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April 27, 2009

Grandstream Products Making NGN Innovation a Reality

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director

If you’ve followed TMC’s (News - Alert) magazines and Web site over the past several years — and, indeed, over the company’s entire 30-year history — you’re well aware of its nature to adapt with the times and stay at the forefront of the cutting edge of technology. Its print pages began with Telemarketing magazine back in 1982, and has since grown and matured to include not only Customer Interaction Solutions (the current title of that original publication), as well as INTERNET TELEPHONY, upon which ITEXPO was founded, along with a Web presence that has exceeded more than 3 million unique monthly visitors.
TMC’s latest publications, Unified Communications and NGN magazine, are the latest examples of TMC’s commitment to ensuring its readership has access to the very latest in communication news and information. They are also a testament to TMC Chairman and CEO Nadji Tehrani’s long-time belief that the right time to start a publication is before it become mainstream, especially when it comes to technology. We all know now how big the telemarketing space has become, despite his editor’s question at the time: “Are you sure that this is an industry?”
The same can be said of the VoIP and IP Communications markets, and TMC President Rich Tehrani’s drive to create a market for news and information that about an industry that was being ridiculed by many. We also know what has come of the VoIP industry — only a few months ago, Miami was home to perhaps the most successful ITEXPO (News - Alert) yet, INTERNET TELEPHONY is still mailed each month, and TMCnet is home to more than 100 online channels and communities and nearly 50 bloggers delivering daily news and information about the constant innovation that is helping businesses and individuals communicate more effectively and efficiently.
Each year, that innovation is highlighted in many of TMC’s award programs, which draw attention to the communications industry vendors who are pushing the envelope and helping bring the products and services we all use on a daily basis to our homes and businesses. Many of those award-winning vendors face the same adversity the Tehranis have over the years — but they also share the tenacity and drive to see bring their endeavors to fruition.
Take, for instance, the video communications space. There have been more than a few vendors that have tried to bring video phones to market, yet very few have enjoyed any long term success — partly because of a lack of drive and partly because an inability to support those products.
However, as Khris Kendrick, senior director of business development at Grandstream Networks, has told me on many occasions, there is not only a future in video communications, but that future is imminent.
“As you will see, demand for media phones will only increase as we deliver even more fresh real-time media and content to the device (RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, Internet Radio, Flickr, Hulu (News - Alert), etc.),” he predicted, adding that Grandstream will continue to develop and deliver products to support that projected demand.
The latest addition to Grandstream’s video phone lineup is its GXV3140 model, which not only brings a sleek, elegant look and feel to the desktop, but also delivers a host of new features designed to allow service providers and end users alike leverage the next generation networks being deployed today — including built-in social networking features. 
As Rich Tehrani recently wrote, “This is quite a phone in terms of raw features and we can expect to see these becoming a baseline phone for executives, knowledge workers and impromptu SMB conference areas.”
The vision and innovation companies like Grandstream Networks engender is what led to its being named a winner of a 2009 NGN Leadership Award from NGN Magazine.
It wasn’t long ago that Grandstream announced the second iteration of its video phone, the GXV3005, but the company didn’t skip a beat. Despite the recession, it continued to develop new features and capabilities, and less than four months later release an even more exciting version, built to bring users the very latest communications capabilities (read Rich’s blog for a complete list of features). 
But, as I wrote earlier, the devices alone have proved not to be enough for some earlier vendors. Grandstream, however, supports both its voice-only and video-enabled SIP phones with an easy-to-deploy and manage all-in-one IP PBX, its GXE502x, which is designed to support distributed IP communications, intelligent unified messaging, advanced application integration and popular PBX (News - Alert) features, as well as hybrid communications deployments for businesses still in the midst of migrating to all-IP solutions.
Of course, cost is a major driver of market success, especially today, but it is a factor that Kendrick has always touted Grandstream’s value proposition. 
“We will continuously produce affordable multimedia devices for the market in 2009 and beyond… stay tuned,” he told Tehrani.
Because of the combination of deployment ease, functionality, and price point, Grandstream has also been able to solidify relationships with a many key service providers, including several who are leveraging its innovation in video communications to bring those services to market. It also has attracted the attention of a number of the leading SIP trunking providers, who are enjoying remarkable success today. In fact, it currently has established alliances with more than a dozen of the industry’s best known SIP Trunking vendors.
“Grandstream is one of the few vendors that offer an end-to-end solution that incorporates video,” said David Byrd, vice president of marketing and product development at Broadvox.
In addition to its versatile voice and video communications solutions, Grandstream has also recently expanded its product set to incorporate video surveillance — all designed to take advantage of the next generation networking capabilities that are revolutionizing the communications industry — all of which are certainly worthy of recognition with its NGN Leadership Award.

Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Managing Editor of TMCnet, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to nearly 3,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erik Linask

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