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August 27, 2009

Extensibility, the Key to Bridging the Technology Gap

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director

One of the key challenges facing both service providers and enterprises today is how to attain some degree of balance between legacy equipment and applications, and their next generation siblings. Aculab (News - Alert) is one of the companies I’ve spoken to recently that understands that challenge, and has welcomed its own challenge to help businesses manage that task.
I took the opportunity, heading into ITEXPO West, where Aculab will have on display its products to help bridge the gap between legacy and next generation – its Prosody S, Prosody X, GroomerII, and ApplianX products – to ask sales and marketing director Chris Gravett some questions about those market challenges, and how Aculab sees itself playing a role in resolving them. Here’s what Chris had to say:
EL:      What is the biggest challenge facing the communications industry today?
CG:      The biggest challenge is the economic reality our industry is facing. Customers have become much more careful in how they approach investing in new solutions. As an industry, we’ve certainly come to the point where a customer won’t even consider new technologies unless the vendor can demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the product or application will have a profound impact on the bottom line. If this need cannot be proven, chances are it will be a very short conversation.
EL:      How are you approaching that challenge?
CG:      One of Aculab’s core strengths is its ability to provide enabling technologies that allow customers to integrate new services and features into their existing infrastructure. This concept, which we refer to as “extensibility” allows customers to satisfy the needs of their end users while maximizing their investments in their current core technology. We’ve found the market to be quite receptive to this philosophy.
EL:      How will the Broadband Stimulus plan impact the communications market in the U.S.?
CG:      Expanding the availability of broadband throughout the United States could give the communications market a significant boost. Not only will the network infrastructure providers benefit from this expansion, applications developers and other service providers could see a growing demand for their solutions, which, in turn, will continue to drive innovation.
EL:      What will be the most significant development or trend in the communications space in the next 12 months?
CG:      Many people feel that the development of communications enabled business processes (CEBP) will gain the attention of the enterprise side of the industry as vendors look for new vehicles to improve business communications. We’ll also continue to hear a lot of conversation around the integration of cloud computing and communications. In addition, I expect that some of the emerging desktop video collaboration tools will generate mindshare.
EL:      What will we see from your company in the next 12 months?
CG:      We are in the midst of several projects that we expect will add a great deal of value to our customers. Some of the solutions Aculab expects to deliver include expanded capabilities from our core enabling technologies, as well as solutions that are designed to perform well in specific vertical markets, like defense, homeland security and health care. In addition, Aculab is in the midst of unveiling a new, multi-tiered service model that aligns our support capabilities with customer needs.  
EL:      If approved, how will Avaya’s (News - Alert) bid for Nortel’s enterprise assets impact market dynamics?
CG:      It’s probably too early to tell. A lot will depend on how well Avaya can integrate the Nortel dealer network with its own. There are some major cultural chasms — as well as product redundancies — that need to be overcome. But ultimately, the deal has the potential to put Avaya in a much stronger position globally.
EL:      What’s the most exciting thing ITEXPO (News - Alert) attendees will find at your booth? 
Aculab has recently made a number of new product announcements — including enhanced Prosody S HMP software, a 2U version of the GroomerII gateway, and a recent release of the ApplianX IP Gateway (News - Alert). Each of these new products will be on display at ITEXPO. But what I think customers will find most exciting is the fact that Aculab is a company that continues to innovate — and even grow — in this economy. We believe this is a sign that developers, service providers and enterprises are starting to show renewed interest in communications technology. That’s got to be good news for everyone.
EL:      Who will win the World Series?
CG:      I’m not sure, but I can tell you that I think Arsenal will do quite well in the Champions League.
For more on how Aculab can help you get the most from your legacy infrastructure while integrating next generation technologies, be sure to stop by booth #512 at ITEXPO West in Los Angeles.  While you’re there take advantage of the many conference sessions and collocated events like 4GWE, M2M Evolution, Smart Grid Summit, Sipera’s (News - Alert) UC Security Workshop, and Ingate’s SIP Trunking seminars.

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Erik Linask is Group Editorial Director of TMC, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to 2,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erik Linask

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