VoIP Takes Stage At VON


Nortel, Interactive Intelligence tout products that use SIP protocol


A bevy of vendors are scheduled to unveil new products for the IP telephony market at the Fall 2003 VON Conference and Expo this week in Boston

One focal point of the show will be the growing popularity of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), an emerging call-control standard.

Nortel Networks, Brampton, Ontario, is expected to add a new product to its Multimedia Communications Portfolio,a line of multimedia application servers that deliver videoconferencing, instant messaging and collaboration tools using open protocols, including SIP.

Contact center and unified messaging software vendor Interactive Intelligence, Indianapolis, plans to launch a new SIP proxy server that can provide intelligent routing for SIP-based messages over IP networks. For example, it can automatically send calls to alternate routes when primary or secondary routes fail.

Videoconferencing vendor Radvision, Glen Rock, N.J., plans to launch version 3.0 of its SIP Developer Toolkit, which enables channel partners and other developers to build applications that offer enhanced security, call management and network performance.

Also, CommuniTech plans to showcase new integration between its Clarysis I750 USB handset and Avaya's soft phone. The handset is already integrated with Cisco Systems' soft phone. At $90, the I750, combined with a PC-based soft phone, provides a low-cost alternative to an IP phone, said Neal Shact, CEO of CommuniTech, a conferencing distributor in Elk Grove Village, Ill.

"People really like to dial buttons [and] make a call in a familiar way," Shact said.

These products are being introduced as many solution providers report that sales of voice-over-IP solutions continue to rise. "I think 2003 has been a triumph for IP telephony," said Doug Bowlds, vice president of AAC Associates, Vienna, Va.

Indeed, enterprise IP telephony port shipments grew by nearly 120 percent in the first quarter of 2003 vs. the same quarter a year ago, according to Synergy Research Group.