VoIP and IP Telephony Take Center Stage in L.A.
Despite the seemingly non-stop financial turmoil this week, the Internet Telephony Conference and Expo took place in Los Angeles, underscoring the fact despite the economic uncertainty, the business of the channel keeps moving right along.
IP telephony in general -- and VoIP, more specifically -- have been evolving and lucrative opportunities for channel partners during the last few years. This trend seems likely to accelerate. Sonus CTO Vikram Saskena emphasized in a presentation at the show that adoption of IP telephony "is almost at an inflection point", and that future drivers likely will come from less traditional sources. My own feeling is that as IP telephony proliferates and moves more forcefully into the SMB space, VARs are going to play a more pivotal role with the technology deployments.
One of the more interesting annoucements at the show involved Microsoft and IP telephony pioneer 8x8, who are going to market through VARs a VoIP SIP solution for Microsoft's Response Point business phone system. Given the leverage of Microsoft's channel partner network, this could introduce SIP and VoIP to a lot more channel partners.