At 06:09 a.m. 2/01/2009, Joe Abley wrote:
The problem space for businesses is surely identical to
residences, if you consider the core functionality to be "signal a
method to contact a particular person or role".
sip:firstname.lastname@example.org calls phones to ring on many peoples' desks;
just rings my phone. mailto:email@example.com sends mail in a way that
those same people can see it; mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org is for contacting
just me. If we concede that we are not yet living in the future and
hence need a "front desk number", no doubt we can think up a generic
role for that, info(a)isc.org or somehting.
Perspectives which start from the basis of "how do I establish a voice
connection to +1 519 670 9327" seem antiquated to me. Remove the
baggage, and it's "how has Joe signalled that I should contact him?"
The fact that we will no doubt need to maintain E.164 hooks into the
system for the benefit of people who can't use any identifier other
than a phone number does not mean that the directory service needs to
revolve around arbitrary numeric strings.
Fair point Joe if you were starting with a clean sheet of paper. But
we're not. Theres a largish installed base of legacy client devices
that need to be accommodated.
A while ago, when an IT Manager, part of my role was to look after a
PABX and system of some 3k phones. The total call spent was then
around $150k, of which 25% was fax (Internet was at the time about
$30K and included CityNet). Now the rough rule is that 80% of calls
were local. ie in Wellington. So an effective mechanism to remove the
local calls would have been attractive to me. It was worth roughly
$120k pa. Apply that to the top 50 businesses in WLG and theres a
potential saving of $6M. This has a multiplier effect in the economy
typically of 5:1, often as high as 7:1, but potentially the economic
impact is $30M pa.
So what I would be looking for is not a new total solution, but an
add on that allows my existing gear to say "Fred has called this
number,(name whatever), do I know where this is, or should I bomb off
to the PSTN ?"
It has to be REAL simple and easy and transparent to the end user.
Anyone who has ever been involved in a PABX cut over or replacement
and staff training, will explain that to many folks, even phone
numbers and simple phone functionality is a challenge. (how many
people stuff up call transfers in your office).
And remember that there are folks with businesses that enjoy good
profits off the current situation who might not particularly like VoIP peering.
As a complete aside, Tony Randle and I often looked at how we could
link PABXs using fiber E1 modems and DNSS. Sadly we both moved jobs
and never got it done. CityLink did do a lot of dark fiber where
there were E1 links for just this purpose (even for Telecom and
Telstra), but it was generally internal to an organisation. There was
no device that would have allowed organisations to join a mutual
peering switch on a subscription basis. Well there was but it had big
$ signs - well above the radar.
VoIP has potentially changed this.
ps - I already have what I wanted. My VoIP provider gives free local
calls. I registered for WLG and AKL and programmed my dial out codes
as 4 and 9, and advertise local numbers in both cities.