Voice and video over IP are two peas in a packet

The popularity of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is expected to grow steadily in the future, but Gartner Inc. researchers say that, for most companies, it will take until 2007 for both voice and data to be fully merged into a single network. During that time, another IP-based technology is expected to emerge: video over IP. Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner predicts that the IP multicast concept, which encompasses streaming video, will be deployed by 80% of Global 2,000 companies by 2006. John Girard, a vice president and research director for Gartner, recently talked about the promise of both voice and video over IP in an interview with SearchNetworking.com.

For those who don't have video capabilities yet, what can they do to better position themselves? They should start simply and not overpromise the amount or quality of video they can deliver. What are the greatest challenges in deploying voice over IP? Proving short-term ROI is the biggest challenge. Our voice systems today are feature-rich and of high quality. Who are the vendors to watch in this space? That is a subject that can take...

hours to discuss. Enterprises should start with their incumbent service and network vendors, and should not assume that it is necessary or desirable to tear out all their current systems, nor to force a migration to a single vendor for voice, video, wireless, etc.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Gartner: Voice and data convergence on hold until 2007

Quick Takes: IP video to grow

News from Networking Decisions 2002

Which technology has greater potential in the long term, voice over IP or video over IP?
Both technology areas have a long growth ahead of them, but clearly voice is the most pervasive and portable form of communication that humans use, and it can be delivered with less complexity than video. I don't see a race or battle between voice and video; I see them as complementary communications. Do most organizations have a network that is prepared to handle video over IP?
No. Most organizations will need to upgrade to support multicast and caching. Remote locations may require more raw bandwidth, especially if real-time video will compete with other services on a WAN [wide area network] connection. How will this technology evolve over time?
The "phone" of the future will be a software application. The premise equipment market as we know it will disappear. Can you give an example of an organization that is effectively deploying voice over IP right now?
Without mentioning specific names, I would consider companies with remote call centers as some of the most successful with leading edge, portable voice over IP systems.

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