Voice Over Internet Protocol Sparks

WSJ: Joining a small but growing number of organizations, Mr. Piper is leading the city of Houston’s leap into the so-called next generation of voice technology. The city hired Cisco Systems Inc. to transform its functional but technologically disparate traditional phone network, including 43 separate voicemail systems, into a network that converges voice and data communication and will link the city’s 400 facilities with 25,000 new phones.
Not any old phones, mind you. Organizations adopting converged networks are buying fancy gadgets called “IP phones,” “Web sets,” or ones without any handsets called “softphones,” which turn a computer screen into a virtual phone and voicemail system. It is part of a broad trend where networking giant Cisco and its competitors such as Nortel Networks Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc., Siemens AG and others are pushing corporations and telecom carriers to install equipment that transmits phone calls the way Web pages and e-mails are sent. (get the full story – requires a subsc. to the WSJ)
M my spin:VOIP and other technologies can GREATLY enhance a smaller businesses capabilities to compete with a larger rival!