QueTwo's Blog

thouoghts on telecommunications, programming, education and technology

Top of your game…


Don’t mean to sound pretentious, but…

Have you ever been in a position where you were truly in the top of your game?  Were you ever ‘the’ resource for a particular subject?  Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case with many of the Adobe technologies, as we have an excellent community, and very helpful people at the top that don’t mind sharing their experiences with others.

In the telephone world, that is not always the case.

Every vendor will tell you they know the world, and they have implemented every product every possible way.   I used to work with one of these vendors supporting Avaya, Nortel, Adtran, Extreme and Cisco products, and was pretty damn good at it.  Since I left that particular company and stated at Michigan State University, I’ve found that getting experienced people is a real pain in the rear.

Avaya recently introduced a product (when I say recently, I mean about a year ago) which is meant to be a SIP proxy between the phone system and the rest of the world.  A SIP Proxy is a device that is meant to take registrations, and keep track of users.   When a user registers with an IP address of, and the user is to receive a phone call, the proxy says “Oh, I know user X!  He is at!  Let me send him a RING command!”  Because the SIP moniker is so popular with the other vendors (which is interesting because nobody has really figured out how to make it work well with the feature sets they already had), Avaya has been pushing the ability to do SIP as their current marketing campaign.

So, we go out and buy one and try to implement.  Heck, all their marketing material talks about SIP, so it’s gotta be good.   Simple questions about the newly implemented product such as “How do I add a new user” come back from our entire vendor community as “Uh… I don’t know.. Call Avaya”.  I found one guy at a vendor that seems to know ‘something’ about this product, but his queue is over three weeks long for simple questions.  

I call Avaya.   Tier-1 supports comes to a screeching halt.  “Oh, the SIP Server?  You will need to talk directly to Tier-3.”  Damn.  Tier-3 is the group at Avaya who helps you when your system is very, very, very broken.  If there is no fire, they take about three to four weeks to get back to you (which normally I don’t care if these would be such simple questions).   When it comes to more complex problems, such as “How do I put a firewall in between this device and the Internet?” everybody comes to a screeching halt.  Avaya says “Uh, why would you want to do that?”  The Vendor says “Uh, I never thought of that before…” I silently scream. 

It’s hard to come from the position where you knew everything about product X, but when it comes to product X.1, you know not the simplest thing, and all your normal resources have no clue either.  It’s just the mind game of being help-less in an area where you used to know it all…

Don’t worry, soon I’ll have more information, and hopefully more help as I figure out this stuff..  SIP?  Yeah, your going down!


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