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July 25, 2008

Touchstone Enhances VoIP Testing Capabilities with WinSIP 3.1

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director

Tone detection is being used by a large number of communications service providers, vendors, and developers to test their conferencing services, end-to-end networks, and other offerings. Recently, however, there has been an increased interest in the opportunity, and Touchstone (News - Alert) Technologies, in response to that interest, has added the capability to its WinSIP VoIP test solution.
The enhancement, part of Touchstone’s latest WinSIP release, version 3.1, is, in reality, an more of an increased focus on the capability — Touchstone CEO Mark Stacy says tone detection has actually been previously incorporated into the solution, and now the company is focusing much more heavily on that aspect.
“We’re really focusing on the tone detection capability,” he said. “It was actually included previously, but it wasn’t widely known.”
In addition to bringing tone detection to the forefront, version 3.1 also enhanced DTMF capabilities, which will help many customers, like session border controller developers, pass through DTMF-aware signals, made possible because Touchstone uses only single-frequency tones that pass through bridges freely. With the new software, customers have even greater control as well as the ability to test and diagnose services and devices, as well as end-to-end systems, and troubleshoot media path issues. 
Earlier WinSIP releases — version 3.0 was released less than a month ago — have been met with positive response from equipment manufacturers, carriers, and applications developers. With it, they have available an all-IP solution for generating high-density load and doing feature tests, based on the RFC 3261 compliance stack in WinSIP.
Importantly, says Stacy, with WinSIP, Touchstone is addressing a market need for a testing product with a rich feature set, such as those available from traditional testing vendors, but eliminating the need for large-footprint hardware and rack space. As a software-only solution, customers can install the solution on their choice of existing or new servers, rather than investing in expensive hardware-based solutions.
“In today’s greener environments, customers can put WinSIP on the most environmentally friendly servers they can find,” noted Stacy. “Furthermore, since our product is 100 percent software and, therefore, highly malleable, we can change it very easily and incorporate these new feature sets, while challenging the competition to rise to the occasion.”
Indeed, there are a number of competitive solutions with similar features, but most of them come with a six-figure price tag (News - Alert). WinSIP can cost as little as $10,000.
Not only do users have their choice of servers, they can even install WinSIP on a laptop, allowing them to run field tests to more quickly and effectively ensure services are being delivered as expected. Other hardware-based solutions tend to become cost-prohibitive in such situations, since equipment must be deployed at various demarcation points across networks.
With WinSIP, Touchstone continues its mission to provide its customers an affordable, comprehensive SIP-based testing solution, that is both easy to deploy and use, and flexible enough to perform as an end-to-end tester, a load generator, a feature and function tester and general purpose quality assurance tool. 
“The recent enhancements to WinSIP have given our users a significantly improved tool,” concluded Stacy.  “I am very proud of the dedicated efforts of our engineering team to bring these features to the production version in such a short period of time.”
Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Managing Editor of TMCnet, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to nearly 3,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
To learn more about VoIP testing, or to find out about Touchstone Technologies’ WinSIP and other offerings, please visit the VoIP Test Solutions channel on TMCnet.

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