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Aculab's Gravett Speaks to the Success of Prosody X
By Greg Galitzine, Group Editorial Director
I asked Gravett to describe what’s been going on with regard to Aculab’s flagship solution, Prosody X.
Gravett told me that Prosody X is enjoying a wonderful reception in the marketplace.
"Prosody X was launched in January 2006, and at this point in time we have over 140 companies worldwide who are developing communications applications based on the product," Gravett said. "What’s been happening from probably mid Q3 2006 onwards is that we’ve received a lot of feedback from the initial users who were developing on the product and we’ve had a lot of requests for enhancements and some tweaking, and most of our R&D effort has been taken up responding to those opportunities"
The solution is currently being deployed by developers into their end user customers. I asked Gravett to explain what markets were the biggest adopters of Aculab’s technology.
"Prosody X has taken us, as an enabling technology supplier, to what we consider to be a leadership position in four sectors in particular: conferencing, fax, contact center, and military communications applications.
"In response to the first developers who developed with Prosody X we have seen a lot of movement in those sectors. You will see over the forthcoming year, a lot of our efforts will be placed on growing our penetration into those sectors and getting a return on the investment we’ve made on the individual companies who are either in or tied to those sectors."
I interjected, asking Gravett what advantages wideband conferencing brings to the marktplace.
"The prime benefit is quality. We have customers now offering services and deploying solutions that can have upwards of 2,000 conference participants, and obviously there are a lot of challenges in terms of voice quality in conferences of that size. The way we deploy that can be anything from 1:1,999 parties to 2,000 parties having two-way conferencing. We have strength in this area and we are seeing evidence that companies in that sector are moving to our technology and are seeing the benefit that Prosody X — particularly in an IP only environment — can offer.
"We’ve recently introduced v.34, which was required and demanded by the fax sector," he said. The solution centers on enabling developers of fax solutions to be cost effective, because as Gravett says, "…it’s all about speed of sending faxes. When you’re doing fax broadcast, obviously if you can cut a small amount of time down on hundreds of thousands of faxes then there’s a revenue improvement or a margin improvement depending on how you want to look at it.
"What we have seen over the past 18 months is that we’ve been encouraged by our customers to make a large investment in things like v.34, T.38, T.38 gateways, and even T.37. We’ve been asked to deliver T.37. Even though it appears to be a backwards step, it’s a market requirement in terms of providing fallback from T.38. We’ve continued to invest and we’re now seeing the payback with quite a bit of migration particularly in the North American market where fax is probably more prevalent than the rest of the world. It’s a sector where we have seen a great deal of success in and we’re looking to focus on moving forward."
"The flexibility that we can offer with Prosody X in distributed architecture, the ability to run an application on one host server, but serving a number of different servers offers the opportunity for call center companies to create virtual call centers and virtual offices, which is a growing need. The ability to scale Prosody X and to run either multiple applications, or an application on one server delivered across a number of disparate locations, has moved us forward a long way in the contact center sector.
Military & Security
Gravett reflected on the success that Aculab has had with Prosody X, saying, "It’s been phenomenal what we’ve done in the last three or four months with the volume of Prosody X that’s gone through the business. Our financial year runs July to June, and so our first quarter (July to September) was the company’s best quarter ever in terms of both revenue and net profit, and this quarter is shaping up to beat last quarter. Our biggest challenge has been manufacturing product fast enough to meet the orders, so we’re getting frustrated in a positive sort of way."
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