NetWorld + Interop Atlanta September 13-17 1999 - Page 4

 By Al Gallant
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Part 4:  Convergence


The industry defines convergence as "The integration of all kinds of information (voice, video, data) over a common network infrastructure". I met with Cisco representatives at N+I to discuss the in-roads Cisco has made in convergence technologies. Cisco announced AVVID at the N+I 1999 show. AVVID stands for Architecture for Voice, Video, and Integrated Data.

It appears that Cisco is blazing the trail on convergence technologies. They presented a complete suite of products that provide voice, video, and data convergence. They appear to be the leader in IP Phones with installed base of tens of thousands. Their strategy is to make sure all of their convergence products interface with existing legacy systems (PBX, servers, video systems). This takes the risk out of purchasing their AVVID solutions.

I thought there would be more of a union of vendors pushing for a Convergence Alliance or Standards Committee. This does not exist. There was a Convergence Showdown here at N+I that was quite the heated event. The showdown had vendors presenting their convergence strategies. After presenting, the vendors were allowed to ask each other questions concerning their convergence strategies. Soon the event became a debate. Cisco presented itself well and had products that proved they could expedite their convergence strategies.

There are two things that I thought Cisco does well with their architecture. They interface with legacy systems and they promise they will provide updates to their products when convergence standards become a reality. This allows Cisco to move ahead rapidly and provide clients with product security.

(More information concerning the N+I 1999 event in Atlanta will follow next week.)

This article was originally published on Sep 24, 1999
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