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January 21, 2009

Pactolus Reflects on IP Innovations with TMC President

By Rich Tehrani, President and Editor-in-Chief

Pactolus Communications Software Corporation, a company that provides innovative, cost-effective services to telecommunications carriers and service providers, will be sharing its IP voice services with attendees at the upcoming INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO in Miami, Flordia, held February 2nd-4th.

The company is a recognized pioneer in the development and delivery of next-generation IP communication solutions for either converged TDM/IP and/or SIP-enabled VoIP networks.
Ken Osowski (News - Alert), vice president of product management and marketing at Pactolus, shares his thoughts on the current economy and its effect on the IP Communications industry with Technology Marketing Corporation President, Rich Tehrani (News - Alert).
RT: Who has influenced you most in your career and why?
KO: Early on I would say my advisor when I was attending graduate school at Columbia University. After that a collection of bright people, both managers and peers, who were diversified in their skill sets and great mentors on the job.
RT: What excites you most about our industry?
KO: The constant rate of technology change and picking the track through all the options that brings various technologies together to create a solution that meets a market need. 
RT: What areas do you wish you could devote more energy/attention/resources?
KO: Understanding different customer constituencies to formulate product requirements. With all the technology options, matching a use case to a market need is getting harder all the time.
RT: What pain does your company take away for customers?
KO: The need to figure out what an NGN network needs to support advanced voice services that can generate significant revenues. Pactolus helps the customer understand how they can take what they have and evolve it to the point where they can get to a revenue generating service running completely turn-key. This can be the customer’s service application idea or a modification to an already developed Pactolus service application.
RT: How did your company get to where it is and where is it headed?
KO: The company had a vision from its inception that NGN networks would rule over legacy TDM technologies, driven by the need to not only reduce costs but quickly develop new flexible service frameworks that were 100 percent IP-based. Software is now playing a much larger role in the build-out of NGN networks and Pactolus will continue to enhance its multi-service Service Creation and Delivery Platform to meet this need. This means more service application, scalability, and reliability features designed to satisfy very large deployments in any NGN network.
RT: What does your dream mobile device look like?
KO: Ok, so today I own a Blackberry Bold so you know where I am coming from. I think that it is a great device since I currently use it as an organizer, a Yahoo IM client, for GPS-based mapping and real-time navigation, to watch my SlingBox, to manage 2 e-mail accounts and of course make calls J Still waiting on a VoIP client I would use. So as far as functionality goes I am pretty happy. Even though I think that the push for touch screens is great because it gives you a better screen, I still like a physical QWERTY keyboard. So my dream mobile device form factor would be to have a Blackberry with the touch screen of a Storm but with a slider keyboard as well. I just don’t think that a rich Internet browsing experience can be had with a screen the size of my Bold without touch screen navigation.
RT: If you were forced to head Nokia, Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, GM, Cisco, Nortel (News - Alert) or the U.S… Which would you pick and why?
KO: Google (News - Alert) since they are looking to enrich the mobile experience by bringing it closer to the Internet experience.
RT: Poof – you become President Obama’s top advisor on tech. What should he do to foster more technology use in the US and abroad?
KO: Continue to get cutting-edge technology it in the hands of school kids as early as possible. This eliminates the fear and anxiety of high technology and helps to make it part of solutions they create as they move through college and enter their careers.
RT: How has open-source changed our space and what more can it do for us?
KO: Yes, I think it has its place. It has enabled innovation and experimentation and in some cases it has resulted in applications and products that can be monetized. On the other hand some see it as a “one size fits all” answer to many different problems and this can impede a projects success if realistic expectations are not set.
RT: When does Microsoft become a major force in communications?
Apple (News - Alert)? RIM, Nokia?
KO: All of these companies have a silo of their own technologies to create products. They all need to embrace more openness in their products to allow for effective third party development of new features and solutions.
RT: What surprised you most about 2008?
KO: How quickly a free market economy ground to a halt. Screech!
RT: Assuming we need it (and who couldn’t use some extra cash), what do we tell Congress to get a multibillion dollar U.S. government communications bailout?
KO: Subsidize NGN network infrastructure because with it communications costs will go down and new services will be available to a wider audience.
RT: Is the green movement dead now that oil is plummeting in cost?
KO: Absolutely not. The problem is not just the cost of oil but how fast we are generating CO2 and in the process creating global warming. All of the energy strategies need to come together to support future generations without impacting the planet.
RT: How does IP communications help in a recession?
KO: IP communications does help because it reduces costs for everyone and can increase productivity for the business person.
RT: You are speaking at ITEXPO which takes place Feb 2-4 2009 in Miami. Why do people need to hear what you say, live and in person?
KO: Pactolus has had great commercial success building out IP voice services. Come and hear how we can help Service Providers of any type build out their NGN services.
RT: Make some wild predictions about 2009/10.
KO: As Service Provider IP networks continue to grow modestly in a down economy, suppliers of TDM network solutions will continue to struggle as their business models are marginalized. This happened to the computer industry in the early 90s as technology shifted from hardware to software and siloed solutions to open ones. So even though the NGN need is there, we will continue to see supplier fallout.

Rich Tehrani is President and Group Editor-in-Chief of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world�s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.

Edited by Michelle Robart

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