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October 02, 2006

The Hosted IP Communications World of the Future

By Rich Tehrani, President and Editor-in-Chief

If there is one thing I have noticed more and more in the last few years, it is that the market wants hosted solutions. There was a time about a year or so ago when I questioned whether this was the case. Lately though I hear more and more about customers who outsource to companies like Covad (News - Alert), M5, Packet8, Eagle ACD (News - Alert), Contactual and many others. There are so many companies supplying hosted solutions to companies of all sizes I lose touch of them all.

The irony of the hosted market is that the hosting companies are hosting as well. In fact, it seems like a series of Russian matryoshka dolls, where the more you solutions you open, the more hosting you see.

One of the companies making a living from the hosting of service provider applications is LogicaCMG, the company behind much of the electronics in the Mars Lander. The irony of LogicaCMG is they supply solutions to over 300 network operators and their solutions are used by 800 million end user customers and pretty much no one knows who they are.

Of course the company's customers know them but it is rare to see a company with so many high profile customers keeping such a low profile

Hopefully this article will change that and many will come to know more about some of the company's strengths.

One of the areas where the company excels in fact is very popular in America -- American Idol-- where their solutions enable service providers to absorb the instant onslaught of a tsunami of SMS messages. This is not a trivial task as you can imagine and most equipment would be on its knees with such a surge.

It is no secret that all operators envy the sheer volume of SMS messages generated by a hit like "Idol," and when they are ready to deal with the demand, they often turn to LogicaCMG for assistance.

In an interesting trend Greg Poumakis Director, North America tells me across their sectors outsourcing now represents 16 percent to 20 percent of revenue and they look forward to seeing older voicemail systems get switched over to their hosted platforms as well.

Greg also shared that while hosting was once an afterthought to service providers, every RFP now has hosting included in it. He believes market pressure is making this happen and service providers need to bring operating costs down. Part of the reason is they need to be nimbler and outsourcing lets them focus on their core competency.

LogicaCMG is also doing well in content management, billing and other areas. They handle the digital rights management, access to content and systems integration. So one of the best-kept secrets in telecom is a secret no more. And as service providers look to the future and realize more of their customers are looking for hosted solutions, they too are getting ready to host.

Whether you are an enterprise or service provider you owe it to your company and career to be at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo next week in San Diego, CA to learn about topics like IMS, IPTV, VoIP, SIP, collaboration, open source, voice peering and more.

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


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