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More on Quality

The death knell of TDM is a call that has been trying to get through since Bill Gates announced his dislike of the industry years ago and the others after him. Just like the above statement- when the word "takeover" is used, it is hostile and it isn't friendly. So it's pretty much still the same tension.

As for the issue of quality, when a reader wants to argue about engineers, technology, advancements- well, there's a story. There's a deepening dependence people seem to place upon the technology instead of the ability to think things through. This isn't the norm, but I'm a dinosaur, admittedly so and I may be sooner extinct than I realize.

Still, VoIP isn't a bad thing. The goofy arguments people make are what stir the pot and when IT guys rave about taking over voice, that's okay too. I've said it numerous times before- you can have it. I've also said, "As long as quality lives, I'll have a job." VoIP isn't a no brainer, take it out-of-the-box and turn it on and forget about it about, and it does require substantial thought and consideration along with careful planning and implementation. This is a notable strength of the IT guy. Yet, even after all this, it doesn't mean you will be successful. Plug-and-play VoIP telephony is a far cry from reality that marketing bozos spin and fail to deliver since the early 1990's.

VoIP has its place. Carriers using VoIP--contrasted to users-- is a huge space, great divide and where most misunderstanding occurs. A L-enterprise (L = large) just doesn't compare to carrier class public networks. Then, in considering enterprise networks weighed against the SMB/E, again there's a huge divide. Next, we have the very small and residential users and again- just don't go there. These are very distinctive spaces and within them are even other characteristics and traits that are unique to certain industries, businesses and users. Size may matter but you'd better be sure one size doesn't fit all.

When anyone wants to address VoIP issues, let it be with the understanding of, first,- to which segment are you speaking? Then, before you rant- don't--correction- NEVER start off with "I have been doing X for X number of years," because at that point as I always advise my customers- cut and run. When I've heard these bold statement-of-facts, it's always these same guys that end up saying later, "well gee- I've never heard of this or have never seen that before, it must be unique, or you must only work with unusual problems."

Quality is a huge and sometimes divisive concern that not only TDM guys have and understand, but it's well understood in the "IP circles" that the lack of, or compromise of quality could end up costing you your job or worse. The TDM big iron players know better than anyone about quality and user expectations and there's no need of a history lesson. The little iron guys, as I refer to them, do have solutions which collectively often amount to more time, money, resources than what a TDM solution would require. VoIP isn't by any sense of the word a "mature market" and I don't give a dog's chance of catching its own fleas against "1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, generation of IP this or that, any more or less weight. It's a young market and there's an awful lot of work and improvements that will take years to build upon and when folks wake up and realize that marketing and reality are in fact two different places on the timeline- then I believe we will start to advance again on critical thinking skills. "Ask not what your users can do for your technology, but discover what your technology should do for your users." Okay, I stole the line.

So unlike mark-e-teers, I disagree more on substance and fact that VoIP quality is presently the acceptable norm in what people can expect from any telephone system or service that runs VoIP for enterprise, SMB/E or very small businesses and residential users. The varying degrees are significant in what people will tolerate and pay for and even when they pay a lot, or go with the "in" product or biggest "little iron" it doesn't mean quality will go unnoticed. When VoIP quality does go unnoticed, hopefully it will because we've passed that "threshold" and begin to deliver quality, consistency and accountability to stated benefits against the claims made to users making these investments.