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October 02, 2009

Popularity of IP Fax Fuels Survivability: Sagem-Interstar

By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor

What’s one of the most important business tools today? E-mail may be the first thing that comes to mind. But as more companies migrate to Voice over Internet Protocol architecture, IP fax is continuing to drive important business at the enterprise level, an executive for an IP fax solutions provider, said.
“Fax is very relevant today,” John Nikolopoulos, director of marketing, Sagem-Interstar, told TMCnet’s Erik Linask during a video interview filmed at TMC’s (News - Alert) ITEXPO West, an event whose annual counterpart ITEXPO East 2010 will take place Jan. 20-22 in Miami. “Fax has always been the trouble child with regards to the emerging UC space, but with accelerated TDM IP migration, fax is back at the forefront.”
TMC sat down with Nikolopoulos to discuss survivability as it relates to the fax industry.
The growing adoption of fax is calling more attention to survivability, Nikolopoulos said. Sagem-Interstar (News - Alert), a company that offers email-based IP fax systems, desktop faxing solutions and fax outsourcing, catering to businesses and service providers of all sizes, defines survivability as the capability of a solution or system to withstand partial or total failures resulting from hardware, software, or both, or a catastrophic disaster without significantly impairing normal operations.
And as most businesses have learned, it’s crucial to have a minimal threshold of survivability at the branch level. Cisco, for example, has embedded a new offering from Sagem (News - Alert)-Interstar that address survivability issues into its ISR/AXP extension application platform, which is deployed on the company’s integrated services router. Such solutions, Nikolopoulos said, give companies an automated form of survivability to provide valued added features to the branch.
As a result, companies also need to focus on virtualization, but what does that have to do with survivability?
Virtualization has hit the IT sector by storm over the last few years and it continues to be one of the key trends in the company’s business, Nikolopoulos said. Some of the key benefits include reduced cost and increased flexibility. And the IP fax server space has paralleled innovations to address some of virtualization capabilities.
For example, fax over IP software-only solutions has been developed. Sagem-Interstar (News - Alert) was the first to introduce the FoIP software-only server to the market to help it work with a virtualized environment.
While some key platform vendors like Citrix introduced some interesting capabilities to address basic survivability needs, but the platforms “don’t have visibility into the details of the high level applications,” Nikolopoulos said. “This is where application vendors develop their own survivability tools.”
“The survivability capabilities offered by virtualization infrastructure players are really complementary to the tools that are provided by the actually application vendors like ourselves,” he said.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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