Editorial – The return of Enterprise federation (again)

COMPTEL PLUS, Nashville, TN – The demand for seamless enterprise connectivity via SIP for applications such as HD voice and videoconferencing is driving Cisco and other enterprise vendors to solicit third-party solutions for business SIP interoperability.  “Federation” is back again and it might have a better chance of sticking this time around.

Enterprise federation – call it peering, call it interop, whatever – got a lot of rah-rah about five or so years ago, but no traction.

However, with the trending-upward use of HD voice in the VoIP environment and enterprises looking at their big-bucks telepresence systems and wanting to use them to videoconference (vconf) with their business partners (i.e. suppliers and customers), Avaya, Cisco, Polycom and others need some answers.

Vidtel (www.vidtel.com) is the most “on the radar” company when it comes to enterprise federation. CEO Scott Wharton has been leading the charge to build a video directory and other interoperable bits to allow video-endpoints to directly call each other over the internet without having to deal with the Grand Headache of corporate IT having to customize a peer-to-peer link.

Needless to say, there are other mutterings about enterprise federation taking place independent of service providers because – just like before – service providers are not moving fast enough to turn on SIP interop for HD voice and vconf-ing.

About the only player of the larger carriers technically ready to enable interop is Sprint (www.sprint.com) through its’ PIN network. PIN is built on an IMS framework, but Sprint is still figuring out what products to build on it and who might buy them.

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