Conceived on a napkin in 1993 by Richard Platt and David Tucker at Incite (soon to become Selsius Systems), the world’s first IP PBX was a true killer app for the rapidly emerging IP network platform.  Connecting people together via real-time voice turned out to be an ideal use of newly ubiquitous fast ethernet infrastructure—and unifying voice and data networks helped turn “convergence” into a buzzword. High-quality, real-time human-to-human communication requires a high-performance network, naturally, and in 1998 the soothsayers in Cisco’s MA division foresaw IP comms driving IP infrastructure spending, and a match made in Dallas was born.  Currently representing well over $1 billion in direct sales of Cisco Unified Communications equipment, and many multiples of that in indirect network infrastructure revenue, it’s clear that connecting people over the network is a big deal.  And while just about everyone else in Silicone Valley is focused in roughly the same head-space, Cisco’s proven ability to weaponize its technology with industrial-strength security, reliability, manageability, and scale—and then point it at the lucrative enterprise market—turned it into the largest PBX vendor on the planet (from zero to #1 in under five years).To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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