VoIP: An Application Developer's Perspective


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  • My young children complain that when we go see other people all we want to do is talk Youu’re here today in part to hear me talk, During breaks you’ll be talking. Voice is what defines us a uniquely human Our voice communicates far more than our words: accent, education, mood, health
  • VoIP: An Application Developer's Perspective

    1. 1. Voice over IP: What's Next? An Application Developer's Perspective Mass Software Council Technology Trends Forum Oct 5, 2004 Stephen Smith [email_address]
    2. 2. VoIP in the News … and many more 17% of large enterprises in Canada were using IP telephony during the first three months of 2003. 23% had plans to adopt it within 12 months. -- IDC Canada Michael Powell [Chairman FCC] experienced Skype and said, "The world now will change inevitably."
    3. 3. Why the Momentum to VoIP? <ul><li>Key Technology Enablers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moore's law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broadband penetration to the residence / business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Glut of worldwide fiber & data connectivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Matur(ing) approach to QoS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lower Costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More efficient use of network resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of general purpose computer technology makes it inexpensive to build and to scale </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The end user devices and internal networking nodes are “just” computers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change the software to add new capabilities </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. VoIP Spectrum <ul><li>Traditional Telecomm Segments in transition to VoIP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>International Low cost calling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal networks of large carriers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numerous equipment makers, software providers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Residential VoIP phone service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This area is exploding: Vonage, Packet8, Broadvoice … </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Office PBX systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Using VoIP inside a company location, and between corporate branches </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Call Center </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Instant Messaging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not only the traditional big 3, but newcomers like Skype … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consumer and Business Application Areas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Executable End user applications (.exe’s …) </li></ul></ul>An Application Developer’s Perspective Carrier App
    5. 5. Some Comments about Voice ... <ul><li>People love to talk </li></ul><ul><li>The POTS telephone handset constrains the experience of talking remotely: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cumbersome to establish communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No guarantee or even probability of reaching who you want </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction limited solely to voice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>With VoIP, it’s not only Voice … </li></ul><ul><li>The Question Becomes: </li></ul><ul><li>What can you do with Voice … connected with Data … connected with Video … connected with Computing Platforms? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Huge potential for end user applications! </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Voice Application Example Typical inbound IVR application www.talkingstreet.com
    7. 7. Voice Application Example Challenge: Geographic expansion www.talkingstreet.com
    8. 8. Voice Application Example <ul><li>Traditional Voice Model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1-800 ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>At 5 – 10 cents a minute, economics don’t work for something that is a $5.95 sales item </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local Platform and Telco </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>High Capex per city </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overprovisioning of Telco </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Long lead times, inflexible </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need specialized PSTN hardware </li></ul></ul><ul><li>VoIP Inbound </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One centralized IVR platform, based upon commodity hardware </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low cost call delivery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to any US Market, and adjacent global markets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common platforms with web site, mobile SMS / MMS platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data arrives on same platform as voice (e.g. GPS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fewer technologies / skill sets </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Web Application (hypothetical) Example <ul><li>Context sensitive click-to-call </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Combination of data plus voice provides capability for a rich interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideal for a smart e-Commerce application </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Requires a VoIP User Agent residing on the customers platform </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is not ubiquitous today </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No Web plugins today </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coming … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For now, well suited to community sites where the provider has enough of a relationship to ask the users to download an executable </li></ul>
    10. 10. Executable Applications … <ul><li>The dream of “convergence” is happening, it's just taking longer. The Voice (and Video) piece is dropping into place for ... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Video Phones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conferencing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration Tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distance Learning / Training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tele-medicine, tele-repair, tele-… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On-line gaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dating Applications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>VoIP carriers such as Vonage and Skype are rolling out developer kits and programs to encourage innovation, similar to the wireless industry promoting application development on their platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Look to the East </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Korea 80% Broadband </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Japan 20% Voice over Broadband </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Result is many video applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Video ring tones </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IM Video </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Push-to-”Video” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adult </li></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 11. How to integrate Voice into an Application <ul><li>Need to deliver a call to or from your customer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to select a carrier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connectivity to the PSTN? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or over the public internet? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inbound? Outbound? Both? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to determine protocols and interfaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Controlled environment or open to the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>QoS and latency </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to process a call at your application </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Key questions: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Volume of calls? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>At your site, or on a customers PC? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inbound? Outbound? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software stacks / SDK </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Open Source </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or, Hardware solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security and network infrastructure </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Problems and Pitfalls <ul><li>Numerous protocols – SIP, RTP (2833, H.323, MGCP, SCCP, MSCP, …) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of options [too many!] for commercial and open source stacks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant work just to understand offerings, not apples-to-apples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many are immature </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Carrier Offerings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not apples-to-apples </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some technical problems … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Firewalls and NAT </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory, Taxation </li></ul>You need strong tech people, you need to allocate ongoing time to tracking the industry! The Industry is Rapidly Evolving!
    13. 13. Q&A Stephen Smith [email_address]
    14. 14. End User Application Example: Building a better phone <ul><li>Improving Call Establishment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Built-in Address Book </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find Me / Follow Me services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy establishment of conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improving Message Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet GUI for managing VoiceMail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unified Messaging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Saving Conversations not just messages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This might be a hardware device, or it might be a “soft phone”, or it might be a hybrid software application with a USB phone. </li></ul><ul><li>Cell Phones are ahead in many ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Address Book Integration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Device personalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ringtone, Wallpaper, Ringback </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sophisticated Alerts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Call Logs </li></ul></ul>Customers will expect these features as standard in the next 5 years! Consumer and Office PBX Applications!