White Paper

White Paper on Internet, E-Commerce, VoIP, Mi-Card and E800 Directory

 Ifay F. Chang

Abstract

     Internet brought changes to the world, bad and good but mostly good and promising. Internet as a fundamental tool and a basic technology accelerated the information revolution and is now a catalyst leading a new business revolution. Examining the Internet's present growth and statistics lends credibility to its impact and future trends observable and predictable from  today. More changes induced by the Internet are inevitable and will be lasting as shown by plentiful of illustrative cases.

     E-Commerce is a new word created by the Internet phenomenon but e-commerce is a euphemistic word for the new business revolution in human history extending from the agricultural, industrial (mechanic-electric), and electronic, computer, and information revolutions. Both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) applications are advancing with Internet infrastructure and its universal accessibility, making "on-line" a daily activity as evidenced by e-form, e-mail, e-search, e-shopping, e-transaction, etc. E-commerce is self-transforming by adopting technological innovations and absorbing new methodology of conducting businesses.

     An unsuspected world-wide economical recession occurred at the dawn of 21st century has made doubter of Internet and e-commerce rebuffing the business revolution. Over-expansion of telecommunication industry was pointed as the proof of Internet bubble and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) was cited as a disappointing killer application. The toll figures of dot com meltdown has not only scared the common folks but also the venture capitalists. However, the VoIP's slow growth has the wrong strategy to blame as seen in Net2Phone and DialPad. VoIP's intrinsic efficiency and application productivity are yet to be understood; VoIP will extend from voice, video and to value over IP with innovative applications.

     Numerous promising applications of VoIP are listed to show future trends. Mi-Card is an innovative application utilizing only mature technologies including the basic VoIP. Mi-Card, a credit-card-sized marketing information, compact disc card, offers an interactive and persistent marketing, advertising and customer retention medium and a no-cost calling card experience over the Internet, hence providing an invaluable e-commerce tool. Ease of use, eliminating pitfalls and taking advantages of web sites and VoIP and avoiding content obsolescence are virtues of Mi-Card, which make it an incomparable, cost competitive and effective advertising and marketing information medium.

     Mi-Card presents an opportunity to become a killer application for telecommunication and Internet when coupled with the business model of e800 Directory. E800 Directory enlists business phone numbers and converts them to equivalent 800 numbers on the Internet represented by the business or product name. The no-cost calling card experience is represented by a web calling icon on the e800 Directory listing or on the business web page or through the use of a business Mi-Card. The impact of e800 and Mi-Card is demonstrated through the analysis of the vulnerable market value of 800 number ($40B US) and yellow page phone books ($15B WW). Low risks and small capital requirement in implementing Mi-Card and e800 Directory make their business one of the most attractive ROI case.

Send E-mail to info@ipo2u.com for requesting a copy of the full paper. Concepts, product descriptions and business implementation methods are available in patent applications authored by Dr. Ifay Chang. Interested investors are required to sign a confidential information protection agreement before receiving such documents.

 

White Paper on Internet, E-Commerce, VoIP, Mi-Card and E800 Directory

 

I.   Introduction 

       Customarily, a white paper discusses a position about an issue or provides an explanation on a technological problem or makes a clear presentation on a business strategy. Hence, a white paper is an important document for a company. Although a number of technical papers and business plans have been written about IPO2U's products, technologies and their applications, there has never been a company white paper published on the web or in the open literature. This white paper is the first document written about IPO2U.COM's technology and products in the context of assessing their position in the world of Internet and e-commerce. This paper will start with a historical account of the Internet development, reviewing its impact, examining various innovations and assessing the current state of affairs of e-commerce, which has a causality relationship with Internet and its related technologies. One of the main Internet technologies, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is singled out in this paper for an in-depth analysis because not only our products and services are exploring this technology but also because it has created great expectations as well as serious confusions for the telecommunication industry as a potential "killer application". Whereas VoIP has technical merits, their applications in the emerging global Internet infrastructure must be viewed in the light of mature phone services supported by the existing telephone network and infrastructure. Among many innovative applications and business concepts based on VoIP, Mi-Card and e800 Directory developed by IPO2U.COM stand out to be different from products and services derived from a conventional phone service mentality. This paper will devote significant syllables to present their cases to arrive at some definite conclusions. The content of this white paper will be grouped into five main sections as follows:

  • Internet - Changes: Past, Present and Future

  • E-Commerce - Business Revolution and On-line Scenario

  • VoIP - Technology Merits and Voice, Video and Value over IP  

  • Mi-Card - Interactive E-Commerce Solution for Business Revolution  

  • E800 Directory - Business Community Binder and Catalyst for E-Commerce

  • Strategic Analysis

  • Conclusions

      Conclusions will be presented at the end of this white paper with a brief assessment on the business model for Mi-Card and e800 Directory from risk and RROI (risk and return on investment) point of view. In addition to general references attached at the end of this paper, a number of company confidential documents including patent information are listed, they will be made available only to interested parties signing a non-disclosure agreement.

      

II.  Internet - Changes: Past, Present and Future

Internet can be traced back to the ARPANET which was a project awarded to Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) by ARPA (Advanced Research Project Agency). The very first physical network was constructed in 1969 linking 4 nodes at University of California at Los Angeles,  SRI (in Stanford), University of California at Santa Barbara, and University of Utah. The network was wired together via 50 Kbps circuits. Today's Internet consists of a set of optical fiber major backbones and a colossal collection of networks with different bandwidth linked to host servers and individual users through various speed connections such as 45 Mbps T3, 1.544Mbps T1, DSL, cable modem and analog phone Dial Ups. The principal purpose of the original network was to facilitate communication among researchers. In 1972, The first e-mail program was created by Ray Tomlinson of BBN. The number of hosts connected to the network grew to 23. Today's number is more than 147 million as of January, 2002. The most crucial development on communication protocol began in 1973 later evolved to be called the TCP/IP suite.  It was developed by a research group headed by Vinton Cerf from Stanford and Bob Kahn from Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). DARPA also supported UC Berkeley to investigate modifications to the Unix operating system and to incorporate TCP/IP developed at BBN. Many observed that the incorporation of TCP/IP into the Unix releases proved to be a critical success factor in propagating the protocols to the research community.

Since 1983 mandated on ARPANET, TCP/IP has grown and become today's standard protocol interconnecting diverse computer networks to communicate with each other in an open architecture networking and perform numerous applications. List 1 (Milestones of the Development of Internet), tabulates the major milestones of Internet development to give a historical account of the evolution of Internet. (Note: many papers and web pages are devoted to the history of Internet, the author's tabulation includes data and claims from many sources [1] but interpreted with author's views) In addition to many significant physical network developments are some important policy and privatization decisions and inventions. The implementation of hypertext system and creation of domain name system (DNS) allowing packets to be directed to a domain name (which would be translated by a server database into the corresponding IP number, a difficult number to remember) are significant events. The concept of world wide web and its browser development perhaps is the most significant application invented. From technology application point of view, Voice over IP, singled out in this paper, is a very significant application since it has made tremendous impact to the telecommunication industry. The commercial breakthrough of Internet growth occurred around 1995, after world wide web began to make impact in the commercial world. Today, Internet access is provided by many independent Internet service providers (ISP) with varying capability of backbone connections provided by a number of major networking companies (MCI, AT&T, Sprint, UUNet, BBN planet, ANS, and more). At the end of List 1, a short account of the author's involvement in the Internet is also attached to serve as a reference of the author's perspective on the Internet. For those who have been pioneers in the Internet development will appreciate the explosive growth of Internet usage; the number of users as of January 2002 is over half billion globally, over 149M [2] in US alone.

Internet evolved over several decades of time. What it brought to us is "change". The main change is of course its physical infrastructure as seen by the network speed (See Table 1), the number of networks, the number of hosts, and the number of domains as shown in Table 2-3. [3] [4] Along with this physical change, we see the growth of Internet end users, Table 2, [2] the number of domain names, Table 3, [4], the total number of web sites, Table 3 and the number of Internet service providers (ISPs) also shown in Table 4. Internet certainly has also accelerated some technological changes if not new inventions as seen in communication protocols and switching, information search and retrieval, fiber optic networking, information display in web sites and programming languages such as HTML, Java, etc.

Perhaps, what most significant changes created by the Internet are new applications and their impact to mankind. List 2 (Changes Induced by the Internet) gives some examples in chronological order. The world wide web has made information abundant and easily available and has raised the knowledge level for people all around the world. The growth of Internet users and web sites are both causes and consequences for their growth. The Internet portals and search engines have given a powerful tool to push and pull information which raised the confidence level in people in dealing with problems and issues. The e-mail not only improved personal communication over long distance but it brought immeasurable efficiency in all kinds of businesses and in all walks of life. The e-shopping as represented by Amazon.com, Priceline.com and numerous electronic shopping malls and catalogs not only produced real significant revenues but also changed people's buying behavior in terms of value on product quality, price comparison and expectation of service level especially on helpful information. The auctioning on the web such as offered by Ebay.com and many others has changed an ancient sales technique from an entertaining art to a mass-participated extremely practical buy and sell transactions. Internet has also caused some traditional business such as banking, retailing, etc and some not so traditional business such as stock and option trading to change in a hurry.

Of course, there are many big impacts that can be attributed to Internet. One example is the saga of Napster which took advantage of the ever improving compression technology and the open network of Internet and turned the music industry upside down. The free exchange of music exploded as a phenomenon over a few month time. Although eventually Napster is stopped by the Intellectual Property Protection Law, the power of Internet is amply demonstrated.

Another important example is the Internet telephony. The technology of voice communication over computer network had a long history but the emergence of Internet made it threatening. The telephone companies tried to stop it by lawsuit but unsuccessful. The fact that voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) has a technological advantage in transmitting and processing more voice data for a given network bandwidth over the mature and traditional circuit switched telephone service has caused the long distance phone rates to tumble drastically. AT&T bought Net2Phone as an insurance policy but whether it is wise or not is yet to be seen. The telecommunication industry (carriers and services) certainly was shook up by the speedy expansion of Internet and its potential of threatening their traditional businesses. Many reactionary changes have taken place in the telecommunication industry by moving into data services fast and bringing price war to phone services but the final outcome is by no means clear as Napster's case. The economic downturn and the dot-com meltdown has brought the telecommunication industry into turmoil. Although this happened at the peak growth of Internet fever, it is not directly a consequence of the growth of the Internet. The economic recession has many global factors and the dot-com melt down is to large part due to the hype created by the greedy initial public offering events. Of course, some telecommunication companies have made gross errors in over investing in their infrastructure and inventory. When investors finally realized their over-priced stock will burst, they do burst indeed.

There are also some negative events occurred during the explosive growth of Internet. Spam mail and hackers disrupting Internet services are two significant ones. Pornography is another problem. Towards these garbage, worms and viruses, measures of prevention and cure are made available, nevertheless, like crime in human history, they will be around and dealt with.

The above discussed changes caused by the Internet will not disappear as a transient phenomenon. Despite of the economic recession, the world wide web is still here and growing, the e-businesses are staying and gaining market shares and new products and services taking advantage of the Internet are constantly being introduced. The Amazon.com did not disappear and barnesandnoble.com is growing to be one of the top ten e-tailers. The eBay continues to flourish. The on-line activities keep increasing; even IRS has offered e-filing of tax returns. So we must conclude that Internet has brought many significant historical changes to us (not the recession) and they will stay with us. What do all these historical changes mean in the future? A simple phrase, Further Changes. Changes observable today will lead to further changes tomorrow and long into the future.

III.  E-Commerce - Business Revolution and On-line Scenario 

Internet has evolved as a collection of technologies as well as communities of developers and users. In the early days, the communities were principally researchers and today the communities included many more stake holders from the government, the commercial sectors as well as the academic and research world.  

E-mail, Telnet and File Transfer were the major applications but there were other applications proposed in the early days of the Internet, including packet based voice communication (the precursor of Voice over IP or Internet telephony). A key success factor of the Internet is that it was not designed for just one application, but evolved as a general infrastructure to support many new applications such as the world wide web, search engines and on-line activities. The general purpose nature of the service provided and supported by TCP and IP deserves the main credit of Internet's success

The numerous changes, induced by the Internet and its world wide web, from business practices to people's daily lives, are observable today as shown in List 2 (Changes Induced by the Internet). There is really a need begging for a single word to represent the metaphor of changes. Taking from a long historical view of human history, we have experienced four major revolutions: Agricultural, Industrial (mechanic and electrical), electronic (computer) and information. The changes brought by Internet are not yet over but significant enough to be qualified as a revolution. For now we can clearly see its impact to businesses and its driving forces from businesses. The author suggests that Internet has created a revolution in business. E-Commerce is that single word to represent this business revolution, many changes already occurred and many yet to happen. 

Was e-commerce happened by design? The answer is clearly no. Then how did e-commerce get started? The answer may depend on the different definitions one gives to e-commerce. The author chose the broader definition above and believes that e-commerce really evolved over time rather than as an instant hit. The following statements are arguable from different perspectives but they are presented here to support the author's view on e-commerce. 

The first contributor for the successful evolution of e-commerce is a trade show, Interop[5] . In 1985, Dan Lynch in cooperation with the Internet Advisory Board (IAB) [6] arranged to hold a three day workshop for all vendors to come learn about TCP/IP and its technical issues. The speakers were DARPA researchers and the audiences were 250 vendor representatives. The purpose of the workshop was dissemination of information and luring vendors' interest to TCP/IP. The results were fruitful in bringing issues to the research and vendor community. The workshop has then become an annual event. The commercial impact of TCP/IP was seen in the first Interop tradeshow in September 1988. 50 companies and 5,000 engineers came to see how everyone's products interoperated, even among competitor's products. The Interop trade show has grown since 1988 to today with multiple times a year around the globe reaching millions of people.  

The second contributor for the growth of e-commerce is the government's effort in privatizing government sponsored networks and technologies. Interop is part of the commercialization effort but the privatization of the network resources and their management set the pace for Internet growth, especially the Internet service providers reaching 7800 in 2000 as seen in Table 4. IETF[7] meetings funded by the government provided an effective forum for vendors to learn and hash out ideas not only for extending technical capabilities of TCP/IP but also for incubating product concepts for the Internet. The meetings eventually grew to be thousands of attendees. These meetings created a large number of stakeholders for Internet. The privatization effort created many for-profit incentives which stimulated initially the commercial Internet service offerings and later new products and more services. 

The third contributor for e-commerce is the open registration of domain names or web site names. As commented before, world wide web is both a cause and consequence for Internet's (and e-commerce's) growth. The open registration has created a for-profit business and helped to make all businesses recognize the value of Internet, domain names and commerce web sites. Not only new businesses but also old businesses rushed to create domain names and web sites. As seen in  Table 2 and Table 3 the number of domain names and web sites grew rapidly which are a direct manifestation of the size of the Internet commerce community.  

Of course, there are many more contributing factors to the expansion of e-commerce. However, we need not elaborate all of them here to appreciate the conclusions: 

E-commerce is self-transforming in the last few years, constantly adopting technical innovations, for example, in communication and secured transaction protocols, encryption, collaborative computing etc. E-commerce is also self-expanding in the last few years absorbing new methods and processes in conducting businesses on and with the Internet on two major fronts, the business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C).  In the early days, Internet commerce comprised of mainly vendors providing the basic Internet networking products and services. As Internet grew and privatization expanded, the Internet infrastructure and service became a commodity business. The commercialization effort turned to exploring the usage of this global commodity. Innovations and new business ideas mushroomed and fueled by the hyped venture capital. Traditional businesses began to offer alternative sales channel via the Internet. Hence e-commerce has taken hold and become the centerfold of Internet revolution despite of the economic downturn and the setback of dot-com venture funding.

To appreciate the magnitude and potential of e-commerce, one does not need to go far but observe the on-line activities today. List 3 lists the key on-line activities, which paint a clear scenario of the changes already happening, part of the Internet business revolution. Some of the activities may change form with time as technology advances. People are developing new habits.  These continuing changes are defining the business revolution. E-commerce in a narrow definition of sales on-line from business to consumers shows a revenue growth to $36-$41 billion in US alone.  

IV.  VoIP - Technology Merits and Voice, Video and Value over IP

VoIP is singled out to be discussed in this paper partly because our products and services are taking advantages of this technology and partly because it has a great role to play in the Internet business revolution. The impact it had made to the telecommunication industry mentioned above also indicates its importance.  

The original Cerf/Kahn[8] paper in 1974 described one protocol, called TCP, which provided all the transport and forwarding services in the Internet. However, the initial effort to implement TCP resulted in a version that only supported the reliable sequenced delivery of data, a virtual circuit model. This model worked fine for file transfer and remote login applications. For other network application such as the packet voice (today's Internet telephony) where occasional loss, data corruption or delayed packets may occur, it becomes clear that TCP should not be necessarily burdened to make the corrections; rather, they should be dealt with by the applications. The original TCP was reorganized into two protocols in 1978, the simple IP which provided only for addressing and forwarding of individual packets, and the separate TCP, which was concerned with service features such as flow control and recovery from lost packets.  

For those applications that did not want the services of TCP, an alternative called the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) was added in 1980 in order to provide direct access to the basic service of IP. In real-time voice communication, the voice packets are transmitted over UDP for more efficiency (less overhead), since the error correction is not necessary and not feasible in a modest bandwidth environment. There is no use to make corrections on lost voice packets in a real-time phone conversation. Lost and delayed packets were the quality issues with Internet telephony under low bandwidth connections a few years back. With ever-improving bandwidth condition for Internet, VoIP has been demonstrated not only with acceptable voice quality but also with realistic potential to be extended to Video over IP[9].  While new protocol, RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol[10]  and RSVP (Resource ReSerVation Protocol)[11] are introduced to improve quality of service for real-time applications, the improvement of connection bandwidth essentially is the best guarantee of voice quality working under IP/TCP/UDP.  

In circuit switched telephone service, 64Kbps line connection is required between two conversing parties. Whereas using packet switching, VoIP requires less than 8Kbps each channel using voice COder/DECoder (CODEC, [12]) in voice packets to achieve acceptable voice quality. Some CODEC schemes even offer 3-4Kbps operation with some degradation of quality. This is the fundamental merit of VoIP over circuit switched telephony. Due to this technological advantage, the telephone service industry is forced to reduce its phone rates to compete with Internet telephony and is forced to embrace the VoIP technology in their long distance carrier service. It is because of this technical advantage that Net2Phone and DailPad emerged to challenge the existing telephone companies. There were more than 30 companies [13] engaged in VoIP applications in year 2000, most of these companies have taken the phone service mentality in developing their products and services. Most of these companies have melted away in the past two years, however, a list of  VoIP companies and web sites may still serve as a good reference [22,23].    

The technical merit of VoIP was obviously recognized when it was first introduced as I-Phone in the on-line education system, I-CARE [14, 15,16] and a virtual conference system [17], developed in 1995-1996 by a research group led by the author. What we have recognized more than the technical merit is that it would be strategically wrong to compete with existing telephone services with VoIP especially with the necessity of developing new gateway hardware to compete with the mature telephone networks and circuit switches. We have then formulated a strategy to develop a software Internet telephony technology, based on iphone and referred as IPO. Internet Phone Operator, used as an e-commerce productivity tool (EVS, E-Commerce Voice Solution) instead of offering it as phone services hence later offered free as CodecPhone based on iphone solution. Our Mi-Card product and e800 Directory and the underlying CodecPhone[18]  technology are direct results of our strategic development. On the other hand, we have witnessed that the Net2Phone company has difficulty propagating its expensive gateway system world wide. The existing telephone companies of course can offer a phone service to any part of the world at a competitive rate by simply signing up carrier agreements with the carrier companies. DialPad started out offering free phone calls with VoIP and special hardware gateways but eventually could not sustain the financial loss and evolved into a similar business model like Net2Phone. AT&T invested in Net2Phone when its long distance business was threatened by VoIP, but owning a company competing with long distance phone service with an operational loss does not seem to be smart nor lead to a bright picture for either ATT or Net2Phone. Currently, Net2Phone is in litigation with Cisco over commitment of building a joint VoIP solution. DialPad on the other hand has voluntarily filed for chapter 11 and restructured as DAC (Dialpad Acquisition Corporation) in March, 2002. 

What does differentiate IPO2U.COM's VoIP solution [19] from others is its software approach. We have developed flexible calling software and software gateway to support e-commerce requirements. Our calling software can be imbedded easily on any PC to turn it to be a VoIP calling device. This calling feature can also be easily represented by an EVS (e-commerce voice solution) icon (click icon to make phone call) on any web page to serve customers for inquiry and customer support functions. Our software gateway, like our calling software, is also developed with the H.323 protocol standard[20], hence can be easily imbedded on any server to support the web call icon and any other customer relation management applications.  These software solutions are compatible with any hardware gateway developed with H.323 standard hence can inter-operate with Cisco, Intel, Lucent, Quintum and other gateways.  Our software VoIP technology and our product and service concepts and implementation are filed with patent applications. Technical details are available upon request(NDA).  In this white paper, we focus on the Mi-Card product and the e800 Directory service to illustrate that our voice over IP solution is really a great Value over IP.

V.  Mi-Card - Interactive E-Commerce Solution for Business Revolution

The Mi-Card is an innovative concept creating an effective, interactive medium for marketing, sales and customer support. Mi-Card integrates a number of mature technologies, CD, Internet, Web, and most importantly VoIP in one software package. The software and information content are stored on a portable credit card sized CD to produce the most cost effective marketing, advertising and sales tool for businesses to attract and retain customers and to provide convenient means for customers to conduct business transactions on-line. When a user put a Mi-Card in a PC CD drive, the information content pops up instantly with all features functional if the PC is connected to the Internet. Mi-Card is like a web site except it is organized with a specific theme and a specific audience in-mind. Multimedia rich information can be incorporated and displayed via the CD drive instantly without concern of network traffic. Its content can always be laced with hyperlinks to the web pages for time-variant information to maintain the entire presentation to be always current. Any contact person's phone number can be converted to a click and call number or icon in the Mi-Card. Mi-Card is a new but simple concept with a list of impressive advantages as shown in List 4.

Although IPO2U's VoIP software can be downloaded from web site but it is included in the Mi-Card to facilitate its speedy installation onto the PC. Hence Mi-Card is like a calling card usable on any Internet connected PC or server.

As we witness the growth of e-commerce, A number of critical problems or limiting factors are observed as shown in List 5.

The draw problem is a general problem for any business. Traditionally businesses spend huge marketing dollars to draw customers typically via traditional media such as newspaper, magazine, television, radio, direct mailing or telemarketing. The problem is it is difficult to convey e-commerce products and services through the traditional medium. Using web advertising can draw customers to your web site except banners ads as such can not project a good marketing image hence the hit ratio is pretty poor. Of course, there are still millions of people who do not surf the web and those who have put up mental defense against any click ads whether they are good or bad. The web maintenance problem is a tough nut to crack especially for big corporations with lots of products and services. As any writer would know, it is very difficult to write a story you don't know who is going to read it. Web browsers are unknown audiences. For businesses who did succeed to establish a good base of e-commerce, the customer problem is extremely challenging. On-line customers are used to instant answers and instant results. Their demands in product information and customer support are difficult to satisfy with a traditional 800 number or a customer relation management team (CRM). CRM personnel are too removed from the products and services to satisfy customers directly. The layers of phone messages and forwarding create tremendous frustration for both customers and employees. Instant interaction with live knowledge expert is what customers want. Businesses must find ways to provide adequate answers to the customers so their demands for experts are reduced. 

E-Commerce is still a new concept to most consumers particularly they are not fully aware of the benefits and advantages of conducting business or transactions on-line. This awareness problem will only go away when e-commerce businesses provide an education about their on-line business and its advantages and convenience. Unfortunately, it is not simple to educate your potential customers and bring them on board simply due to the fact that the traditional media (TV, magazines, alike) do not bring people instantly on-line. The time lag kills the hot prospects like a winter frost. Furthermore, the traditional media can not illustrate the on-line actions easily, more often than not, it creates confusion and hesitation. This media problem is a serious one for many businesses. For some businesses such as a magazine (for example the respectable Business Week), pages devoted to on-line magazine's content actually serve a comic purpose: Go on-line, what are you reading this magazine for? 

The above observations and problems must be dealt with if one is serious about e-commerce. The author venture to say, Mi-Card, is the answer. As both an on-line and off-line medium, Mi-Card can solve the problems discussed above. Mi-Card is inexpensive to produce and it is easy to distribute on-line and off-line. It can be designed to carry a marketing theme supported with rich multimedia and dedicated private web pages only available to card users. It can be maintained easily with focused web content to provide always-current information. Its on-line interactive tools, forms, email, chat and especially Internet telephony can give customers multiple channels to get instant and satisfactory support. Adding properly selected utility functions, Mi-Card can be an even more valuable tool that customers will want to keep and use all the time. The CD medium of Mi-Card is a fast, mature and familiar medium to bring marketing information and product knowledge to customers. Some businesses already use CD for marketing purposes, but the calling card feature and the e800 directory and web support in Mi-Card make it a much more powerful medium for solving the problems discussed above and achieving the business goals. Mi-Card is effective even for brick and mortar businesses to attract and retain customers. In fact, Mi-Card introduces a revolutionary marketing and advertising medium so effective in reaching customers in both spatial and temporal dimensions, branding and direct sales can be accomplished not only most cost effectively compared to other media but also most time efficiently because of the interactive communication capabilities it offers.    

 VI.  E800 Directory - Business Community Binder and Catalyst for E-Commerce

IPO2U.COM's VoIP software technology has a capability to convert any business phone number to an effective "800" like number accessible world wide on the Internet through a calling software. This is the basic concept for supporting the Mi-Card product and the e800 directory. E800 Directories are web hosted phone directories listing all business phone numbers for their customers to reach them. The E800 directories are intelligent directories which not only contain the phone numbers, web site URLs and the lister's addresses but also know how to dial the phone numbers (and send an e-mail of course) and establishing a VoIP session for the caller. The caller only needs to click a name or a phone number or an icon. Therefore, e800 directories have far more value than paper phonebooks (Yellow Pages). The e800 listings are far more cost effective than the 800 numbers which are often limited to within country boundaries. E800 directory is the perfect communication tool for the web world and e-commerce. In an electronic format, the e800 directories can be easily replicated and distributed on web sites and on Mi-Cards. These distributed e800 directories can be easily maintained on one or a few master web sites for information update and listing management purposes. Only updates need to be maintained on the master web site or off-public web pages. This allows the distributed e800 directories and Mi-Cards to serve their users permanently (persistence and longevity no other medium can compete). The caller will always reach the latest updated phone numbers the owner has changed to, right from their Mi-Card and/or e800 directory. 

The business value of Mi-Card and e800 Directory go beyond e-commerce. They can be very powerful for promoting a regional economy or businesses such as downtown New York or a small country. Mi-Card and e800 directory can be used by corporations in many creative ways. Let's use an example to illustrate this point. We describe a scenario of how a 'company' is taking advantage of Mi-Card and e800 directory to promote and run a data center business. By simply creating a Mi-Card to illustrate and support their business processes as shown in List 6, one can immediately appreciate how Mi-Card and e800 Directory can attract customers and work beneficially for the data center business. The promotional information and the processes of sales and customer support clearly laid out in the Mi-Card will not only draw customers but will also lead to fast and short sell cycles. The utility tools and e800 directories built in the Mi-Card will serve both the customers and support teams productively. The customer can track the project status at any given time and know whom to contact for any specific issue. The implementation procedures will be transparent to customer, the sales team and the tech team. Through an effective communication tool, problems and issues can be handled easily. As a result,   not only the customers but also the company staff will be happy and satisfied in their business engagement.   

From the above scenario, it is easy to understand and appreciate that the Mi-Card product and the E800 Directory service are a desirable solution for effectively promoting businesses, even the business is not an e-commerce type. E800 Directory is a strong binder of business community and a catalyst for promoting the broad definition of e-commerce.  

What impact will Mi-Card and E800 Directory make then? The short answer is HUGE. One can analyze it from a number of perspectives. Extrapolating from the example given in List 6, one may look at their market potential from marketing and advertising point of view. Mi-Card is very cost competitive compared with TV, Radio, Magazine, newspaper and web ads from production cost and medium distribution point of view. The advertising industry is hit very hard by the recession in 2001 and 2002. The web (Internet) advertising revenue was $8.2B versus outdoor ads $5B, Cable TV $14B and Magazine $17.7B. There is a lot of debate and doubt about the future of Web Advertising since the dot-com meltdown. However, the total Advertising business is projected to grow with the recovery of economy. In 2001, IBM has allocated $50M of its $760M ad budget to online ads and on average, traditional companies spend 8% (mean $550,000) of their ad budget for digital media. A number of projections of ad revenue growths are clouded by the recession. Interesting enough to point out though, even yellow page ad was projected to grow at 20% reaching $29.5B by 2006. These numbers may not be all accurate and they do not give direct clue for what Mi-Card and e800 Directory may make in revenue. The question is how much they could displace the $30-50B all media ads. Suffice it to say in this public paper that the Mi-Card has the potential to take over a good portion of on-line ads, direct mailing ads and some portion of other media ads. The reason is that Mi-Card is superior to banner ads and other media ads in producing branding effect as well as in producing direct sales. Mi-Card's persistent and interactive features are invaluable. On the other hand, the e800 Directory is a technologically advanced replacement to yellow pages ($10B today) and has the potential to displace some if not all of the 40 million 800 number  which is currently a $40B revenue. 

VII. Strategic Analysis

Our strategy for developing the global market for Mi-Card and E800 Directory is not to compete with telephone companies nor with telecom manufacturers but to be complimentary. The Mi-Card and E800 Directory are offered as productivity tool and solutions to business needs especially for e-commerce co-operating in both IP and PSTN networks. However, VoIP has already made an impact to telecommunication industry, both telephone services and telecom equipment manufacturers. It is clear that VoIP does offer technical advantage and great benefits for general telephone applications. It is also  clear that it is only matter of time VoIP will be accepted in the general telephone service by the mass via enterprise adoption. The big challenge and issue to enterprises small or big is When and How to adopt VoIP or  migrate to IP telephony from traditional PBX or deploy an integrated voice and data platform. It is beneficial to do a strategic analysis on this issue and analyze how Mi-Card and E800 Directory can help enterprises to arrive a decisive conclusion about IP telephony and voice and data integration.  

Let's first go deeper into the challenging issue stated above. List 7 shows the objectives for considering IP telephony for enterprises. Each company depending on its size and business nature places different priority on these objectives. Correspondingly, each company has a number of concerns in achieving their objectives as shown in List 8. These lists do confirm one thing that 'when and how' and not 'whether and if' is on the enterprises' mind as far as Internet telephony is concerned.  

Mi-Card and E800 Directory are based on the VoIP technology but their implementation does not dictate enterprises any decision on 'How and When' in adopting a complete VoIP solution internally. Mi-Card and E800 Directory provide all the business benefits as discussed in section V without requiring enterprises committing any capital expenditures. Mi-Card and E800 Directory works with IP and PSTN without imposing any changes on employees' telephone habit or working environment. They not only offer an effective solution for marketing, advertising, sales and customer relation management but it is a perfect application for getting employees to get familiarized with VoIP. This employee experience will be very valuable when the enterprise is making an adoption of  Internet telephony or voice/data integration. Mi-Card and E800 Directory are innovative perhaps even revolutionary products but they are compatible and complimentary to existing business practices. We expect them to be catalyst in promoting e-commerce and Internet telephony.    

VIII.  Conclusions

Based on the above discussion, we may first conclude that Mi-Card and E800 Directory presents a very interesting business model. The business model has a number of innovative elements and it exploits mature technologies to serve an acute need in e-commerce rather than takes challenges full of obstacles and pitfalls. The market potential can be certainly quantified further beyond the gross numbers cited in this paper. Interested investors can request for the confidential business plans upon signing a non-disclosure agreement. As an investment case, we can further point out the risks and costs for implementing the product and service as listed in List 9 and List 10 below. The detailed quantities are only presented in the confidential business plan. We have engaged with Sprint E|Solutions as a partner and established our Mi-Card and e800 Directory services at the Sprint Data Center in New York as our launching site. Bearing the risks and costs in the lists disclosed here, we may conclude that with the infrastructure Sprint possesses, we are poised to grow the business very rapidly from New York to US and World Wide. Based on our cost analysis, no extraordinary capital needs other than a modest operational budget is required to grow the business. Revenue will be sufficient to finance a smooth market expansion. Hence, with the disclaimers stated, we may conclude that our business model has a very good potential to yield a high return on investment and grow into a global enterprise. 

IX. List of Lists

List 1.   Milestones of the Development of Internet
List 2.   Changes Induced by the Internet and WWW
List 3.   Key Online Activities
List 4.   Benefits of Mi-Card 
List 5.   Limiting Factors of E-Commerce Growth
List 6.   Business Processes of Data Center Supported by Mi-Card and e800 Directory
List 7.   Objectives for Deploying Internet Telephony and/or Adopting Voice and Data Integration
List 8.   Concerns with Deploying Internet telephony and/or Adopting Voice and Data Integration
List 9.   Risk Factors
List 10.  Costs of Implementation and Expansion  

List 1.  Milestones of the Development of Internet

  • 1969, original network (50 Kbps) constructed linking 4 nodes sponsored by ARPA

  • 1972, first e-mail program created by Ray Tomlinson of BBN; @ was chosen to represent at

  • 1973, development of Internet protocol led by Vinton Cerf (Stanford) and Bob Kahn (DARPA); Bob Metcalfe's Harvard PhD Thesis outlines idea for Ethernet. The concept was tested on Xerox PARC's Alto computers, and the first Ethernet network, called the Alto Aloha System

  • 1974, first use of the term Internet by Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn in their TCP paper, IEEE Trans. Comm.; BBN offers Telnet service

  • 1976, DARPA requires TCP/IP for use in ARPANET

  • 1978, TCP protocol splits into TCP and IP  

  • 1979, IBM created BITNET,  a store and forward network

  • 1980, addition of User Datagram Protocol (UDP) to the Internet Protocol

  • 1981, NSF created 56 Kpbs backbone CSNET with radio and satellite connection for institutions not connected to ARPANET

  • 1983, Every machine on ARPANET must use TCP/IP replacing NCP and Domain Name System created by University of Wisconsin

  • 1984-5, upgrade to CSNET created a new NSFNET of T1 speed, 1.544 Mbps; Domain Name service (DNS) introduced

  • 1987, BITNET and CSNET merged to form corporation for research and education networking (CERN)

  • 1988, CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) formed by DARPA in response to the needs exhibited during the Morris worm incident. The worm is the only advisory issued this year

  • 1990, Merit, IBM and MCI formed a not-for-profit corporation, Advanced Network & Services, which created the concept of the T3, a 45 Mbps line. NSF quickly adopted and implemented the new network by the end of 1991

  • 1990, Tim Berners-Lee of CERN implemented a hypertext system for the international high-energy physics community; Archie (information search and retrieval) released by Peter Deutsch, Alan Emtage, and Bill Heelan at McGill

  • 1991, NSF created National Research and Education Network (NREN) dedicated to high-speed networking research free of commercial data traffic of Internet; World-Wide Web released by CERN, TimBreners-Lee developer; Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS), invented by Brewster Kahle, released by Thinking Machines Corporation; Gopher released by Paul Lindner and Mark P. McCahill from the Univ of Minnesota;

  • 1992, Internet Society chartered, NSFNET upgraded to T3

  • 1993, InterNIC created by NSF to provide Internet directory and database, registration and information services; Marc Andreessen, NCSA and U. Ill.nois, developed an interface to WWW, Mosaic for X; Worms of a new kind find their way around the Net - WWW Worms (W4), joined by Spiders, Wanderers, Crawlers, and Snakes ...   

  • 1994, Asynchronous Transmission Mode (ATM, 145 Mbps) installed on NSFNET

  • 1995, NSF announced access to NSFNET backbone via 4 access providers; $50 domain fee imposed; The new NSFNET establishes the very high speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS) linking super-computing centers: NCAR, NCSA, SDSC, CTC, PSC

  • 1995, Packet Switching to voice over Internet (Leonard Kleinrock, MIT: "Information Flow in Large Communication Nets" 5-31-1961, First paper on packet-switching (PS) theory; Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc. (BBN) awarded Packet Switch contract to build Interface Message Processors (IMPs), 1968)

  • 1996, Various ISPs suffer extended service outages, bringing into question whether they will be able to handle the growing number of users. AOL (19 hours), Netcom (13 hours), AT&T WorldNet (28 hours - email only); MCI upgrades Internet backbone adding ~13,000 ports, bringing the effective speed from 155Mbps to 622Mbps

  • 1998, US Department of Commerce (DoC) releases the Green Paper outlining its plan to privatize DNS on 30 January. This is followed up by a White Paper on June 5

  • 1999, vBNS sets up an OC48 2488Mbps link between CalREN South and North using Juniper M40 routers; IBM becomes the first Corporate partner to be approved for Internet2 access; MCI/Worldcom, the vBNS provider for NSF, begins upgrading the US backbone to 2.5GBps; Abilene, the Internet2 network, reaches across the Atlantic and connects to NORDUnet and SURFnet; MCI/Worldcom launches vBNS+, a commercialized version of vBNS targeted at smaller educational and research institutions

  • 2000, Internet2 backbone network deploys IPv6 (16 May); A testbed allowing the registration of domain names in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean begins operation on 9 November. This testbed, created by VeriSign without IETF authorization, only allows the second-level domain to be non-English, still forcing use of .com, .net, .org. The Chinese government blocks internal registrations, stating that registrations in Chinese are its sovereignty right

  • 2001, First uncompressed real-time gigabit HDTV transmission across a wide-area IP network takes place on Internet2 (12 Nov).

Author's experience with Internet: Not associated with high energy physics research nor networking research, the author was not involved in the main stream of Internet research during his first 17 years at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. However, the author was privileged to be offered a challenge by the Singapore government, National Computer Board, to build a research institute, from 1985-1988. The author wanted to develop a high caliber research center with a mission to lead Singapore into the forefront of information technology. The author then developed an architecture and a blue print of a system, called intelligent public information system, which was implemented to a working prototype. The system consisted of a number of key concepts resembling hypertexted windows, web pages and remote access of today's Internet. The IPIS was implemented with IBM PCs and IBM Unix servers (former versions of RS6000 before AIX servers). The demonstration and results of IPIS were reported in Asian regional conferences and featured in Singapore Business Yearbook, SB Yearbook, pp80-86, 1988,  where the IPIS and its web-like tourism information system was graphically illustrated with actual applications. Upon returning to IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, the author was chartered to lead research into application software till 1994. Prompted by his frustration of being unable to conduct the world first virtual conference, he proposed, on the Internet at IBM, he took retirement leave to Polytechnic University where he established a research institute (PRIDE) devoted to Internet innovations and applications. The first Internet virtual conference with a fixed time and schedule (GISS) was conducted on the Internet and sponsored by PRIDE since 1995. Dr. Vinton Cerf was invited and featured as the 1996 GISS Keynote Speaker [21] (virtual speaker responded conference audiences by e-mail) The author also led the development of the comprehensive Internet distanceless learning system (icare4learning.com), the first web camera for traffic and parking lot monitoring, the intelligent medical search engine (mwsearch.com) and the Internet telephony applications (codecphone.com). Today, the author is leading the start-up company IPO2U.COM where VoIP technology is incorporated in a new product and service concept for e-commerce.

      Acknowledgement and References: many web sources including http://www.zakon.org/robert/internet/timeline were consulted in compiling the above list for the purpose of this paper

List 2 Changes Induced by the Internet and WWW

  •  E-mail, E-search, E-shopping, Web Portals and e-trading are commonly known changes evolved over time (referred to List 1)

  • 1993, Mosaic takes the Internet by storm; WWW proliferates at a 341,634% annual growth rate of service traffic. Gopher's growth is 997%; White House comes on-line, www.whitehouse.gov and president@whitehouse.gov

  • 1994, Pizza Hut offers pizza ordering on its Web page; First Virtual, the first cyberbank, opens; Shopping malls arrive on the Internet; First cyberstation, RT-FM, broadcasts from Interop in Las Vegas; NSFNET traffic passes 10 trillion bytes/month; WWW edges out telnet to become 2nd most popular service on the Net (behind ftp-data) based on % of packets and bytes traffic distribution on NSFNET; Arizona law firm of Canter & Siegel "spams" the Internet with email advertising green card lottery services

  • 1994, ARPANET/Internet celebrates 25th anniversary; The first banner ads appear on hotwired.com in October. They were for Zima (a beverage)

  • 1995, WWW surpasses ftp-data in March as the service with greatest traffic on NSFNet based on packet count, and in April based on byte count; A number of Net related companies go public, with Netscape leading the pack with the 3rd largest ever NASDAQ IPO share value; RealAudio offers near-realtime audio on the Net

  • 1995, Domain name registration no longer free; NSF announced access to NSFNET backbone via 4 access providers; $50 domain fee imposed

  • 1995, technology of the year: WWW and Search Engine

  • 1996, technology of the year: Search engines, JAVA and Internet phone

  • 1996, Internet phones catch the attention of US telecommunication companies who ask the US Congress to ban the technology (which has been around for years); The controversial US Communications Decency Act (CDA) becomes law in the US in order to prohibit distribution of indecent materials over the Net. A few months later a three-judge panel imposes an injunction against its enforcement. Supreme Court unanimously rules most of it unconstitutional in 1997; The WWW browser war, fought primarily between Netscape and Microsoft, has rushed in a new age in software development, whereby new releases are made quarterly with the help of Internet users eager to test upcoming (beta) versions.

  • 1996, Restrictions on Internet use around the world:

  • China: requires users and ISPs to register with the police
    Germany: cuts off access to some newsgroups carried on CompuServe
    Saudi Arabia: confines Internet access to universities and hospitals
    Singapore: requires political and religious content providers to register with the state
    New Zealand: classifies computer disks as "publications" that can be censored and seized

  • 1997, Domain name (business.com) sold for US$150,000

  • 1997, Technologies of the Year: Push, Multicasting

  • 1998, Web size estimates range between 275 (Digital) and 320 (NEC) million pages for 1Q; Internet users get to be judges in a performance by 12 world champion ice skaters on 27 March, marking the first time a television sport show's outcome is determined by its viewers

  • 1998, Electronic postal stamps become a reality, with the US Postal Service allowing stamps to be purchased and downloaded for printing from the Web; Compaq pays US$3.3million for altavista.com

  • 1998, Technologies of the Year: E-Commerce, E-Auctions, Portals

  • 1999, Technologies of the Year: E-Trade, Online Banking, MP3

  • 2000, A massive denial of service attack is launched against major web sites, including Yahoo, Amazon, and eBay in early February, Web size estimates by NEC-RI and Inktomi surpass 1 billion indexable pages

  • 2000, Technologies of the Year: ASP, Napster

  • 2001, The first live distributed musical -- The Technophobe & The Madman -- over Internet2 networks debuts on 20 Feb; VeriSign extends its multilingual domain testbed to encompass various European languages (26 Feb), and later the full Unicode character set (5 Apr) opening up most of the world's languages; Forwarding email in Australia becomes illegal with the passing of the Digital Agenda Act, as it is seen as a technical infringement of personal copyright (4 Mar)

  • 2001, Radio stations broadcasting over the Web go silent over royalty disputes (10 Apr); Napster keeps finding itself embroiled in litigation and is eventually forced to suspend service; it comes back later in the year as a subscription service; .biz and .info are added to the root server on 27 June with registrations beginning in July; .biz domain go live on 7 Nov.

  • 2002. US ISP Association (USISPA) is created from the former CIX (11 Jan)

      Acknowledgement and References: many web sources including http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/ http://www.zakon.org/robert/internet/timeline were consulted in compiling the above list for the purpose of this paper.

List 3  On-line Scenario

  • E-marketing, web portals, web sites, banner ads, push and pull ads

  • E-retailing, virtual shopping malls, e-catalogs, on-line stores with shopping carts and credit card verification

  • On-line distanceless education, asynchronous and synchronous interactions

  • E-government, all kinds of on-line form processing, represented by tax filing, voting and many others

  • Real-time on-line news reporting with search support and instant audience feedback

  • On-line communication with chat room, Internet telephony, and short messaging (paging)

  • On-line auctioning and exchange of goods and services, electronic, computers, cars, insurance, loans and even real estates

  • Wireless and mobile Internet providing on-line access on the move, in the car, boat and airplane

  • E-mail, e-cards and e-photo making people go on-line daily

   List 4  Benefits of Mi-Card in Comparison with Traditional Marketing Media

      1. Inexpensive to produce in comparison with printed brochures, catalogs, flyers and video
2. Inexpensive to distribute on-line (all digital) and off-line due to light weight and simple packaging
3. Always presented with updated and current information due to imbedded web page links (can be public or off-public pages)
4. Can be distributed in CD format inexpensively and maintained via Internet  web site or off-public web pages only accessible via Mi-Card
5. Containing communication tools and/or links to allow customers to make instant communication with the merchants. (for instance, try to click and call IPO2U.COM, Inc. by clicking the company name right at this minute and you will be speaking to a staff in IPO2U.COM
6. Can create a click and call telephone directory for your entire company and your business partners (refer to e800 directory in next section)
7. Can include a large i800 Directory (all 800 numbers listed) as a utility tool for  customers' convenience with no cost to offering business
8. Can include useful applications to increase even more the utility value of the Mi-Card. (for example, click to get a mortgage interest table or order forms)
9. Receivers of Mi-Card can save it on their PC as an icon and it is available for indefinite use; this will be the most persistent advertising medium exposed to the users daily (the more information and utility value you include the more reason for receivers to keep the Mi-Card on their PC or in their wallet)
10. Mi-Card produced in a credit card sized CD is a most portable impressive marketing material a company can present to potential customers
11. Can turn any business phone number into a world wide Internet accessible phone number like '800' numbers; you can create a mini e800 directory for any purpose  

List 5  Limiting Factors of E-Commerce Growth

  • Draw Problem - Difficult and expensive to draw customers to business web sites as the number of web sites reaches over 38 million (see Table 3

  • Maintenance problem - Burden and ineffectiveness of maintaining web sites with fresh content to satisfy a large number of unknown browsers

  • Customer Problem - Inability to provide satisfactory customer support (inquiry, purchase, technical support and customer interaction) especially in due time

  • Medium Problem - Lack of proper medium for marketing, advertising, sales and customer support for e-commerce

  • Awareness Problem - Customers do not have enough knowledge to understand and take advantage of the benefits of e-commerce in general and any specific business in particular 

List 6  Business Processes of Data Center Supported by Mi-Card and e800 Directory

  • The 'company' designs a Mi-Card as a marketing tool to reach potential customers

  • The content of the Mi-Card includes

    1. Why Businesses Need to Consider Web Hosting and/or Collocation? Graphics and statistics to show web is indispensable, its power to your customers and its power to your company and what are main concerns for maintaining a web site.
    2. Why the 'company' Offers Web Hosting and Collocation? Graphics to show the business revenue potential of the business and its importance to e-commerce.
    3. The 'company' Network Infrastructure - Pioneer and Superior in Internet and Networking. Graphical illustration of the network infrastructure and historical account of the investment and achievements of the 'company' network capability.
    4. The 'company' Data Centers - Security, Stability, Performance, Quality and Customer Satisfaction. Map diagram of geographic distribution of the 'company' data centers and illustrations of the 'company' technology innovations.
    5. The 'company' Products and Services Relevant to Web Hosting and Collocation - Rich and Proven. An overview of the 'company' and its business units with relevant links to the 'company' large web site on products and services and laced with callable name or phone number representing company staff and experts.
    6. Easy Steps for Engaging Web Hosting - Standard or Customized. Steps are illustrated and an electronic form is provided for customers to fill out which leads to a step by step process of engaging web hosting. Callable phone numbers are provided at each step for customer to inquire and monitor status.
    7. Smooth Procedures for Engaging Collocation - Time Managed Project. Procedures are illustrated and an electronic form is provided for customers to fill out which outlines a time line of steps involved in collocation. Callable phone numbers or names are provided for each step for customer to interact with.
    8. Glossary and Explanation of Relevant Technical and Business Terms - Educational for customers and employees. A useful resource with a number of experts names included for customers to call.
    9. e800 Directory Created for Customers' Convenience - Call & Talk to Experts. The purpose of this e800 Directory is to list all relevant company staff and experts for supporting the data center services. The customers will always be able to reach a person who is knowledgeable to deal with customers' concerns. The phone numbers of this directory are managed on a server hence substitutes can be dynamically made for any callable phone number. A special sub-directory is reserved on an off-public web page to include the customer's contact numbers or people names along with the 'company' engagement team's names and phone numbers. This subdirectory is maintained on the server accessible only by a particular customer and its engagement team via password control.

  • The potential customer reviews the Mi-Card and keeps it for its educational and usable value. (attract customers)

  • The customer uses the Mi-Card to call the 'company' and begin the engagement of business. (hot leads)

  • The customer and the 'company' staff use the Mi-Card and the e800 directory to keep communication open and to make smooth progress towards completing the engagement. (productivity tool)

  • The customer specific e800 directory is maintained for customer support purpose to provide satisfactory customer support. (post sale customer support

List 7 Objectives for Deploying Internet Telephony and/or Adopting Voice and Data Integration

  • Cost savings in telephone service cost and eliminating toll charges (mobile workforce)

  • Cost savings in IT data services with shared network (return on investment, virtual enterprise)

  • IT investment strategy to gain competitive advantage in business (competitors)

  • Efficiency and flexibility in application offerings (business strategy)

  • To do more with less IT budget (economic pressure)

  • Consolidating network infrastructure (long term cost saving)

  • Simplifying network management (potential human resource saving)

  • Enhance customer relation (technical and sales support and post-sale)

  • Offering new and value added applications (unified messaging, voice and web supported contact center/CRM, self-serviced functions such as voice message, remote access) (employee productivity, teleworking)

List 8 Concerns with Deploying Internet telephony and/or Adopting Voice and Data Integration

  • Capital expense and return on investment

  • Quality and reliability of telephone service

  • Justification of  strategic and financial value and operational benefits

  • Minimizing disruption in services

  • User adjustments, training on new applications

  • Migration path, inter-operability with existing equipment and scalibility

  • Gradual deployment or 'forklift' adoption

  • Management and maintenance skills

  • Inter-operability over WAN and multi-carriers

  • Company specific problems such as prior commitment and internal politics 

List 9  Risk Factors

1. Prolonged recession
2. Internet telephony outlawed (small possibility in certain countries)
3. Unexpected market acceptance problem
4. Accident or attack on the data center we host our operations
5. Investors shy away from any VoIP products and services and the company fails to get financing to expand
6. Patent applications not successful in protecting our entire business model, products and services
7. Face well financed large companies as competitors (companies can take on Sprint)
8. Failed to develop follow-up products compatible with emerging technologies (For Example, SIP based gateways)
9. Serious software bugs cause losses and negative publicity
10. Growth of Internet and e-commerce falls below expectation

List 10  Costs of Implementation and Expansion

1. Human resources: design, production, sales and executive compensations
2. Software development team for product up-grade and new products
3. Mi-Card manufacturing out-source (volume contract)
4. Web site and server maintenance and propagation
5. Marketing and advertising (Mi-Card can be used with cost competitiveness)
6. Partnership for e800 Directory Expansion
7. Legal expense for intellectual property, licensing and business contracts

 

X.  List of Tables

Table 1.  Speed of Internet
Table 2.  Growth of Internet Hosts
Table 3.  Growth of Web Sites
Table 4.  Internet Users, ISPs versus Telephones and Mobile Phones
 

Table 1.  Speed of  Internet [3]

NAME

BANDWIDTH

BPS

HIGHWAY ANALOGY

POTS*

-

64,000

3 foot garden path

ISDN 2 POTs 128,000 6 foot sidewalk

T1

12 ISDNs

1,544,000

4 lane highway (72 ft.)

ETHERNET

~ 6.5 T1s

10,000,000

26 lane highway

T3

28 T1s

43,232,000

112 lane highway

FAST ETHERNET

~ 65 T1s

100,000,000

260 lane highway

OC3

3.6 times T3

155,000,000

~ 1 mile wide highway

OC12

4 times OC3

622,000,000

~ 4 mile wide highway

OC48 (Internet2)

4 times OC12

2,075,136,000
2.4 Gbs/second

~ 16 mile wide highway

OC192

4 times OC48

9.6 Gbs/second

~64 mile wide highway

 

Table 2.  Growth of Internet Hosts, Networks and Domains [1]

  Date Host Networks Domains Date Host Networks Domains

12/69

4

 

 

10/91

617,000

3,556

18,000

06/70

9

 

 

01/92

727,000

4,526

 

10/70

11

 

 

04/92

890,000

5,291

20,000

12/70

13

 

 

07/92

992,000

6,569

16,300

04/71

23

 

 

10/92

1,136,000

7,505

18,100

10/72

31

 

 

01/93

1,313,000

8,258

21,000

01/73

35

 

 

04/93

1,486,000

9,722

22,000

06/74

62

 

 

07/93

1,776,000

13,767

26,000

03/77

111

 

 

10/93

2,056,000

16,533

28,000

12/79

188

 

 

01/94

2,217,000

20,539

30,000

08/81

213

 

 

07/94

3,212,000

25,210

46,000

05/82

235

 

 

10/94

3,864,000

37,022

56,000

08/83

562

 

 

01/95

4,852,000

39,410

71,000

10/84

1,024

 

 

07/95

6,642,000

61,538

120,000

10/85

1,961

 

 

01/96

9,472,000

93,671

240,000

02/86

2,308

 

 

07/96

12,881,000

134,365

488,000

11/86

5,089

 

 

01/97

16,146,000

 

828,000

12/87

28,174

 

 

07/97

19,540,000

 

1,301,000

07/88

33,000

 

 

01/98

29,670,000

 

 

10/88

56,000

 

 

07/98

36,739,000

 

 

01/89

80,000

 

 

01/99

43,230,000

 

 

07/89

130,000

650

3,900

07/99

56,218,000

 

 

10/89

159,000

837

 

01/00

72,398,092

 

 

10/90

313,000

2,063

9,300

07/00

93,047,785

 

 

01/91

376,000

2,338

 

01/01

109,574,429

 

 

07/91

535,000

3,086

16,000

07/01

125,888,197

 

 

 

 

 

 

01/02

147,344,723

 

 

Table 3.  Growth of Web Sites [1]

Date

Sites

Date

Sites

Date

Sites

Date

Sites

06/93

130

03/97

883,149

11/98

3,518,158

07/00

18,169,498

09/93

204

04/97

1,002,612

12/98

3,689,227

08/00

19,823,296

10/93

228

05/97

1,044,163

01/99

4,062,280

09/00

21,166,912

12/93

623

06/97

1,117,259

02/99

4,301,512

10/00

22,282,727

06/94

2,738

07/97

1,203,096

03/99

4,349,131

11/00

23,777,446

12/94

10,022

08/97

1,269,800

04/99

5,040,663

12/00

25,675,581

06/95

23,500

09/97

1,364,714

05/99

5,414,325

01/01

27,585,719

01/96

100,000

10/97

1,466,906

06/99

6,177,453

02/01

28,125,284

03/96

135,396

11/97

1,553,998

07/99

6,598,697

03/01

28,611,177

04/96

150,295

12/97

1,681,868

08/99

7,078,194

04/01

28,669,939

05/96

193,150

01/98

1,834,710

09/99

7,370,929

05/01

29,031,745

06/96

252,000

02/98

1,920,933

10/99

8,115,828

06/01

29,302,656

07/96

299,403

03/98

2,084,473

11/99

8,844,573

07/01

31,299,592

08/96

342,081

04/98

2,215,195

12/99

9,560,866

08/01

30,775,624

09/96

397,281

05/98

2,308,502

01/00

9,950,491

09/01

32,398,046

10/96

462,047

06/98

2,410,067

02/00

11,161,811

10/01

33,135,768

11/96    

525,906 

07/98  

2,594,622

03/00 

13,106,190

11/01 

36,458,394

12/96    

603,367 

08/98  

2,807,588 

04/00 

14,322,950

12/01 

36,276,252

01/97     

646,162 

09/98  

3,156,324 

05/00 

15,049,382

01/02 

36,689,008

02/97    

739,688 

10/98  

3,358,969 

06/00 

17,119,262

02/02 

38,444,856

  WWW Growth:

Sites = # of web servers (one host may have multiple sites by using different domains or port numbers)  

 

Table 4 Internet Users and ISPs Versus Population and Telephones (CIA World Factbook, Data from 1997-2001, World Wide Internet Users 446M-533M) [2]

 

Country

Population

Internet User

ISPs

Telephone

M-phone

Australia

19.4M

7.8M

264

9.6M

6.4M

China

1273M

33.7M

3

135M

65M

Japan

127M

22M

73

60.4M

64M

Russia

145M

7.5M

35

30M

2.5M

USA

278M

149M

7800

194M

69.2M

 

XI. References References and Attachments (Confidential Documents Require NDA)

  1. Hobbes' Internet Timeline v5.6  (http://www.zakon.org/robert/internet/timeline/Growth)
  2. The World's Online Populations 
    (http://cyberatlas.internet.com/big_picture/geographics/article/0,1323,5911_151151,00.html )
  3. Speed of Internet Connections  http://www.ci.keene.nh.us/library/intspeed.htm
  4. Number of Domain Names (http://www.domainstats.com)
  5. InteropNetwork (http://www.key3media.com/interop/index.php)
  6. Internet Archtecture Board (IAB) (http://www.iab.org)
  7. IETF: Internet Engineering Task Force (http://www.ietf.org)
  8. Vinton G. Cerf  and Rorbert E. Kahn, “A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication  IEEE Transactions on Communications, Vol. COM-22, No.5, May 1974
    (http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~mingyan/598W02/ck/Cerf-Kahn.html)
  9. Video over IP http://www.radvision.com/c_v2oip.php3
  10. H. Schulzrinne, S. Casner, R. Frederick, V. Jacobson,  RTP: A Transport Protocol for Real-Time
     Applications
      (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1889.txt)
  11. L. Zhang,  S. Berson,  S. Herzog, S. Jamin, Resource ReSerVation Protocol (RSVP)
    (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2205.txt )
  12. COder/DEoDer (http://www.iptelephony.org/GIP/protocols)
  13. ITSPs (http://www.iptelephony.org/frame/providers.html)
  14. I.F. Chang, "Paradigm Shifts in Education and A Future Education Solution (CARE)", GISSIC'95, Oct. 17-20, 1995
  15. I.F. Chang, "Cyberspace Assisted Responsive Education Implemented on the Open Platform - Internet", International Conference on engineering Education, Proceedings Vol.1, PP.741-748, Aug. 13-15, 1997
  16. I.F. Chang,  "Open Platform Group-Centric and Network-Centric Information Systems", IDPT Conference, Dec. 1-4, 1996
  17. I.F. Chang, Li-Chieh Lin, "An Internet Realtime Conference: Design Experience & Future Application", IFIP Conference, April 9-11, 1996, Chapman & Hall, 1996, PP.81-90
  18. CodecPhone  (http://www.codecphone.com)
  19. H.323 protocol standard  (http://www.openh323.org, http://www.imtc.org/h323.htm)
  20. IPO2U.Com (http://www.ipo2u.com)
  21. GISS Keynote Speaker http://pride.poly.edu/GISS/docs/giss96/keynote.htm
  22. Internet Phone Products and Companies

Dialogic
Natural Microsystems
Micom
Vienna Systems
VocalTec
Lucent
NetSpeak
Net2phone
Inter-Tel
VOXO Telecom Inc
DialMaster Gateway
Voice and Fax Long Distance Over IP
Delta Three
Telecom Co-op
Global Gateway Group
Brooktrout
Mockingbirdnet
Bay Networks
Atrium Intranet conferencing Enables telephone-to-Internet conversations VocalTec
Audiotrix Phone Internet telephone With its own high quality handset Mediatrix Peripherals
Digiphone Internet telephone Full duplex telephoning Camelot Corporation
EZ-NetPhone Software modem/telephone Adds Internet telephony to a sound card Solram Electronics
FreeTel Internet telephone Sponsorship supported free telephone software FreeTel
iPhone Internet Telephone Internet telephone Network computer with telephony InfoGear Technology Corp
Intel Internet Video Phone Video telephone Supports the H.323 interoperability standard Intel
InterHome Internet Telephony adapter Installs between real phone and computer Solram Electronics
Internet Phone Internet telephone Talk to uncle in Moscow for price of local call VocalTec
INTERNET Phone Link Net phone appliance Neat alternative to mics/wires/etc Telepoint USA
Net2Phone PC-to-telephone calling Place calls to regular phone users worldwide IDT
TeleVox Internet telephone Server-based system, with text chat and file transfer Voxware
TS INTERCOM Internet telephone Talk to your friends and show pictures, too! Telescape Comms
VDOPhone Video telephone Full-color, motion video telephone for net and regular phone VDOnet
Vienna.way PSTN-Internet telephony To help businesses use Internet for telephony Vienna Systems Corp
WebPhone Internet telephone Real-time, business quality, full duplex - and encryption too NetSpeak Corp

23.  Internet Telephony web site:

www.computerworld.com
www.ipxstream.com
www.teledotcom.com
itel.mit.edu

www.hearme.com
www.pulver.com
www.zdnet.com
www.techweb.com
www.ctimag.com
www.tmcnet.com
www.ctiexpo.com
www.internettelephony.com

www.freephone.com

www.mediaring.com

www.dialpad.com
 

XII. Appendix.  VoIP competitors list

 A long table listing companies exploiting VoIP and their business nature is listed below:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
elthe.com (ps)

Features free PC to PC communications.
By registering, a user receives the following for free:

  • Text chatting / instant messaging

  • Making/receiving phone calls

  • File transferring

  • Caller ID

Other options include:

  • Call to/within the U.S. for just $0.025/min. from anywhere in the world

  • Call over 130 countries with the lowest rates ever offered regardless where you are calling from

  • $10, $20, $40 prepaid ElthePhone cards.  

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
dialpad.com (free PS)

Free web-based PC to Phone calls within the United States and Canada. Other countries require a per minute charge.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
pccall.com (ps)

PC to Phone calls, using prepaid accounts. Per minute charges apply.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
 
delta3.com (iconnecthere.com) (ps + fax)

Free PC to PC phone calls. PC to Phone long distance and calling cards are available.
A user receives:

  • Personal phone number

  • Text and voice email

  • Voicemail

  • Inbound/Oudbound faxing

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
Go2Call.com

Pc-to-phone calling: Service is offered to over 200 countries around the world. Subscribers simply enter a phone number and immediately connect to that number directly from their computer  through a gateway network

Product tradenames:

Go2Call LiveCalling™ : a web-based voice enabling technology aimed at small to mid-sized online businesses. LiveCalling strengthens the customer relationship management process by giving website visitors the opportunity to speak live to a site's service staff - and provides websites with the opportunity to speak directly to their users.

 Go2Call QuickCheck™ : a simple self-assessment tool to help determine users' system capability for Internet calling.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
 
securiphone.com

 Encrypted communication. Voice, instant message, and file transfer. No standards.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
 
clearphone.com (PC –PC)

 Supports PC and Macintosh.

  • Buddy list

  • Group Conferencing with video/audio

  • Private and secure point-to-point voice and video transmission

  • Whiteboard, and clipboard transfer of graphics, text, and voice chat

  • Data collaboration

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
IHIWAYPhone.com (PS)

 Web-based long distance calling.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
freewebcall.com (ps)

  • PC to PC / PC to Phone

  • Buddy List

  • Address Book

  • Text Chat

  • Collaboration, including whiteboard, program sharing and file transfer

  • 2.9 cents per minute calling to the United States

  • Online account balance

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
webphone.com
(NetSpeak Corporation) (Technolgy)

IP Telephony solutions. H323v2-complient / support for Gatekeeper.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
hottelephone.com (PS compete on pricing for consumers)

PC to Phone and Phone to Phone Calls free around the U.S. and 25 other countries (or more). 2 hours per month.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
net2phone.com (PS compete on pricing for consumers)

PC to PC and PC to Phone calls. Per minute charges.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
 
PalTalk.com (PC – PC)

  •  Voice calls

  • Video conferencing

  • Group voice conferencing

  • Instant messaging

  • Voice mail

  • File transfer

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
BuddyTalk.com (customer PS)

  •  Multi-Party conferencing (Innomedia)

  • PC to PC

  • PC to Phone

  • Instant Messaging

  • Buddy List

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
wowring.com (PS)

Web-basted monthly subscription. Local and long distance calling.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
 
ISPhone.com

The ISPhone Network (service for PS companies)

  •    A managed IP network service with proprietary network management tools

  •    7/24 network management and technical support

  •    Redundancy of key network connections and equipment

  •    Account management, billing and reporting systems

  •    Low cost termination to 250 countries around the world.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
poptel.com (PS)

  • Call a sponsored country of your choice free of charge after filling in your profile.

  • Call any destination after buying prepaid minutes.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
visitalk.com

  • PC to PC video calls, and PC to Phone calls.

  • Recording and sending voice messages.

  • Instant messaging and buddy lists.

  • Permanent Communications Number (PCN)Your PCN - or Internet phone number - allows you to use visitalk.com services from any  PC in the world.

  • Permanent Global DirectoryOur directory of visitalk.com members makes it convenient to see who’s online and accepting calls. Just like your telephone book, only interactive and constantly updated.

  • Make PC to PC CallsAs a visitalk.com member, you have access to a personal home page. From there, just find the person you want to call, click the icon next to their name, and start communicating. Voice. Video. Real-time.

  • Send voice mail

  • Receive voice mail, and store up to 10 voice messages

  • Instantly find any visitalk.com member with our global directory

  • Automatically log all your incoming and outgoing calls

  • Set up your own list of contacts - a personal phone directory just for you

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
pc2call.com (PS)

  • Web-based.

  • Private calling accounts.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
hearme.com
(softPHONE product line) (SIP not H.323) 

  • Call forward

  • Call transfer

  • Line Hold

  • Last number redial

  • Frequent number speed-dial

  • Caller ID, via SIP URL exposure

  • Mute

  • Touch-tones

  • Multi Line

  • G.711 and G.723.1 codec support

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
sumavoice.com  

Web-based / per minute rates

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------