No Jitter is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Daily Update: Thursday

Interoperability took the main focus in this morning's opening keynote session, which was a discussion among Unified Communications vendors about UC and the migration to software architectures. There was, of course, the obligatory Microsoft-bashing. In fact, what led up to the Microsoft-IBM accord was a challenge from Pat Galvin to Eric Swift's claims that Microsoft OCS is standards-based, and that they've worked with other vendors to help them comply with Microsoft's published specifications for interacting with OCS.

"If you're open and standards-based," Galvin said, "why do you have to publish specs at all?"

Surprisingly, there was some defense of Microsoft on this score. Christian Szpilfogel of Mitel pointed out that, when it comes to standards like SIP, "a lot of this stuff was simply undefined," so Microsoft had to set some parameters.

But Mark Spencer, creator of the open-source PBX Asterisk, and CTO of Digium, didn't let Microsoft off the hook that easily. Citing the example of the LDAP standard and the Microsoft Active Directory product, Spencer asserted, "Microsoft starts out down a path of open standards, and then veers off down a different path because it suits their business purposes." He insisted that Microsoft wants interoperability in UC now because it's the newcomer in the market, and he said, "It's not so much the about the standards you have today, but to always have a commitment to open standards."

Spencer compared partnering with Microsoft to snuggling with a bear: "It feels warm and fuzzy, but what happens when she wakes up and gets hungry?"

*** So VoiceCon 2008 is history. For a week that began with some unsettling news about the economy as a whole, I have to say, in all honesty, I didn't see vendors or end users in retrenchment mode. People are trying to be realistic about what the next year or so might bring, but at least among our audience--and maybe that's why they're here in the first place--there seems to be a realization that technology and communications are part of what they do, and they simply can't opt out of investment in the infrastructure and systems that enable communications.

On to VoiceCon San Francisco.