RT: Please describe your experience at ITEXPO West 2008?
AE: I had a very good time. It was an excellent show. For me, it was my first working week with Ingate. I learned a lot and met a lot of interesting prospect customers and partners.
RT: Tell me a little bit about your background and how it fits in with what Ingate’s doing.
AE:I’ve been in the IP communications industry for the last 15 years, working with a number of manufacturers of equipment, like
Siemens (News - Alert)
and Newbridge Networks and Alcatel, where I have been the general manager of the broadband division in Northern Europe. The last five years I have been the CEO of a Swedish broadband operator called Zitius [Zitius Service Delivery AB] which I founded in 2003 offering a number of content providers content to people with fiber-to-the-home.
RT: How does that experience play into your new role at Ingate?
AE: That was quite an experience, working with 14 different service providers — Internet service providers, Internet telephony service providers, and TV service providers. That was a great opportunity to learn how to be a broadband communications operator working with different content providers and with real broadband connections. We offered services up to 100 Mbps to each household.
RT: What does the IP communications market look like today and what can we expect for the future?
AE: I see the IP market expanding and improving. I think we will see, over the next five to seven years, a massive increase Internet and Internet telephony traffic. We will see traffic growth of 50 to 100 percent per year.
RT: Those are significant numbers. Are you thinking worldwide?
AE: I think the numbers worldwide will be in that ballpark, yes.
RT: How will equipment providers be able to take advantage of that growth?
AE: There are a number of opportunities for manufacturers of IP equipment, IP telephony equipment, and infrastructure equipment, to leverage this market growth. It will be both wirebound communications and wireless communications. I think we will see an all-IP future where SIP is the future of all telecommunications.
RT: What do you think your company’s role will be in the changing IP communications landscape?
AE: That’s an interesting question. It’s always hard to predict the future. We currently enjoy a good situation in the market, where we are recognized as SIP experts. We play a role in enabling trusted SIP communications. I see opportunities for us in a number of markets with our technology. We have state-of-the-art products and know-how as well as very talented staff that can deliver trusted SIP communication to our global customer base. I feel there is a huge market potential for this type of edge product.
RT: What are some of the biggest issues facing enterprises looking to adopt Voice over IP and other forms of SIP communications?
AE: There are a number of issues that enterprises face today when they start to contemplate moving into IP telephony. There are quality issues, due to historic reasons. There are interoperability issues between PBXs and carriers. And of course there are a number of security issues that have to be handled.
RT: How do you plan to get the SIP trunking market up to speed?
AE: Well, of course we are only a small player in this market but I think our cooperation with TMC and working together on the ITEXPO seminars has been a very good way of bringing these messages out to a wider audience. Then, of course, there will be a lot of PR and sales promotion work to be done together with the other players in the industry to raise the awareness level of SIP.
RT: Do you think there is a lot more room for growth in the SIP trunking space?
AE: I think we are in the beginning of this market. Everything points to SIP as the protocol of future telecommunications. There is still a lot of market growth to expect.
RT: What is next for Ingate?
AE:Well, I’ve only been three weeks into the job, so I’m still contemplating on what moves to make. We will try to improve our business and expand our business. We will focus on a few markets over the next six to twelve months in order to leverage the position we have. Then, of course, there is a marketing and sales job to be done to speak to our partners in the market, our resellers, our distributors, our technology partners in the
PBX (News - Alert)
vendor arena. We will focus on carriers, where we see a growing interest for SIP trunking and our products.
RT: Where do you think the company will be in five years?
AE: It’s a little bit too early to give a real answer to that question. We have a strong investor community that intends to invest and grow the company. I’m here to get the company to grow. It’s hard to say how much, but we intend to increase our market leading position over the next couple years and really grow the company.
RT: A few years ago, we launched a session at ITEXPO that allowed carriers to hear from device manufacturers such as you to see what devices they should roll out. I think we were too early, because the carriers didn’t seem very interested in comparing devices. Carriers don’t seem to care about things that are in the future, they care about what is making money for someone else and they need to do it because they’re behind. They don’t plan ahead that much based on what I’m seeing.
AE: I agree. Now that the market has matured, they have matured, and what we’re seeing is that they’re going from a defensive position to a more proactive position and taking this new technology on as customer offerings.
RT: Right. It’s gaining traction, and subsequently they should probably do it. It seems that’s how the markets evolve with the carriers; you have to start making money and then other people need to make money so they can copy them. No-one seems to want to lead. But that’s fine.
AE: Right, right. Now we see major carrier players moving to this arena.
RT: That’s good news, for you and for us. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me.
Rich Tehrani is President and Editor in Chief at TMC.
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