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January 15, 2009

Testing, Testing... Fanfare Exec Looks Ahead at 2009

By Greg Galitzine, Group Editorial Director

Fanfare provides software solutions designed to allow equipment manufacturers and carriers to simplify and accelerate device testing, which enables these constituents to build and run tests, track results against various metrics, and automatically generate documentation that can be easily shared.

Fanfare (News - Alert) recently announced the latest release of its flagship test automation product, iTest. iTest 3.3 builds on the capabilities of earlier versions to integrate test assets and automate complex system testing using hardware and software from a variety of different vendors. iTest 3.3 also enables broader use across the quality chain, from the development stage through to customer testing sites.
David Gehringer, vice president of marketing, Fanfare, was kind enough to take some time to respond to our questions regarding the upcoming year and also his participation at ITEXPO (News - Alert) which takes place in Miami Beach, February 2–4.
David also writes the System and Device Testing blog on TMCnet.
GG: You are on the schedule to present at the upcoming ITEXPO. What can attendees expect to learn in your session at the event this February?
DG: Attendees can expect to learn the importance of adopting a testing approach that improves the speed and scope of testing. Using the right technology, particularly in today’s economy, can offer an effective way to share and manage test assets, as well as communicate across distributed teams and across companies. This is important as companies try to get more accomplished with the same amount of resources. Attendees can also expect to explore a new trend: many providers are saying that how manufactures test will determine which vendors to buy from, reducing deployment time and costs. So what was once a hurdle — the ability of network equipment manufacturers to work more easily with customers (SPs) — could become a key differentiator, with the right testing approach.
GG: When you look back on 2008, was it a good year for your company?
DG: Yes, we had a record year as far as revenues.
GG: What was your firm’s biggest achievement last year?
DG: We released our iTest product and saw it deliver a lot of value to our customer, which has resulted in a surge in business as we establish more enterprise relationships around the globe.
GG: What can we expect to see from your company for the next 12 months?
DG: I think more focus on the enterprise deployments of iTest and perhaps a new product, wink, wink.
GG: Do you think a new administration in Washington, D.C. will be good for the communications industry? If so, how? If not, why not?
DG: I think we will not know that in ‘09, as I believe that this falls into an area that is working and so many other areas of the country and economy need attention. In general one might think that the democratic leadership will work on leveling the playing field which will be good for some and not for others, but I still think it will be more talk than action. So based on looking backwards and the success of the communication business and days before us, I think it will be good for them in spite of troubled waters domestically. They will benefit from emerging markets and I believe that few will part with their phones as a way to save money even in a depression and that will bode well for their business if they actively manage it.
GG: In your view, please describe the future of the IP Communications industry?
DG: I think we see some predictable technology advancements in protocols, quad play devices and use of other peripheral technologies. For example cheap RAM and SSDs to change how storage is done and perhaps merge that into the platform as opposed to specific device function. However I think the bigger change will be manufacturers’ and service providers’ relationships changing from purely business to more of a partnership, to get products to market faster. It is in both of their business interests to do so.
GG: How do the current market conditions affect your potential customers? Do you think they will hold off on purchasing new solutions or do you think the economic conditions will spur them to make purchases that will allow them to be more competitive?
DG: I think we will see a cautious period. However our solutions really focus on efficiency, and when everybody needs to do more with the same or less, efficiency and productivity go to the top of the list and that bodes well for Fanfare.
GG: What sets your company’s solutions apart from the competition?
DG: Our products are mature and lead the market in the number of applications and protocols that can be tested with a single product. We are multiplatform and can be used by service providers and equipment manufacturers not only to drive independent gains but provide communication platform to share information between the two entities.
GG: If you had to make one bold prediction for 2009, what would it be?
DG: I guess not so bold, 2009 will be a very tough year for many. But those in this industry that just ‘hunker down’ will be left behind. You must find the fine line of conservatism and progress, this market will not stand still.

Greg Galitzine is editorial director for TMC’s (News - Alert) IP Communications suite of products, including To read more of Greg’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Greg Galitzine


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