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Live from the 18th floor

Just a quick report from the IP4IT conference. Today was my first day at the expo. Speaking from my perspective as a member of the media, this has so far been a worthwhile trip. The vendors sent their technical people down, instead of just the marketers. I'm now covering messaging and collaboration technologies at Network Computing, and would say about half the vendors here fit in my coverage area. The other half are VoIP vendors. That's Sean Doherty's area. And a third half are vendors I've never heard of before, but do some neat stuff, like Cylogistics. They make a low cost web conferencing appliance. Of course there are the big names here like Siemens, Intel and Cisco, but I find the smaller vendors to be the most interesting booths to stop by.

At a panel discussion today, there were two companies featured who implemented an IP telephony solution. A question was brought up as to why they purchased a system from a smaller, not-a-household-name vendor. In other words, when you think IP telephony, throw out the first three names you'd think of. Both of the panelists stated that many of the existing telecom equipment providers, even more so than the big VoIP vendors, were slow to innovate. The lesser known vendor responded faster to feature requests and were on the front lines of innovation.

By the end of the week, I'll have a few podcasts up with my improvised thoughts about the show and what I've seen. These will be the start of a new Network Computing podcast series, and I should have more information available in a week or two.