Re: SIP and Apache

Ian Andrew Bell (
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 12:14:45 -0700

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Ugh. What I miss the most about academia is the ability I used to have
to comment directly on my work in public forums such as this. I'll try.

Anyway, for those who actually care about my response to that question,
surf to:

And I'll clarify that: The trend in open packet telephony is towards
three separate planes of existence:

o Network Layer - Connection, Access
* Players: Cisco, 3COM, Ascend, Lucent, Ericsson, Motorola
o Call Control Layer - Messaging, Switching, Call Routing
* Players: Cisco, Netspeak, Telcordia, Vocaltec, Motorola, HP, etc.
o Application Layer - Services, Applications, Tools, Class Features
* Players: Dozens, including eFusion, InfoInterActive, Vocaltec,
Netspeak, Netcentric, OpenPort, Starvox, et al.

That's how you break up a Central Office and that's what Cisco and Open
Packet Telephony are about.

You don't have to convince us at Cisco that packet telephony networks
will be driven, outside of the world of the cable companies, almost
exclusively by applications. To allow that to happen we have chosen to
create an open market in as much as is possible today, for smart people
with good ideas to leverage our platforms, in the form of IP networks
and in the form of service creation platforms like Amteva.

In essence though, the markets right now for services like Internet Call
Waiting are small. And one or two companies will not be sufficient to
generate growth, and subsequently to service a developed market. If we
buy companies at every layer then we are becoming the beast we are
attempting to destroy. It would be like us buying up web server and
web applications companies -- imagine how slowly the web would have
grown if there were only one or two companies around to service it?

FYI, we understand the call center market now, too. We purchased a
company called GeoTel, who leads that market, for $2.2billion a couple
of months ago:


Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> Ian, you are sitting on top of one of the largest corporate investment
> firms in history. Cicso typically is not shy of putting large amounts of
> money into interesting new technologies. Get off your butt, grab some
> money, and go chase it before the bubble breaks.
> Call center technologies, particularly unified telephony and customer
> interaction software are very hot items. Call center spending
> is estimated by CIBC Oppenheimer to be worldwide at $4.5B. Spending
> on these type of components range from $12k-$15k per seat. Even better,
> the trend is towards different vendors converging toward a common
> vision of the call center: a contact center that integrates inbound and
> outbound communications, a voice/data switch that includes standard
> APIs, supports multimedia relationships including synchronization of
> data from different media, and provides a total customer view through
> access and integration (distributed or not) with workflow and other
> enterprise applications.
> Go get 'em.
> Greg
> Ian Andrew Bell wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > RST and others..
> >
> > IMHO, the relationships defined in IP Telephony architectures like DCS
> > and DOSA around SIP and RTP streams are identical to the relationships
> > between an HTTP server that guides us through selectable MP3 streams.
> > In fact, SIP could be what allows MP3 Streaming to compete on a feature-
> > for-feature basis with RealAudio (ie. instream service selection or
> > modification, etc.).
> >
> > So, given that this means that SIP has applications beyond simple IP
> > Telephony and extending into broadcasting, media streaming, and video-
> > conferencing, SIP servers will be the in the 00's what the web server
> > was in the 90's.
> >
> > This leads us to
> >
> > So am I wrong in thinking that Apache, as an HTTP server, lends itself
> > particularly well to being a SIP Call Agent? SIP and HTTP are identical
> > in that they are stateless, can pass MIME types, and do not sustain
> > connections. SIP has provision for a CGI architecture, as well.
> >
> > Does anyone think I'm crazy, after reading the IETF doc, to figure that
> > a port of Apache code to SIP is simply a case of adding new message
> > types, modifying port numbers, and broadening CGI handling?
> >
> > Making SIP Call Agents free from would really open up the
> > world of call control to the masses, and would steal the bread and
> > butter of companies like Lucent, Telcordia, and Nortel right from their
> > mouths.
> >
> > Need some opinions..
> >
> > -Ian.
> > .:|:..:|:.

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