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Standardized VoIP Installations Lead to Innovation

Updated on January 3, 2012

Proprietary System Lock In

When it comes to technology, there is always been the battle between "standard" versus "proprietary" systems. This is true regardless of whether the technologies in question link to the Internet or not. Though with these days, everything is linked to the Internet and so Internet technologies in general are more susceptible to this dichotomy. There are many first-class proprietary systems available. Systems which work well as standalone products, are cost-effective, and brilliantly serve the needs of an organization. For this reason, they are found everywhere. A large number of PBX systems are proprietary in nature. Even VoIP which only now is slowly becoming standardized, had its huge proprietary marketplace.

The downside to these proprietary systems are several. For one, they are viable only as long as the business which produced them is still around. Think of the huge number of programs written in outdated languages like COBOL which are a nightmare to maintain because the original programmers have moved on. Since the systems use proprietary protocols and configurations, it's impossible to integrate them with others. This creates "islands" whose usefulness doesn't extend beyond its boundaries. While this wasn't a particular concern a few decades ago, it is absolutely vital these days for a system to be extendable.

One would think that with all these disadvantages, proprietary systems would be seeing a slow death. In VoIP at least, this is not the case. The allure of creating a locked in system is so powerful and the of guaranteed income from lock-in contracts is so strong that large corporations almost always choose to develop proprietary systems before open and standardized ones in the hopes of capturing a large audience and making use of network effects.

Standardized VoIP Systems
Standardized VoIP Systems

Standardized VoIP, SIP, and 911

The SIP protocol has ushered in a new age of VoIP telecommunications. The market has exploded due to the standardization and interoperability of these systems. Nowhere is this more beautifully demonstrated than in the case of 911 call centers which are slowly adopting VoIP as the new standard. As these mission-critical centers end their reliance on incredibly out of date equipment, they are starting to realize the manyfold benefits of standardized VoIP systems.

For example, when a disaster strikes a 911 call center, it needs to have the flexibility to be able to relocate in another area with a minimum of downtime. The traditional PSTN system performs very poorly when measured by this standard.VoIP however, due to its open architecture and its reliance on Internet technologies performs rerouting better than any other technology on the planet. Routing is after all, one of its prime functions. These call centers have since discovered that VoIP enables them to achieve a level of flexibility they never before imagined.

There are many other alluring promises which VoIP holds. For example, it might be possible to send SMS messages instead of making an actual call to 911 service. This could easily benefit people in dire situations who are not able to speak out loud. Perhaps it would enable people to snap photographs of escape cars or other dangerous individuals and send them to emergency services.

If you're a business, you would benefit from installing advanced hosted VoIP systems on your premises. Hosted mobile VoIP servers will enable your employees to dial-in no matter where they are and make use of the advantages of VoIP globally.

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