The 15-year old International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) is an international community of companies working on promoting and facilitating the development and use of interoperable, real-time, multimedia telecommunications products and services based on open international standards. For those unfamiliar with IMTC their goals, per their web site are:
- To advocate the common interests of the industry through education and promotion.
- To be an unbiased source of information to end users, press, industry analysts, legislators, regulators and the industry.
- To identify obstacles to the growth and success of the industry and to implement or recommend solutions.
- To promote and facilitate interoperability testing of real-time, Multimedia Telecommunication products and services.
- To develop and advocate requirements to standards-making organizations.
- To provide opportunities for industry participants to meet, exchange ideas and information, and guide the future direction of the organization.
I met with the president of the organization, Anatoli Levine, From RADVISION, at VON this week and we talked about two of IMTC’s most recent focal points as being unified communications and content delivery. At the very beginning of this effort, IMTC’s goal is to create a reference architecture (although not the classical ‘reference architecture’ that engineers would think of, but rather a deployment blueprint for UC (however they refer to it as both). I was thrilled as this effort directly addresses one of the major hot points of UC and that is the difficulty we face in deploying UC solutions given the myriad vendors and products we have in this space.
The IMTC is set up so that a broad subject, such as unified communications, is a work group, with area or subject activity groups underneath. The Unified Communications Working Group, which is chaired by Shantanu Sarkar from Cisco, has four activity groups under it covering 3G-324M, conferencing interoperability, IMS, and SIP. Activity groups are open for unlimited participation from member companies, and as they eloquently said it on their web site “Activity Groups allow competing companies to conduct regular dialog regarding interoperability of their products and to develop a common stance enabling them to help shape and evolve industry-wide standards.” Yoo Hoo! I applaud these efforts.
In checking out their membership, they have quite a list including Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, NMS Communications, Apple, Polycom, etc., but there are many I’d like to see including Microsoft, IBM, Nortel and all the other usual suspects. I encourage anyone involved in UC to participate and check the site regularly for updates as they move along.