Since the longest journey begins not only with that first step, but with a good roadmap, a great place to start is at a Web site hosted by the Computer Science and Engineering Department at Ohio State University. The site (located at http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/~jain/refs/ref_voip.htm#qos-wg), is a veritable encyclopedia of links to VOIP-related information and technology sources. These sources range from basic reference information and working group specification drafts to VoIP industry groups and vendors (although the list of vendors is pretty slim compared to the number actually out there on the market).
The Ohio State VoIP Web site also offers a number of papers written by university professors and researchers, including a link to a Web site hosted by adjunct professor Raj Jain, who has posted an incredible collection of notes and material on VoIP and networking in general -- which gives a whole new meaning to the adage "publish or perish" in academia.
Another interesting resource is the VoIP Calculator Web site which, as you might expect, offers a number of online tools that can be used for free to perform a variety of technical calculations and help design your own VoIP system. The site also boasts a very informative chat forum, which provides a lot of answers and potential solutions for current VoIP problems (like billing and monitoring activities); and a VoIP directory that points you to vendors and solution providers that specialize in such issues as billing, client software, middleware and testing alternatives.
Vendors are, of course, a great source for VoIP information -- although you may have to slice through a bit of self-serving promotion before you arrive at pure and nearly unadulterated information. Nortel Networks is a pretty good source, since its VoIP data provides a good and basic understanding of the topic before launching into any technology bias. Check out the company's offerings at http://www.nortelnetworks.com/corporate/technology/voip/index.html and judge for yourself. The benefit of tapping into vendor knowledge bases is that you can also review VoIP case histories and success stories and read how the technology is being applied in distinct channel and industry segments. You won't find any bad news in these sites, but there is usually enough of that elsewhere to balance your exposure.
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