IP Telephony is one of a new suite of related and integrated communications applications.

Convergence applications ≠ CTI.

In 1995, Computer-Telephony Integration was all the rage. Screen pops. PC-directory lookups. Click-to-dial. Although many folks saw benefits in terms of productivity and convenience for users, the high cost of integrating PCs and the PBX would not facilitate this market.
Ergo the focus on call centers. As the PC matured in processor speeds (my PC in 1995 was a whopping 333 MHz) and OS stability – remember Windows 95? What a joke. I was constantly restarting the pig.

Anyways, things are different now – PCs are fast (>1.5 GHz now), stable (yes, even Windows can operate a whole week without have to restart) and inexpensive. Networks support Power over Ethernet, packet prioritization services and deliver at least 100 Mb switched service per user.

Convergence Applications are a category of applications that are communications intensive. They will be justified on the basis of productivity improvements and, given the environmental factors, should break out of the call center to spread throughout leading enterprises.

Applications include:

  • IP Telephony – dial tone for wideband phones, PC clients
  • IP Messaging – voice mail, email, fax mail: including read me email, voice mail as email,  and fax as email.
  • IP Conferencing – click to call, click to add to conference, click for video
  • IP Contact Center – monitoring, recording, management, queuing and the like.

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