I have been a fan and collaborator of Steve Taylor, owner-operator of Webtorials.com, the white paper repository for the communications industry, for many years. Vendors, standards fora and analysts post their reports and papers there for authenticated user consumption.
A recent post, originally written in the September 2007 issue of BCR, by Zeus Kerravala, called "Management may be the most important VOIP application of all" (subscription required) really set the stage for much of my upcoming research and writings on the Quality of Experience in converged networks.
Key points that Zeus brings up:
- Yankee Group research showed that 80% of enterprises have deployed VoIP, but only 6% have done so throughout their enterprises. It's still a pocket technology – used in WAN replacements or remote extenders, in branch offices or in small business or medium businesses.
- The converged network must be managed to assure quality VoIP given the dynamics of ever stochastic bandwidth-intensive and insensitive data or video applications.
- The systems management vendors such as CA, IBM and HP are not addressing these needs. They may have the wrong architectures to manage real-time applications performance in real-time.
- Emerging vendors such as Prognosis, Opsware, Clarus, Psytechnics, Voyence, Intelliden, Brix and Communicado fill this gap by measuring Mean Opinion Score (an ITU standard for call quality) and reporting on it. But this is not enough. You have to be able to dig deeper into the infrastructure state to know the answer.