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December 19, 2008

Sagem-Interstar Emphasizes Importance of Unified Communications for 2009

By Michelle Robart, TMCnet Editor

Global innovator in advanced fax solutions for IP networks, Sagem-Interstar is ending an exciting year, gaining increasing recognition for its XMediusFAX FoIP (Fax over IP) solution, as innovative, productivity-enhancing Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC) gain momentum. 
As the industry’s first IP fax server to run inside a Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR), the XMediusFax FoIP solution is a vital and cost-effective part of a complete UC strategy.
XMediusFax is a highly cost effective, secure, and reliable IP fax server solution that has dominated the global FoIP market since 2002.
Sagem-Interstar (News - Alert) Marketing Director, John Nikolopoulos, discusses the future for the company and how Unified Communications (UC) is especially important for businesses to make it in 2009.
TMCnet: Looking back at 2008, how would you characterize the year for your company?
JN: Sagem-Interstar has seen a significant shift in the market with proper recognition for its innovations in the fields of T.38 reliability, product stability, and its leadership role in the rapidly growing FOIP (fax over IP) market space.  The UC market is now realizing the importance of FAX, as being a widely accepted and reliable means of mass communication and that its presence as part of a complete UC solution is an essential requirement.
Note that further evidence to support this claim is the recently published book by Cisco (News - Alert) on Fax in 2008! [Fax Modem, and Text for IP Telephony, D. Hanes and G. Salgueiro, by Cisco Press]. By the way, Sagem-Interstar’s leadership in the FOIP space is further reinforced by the fact that we were asked by Cisco to make significant content contributions.
TMCnet: What were the key trends that impacted your business?
-- Widespread use of SIP trunking technology.
-- Unified Communications and bringing all communications either email, chat or fax   within the same infrastructure.
-- Server consolidation and virtualization.
TMCnet: What was your company’s biggest achievement in the past year?
JN: Our greatest achievement in 2008 was the rapid go-to-market of the XMediusFAX AXP fax over IP server solution for the Cisco AXP product. We were the first GA product to deliver on the value proposition of the Cisco AXP platform as well as reap the numerous benefits of co-marketing with Cisco. This solution is the only one supported on the Cisco ISR (integrated services router) which now has an installed base exceeding 5 million.
TMCnet: What are your customers looking for in the coming year?
JN: Integration points remain a high priority with regards to product development. The ability to process input and output with various touch points is now the primary role of the enterprise fax server.
Automation is also becoming critical in moving information and delivering it to the right people. Removing the human factor and increasing the presence of computer based decision making will be required to stay on track with demands in several markets including manufacturing, healthcare and finance.
Finally, addressing the fundamental needs of the emerging branch office including advanced survivability mechanisms will be critical across a wide spectrum of verticals. Our Cisco AXP XMediusFAX offering has been optimized to address these challenges.
TMCnet: What can we expect to see from your company in the next 12 months?
JN: Sagem-Interstar will continue to be innovative and deliver market driven solutions that maintain our position as the global leader in the rapidly growing FoIP market. Moreover, similar to current activities with Cisco, Sagem-Interstar will be prominent with other UC players as well as address other key segments spanning enterprise content management (ECM), multi-function peripheral (MFPs) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) channels.
TMCnet: Do you think a new administration in Washington, D.C. will be good for the communications industry? If so, how? If not, why not?
JN: The new administration will bring stability and certainty in the markets. The first half of 2009 will be very challenging for IT/telecom projects with significant improvements in the second half following impacts of aggressive stimulus packages deployed by governments worldwide.
TMCnet: In your view, please describe the future of the IP communications industry?
JN: Key highlights include:
-- Continued consolidation in the vendor and carrier space.
-- Virtualization and SIP are key trends to watch out for.
-- What is Microsoft (News - Alert) going to do?
-- Aggressive TDM to IP migration in the UC space.
-- Fax will remain an important piece of this convergence puzzle for many years.
TMCnet: If you had to make one bold prediction for 2009, what would it be?
Industry Perspective: The unraveling of Nortel and how key competitors (e.g., Cisco, Avaya) and partners (IBM (News - Alert), Microsoft) will react to improve their positioning.
Corporate Perspective: Despite a challenging macroeconomic environment, Sagem-Interstar will end the year stronger with increased revenues and significant gains in market share in the FOIP market space.

Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart

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