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December 23, 2008

Talking with Pactolus' Ken Osowski

By Richard Grigonis, Executive Editor, IP Communications Group


This interview originally appeared in the December issue of Internet Telephony magazine.
 
Ken Osowski (News - Alert) is Vice President of Marketing & Product Management at Pactolus Communications Software Corporation. Ken helped develop the company’s business plan to support funding activities and market entry, now directs its product strategy and marketing activities, and has helped Pactolus become one of the industry’s most widely-deployed, flexible and customizable service delivery platforms. Previously Osowski directed Boston Technology’s introduction and commercialization of its carrier-focused voice messaging platform, and subsequently defined IPeria’s (News - Alert) market entry strategy as its Vice President of Marketing & Business Development. He holds a B.S. in Physics from Franklin & Marshall College and an M.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University.
 
Processing 3–4 billion Minutes-of-Use (MOU) monthly in 140+ service provider NGN networks worldwide, Pactolus is a major player in the service provider hosted SIP/IMS-based applications domain. The customizable turnkey services provided by the company include residential/business Class 5 VoIP, large operator-assisted event and reservation-less audio conferencing, prepaid/post paid services and voice messaging.
 
We recently caught up with Ken Osowski and interviewed him.
 
RG: Pactolus won a “Best of Show Award” from TMC (News - Alert) for itsSIPdev.org Developer Community’s open source framework/open access Service Creation Environment (SCE). SIPdev is designed to be an easy-to-use platform for creating a new generation of highly-scaled services. What led you guys into open source? Can one make real money in this field?
KO: Absolutely, companies like ours can profit from open services — through service, support, integration, and session licensing. In our case, we have open-sourced the applications and frameworks, and we generate revenue for the underlying platform software. This lets us simplify and cost-reduce service creation for service providers and for independent developer/integrators, and license the run-time sessions so that we derive revenues when the service provider does, as usage grows.
 
Other open source models take a hardware approach by locking the developer and service provider into buying proprietary appliances, another approach to deriving revenue. With Pactolus, there’s a well-defined line between the SDP and the applications themselves, thus providing a clear line of demark between the two code bases. An SCE generates the
applications that run on the platform.
 
This separation of application from the software platform makes it much easier for developers to build applications without worrying about scalability and reliability issues. By the way, this distinct delineation between the application and the platform is also key to another Pactolus differentiation — easily supporting the creation of any service that the developer can envision, not just IP PBX (News - Alert).
 
RG: Is it more difficult to manage open source development? Or is the product lifecycle accelerated?
KO: It’s not difficult for third-party developers or service providers to create and manage an open source-created service application, providing that there’s a solid code base that protects the developer and customer in terms of service scale, breadth and features, rather than one that prevents them from implementing scale and features. Case in point: we’ve seen Pactolus-based service applications built in less than 24 hours. The resulting service continues to scale as needed, and is generating profits for one of the world’s biggest IP carriers today – well over a year later.
 
RG: Is there more open source work in Pactolus’ future?
KO: SIPdev continues to grow, and there’s definitely new ways to integrate to our rich API set and applications. More and more enterprises and service providers are seeing the value in creating unique and highly usable, scalable services, and they are impressed with just how easily competitors have done so using SIPdev.org. Applications will be created having innovation and feature richness limited only by the developer’s imagination. Stay tuned – we’re creating device integrations and services that are optimized for arguably the industry’s most exciting platform.

Richard Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC’s IP Communications Group. To read more of Richard’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Greg Galitzine




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