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Eric Krapf
Eric Krapf is General Manager and Program Co-Chair for Enterprise Connect, the leading conference/exhibition and online events brand in the...
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Eric Krapf | March 31, 2008 |

 
   

Microsoft: Clearing the Air on SIP and Interoperability

Microsoft: Clearing the Air on SIP and Interoperability The VoiceCon discussion that led up to Microsoft and IBM's handshake deal, promising interoperability testing was really pretty significant even before the two vendors made their commitment. For the first time I could remember, industry leaders talked pretty openly and honestly about what was and wasn't interoperable in the SIP world, and why. The discussion echoed a conversation I'd had the previous afternoon with Jamie Stark, a technical product manager at Microsoft.

The VoiceCon discussion that led up to Microsoft and IBM's handshake deal, promising interoperability testing was really pretty significant even before the two vendors made their commitment. For the first time I could remember, industry leaders talked pretty openly and honestly about what was and wasn't interoperable in the SIP world, and why. The discussion echoed a conversation I'd had the previous afternoon with Jamie Stark, a technical product manager at Microsoft.

The VoiceCon discussion that led up to Microsoft and IBM's handshake deal, promising interoperability testing was really pretty significant even before the two vendors made their commitment. For the first time I could remember, industry leaders talked pretty openly and honestly about what was and wasn't interoperable in the SIP world, and why. The discussion echoed a conversation I'd had the previous afternoon with Jamie Stark, a technical product manager at Microsoft.Jamie made essentially the same point that Christian Szpilfogel of Mitel made the next day in defending Microsoft against the other vendors' charges that Microsoft was essentially hijacking the SIP standard.

Because so much of SIP was either undefined or open to interpretation, Microsoft had to make its own decisions about how to implement SIP in Office Communications Server 2007, Jamie said. "When companies were saying, 'SIP,' there were many times that the implementations were significantly varied," he said, adding that Microsoft has not created any proprietary implementations around SIP: "There's nothing in our [Open Interoperability SIP] specification that falls outside the RFCs" for connecting an IP-PBX to a server such as OCS, Jamie said.

Nobody in the industry particularly wants to hand the keys to the SIP kingdom over to Microsoft, and hopefully the UC universe will be so large and varied that a Microsoft-specific implementation couldn't fit the bill anyway. But maybe by pushing its Open Intereoperability program, Microsoft succeeded in scaring the other vendors into getting serious about meaningful SIP interoperability. We'll see.





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