. But there lies a challenge, as companies such as Avaya with this week's Aura announcement, as well as competitors including IBM, Siemens & Nortel deliver application gateways designed to enable integration of voice with web-services-based applications without the need to replace the underlying telephony architecture. As we've watched the UC space over the last few years, the battle was between Microsoft, Cisco, and the incumbent PBXs for the desktop phone. Might the new session management/application services offerings render that battle moot, and instead we see a new effort to incorporate voice into Web 2.0 without first the massively expensive replacement of the underlying telephony architecture?

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