Friday, November 18, 2005

Canadian Podcast Series - Upgrading from PBX to IP PBX

This week's Canadian IP Thought Leaders podcast for VON Radio was a bit different, but one you'll find most interesting if you want to know how IP looks to someone doing the buying and deploying. The podcast is available for listening now.

My guest this week was Peter Lamb, the Director of Information Services for Torys LLP . Torys is one of Canada's largest law firms, with offices in both Toronto and New York. Peter runs their IT group, and is going through the process of replacing their antiquated PBX with IP.

This is a very interesting perspective as to how IP is viewed from the user community, and what VoIP means to a law firm. Peter discusses the issues around the need for IP and what is most important to a mulitnational law firm for voice communications. In many ways, this is a classic forklift upgrade scenario, but the subtleties around what's really important are quite interesting.

The best takeaway message for me was the importance of having applications that cater to the specific needs of a law firm. Peter explains how it's great to use VoIP to replicate what they had before - law firms are not early adopters, and are not looking for the multimedia richness of IP - at least now. However, what he's looking forward to are third party apps that can help him address specific problems, such as billing - something lawyers are quite fond of. In the TDM world, this simply wasn't possible or practical, but with IP it's easy, and Peter looks forward to being able to pick and choose apps from various developers that suit him just right.

Peter certainly echoes the importance of apps being the real drivers of value, and the same story will hold for countless other vertical markets. So, for all the developers out there, this podcast should be a good listen.


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