It has been widely assumed that next generation "phone systems" will be based on Internet Protocol private branch exchanges (IP-PBXs). The ever-increasing ubiquity of IP networks can improve upon the current environment of disparate communications systems. To plan for an integrated real-time communications environment, IT staff will need to become well-acquainted with unified communications (UC) systems, enterprise application integration, service provider IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), fixed mobile convergence, service provider application integration, public IM systems evolution, federation between systems, and the future of Skype. This Burton document analyzes the recent developments in converged communications, and recommends next steps.
Burton Group (www.burtongroup.com) provides technically in-depth research and advisory services for colleges and universities, government agencies, and commercial enterprises. Burton Group's practical and unbiased research and advice helps technologists make smart IT infrastructure decisions in increasingly complex environments. Burton Group covers directories, identity management, application platforms, architecture, and network and telecom infrastructure topics. Like ECAR, Burton Group is an unbiased advocate for the user and more than 80% of Burton Group's clients are user organizations rather than suppliers. EDUCAUSE member institutions can become users of Burton Group research services through EDUCAUSE pricing. Burton Group is an ECAR partner and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone (801-373-5767).
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