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Will vendors really give up proprietary protocols to support SIP?

Will vendors really give up proprietary protocols in support of SIP or at least find a way to coexist? Expert Bob Thompson offers his perspective.

Will vendors really give up proprietary protocols in support of SIP or at least find a way to coexist?

They will have to as telephony and communication technologies continue to move from hardware-driven to software-driven assets. Proprietary systems are hugely hardware constricted and, as a result, cannot easily meet the full range of today's enterprise needs, including the desire for greater cost savings and greater expectations about how communication solutions must link with real business processes and objectives. Proprietary IP PBX controls, for example, completely miss the boat on being open to best-of-breed third-party applications and custom-designed solutions that can meet specific business goals and create significant competitive advantages.

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As for co-existence, that is essentially what we have today. The road to SIP interoperability is a mixed bag of proprietary and open SIP solutions -- a reality that is based on the different weights enterprises attach to factors such as investment costs -- on the one hand – and future business benefits – on the other. Pragmatic organizations continue to hold tight to proprietary legacy systems. For this group, SIP add-ons remain an attractive alternative for adding incremental business value.

For bolder enterprises, SIP systems are viewed as a center piece for significantly advancing business strategies. This enterprise segment will continue to expand, beyond just early adopters, as more examples come to the surface to demonstrate the competitive advantages of open SIP systems. By definition, these are the solutions that are designed to support best-of-breed as well as enterprise-specific enhancements. Momentum for native SIP will also be difficult to avoid as more and more carrier and public service solutions embrace open SIP solutions, as well as the adoption of non-phone open SIP applications such as the Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005 platform.

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