Where It All Started
The greatest challenge for Cisco throughout the entire IP Telephony deployment was probably that the technology at that time was new to the industry, and voice running over the data network was still new to Cisco. "This originally started out when Cisco acquired Selsius Systems, a company that provides network PBX systems for high-quality telephony over an IP network," says Dennis Silva, voice services senior network design and engineer. "The scariest thing for us back then was that, not only was it new to us, there had never been an IP Telephony deployment that involved more than 50 phones in production anywhere in the world. The technology was still in development, and most of the Selsius deployments had all taken place in a lab environment."
Silva and his team were tasked with learning the technology quickly and then conducting a pilot within Cisco. "We tested the technology and then deployed about 100 phones within the IT department to run a carefully monitored trial for a period of time."