Working on the assumption that customers are sold on applications and not technology — and that customers know their needs best —
networking giant Cisco Systems Inc.
Monday launched a community Web site that aims to connect its IP telephony
services customers with independent XML developers that can create a wide array of productivity-enhancing business applications.
“It’s the applications, not the technology, that will drive the wide spread adoption of IP telephony,” said Brian Strachman, senior
analyst, voice and data communications, Cahners In-Stat Group. “I believe this is the time for new, compelling telephony
applications to emerge and the IP telephony market to really take off as a result. What Cisco is doing to generate market momentum
with its XML community development program is a very positive step that will help generate growth for the industry.”
The Web site — operated by Hot Dispatch — is an online community that
encourages end-users to work directly with application developers to create custom or packaged solutions for Cisco’s IP telephony
An example is an application that runs on a Cisco IP phone at a nurse’s station in a hospital. When an opening occurs on the
schedule due to a last-minute cancellation, the application could announce the opening at the nurse’s station, keeping medical
equipment in use and better serving patient needs. XML applications can be built for doctor and patient schedules, patient check in
and check out times, room ready messages and requests for wheel chair transportation.
For a law office, a developer could build an XML application that provides comprehensive, searchable client and account code lists
that can be accessed on IP phones when workers make outgoing calls. Teachers could use applications that allow them to take
attendance on IP phones and then search on a particular student’s attendance in other classes. Other applications for teachers could
include the ability to schedule meetings with other teachers and book meeting rooms without having to leave the classroom to find
other teachers or available meeting rooms. Airline flyer lounges equipped with Cisco IP phones could give travelers access to flight
information, reservations and weather forecasts, or allow them to purchase items from the airport flower or gift shops, locate
nearby hotels and arrange for transportation if a flight is delayed or cancelled. Hotels can use the technology to give guests
access to convention schedules, or room and concierge services.
“We recognize that the next customized applications for converged networks will be created by our customers,” said David Tucker,
director of marketing for Cisco’s Enterprise Voice, Video Business Unit. “We are able to better facilitate this process by linking
our customers directly with developers who can bring their business application ideas to life. The Hot Dispatch Web site will serve
as the intersection where our IP telephony customers and independent XML developers transact business and create a wide variety of
innovative telephony applications that will pay significant dividends for our customers.”