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November 20, 2013

UCI Forum and ONF to Forward SDN, UC Integration via Collaborative Relationship

The Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum) is a nonprofit alliance of worldwide communications technology leaders working toward the aim of realizing the potential of unified communications through increased efficiency, decreased implementation costs and improved interoperability. It is also a sponsor of this week’s WebRTC Conference & Expo.

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), meanwhile, is a user-driven organization dedicated to the promotion and adoption of software-defined networking (SDN) through open standards development.

Despite their seemingly separate goals, these two organizations have entered into a new collaborative relationship with a goal that should seem obvious given their missions: To integrate SDN into unified communications environments. In particular, the organizations will focus on a few key areas of mutual interest.

These areas include: The research and publication of use cases that leverage SDN to enhance or enable unified communications; the demonstration and communication of the effective deployment of unified communications solutions supported by SDN architectures; and the identification of a basic framework for a common northbound interface for unified communications applications.

In pursuit of these goals, the UCI Forum plans to define a unified communications SDN framework and API describing the interaction of unified communications with certain SDN functions. It will also investigate building on frameworks proposed or developed by other SDN communities. For example, ONF is currently developing its framework for Northbound APIs to SDN controllers, so the UCI Forum may attempt to leverage these framework development efforts.

"Our relationship with the UCI Forum supports and demonstrates the exciting potential of providing SDN's benefits to user applications," said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation, in a statement. "The collaboration between our two organizations will further accelerate the adoption of open SDN, within UC."

Unified communications and SDN have both gained a lot of steam separately in recent years, so it’s exciting to see how they will develop as a result of this partnership.



Edited by Rory J. Thompson





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