Wherefore VoIP? Wherefore Aplio?

VoIP refers to Voice over Internet Protocol or any technology that provides voice telephony over the Internet. Generally speaking, when considered as part of a private intranet, the technology is called VoIP. When used as a part of the larger Internet, it is more properly referred to as Internet telephony—although both terms are fairly interchangable in most contexts. While intranet VoIP often has an audio quality that rivals that of the average telephone transmission, audio quality with Internet telephony tends to vary widely—which is one of the factors that has limited the spread of Internet telephony in spite of its advantages.

Deployment of Internet telephony has been strongest among VoIP carriers, Internet service providers (ISPs) and dot-coms. And unlike Linux, which is quickly proving itself in increasingly critical environments such as web application serving, VoIP remains largely an experiment for many businesses. Why? For one, the difficulty in finding VoIP solutions that can handle the variety of data structures in most businesses has made many in the enterprise reluctant to make a wholesale switch to VoIP products. While the ability to save on long-distance telephone toll charges is a premium for many international or global corporations, it is not the mega-corporations making up the roster of VoIP early adopters. In fact, many of those willing and psychologically able to take advantage of VoIP are some of the same sorts of businesses that were early adopters of Linux; namely, Internet startups and small businesses.

Aplio first made its major splash in the Internet telephony appliance marketplace when it unveiled its Aplio/Phone 2.0 at Comdex in 1998. The version presented at Comdex, Aplio/Phone 2.0, included a number of important features—from Open Aplio to PacketPlus—that helped distinguish Aplio/Phone from the pack. Open Aplio uses the H.323 industry standard to allow for Internet calls between Aplio/Phones and PCs. PacketPlus is a technology that counters two of the biggest charges against Internet telephony (namely, latency and Internet traffic) by continuously monitoring the Internet, adjusting packet size and redundancy to provide users with calls that are of comparable quality to those made using regular telephones.

The Aplio/Phone 2.0 also featured Aplio Configuration Assistant software, which allows users to remotely set up any Aplio/Phone. Within a few months, the Aplio/Phone was named </#147>Product of the Year</#148> by <I>Internet Telephony</I> magazine. The Aplio/Phone had been a budding favorite of IT for some time, earning an “A” rating and an </#147>Editor's Choice</#148> award earlier in the year. Impressed by Aplio/Phone's ease of installation and less cost/more features equation, the judges heralded the Aplio/Phone as “among the most forward thinking and useful products announced in the field of voice/data convergence.”