I'm not as efficient as Alec Saunders, who did an excellent job blogging Jeff's keynote – apparently in real time. I have accumulated a half dozen ideas for specific posts, but it may take a week to spool out the text. For now, let me reflect on my first day at VON.
What's new is the focus on video over IP. Just in time! The first stage of VoIP has gone mainstream. It's acknowledged by the major carriers and incorporated into the major equipment providers' products. Whether the products use IMS or peer-to-peer SIP, these are the guys with the distribution muscle.
Looked at another way, VoIP is just a technology. It allows for more innovation than was possible in the TDM world, but after ten years, the biggest VoIP success stories are arbitrage plays with extra features. Indeed, the big revolution in telecom has been the advent of mobile phones but, so far, there is very little VoIP in the world of mobile. And, at a guess, the mobile VoIP breakout is still 3-5 years in the future.
Meanwhile video over IP is happening now! The reason video is now, and mobile VoIP still a few years off, is simple. The video that matters is one-way – recorded video clips, live broadcasts or person-to-person see-what-I-see video. That means you can buffer playback to overcome QoS issues. Mobile VoIP still suffers from a lack of upstream data capacity (and likely will until widespread deployment of HSUPA).
From the NMS point of view, video has been a major focus for 4+ years. With our telephony background, we started with 3G-324M video telephony (a two-way capability). We rapidly found the real use for the technology was either "see-what-I-see" (only one direction matters) or rapid switching between alternate sources of video content (only one direction is relevant). As has been true of VoIP, you need to support both IP & TDM. We architected our video products to be IP-based internally, even when the external connection is 3G-324M (video over circuit-switched data). Early this year we acquired Openera which, among other things, added SIP-based video sharing capabilities to our product line.
Most of the video presentations at VON are about creating and finding video content that people can access over IP, versus our focus on video delivery, but from a user point of view, we're on the same page.