The real consequence of six years of change

For the last few years of the 90s I managed a web site which for some reason I called cipx.net – Carrier IP Xchange (IP is Internet Protocol not Intellectual Property!). The site was an attempt to get to grips the phenomenal number of companies supplying the communications community with IP equipment and software. It was also an attempt to categorise them so that I could understand which companies operated in a particular market sector. It was also useful to see who the existing competition was for a start-up.

This proved to be a rather difficult exercise as companies had a propensity to not define what they did too tightly on their web sites, an approach that we still see today. You can easily speculate as to why this should be!

In those days, many companies were not even supplying IP based stuff as they had still not recognised the tsunami nature of this new IT derived protocol. This web site eventually totalled many hundreds if not thousands of companies with all the technology bubble start-ups. It certainly felt that way in the optical / photonic sector!

I’ve recently decided to resurrect this site on TechnolgySpectra but it’s proving to be an interesting challenge that will take me a few months to complete I suspect.

It’s not only that I needed to get rid of just Enron by going through each and every link, but hundreds of other companies that I can categorise as follows:

• Companies that are still operating as an independent operation
• Companies that have merged – several times sometimes!
• Companies whose domain cannot be found
• Companies whose domains are now held by 3rd party and advertising God knows what.

I even had half a dozen stealth companies in the “What do they do” section but I’ll never know what as all the URLs bounced.

Also, some of the categories have a folklore sort of feel to them such as ASP services, eStore, eTailers, catalogue shopfronts, terabit switching (BTW, I noticed that the 1st terabit HD was announced yesterday), bandwidth exchanges and WAP. I guess these all need updating over time.

It’s not only companies that are affected but forums as well. I do have to smile to see that the ATM forum is now the MFA Forum and looks at MPLS, Frame Relay and ATM technologies! All those years of telling everyone that ATM was dead! Now, what was Bill Gates favourite saying?

This is going to take me some time!

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