Last week while wearing my ZDNet livery, I moderated a panel at the VoIP 2.0 conference called "VoIP: Where We're Going, Where We've Been."
One of the panelists was Rich Birkbichler, vice-president of sales for Versatel Networks. The company makes Media Gateways and VoIP solutions for IP Telephony service providers.
Rich is more than a salesperson, though. He is a thinker, too - one capable of just looking beyond what he is selling, and able to formulate a perspective on where VoIP is now and where it was headed.
I was so impressed with his three-slide PowerPoint presentation that I asked him to send it to me so I could, in turn, share it with you. I've taken to flipping his slide order so I could syncopate my description of Rich's points with his slides.
The top slide shows VoIPs emerging emphasis on network engineering performance of the type necessary for VoIP to deliver Quality of Service to subscribers.
This next slide shows what we are learning about VoIP traffic management and backhaul best practices:
This last slide depicts Rich's view that IP is becoming a "Social Collaboration interface" that will let the customer automatically and seamlessly move between VoIP, VoIM (Voice over Instant Messaging), traditional phone connections, and cell: