Inside Capellas Crystal Ball: VOIP

By Michael R. Zimmerman  |  Posted 2003-06-18 Print this article Print

Focal points in Capellas' future will be data and voice convergence, interoperability, Web services, multi-tier security, grid computing, XML and SANs.

NEW YORK—MCI may be in the midst of a major executive house cleaning, and it may be diligently adhering to the financial rules imposed on it by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, but you wouldnt have known the company was in any corporate distress from hearing company CEO Michael Capellas speak at the inaugural CeBIT America technology conference here Wednesday morning. Capellas, who spoke rapid-fire and virtually non-stop for about an hour, rifling through dozens of power point slides along the way, made no mention of the companys announcement yesterday of recording $2.05 billion in revenue and an operating income of $114 million for the month of April. The company is required to report such financials to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Southern New York as part of its bankruptcy obligation. Nor did he spend any time on the companys internal executive investigation announced 10 days ago or the resignations of the companys general counsel or treasurer.
Instead, Capellas, who joined MCI in the wake of corporate scandal and an executive overhaul, spent his time here looking into the technological crystal ball. But what he saw didnt surprise.
Echoing themes and theories of luminaries and experts in recent years, focal points in Capellas future will be data and voice convergence, interoperability, Web services, multi-tier security, grid computing, XML and SANs. "Technology still matters," Capellas told a half-filled auditorium at the Jacob Javits Center here. When it came to the convergence of voice and data over IP, Capellas was keen to stump for his new company. At the heart of the VOIP message was security and reliability. "The whole world of quality of service changes," he said. "We have the intelligence built into the network and have a redundant path and fewer points of failure. We built the intelligence into the network, and it makes it much, much harder to fail…Redundancy is built into every thing we do." In addition to VOIP, Capellas was excited about the growing acceptance of instant messaging. In his crystal ball, he envisions IM exploding even further and expanding to include things like peer-to-peer video. Something hes sure will happen. "IM will become peer-to-peer video, and well sell a lot of bandwidth, I love it," Capellas said to laughs from the audience. "Hey, everyones gotta make a living."

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