Acme Packet (News - Alert) – the dominant market leader for Session Border Controllers (SBC)-- and Metaswitch, a leading IP communications software provider, both revealed this week that each company is encroaching into the other's traditional market space. The announcements signal what is likely to be an increasingly brutal battle, as the two companies continue to seek rapid growth as the world's telecommunications companies migrate out TDM and into the world of IP.
Acme Packet has teamed up with BroadSoft (News - Alert) to announce IMS Xpress, a simplified solution for IMS deployments. The newly announced solution is pre-integrated, interoperable and designed to reduce IMS architecture complexity to simply accelerate deployments.
IMS Xpress puts together Acme Packet's Net-Net SIP Multimedia-Xpress (SMX) solution with BroadSoft's BroadWorks communications applications server in a pre-tested, integrated fashion. Acme has put together a solution that has fewer moving parts and has less complexity than a traditional IMS deployment, leveraging its experience with SIP and deploying SMX.
"We found that we could leverage the good bits of IMS and eliminate those bits that didn't make sense," said David Cullerot, director of product management at Acme Packet. "The whole notion of IMS is everything needs to be decomposed. That's really doesn't add any value. You can more tightly integrate functions [together] as long as those functions are represented."
Instead of having dedicated servers or blades for each IMS function, Acme has worked to streamline functions behind the scenes, presenting the same IMS interfaces but reducing the backend overhead to reduce the total cost of ownership. Providing a tested and pre-integrated solution allows service providers to quickly deploy an integrated solution much more rapidly to market.
Meanwhile, Metaswitch is now making its Perimeta SBC software available for deployment on generic enterprise servers and virtual machine environments to support cloud computing. Perimeta supports independent scaling of an SBC's signaling and media functions, so large operators can now take advantage of cloud environments to scale SBC functions independently of dedicated hardware solutions.
Perimeta is now running on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), but many service providers will likely opt to run SBC software on their own cloud-based resources rather than be dependent on the reliability of third-party solutions. Since the software runs on COTS server firms, service providers can dial up SBC functionality as needed by simply buying more software licenses.
Given that both companies want to diversify their current product mix, Acme Packet and Metaswitch will no doubt be engaging in further forays into each other's traditional markets segments as well as ending up going head-to-head in new segments.
Edited by Jamie Epstein