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August 14, 2008

Aculab's Chris Gravett Discusses Company, Communications Market

By Rich Tehrani, CEO, Technology Marketing Corporation

I recently had the opportunity to ask Chris Gravett, Sales and Marketing Director at Aculab about the company's achievements and goals over the next year as well as what Aculab will be exhibiting at ITEXPO (News - Alert) this September.
Aculab offers a portfolio of enabling technologies for VoIP developers and systems integrators to help them produce communications solutions that bring value, reduced costs, increased customer satisfaction and a competitive advantage. 
What has been your company’s biggest achievement in 2008 so far?
Our biggest achievement has been the success of Prosody X, established as the 'technology of choice' in four major sectors; conferencing, fax, contact center and military communications. Prosody X is now clearly the global market leader for communications enabling technology used in IP, hybrid and TDM converged communications solutions. Aculab's (News - Alert) record breaking performance in fiscal year 07/08 (12 months ending June 2008) reflects the outstanding success of Prosody X.
The launch of the ApplianX range of products has also been extremely well received. The ApplianX IP Gateway and ApplianX Gateway for Microsoft (News - Alert) Office Communications Server 2007 have both created much interest and demand in their respective target markets.
What can we expect to see from your company for the next 12 months?
We focus on our customers and we are willing to listen and invest in the technology they need to be successful. One of the key areas that sets Aculab apart is our ability to respond to customers’ near term requirements through our Request for Change (RFC) process. This process is designed to allow our customers to ask for product enhancements to target specific opportunities and is probably the key point that is brought out when our customers refer to Aculab as providing good support.

In terms of new products and features on the horizon, here are a few things that you can look forward to seeing from Aculab in the coming year:
  • Video support on our Prosody media processing family
  • Improvements to licence management for Prosody S, our HMP product
  • T.38 fax support
  • Prosody S with Linux support
  • Further variants within the ApplianX range
How do you see the communications market evolving?
The communications business model is now undoubtedly IP centric. Carriers have moved to IP in their core networks and, in spite of doubts over the relative penetration of IP into the user base, over 70 percent of equipment lines shipped support IP. And, despite what the H.323 Forum might say, I’m convinced the majority of these are SIP.
Mobile penetration has increased, too. In Singapore, for example, it’s 125 percent and elsewhere in the world, it’s also over 100 percent as many users have more than one SIM. Worldwide penetration now exceeds 50 percent. At well over 3 Billion, the number of mobile phones on the planet equates to over half the global population number.
More than 3 out of every 10 Americans now rely solely on a mobile handset for their telephony needs. Significantly, more than 84 percent of Americans are apparently now wireless subscribers. And, with 2007 becoming the year when worldwide mobile shipments exceeded 1 Billion for the first time, I predict an entirely mobile future.
Further evidence for this comes from mobile carriers as they determine how to move from GSM to LTE (News - Alert) and/or WiMAX for their 3.5/4G services. Voice usage is shifting and it won’t be long before more than two-thirds of traffic is wireless. It’s not hard to deduce that there is a market for mobility and there is no question we are in a rising industry that is going to be increasingly powered by IP, broadband and some kind of mobile device.
What will attendees see in your booth at ITEXPO this September?
We will display our flagship products, the Prosody X family of media processing boards. For developers of VoIP and PSTN telephony solutions, Aculab's Prosody product range provides feature rich and high density media processing, call control signalling and digital network connectivity.            .
We will also display GroomerII, a system level performance packed product, based on our Prosody X boards. GroomerII is primarily a signalling and media gateway for carriers and service providers, ideally suited to SS7-to-SIP interconnection.
The attendees will see the display of ApplianX IP Gateway (News - Alert) and ApplianX Gateway for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. ApplianX is a range of deployment-ready appliances designed for infrastructure roles in converged telecommunications networks of enterprises, data centres and service providers.
What sorts of companies should come to your exhibit?
Anyone who is developing multimedia applications and solutions for IP, PSTN and mobile networks should visit the Aculab booth. We have the complete range of products and services to meet your needs. Aculab has the most comprehensive technology suite to satisfy companies who are servicing a host of sectors including: call progress analysis; contact centres; fax broadcast; conferencing; MAG and emergency services. These examples reflect some of the many applications and services where Aculab’s communications products and core competencies have delivered significant added value to our customers and partners.
Why should customers choose your company’s solutions?
Aculab not only has the most comprehensive suite of IP and TDM media processing products to satisfy our customer needs, but also offers the broadest range of pre and post sales support services. Key differentiators include: bespoke pre and post sales professional services, consultancy and training; unlimited post sales technical support, a web-based knowledge base and interactive user forum; and a long established partner marketing programme, ensuring that our customers achieve success at every stage of their product’s life cycle.
In addition, Aculab is proud of its longevity – celebrating 30 years in business this year – private ownership and independent status, which all mean true flexibility can be exercised to meet our customer’s needs at every opportunity.
Aculab is a Diamond sponsor of Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year. Visit Aculab at booth #314 in the exhibit hall. ITEXPO will take place in Los Angeles, California, September 16-18, 2008, featuring three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Don’t wait. Register now!

Rich Tehrani is President and Group Editor-in-Chief of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world�s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.

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