August 29, 2007
ITEXPO Q&A With Aculab
) offers solution providers a wide range of hardware and software building blocks for integration into high performance, wired and wireless communications solutions—from contact centers and IVR to prepaid services. Products for use in telco or enterprise platforms include media processing resources; speech processing, fax, conferencing and echo cancellation—in both PSTN and IP environments, and digital network access including VoIP and SS7
The company, based in Milton Keynes, UK, will be highly visible at this year’s ITEXPO
, with several high-profile speaking opportunities and of course a booth on the Exhibit Hall floor. Be sure to stop by the Aculab booth #402 and speak to the team about their offerings.
ITEXPO took the opportunity to catch up with Aculab, and ask the company several questions about their products and what they hope to share at the event.
ITEXPO: Prosody X recently “turned 2.” Please describe the market response to Prosody X and what lies ahead for the product line.
The market’s excitement about Prosody X wasn’t incidental. The new product architecture from Aculab was the first to ‘marry’ the legacy TDM and the new VoIP
technologies for complex media processing and signalling on one piece of hardware, enabling users to develop converged telephony solutions cost-effectively. The companies that migrate to IP
telephony find Prosody X as a perfect fit for the purpose of their new application. Since the product’s inception, more than a hundred companies have adopted Prosody X technology, many of which are key names in the industry. Aculab is currently shipping volumes for some mass deployments and this brings the company a steep gradient of growth.
Aculab is currently working to enhance the functionality of the product line with new form factors, video processing, wideband voice codecs and conferencing, redundancy for the SIP stack, and additional features requested by our customers. With a vast number of new customers acquired, Aculab’s top priority is helping these companies to take their designs to market faster, ensuring that their engagement with Prosody X makes them successful in rising to the challenges of their business and beating the competition.
ITEXPO: What’s been the biggest surprise to date? Have there been any interesting or unanticipated applications of the technology?
One of the biggest surprises is the existence of very significant differences in the rate of adopting new technology in various geographies. Let’s take for example North America and Europe. In the former, VoIP is dominant and strong IP media processing capabilities are a must have, but mobile video is seen as a thing of the remote future, something to happen as the result of the IMS
promise. In contrast, in the latter geography, TDM is more dominant and the adoption of VoIP for the enterprise and carrier level solutions is steady, but mobile video and various multimedia primary rate services are everywhere.
ITEXPO: What are some of the exciting new developments that attendees will see on Aculab’s booth at ITEXPO?
Aculab is promoting several exciting developments at ITEXPO. The extremely beneficial ‘Easy Speech’ promotional offer being one of them. This is a bundled development package offered in conjunction with LumenVox (News
) and is available for a limited time only. It combines a Prosody X media processing card and VoiceXML/CCXML interpreter software with LumenVox Speech Engine Lite to offer developers a cost-effective opportunity to get involved in developing speech-enabled IVR systems.
Of course, attendees visiting the booth will get an introduction to Aculab’s award winning Prosody X card, which is now available in PCI Express (PCIe) form factor, as well as in PCI and cPCI. The next generation media processing platform has taken the market by storm with over one hundred companies already having successfully integrated it into their solutions. Visitors should stop by our booth and talk to one of our Account Managers about what Prosody X has to offer.
Also appearing on our booth at the show will be GroomerII, Aculab’s integrated signalling and media gateway. GroomerII is offered as a powerful and adaptable gateway for SS7-to-SIP voice network connectivity. It enables the rapid delivery of revenue generating IP-based services into SS7 networks. Sometimes known as the ‘Swiss Army knife of gateways’ it also provides connection to legacy CAS and PRI networks and PBXs. Recent additions to GroomerII functionality include inserting SS7 and PRI call diversion information into SIP messages. This is essential for hosted, IP-based services such as voicemail as it means a diverted call can be forwarded to the correct mailbox behind the IP address of the application platform.
ITEXPO: What’s next on Aculab’s product roadmap?
The road goes ever on. In terms of Prosody X functionality, as we’ve captured the lead in next generation media processing platforms with the broadest portfolio of media resources and codec support for both wired and wireless VoIP and TDM
networks, Aculab is determinedly marching on with adding enhanced video capability. Our roadmap promises a rich media offering to match the needs of developers in this space. In terms of form factor, expect an advanced mezzanine card (AMC) product to appear, which will provide Prosody X functionality for high density telco grade applications running on AdvancedTCA platforms and also for stand alone MicroTCA (News
In the area of SS7, which remains fundamental to core networks in both wireless and fixed line architectures, Aculab is progressing with a SIGTRAN offering that will enable developers to integrate ISUP and TCAP applications in both peer-to-peer and gateway scenarios. A benefit arising from this development is that existing applications written for TDM signalling with Aculab cards and APIs can be reused over IP-based signalling transport with no changes needed.
Additionally, the availability of ApplianX from September will satisfy a growing pool of solution providers who are looking to take advantage of leading enabling technology but, for a number of reasons, do not wish to incur the associated development costs or dedicate the time to write C-based applications — wishing instead to stay focused on their application.
The ApplianX range offers deployment-ready products based on Aculab’s award winning Prosody X IP media processing cards. The first two products, available from September, are ApplianX IP Gateway, an easy to deploy SIP to TDM gateway, often installed within an enterprise or service centre and ApplianX Gateway for Microsoft (News
) Office Communications Server 2007, which incorporates the Microsoft Mediation Server in a single ApplianX Gateway device.