IP Telephony: The End of the World as We Know It?


Industry pundits are touting the imminent demise of the PBX. The phone system, as the story goes, is to be replaced by a specialized telecommunications server that resides on the campus backbone, utilizes standard data communications protocols, and sends calls out over the "free" Internet. For information, data and voice professionals and their clients, we are told, "it's the end of the world as we know it." Or is it? This paper examines what is being said by telecommunications experts and industry players and present an overview of the conflicting arguments, likely outcomes, timeframes, and planning strategies. The paper also examines ways in which IT professionals can understand the digital telephony "revolution" and its potential impact on their campus and their careers, and suggests strategies for dealing with the both the technology and the hype in the near and long term.

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