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Vendor VoIP Initiatives

Cisco introduced CallManager 4.0, a software upgrade that adds SIP support. SIP will let Cisco's enterprise VoIP server communicate with other SIP proxy servers, but you'll still have to buy proprietary phone technology from Cisco or one of its partners. This means you can't use Pingtel's phones--or any other SIP phones, for that matter.

Interactive Intelligence, 3Com, Zultys and many other enterprise VoIP vendors have long supported SIP. When Cisco moved into the voice arena with its acquisition of VoIP vendor Selsius in 1998, it proclaimed it would "accelerate the transition from conventional, proprietary circuit-switched PBXs to multiservice, open LAN systems." Ironically, the makers of "old world" equipment that Cisco wanted to displace, including Alcatel, Avaya and Nortel, are the same vendors now embracing open standards like SIP, while Cisco builds its proprietary cocoon.

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