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August 16, 2007

RadiSys Providing Application-enabling Platforms for Next-Generation Networks

By Rich Tehrani, CEO, Technology Marketing Corporation

(The following is taken from Rich Tehrani’s VoIP blog:)

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ray Adensamer of RadiSys (News - Alert) about the evolution of the IP communications space, the company’s application-enabling platforms and more.

RadiSys specializes in developing open standards building blocks, especially in the ATCA and more recently MicroTCA spaces.

To get some more background on the company, read my recent blog entry detailing the company’s success.

Please outline your new corporate initiatives.

RadiSys is a leading provider of application-enabling platforms for next-generation networks. Our Promentum ATCA (AdvancedTCA (News - Alert)) family is built around the industry’s first fully integrated 10 Gigabit platform and modular building blocks, with the most recent family addition being our new high-density ATCA-9100 media resource blade. Through our 2006 acquisition of Convedia, RadiSys now also offers a comprehensive product family of Internet Protocol (IP) media server products and technology. Recent developments with the Convedia product family include our new Convedia Software Media Server, which runs on various Linux platforms, including the Promentum ATCA-4300 Compute Module. Our collaborative business approach and product portfolio helps our OEM, systems integrator, and solution provider customers save time-to-market and development costs for their IP product programs and network deployments.

How is IP communications changing your company’s strategy?

RadiSys is celebrating our 20th year of operations this year. While our early success came from supplying TDM-based boards and technology, our engineering teams embraced the trend towards IP-based telecommunications years ago, and our Promentum ATCA products are well positioned for a variety of datapath and control applications in the IP communications network. And our new Convedia media server family was a pure IP-based media processing platform right from the start! 

How has SIP changed communications?

SIP has emerged as the defacto standard for signaling in the IP communications world. I can’t even think of any telecommunications equipment vendors who have not adopted SIP as a core element of their IP product strategy. The capabilities and flexibility of SIP are facilitating multi-vendor interoperability between IP communications vendors at a much deeper and broader application development level.

What is the biggest request coming from your customer base?

Our customers are the leading vendors of next-generation networking products and technology. They are continuously looking to accelerate the introduction of new products to market, while reducing risk and development costs. Our customers largely want to focus less on hardware platform development and focus more on value-added differentiation, such as application development, end-to-end solution integration, deployment, and even the ongoing network operation for their service provider customers.

How are you answering their demands?

RadiSys has responded with standards-based application-enabling platforms that pre-integrate our hardware products with third-party operating systems, media processing, management, and high-availability software offerings. RadiSys is committed to being a leading supplier for a broader range of the telecommunications platform supply chain, so our customers can then accelerate their own application and solution development lifecycle, lower their R&D costs, and focus their resources on differentiated value-add activities.

What do you think the future of the market is?

One can guess that eventually most communications will involve personalized video capabilities with speech-enabled control commands and ubiquitous presence, but unfortunately these changes will happen slowly due to many factors including pricing of last-mile broadband access, regulatory constraints, and interoperability issues (particularly multi-vendor interoperability between video components). RadiSys continues to forecast a growing demand for more processing power and capabilities in the core of the network to deliver these capabilities. We also envision a future where RadiSys may someday take full responsibility for all of the hardware and systems software for our customer’s network equipment product portfolio.

How does the growth rate in the U.S. compare to the rest of the world?

RadiSys is a global company. While the U.S. will continue to be the leaders in telecommunications technology innovation, we believe the regions outside the U.S., particularly China and other Asian countries, will continue to be the leaders in telecommunications technology adoption.

What do you think of Google (News - Alert) and Apple entering the telecom market?

Google and Apple are both innovative companies which have and will continue to introduce fresh new ideas into next-generation communication services. However, my opinion is that they also view telecom as the conduit between their desktops and devices, and their centralized information, application, and media servers. It is important for incumbent telecommunication service providers to continue to leverage the ownership of their subscriber relationships. Through building open, yet secure service delivery architectures like IMS, service providers can provide the retail storefront for third- party application developers, and maintain ownership of the customer relationship through service bundling and customer service, instead of having these same application developers completely bypass the value-add of the network.

How about Microsoft (News - Alert)?

Microsoft’s entry into the telecommunications industry is also a good thing. Microsoft's involvement with PCs and IT has benefited all users through ubiquitous, inexpensive and standardized computing. We have no doubt that Microsoft has the capabilities and resources to deliver many innovations to telecommunication services as well.

How will wireless technologies change our market?

Mobility makes it easier for users to stay in touch and increase their overall usage of telecom services. Users have a huge pent-up demand for broadband mobility services, but continue to be price sensitive to the current cost of mobile broadband access. As the subscriber cost of mobile broadband decreases, adoption of mobile broadband services will grow dramatically.

How will communications evolve over the next five years?

Telecommunication evolution over the next five years will not be as disruptive as the past five years of IP communications. Instead, vendors and service providers will focus on refining reliability, security, and interoperability around many of the services that are already envisioned and understood today. IMS, video, speech, and collaboration (including conferencing) will all continue to grow. We also expect to see more features wrapped around presence, such as presence-based conferencing. Progress will be made in some of the key challenges in IP communications technology, such as honoring quality of service (QoS) and SLAs across IP peer-network boundaries, VoIP security, and true multi-vendor video communication interoperability. ATCA will become a prominent platform standard within carrier networks, and the only unique telecom hardware being built will be for bleeding edge products that are pushing technology.

What sorts of things will we be hearing about during your presentation at ITEXPO?

The industry continues to hear lots about convergence in the context of end-user experiences, such as service convergence or fixed/mobile convergence. While convergence from the user’s point of view is the key goal to improving telecommunications experiences, achieving operational efficiencies and cost savings requires convergence in the core service delivery architecture as well. RadiSys presentations at ITExpo will discuss the merits and benefits for converged, standards-based platforms and capabilities in IMS service delivery architectures.

Why is your presentation a “Can’t Miss?”

OEMs, systems integrators, and solution developers working on IP communication solutions will learn more about the strategies and benefits behind ATCA-based application enabling technology.

What do you want the industry to know about your company?

RadiSys this year is celebrating 20 years of technical leadership and innovation in embedded systems for telecom and commercial markets. Our company continues to make substantial investments in our ATCA platform integration capabilities. RadiSys is also a well-financed public company with a strong balance sheet that will be around for the long haul.

Please make one surprising prediction we will see in 5 years.

This is maybe more of a wish than a prediction, but my vision is that telecommunications collaboration technology will become so ubiquitous and easy to use that virtual meeting rooms and video conferencing will become as productive as face-to-face meetings, resulting in a downward trend in the frequency of business travel.


Rich Tehrani is President and Group Editor in Chief at TMC (News - Alert). In addition he is the Chairman of the world’s best attended VoIP event, Internet Telephony Conference & Expo.

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