For years, women in tech and sciences have been hidden figures. Their contributions to the leaps made by man in those fields have gone unacknowledged. This is not so in the case of Marian Croak, an African American woman who invented VOIP.
VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. This is the technology that has enabled effective communication via video as well as audio channels over the internet. It is the foundation programme that made such apps like Skype possible as they use VOIP.
The brilliant Marian, who holds a PhD in quantitative analysis from the University of Southern California, has more than 125 patents in VOIP technology. She has worked at AT&T for more than 30 years in data services, and is currently a Senior Vice President at the company. She manages over 2,000 world class engineers and computer scientists responsible for over 500 programs impacting AT&T’s enterprise and consumer wireline and mobility services.
According to her, she saw the possibilities that the internet could throw up and immediately went to working on what would today become VOIP.
The decision and her subsequent success birthed a billion dollar industry based on the technology. There are hundreds of companies worldwide that offer VOIP services. They started out by offering business models and technical solutions that mirrored the architecture of the legacy telephone network, but now the industry has evolved.
The concept of federated VoIP was born which allows dynamic interconnection between users on any two domains on the Internet when a user wishes to place a call.
With that technology, calls and SMS text messages can be sent over mobile data or Wi-Fi using VOIP phones (software-based softphones or hardware devices), personal computers and tablets.
Now people know who Marian is and what she has contributed to making our lives easy. Her contribution to making the word a more global village is no more hidden.