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September 01, 2011

Understanding the Transformation to an all IP World: Interview with GENBAND

By Beecher Tuttle, TMCnet Contributor

Twice a year, TMC hosts an ITEXPO (News - Alert) conference and expo to bring together many of the major players in the technology space for in-depth keynote speeches and panel discussions on some of the industry's hottest trends.

ITEXPO West 2011, set to kick off on Sept. 13 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, will have a heavy focus on the cloud and the inevitable transition toward an all IP environment.

With just more than two weeks remaining until the doors open, TMC CEO Rich Tehrani reached out to a few ITEXPO exhibitors to get their opinion on these two topics.

Tehrani recently caught up with Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, VP of Strategic Marketing at GENBAND (News - Alert), to discuss how the ongoing transformation from legacy technologies to IP infrastructures is affecting fixed, mobile and cable service providers. GENBAND is a provider of IP infrastructure and application solutions for such customers.

Tamaskar believes that the move down an all IP path will increase the adoption rates of cloud-based architectures among telecom-centric networks. This transformation will lead to many partnerships between broadband access operators and the over-the-top players, which will provide new revenue generating opportunities for both parties.

This is where GENBAND specializes, says Tamaskar. “Our services and solutions are helping service providers navigate these disruptive trends by simplifying their networks through IP infrastructure and applications,” she told Tehrani.

The GENFuzion Developer Community, launched in May, has helped give GENBAND the tools to ensure that its VoIP infrastructure can be leveraged by cloud service providers.

Tamaskar touched on a few other related topics, including social media, HTML5 and the recent push for virtual workforces. She believes that Google (News - Alert)+ has a few compelling features, but doesn't offer enough unique functionality to overtake industry behemoths like Facebook and Twitter.

GENBAND will be on hand at ITEXPO West 2011 to talk to service providers that are interested in simplifying and optimizing their network while broadening their offerings. Check out booth #607 for more details.

The complete interview can be found below.

How has your market segment evolved over the past year and what trends have fueled those changes?

Our customers are increasingly understanding and requiring a transformation of their networks through IP infrastructure and applications. GENBAND is uniquely positioned to lead our customers to the feature-rich networks of the future, all the while ensuring that regulatory, commercial and quality-of-service commitments are maintained through a seamless and cost-effective transition from legacy infrastructure. Transformation includes convergence across fixed, mobile and over-the-top domains, and integrating the most cutting edge technologies available in an efficient way such as through Voice over LTE (News - Alert) and cloud-based services and applications.

What do you see as the next disruptive force in technology and how will it impact your market or business?

As seamless interconnections are formed between Telecom and Web services, and service providers continue on an IP network transformation path, we expect Telecom centric networks will increasingly migrate to cloud-centric architectures. As this occurs, we will see more partnerships between broadband access providers and the over-the-top players, offering differentiation and new opportunities for both groups. Our services and solutions are helping service providers navigate these disruptive trends by simplifying their networks through IP infrastructure and applications.

How has the acceptance and adoption of the cloud model influenced your development cycle and process?

Anything that promotes network-based services and applications plays to GENBAND’s strengths. GENBAND is a large user of cloud services and we are ensuring, through the use of APIs, that cloud service providers can leverage our industry-leading VoIP infrastructure, either through partnerships with our customers or by deploying the infrastructure themselves.

For example, in March, GENBAND launched the GENFuzion Developer Community. As part of the kick off, we created the first GENFuzion Developers Challenge, which awards the top three app developers across several strategic categories, including Lifestyle, Productivity, Mobility, and Unified Communications.

The immediate and powerful impact of opening GENBAND APIs to developers and providing them a collaborative testing environment for application development has been extraordinary. Our first ever GENFuzion Developer Challenge has unleashed outstanding innovation and proven to be a highly effective accelerator for fostering all types of application development for service providers to leverage. Innovation spans finance, hospitality, smart phones, customer service, etc. We recently announced the top three winners of our challenge along with several honorable mentions, which are already connecting with new potential customers as we facilitate go-to-market opportunities through our GENApps Showcase.

What is the most common request you are seeing from your customers? How is your company addressing these demands?

Our customers continue to search for ways to simplify their networks through industry leading IP-centric communications while rationalizing their existing investments. GENBAND offers a cost effective portfolio that transforms their infrastructure while ushering in new fixed and mobile communications convergence and applications. They want seamless migration paths that unleash IP application functionality while managing cost and maintaining the highest levels of security and scalability.

Our customers are particularly interested in GENBAND breakthroughs in standardized hardware and software that unify delivery of services on a common platform and thereby eliminate separate operating systems and separate management systems for key functions such as call control, applications and session border control. Unifying services with an IP-based, software-centric approach significantly simplifies network architecture, reduces costs and delivers unique possibilities via simple software upgrades.

How is the continued growth of social media changing service and product development strategies?

Social media increases the flow of communications, both between individuals and between companies and their customers. GENBAND continues to invest in a portfolio required to facilitate these communication flows. Our GENFuzion Developer Community is a perfect example of our strategy, which empowers developer partners and customers to leverage our APIs in building new and innovative social media, mobile-centric and cloud-based applications.

Will Google+ become bigger than Facebook and Twitter? Why or why not?

Google+ has some very compelling features but Facebook and Twitter users are deeply entrenched in those infrastructures. While Google+ makes it very easy for small groups to form and share information, it will have to offer more than it has today to get people to move en masse.

We care because our service provider customers are starting to build relationship with over-the-top providers and we are helping provide layers required for collaboration. Both sides bring unique strengths to the equation and by working together a host of new possibilities are emerging that each can’t deliver as well on their own.

As businesses continue their move toward virtual workforces, how are you meeting the need for increased mobility?  What barriers are keeping others from adopting mobile strategies?

We are offering soft clients on the full range of smartphones and tablets to make sure that the same service set one receives at their desk can travel with them wherever they go. 

One of the barriers that keeps some carriers from adopting mobile strategies is the thought that they have to own a mobile network. GENBAND offers solutions that can leverage anyone’s mobile network to offer features that span both the existing TDM networks and new VoIP infrastructures to deliver features on mobile devices.

How do you see the mobile operating system war (iPhone vs. Android vs. RIM vs. WM7) playing out?

Currently, it is a two horse race but we wouldn’t rule out Microsoft (News - Alert) just yet. One has to believe they will play a few more hands to see if their luck changes.

Is HTML5 the game changer many predict it will be?

HTML5 has the potential to significantly change the App store model that we see today. We expect to see more application providers bypass the App store model and reach out directly to their end users. We have a distinct roadmap that addresses this phenomenon.

What are you most looking forward to at ITEXPO West in Austin? What do you see as being the biggest trends at the show?

We believe the rate of innovation and adoption of IP infrastructure from VoIP providers will be the stand out trend, along with the many changes in the mobile handset and PC businesses. This is one of the most exciting times in our industry and there will be much to discuss.   

Who should visit your booth at ITEXPO and why?

Any service provider looking to simplify, transform and optimize their network, while offering differentiated fixed and mobile services and applications, should stop by the GENBAND booth, number 607. We are looking forward to showcasing the depth and breadth of our portfolio and our professional service offerings.

GENBAND is a Gold sponsor of ITEXPO West 2011. To be held Sept. 13-15 in Austin, TX, ITEXPO  is the world’s premier IP communications event. Steve Musick, Product Marketing at GENBAND is speaking during “Evolving Interconnection – From TDM to IP to IMS Peering”, Greg Luptowski, Product Marketing Manager at GENBAND is speaking during “Picking a Winning Mix: Keys to Cloud Service Success”, Bruce Marler of GENBAND is speaking during “How MNOs Can Leverage a Cloud Platform to Deliver UC”, and Mitch Simcoe, Director of Product Marketing at GENBAND is speaking during “2018: The Death of the PSTN Keynote Luncheon Panel”. Don’t wait. Register now. 

Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO… follow us on Twitter.


Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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