Cisco Gets Fat on Proprietary VOIP

ATLANTA -- Supercomm 2003 – Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) continues to hold onto its proprietary protocol for routing voice calls over the Internet, much to the irritation of many folk in the VOIP community who believe its position is detrimental to the progress of the industry.

Cisco does support SIP (session initiation protocol), the emerging industry standard for setting up and tearing down voice calls over the Internet, but it also supports its own proprietary version, SCCP (Skinny Client Control Protocol) -- or skinny in cunning industry parlance.

Cisco claims it developed skinny back in the late 90s before SIP was up to the job, as customers needed something that worked. Analysts say this is debatable, given the meager number of enterprises that have actually deployed SIP networks. Frost & Sullivan estimates that, by the end of 2002, only 3 million office phones based on Internet technology had been sold globally.

”Still they own 45 percent of the VOIP market today, and of course they want to hold on to their investment in it,” says Vijay Bhagavath, analyst at Forrester Research Inc. “It means Cisco IP phones only work with Cisco VOIP network equipment, and they can lock in the customer.”

Cisco insists this is not the case...

Get the rest at: Boardwatch.

— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Boardwatch

digerato 12/4/2012 | 11:57:40 PM
re: Cisco Gets Fat on Proprietary VOIP Was it a slow news day at Supercomm? This story seems somewhat contrived. After all, you can boot a Cisco IP phone into SIP mode or Skinny mode, so who cares whether Skinny lives or dies? If you want SIP on a Cisco IP Phone, there it is.

Secondly, Skinny really does predate SIP -- this is not a figment of someone's imagination. The company that Cisco bought that developed the IP PBX and IP phones brought them to market before the SIP definition was finished. The Forrester comment is disingenious in that it states an unrelated fact -- slow IP PBX market growth -- and uses it to imply that it means the product history was somehow a lie?

Weird. Perhaps the real story here is that someone wanted this to be some kind of big story...


capolite 12/4/2012 | 11:57:33 PM
re: Cisco Gets Fat on Proprietary VOIP Great Post! LR does everyone a dis-service with their contrived stories.
ed_eds 12/4/2012 | 11:57:29 PM
re: Cisco Gets Fat on Proprietary VOIP cisco has a few partners that they allow to use the SCCP protocol. we use a service provider called PingTone Communications. they power our cisco phones from their hosting facility using SCCP but they do not use Call Manager. all the featuers of SCCP plus the PSTN connections are all there.

so, it appears that Cisco is willing to promote SCCP to other suppliers and not keep it to themselves.

the story that cisco is somehow trying to muscle people out of using SCCP does not ring true in my experience.
aswath 12/4/2012 | 11:57:26 PM
re: Cisco Gets Fat on Proprietary VOIP In my opinion the architectural implication of SCCP family of protocols is that they require a central element like Call Manager. This is no difference than the PBX architecture with its associated implications - dependency on the vendor for feature development, cost of proprietary terminals etc. Since IP affords end-to-end signaling, why don't we insist on peer-to-peer communication?

BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 11:57:12 PM
re: Cisco Gets Fat on Proprietary VOIP It is hard for me to understand as to why Cisco would not share the routing information with other vendors. From the very inception of Cisco, it has build its product position based on deception. For exanple Cisco would not let the product perfo be publisghed. When the sales data is analysed, it product performance is usully the last one.
Cisco does not have any monopoly on internet routing`. It defies corporate request on interoprability testng from other vendirs,

Cisco builds market hype by not cooperatimg with other vendors. Cisco has no expertise circuit switched voice and TDM networks. More will follow a little bit later.
BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 11:57:11 PM
re: Cisco Gets Fat on Proprietary VOIP The main reason for Cisco's non-cooperation is to create some kind of contribed mystery when it is in the early stages of marketing. It charges the highest price in spite of absence of quality. It keeps acquiring small junky companies to create an impression that it is doing very well contrary to the fact it is not doing well in the market place. Cisco cannot raise the stock price at will as it used to do.

At the minimum, Cisco should provide the following information to the competition:

--Manageent of call routing
--Quality of VoiP services
-- Architecture of VoIP network infrastructure
== Can Cisco handle Service providers, ISP and Careers uniformly
-- How does Cisco provide QoS based routing?
-- Does Cisco follow DijKastra method of least cost roiting
-- How does Cisco help carriers with various access services
-- Will Cisco provide data on network routing statistics? All its claim need to be verified and evaluated.

There are many other things but they can be addressed some other time.
gea 12/4/2012 | 11:57:09 PM
re: Cisco Gets Fat on Proprietary VOIP BobbyMax:

All your base are belong to us.
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