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APPTRIGGER Feature Article

October 06, 2008

Leveraging the Past to Build the Future

It has been widely asserted that the future of communications lies in applications, as they provide the features and functionality, cost-effectiveness, and ease of deployment required to adapt to a swiftly evolving environment. This is only natural, as application developers can, by nature, create and enhance products to meet new demands and leverage both existing and emerging technologies faster than hardware developers.

The key to successfully building applications and leveraging them to drive revenue is the ability to roll them out quickly and to reuse them in different scenarios with only minimal modification to meet specific needs.
The problem, however, has historically been a lack of cohesion between the applications and network control layers. Companies like AppTrigger, however, have recognized the value in being able to quickly and easily leverage application development to drive new services. Specifically, AppTrigger developed its Application Session Controller (ASC (News - Alert)) to provide increased efficiency in application connectivity, session control, and the ability to leverage existing applications and network elements alongside the latest technologies in their network environments.
Today’s service provider world has moved beyond the traditional single application to single network model, using the ultimate host — the public Internet — as an archetype. After all, it provides access to a nearly unlimited number of applications to billions of users worldwide. Indeed, Web-based application developers, using standards-based technologies are able to develop and roll out new sticky applications faster than ever.
Of course, service providers face a slightly greater challenge — the inherent limits of application connectivity impacts not only the applications themselves, but also speed of deployment and overall cost effectiveness. To a large extent, applications today are built on an ad hoc basis, holding to the old one network, one application model that providers need to escape in order to create attractive service bundles. Those same limits hinder time to market and drastically reduce the number of new applications providers are able to introduce.
That’s where it hits hardest — fewer applications means lower ARPU.
And that’s why they would be wise to consider an Application Session Controller, to free themselves from the stovepiping techniques most service providers have lived by over the years.
Those vertically oriented “stove pipes,” which made sense when application delivery was simpler, networks were less complex, and traffic was much lighter. Indeed, to roll out like applications through different pipes, most providers opt to rewrite applications, adding appropriate signaling and call control, and connecting the various iterations to different access networks. This, of course, results in repeated duplication of efforts — and increased expenses to purchase new applications.
The alternative is even more costly — to use network equipment specifically developed to handle applications in evolving networks, like softswitches and media gateways, in order to create the necessary signaling and call control to drive feature transparency across networks.
The truth is neither alternative is ideal for today’s hybrid and intelligent network environments, which is why the ASC is an appealing solution. It sits between the application and network layers, effectively managing the connections between the two, enabling connectivity for multiple applications simultaneously. Its sole purpose is to enable any combination of legacy, intelligent, and next generation applications to act independently of the networks themselves.
Today’s service providers need to maximize their application development potential. They need to extend the reach of their new and existing applications beyond traditional silos. And while they upgrade their networks, they also need to be able to efficiently leverage their existing infrastructure without having to double or triple application development efforts.
The ASC offers that ability — to leverage the past while embracing the future.

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.

Edited by Erik Linask

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