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Call Waiting?

The computer phone is still a thing of the future, but IP telephony will deliver better ways to beam up to your enterprise today.

This story appears in the July 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. The Empire hadn't yet struck back, William Shatner still looked good in polyester, and most PCs ran something called CP/M.

The PC had scarcely been invented before people tried to fix it up with the telephone. One company, Convergent Technologies, hung telephones on desktop computers wired to a PBX-cum-LAN. But it turned out that computer/phone relationships require more than just a software handshake and a hardware redesign. The biggest hurdle, says telephony analyst Jeff Pulver of Pulver.com, an online community for the IP industry, has been the reluctance of Bell monopolies to make room on the public-switched telephone network (PSTN) for competitors.

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