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Who is Brian C. Wiles?

Brian is a world-renowned software developer, manager, and speaker best known for inventing Voice over IP (VoIP) and Skype.

My goal is to make the biggest impact by turning technical teams around and giving managers and executives the tools they need to effectively create new technologies.Brian C. Wiles

History

It all began in 1989. Brian thought it would be great if he and his friends could still talk to each other while playing video games against each other over their dialup modems. His idea was called RASCAL which was short for Remote Audio Sound Card Application Link. He began to develop it and by the end of 1989 was sending voice over Ethernet networks using the KA9Q Network Operating System. Technically, RASCAL was the first Voice over IP (VoIP) application. Earlier experiments with voice over packet networks were done in the 1970’s, but they were done over other protocols, not the Internet Protocol or IP. Brian hadn’t heard about the earlier experiments and had to come up with his solution entirely on his own. (Google and even the web didn’t exist yet.)

 

At the time, audio compression was in its infancy, and there wasn’t yet a way to get the voice packets small enough to be sent over the slow dialup modems of the day. So, Brian was able to use RASCAL to send his voice over IP via Ethernet, but his dream of multiplayer shoot-em-up games with opponents actually talking to each other would have to wait.  The VoIP technology Brian invented was intended for fun but would eventually impact virtually every person with a telephone worldwide.

 

In 1991, Brian began collaborating on another VoIP application called Speak Freely.1  Speak Freely eventually became the first well-known VoIP application, having several of the features we take for granted today such as voicemail, encryption, and the ability to see who is online.

 

In 2000, Brian invented Skype’s technology, releasing his own product, VoiceWeaver, on February 15, 2003,2 six months before Skype was introduced. His reason for inventing the technology was to provide a peer-to-peer telecommunications product that wouldn’t cease to function if the company that made it went out of business, which had happened to HearMe.Com.3  The success of Skype was based on being able to freely market to their existing user base of Kazaa, the peer-to-peer file sharing software used by millions of users to pirate music, movies, and other items.4 VoiceWeaver was shutdown on June 1, 2004 due to lack of sales.

 

Over the next 20+ years, VoIP transitioned from a hobbyist technology to a disruptive force in long distance telecommunications.  Companies such as AT&T first tried to ban VoIP and then gave up and eventually used it to provide free long distance to their customers.  Gone are the days of paying several cents or even a few dollars per minute to talk to someone across the country.  We no longer need to watch the minutes we have left on our cell phone bills.  All of that is thanks to VoIP.

 

In his career, Brian held various titles including CTO at several companies.  His consulting clients include Verizon, Google, Walmart, Cisco Systems, and Zillow.  He has either developed products for or advised his clients on strategy, management, and security.  Recognized as the leader in VoIP and other fields, Brian is uniquely qualified to push companies beyond even what they think is possible!


Footnotes

  1. Glen Kunene, “A History of Telecommunications: How Telecoms Became Just Another Interface“, Nexmo Blog, April 18, 2017
  2. Brian C. Wiles, “VoiceWeaver Adds Secure Voice Communications to Personal Web Sites“, February 15, 2003
  3. Wikipedia contributors, “MPlayer.com,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed October 5, 2017).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, “Skype,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed October 5, 2017).

Accomplishments

Brian has had several accomplishments in his career, including:

  • Inventor of 12 patents.
  • Inventor of both Voice over IP & Skype.
  • Legal strategist/expert witness for Sony in VoIP case which they won.
  • Created Europe’s first PC-to-Phone calling service.
  • Provided technical evaluation of a $4 Billion business deal for Qwest.
  • Created a crime analysis system for Police Departments.
  • Created high-traffic e-commerce websites integrated with vendors and distributors using EDI.
  • Created an assembly-line software system for a high-end hardware repair company.
  • Co-created Walmart’s in-store television broadcasting system.
  • Created personalized photo products software and supporting e-commerce website.
  • Created mobile apps for customer order management.
  • Added barcode scanning functionality to several mobile apps.
  • Created Yellow Pages mobile app for large phone book publisher.
  • Created weather apps, news apps, social network apps, podcasting apps, and others.
  • Created a system capable of creating mobile apps on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.