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Audio Conferencing Using VoIP

Description: Service Provider vs. CPE ... Makes a pretty nifty IP phone. Global competition demands smarter tools ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Audio Conferencing Using VoIP

Audio Conferencing Using VoIP
  • Keith Weiner
  • CEO, DiamondWare

  • PSTN legacy background
  • Conventional VoIP, starting point
  • VoIPs promise and challenges
  • Immediacy in real-time communications
  • Group collaboration
  • Cutting-edge technologies
  • Audio conferencing and otherwise

PSTN History
  • Dedicated copper wire between the parties
  • Expensive
  • Service
  • Equipment
  • Provisioning
  • Lease only as many lines as necessary

PSTN Conferencing
  • Could host your own conferences
  • But you need the equipment and the lines
  • Common to use a service provider
  • Cost per attendee, per minute
  • Call in, do your business, and hang up!

PSTN Artifacts
  • Byproducts of the PSTN
  • The Line
  • The Call
  • The Minute
  • Not necessary
  • Not part of a true IP world

Conventional VoIP
  • Mostly PSTN over IP (PoIP)
  • Tied to phone numbers
  • Limited user interface 12 buttons, no screen
  • Replicating PSTN functionality
  • Billed by the minute
  • Rate arbitrage play
  • Building wooden bridge designs in steel

Service Provider vs. CPE
  • Is the equipment extremely expensive?
  • Is it complex and laborious to provision?
  • The infamous adds, moves, drops
  • Computers moved to CPE decades ago
  • VoIP works well as a software application
  • Runs on commodity hardware
  • Graphical User Interface

VoIP Assumptions
  • Users get as much bandwidth as desired
  • Voice is just another application
  • Like email, spreadsheets, or the web
  • Software is cheap
  • Easily upgraded at the endpoints
  • Average people can use Windows
  • Commodity hardware cheap?cheaper

If That Is True
  • CPE will predominate
  • ASPs become (remain?) a niche
  • Voice adds incrementally to ISP bill
  • New features happen much faster
  • Audio quality will improve
  • CD quality voice, anyone?
  • Supportable by enterprise IT department

  • The handheld computer
  • High-Speed wireless network devices
  • Wi-Fi access
  • Not just Starbucks, everywhere else
  • At home too
  • Still awaiting consolidation
  • Some wacky billing plans out there

A Mutiny!
  • Do you mean that the company will make me bring
    home my phone extension, and this gives it the
    right to reach out and touch me 24 x 7?!
    average employee
  • People will choose to be less accessible
  • Unless they have control over who and when
  • Applies to consumers as well as enterprises

  • Conventional IM apps report presence
  • Offline, Online, Away, DND
  • Normally they report Online when you login
  • Location information is coming soon
  • Smarter cellular sites and/or GPS
  • Driven by E911, if nothing else

  • You mean every Tom, Dick, and Harry can see when
    I go to lunch, or the park, or that other
    place?!?!? irate user
  • Too much communication isnt good
  • Neither is too much information

  • You have tentative plans to meet a colleague for
    a late lunch at 130. A friend casually suggests
    lunch to you at 12, so you call to see if youre
    confirmed for 130. Voice mail. Great. You can
    either tell your friend no, and then find out
    at 130 your colleague is not available. Or you
    can say yes, and leave your colleague hanging.

  • Text Messages Only
  • In a meeting, a quick text message is OK
  • Answer with one letter y
  • Confirm lunch at 130 with colleague
  • Conversely, on a cellular handset
  • Dont expect much of a text message reply
  • Voice is better

Random Access
  • Extremely desirable property of PSTN
  • Anyone can call anyone, at any time
  • Hospital at 430am mother in car crash
  • Protected from spammers by a simple fact
  • It costs money to call someone
  • What happens when cost goes to zero?

Taking Control
  • Control who gets info about me
  • And when they get it
  • Boss turned off after 9pm
  • A way to specify media type
  • When and who gets voice
  • Who can reach out and touch me?
  • A ringer is an alarm bell

  • If we technologists and vendors dont give users
    control over who can access them, how that access
    is available, and when, then users will resort to
    turning off voice calls to all but their buddies.
    The spam email problem today gives us a good
    look at how this could play out. Keith Weiner

  • A relevant idea should propagate
  • Rapidly and to all stakeholders
  • The mandate is work smarter, not harder
  • Reduce turnaround times
  • Respond to customers
  • Global competition intensifies

Distance Barriers
  • In small offices, knowledge velocity is high
  • Large sites, long distances much slower
  • Different reasons for barriers
  • Real and perceived
  • Technological, logistical, and social
  • It makes large companies vulnerable
  • Researchers at ATT knew VoIP was coming
  • Management didnt

The Goal
  • To make telecommunications as seamless, painless,
    and natural as face-to-face communications

New Paradigm
  • If no cost per minute, why hang up?
  • To free up the line for the next call
  • What if virtual lines are unlimited?
  • Intelligibility is difficult during overtalk
  • What if people have virtual 3D positions?
  • And voice colorization
  • New paradigm the always on network

Always On
  • All paradigm shifts seem subtle
  • Usually important
  • With phone, perceived barriers to calling
  • Not at all like meeting in the hallway
  • Information velocity is slowed
  • Intercom is like voice Instant Messaging
  • Casual and quick

Always On II
  • Open offices allow peripheral hearing
  • Fellow rep struggling, and you can help
  • The boss is on a call with your good customer
  • Etc.
  • VoIP intercoms export this worldwide
  • Many agents work from home
  • Sales force on frequent travel
  • Integrate overseas with domestic reps

Group Collaboration Tools
  • Presence and Availability
  • Text and Voice
  • Conferencing
  • Ad hoc, scheduled, and opportunistic
  • Multi-conferencing
  • Digital Signal Processing
  • Situation Rooms
  • Logging

Presence and Availability
  • ATT claimed 99.99 of calls connected
  • Fighting the wrong war
  • 75 connect to voice mail!
  • If only you knew if someone was available
  • Before calling

Rich Presence and Availability
  • Step off plane, turn on phone
  • Ring! Not most important call, but simply first
  • What if you had selective availability?
  • First your admin, then boss, then coworkers
  • Sometimes you may need to lie
  • Available to pesky vendor only Mon 930-939

Social Facet
  • Think back to your school days
  • You had a party every month
  • One time, one person was dis-invited
  • Removal from the real presence list
  • How will people respond?

Instant Messaging
  • Our generation uses email
  • Kids these days use IM
  • Reasons
  • Instant gratification
  • Faster closure
  • More convenient than voice in many cases
  • The same factors apply to business use

Text Voice
  • IM systems have evolved
  • Reduced value without voice
  • Some conversations are great in text
  • Whats Bobs address?
  • Short, descriptive content
  • Others require voice
  • What do you think Bob thinks of the proposal?
  • Longer, involves context and nuance

Conference Types
  • Ad Hoc
  • I see Bob is online now, lets bring him in.
  • Scheduled
  • Works well for structured, formal meetings
  • Weekly department meeting
  • Opportunistic
  • You know who needs to participate
  • Any time, when all are available

  • Each person selects conferences to join
  • Can be totally different, or overlapping
  • Like a phone call from an open office
  • Leave them on all day as open channels
  • Respond based on relevance and priority
  • Xerox Study
  • Photocopier repair teams

3D Positioning
  • In real life, the ear can follow one voice
  • Ignore all other voices and noise in cafeteria
  • Not in conventional conference bridge
  • Overtalk is unintelligible
  • Solution stereo audio, 3D virtual positions
  • Teleconferencing can work like real life

  • Dont take sound quality for granted
  • PSTN calls are 8kHz sampling rate
  • Worse than AM radio
  • Which is worse than FM
  • Which is worse than (good) MP3
  • Which is worse than CD
  • Which is worse than DVD-Audio
  • VoIP is an opportunity to improve audio!
  • Doesnt require greenfield, or lost investment

Voice Colorization
  • Audible overtones applied to the voices
  • Aids in identifying the speaker
  • Many scenarios
  • Different departments
  • Different specialties
  • Two large companies discussing a merger

Situation Rooms
  • Hosted in a persistent conference
  • Remembers text typed in it
  • Stores files, whiteboards, etc.
  • Leave notes for others when they enter
  • Dedicated to a customer or project
  • Limited group of people who can join

  • East coast salesman has customer call
  • Original lasts for 15 minutes
  • Contains nuances
  • West coast manager discusses it
  • 30 minutes of his own and salesmans time
  • Nuances are lost
  • Call could be recorded in a situation room

The VoIP Model
  • The PSTN put the smarts in the network
  • Insured ATTs value-add was high
  • Not conducive to rapid innovation
  • Features, audio quality, etc
  • TrueVoice!
  • In VoIP, the network simply carries bits
  • Smarts are at the edge

VoIP Innovation
  • The concept is backward-compatibility
  • Color TVs could view BW shows
  • BW sets could view color broadcasts
  • Applies to VoIP software too
  • New innovations are introduced
  • Older software wont have the new feature
  • Software is easily upgraded
  • New versions not held back by legacy

Where Are We Now?
  • 1G software for free voice over internet
  • Barely worked
  • Some people are extremely price sensitive
  • 2G rate arbitrage
  • PSTN over IP works pretty well now
  • 3G significant enhanced functionality
  • Presence, availability, text, wideband, etc.
  • 4G described in this presentation
  • Major change to paradigm and use cases

  • Wintel computers are ubiquitous cheap
  • Linux too
  • IP networks are fast enough
  • And cheap, data T1 is 400/month
  • Standards are maturing
  • SIP in particular
  • Fifth generation packet audio technology
  • Low latency, robust to Windows, Internet

Drivers II
  • Convergence with wireless and mobility
  • PDA with built-in Wi-Fi 400
  • Makes a pretty nifty IP phone
  • Global competition demands smarter tools
  • Unfriendly behavior by RBOCs
  • Promise of new features and benefits
  • Starting to deliver

  • Some VoIP systems demanded greenfield
  • How many of these happen in a year?
  • Lack of widely adopted standards for QoS
  • Badly thought out pricing models
  • This is a software business!
  • Should be disruptive

Technical Risks
  • What if it doesnt work?
  • Overall system does work
  • But your favorite PBX feature may be missing
  • What if the power fails?
  • What if someone calls 911?
  • How will the world work without PSTN?
  • Who will be the new carrier?

Social Risks
  • Will older generations get into it?
  • Multiple conferences, presence, availability
  • What about new behavior patterns?
  • Voice mail let people be more non-responsive
  • What about control over availability?
  • How will people handle logged conferences?
  • Will it continue to push people online?
  • Less face-to-face real life?

  • VoIP has the potential to disrupt
  • Old telecoms
  • Equipment vendors
  • Corporate support departments
  • Call centers
  • Paradigms
  • Expectations
  • Product just starting to emerge now