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January 2008 | Volume 11/ Number 1
CEO Spotlight

Seawolf Technology’s Danny Lu

Established in 1999 and headquartered in Syosset, New York, Seawolf Technology (http://www.seawolftech.com) is an innovative telecom and Internet service provider offering complete voice and data solutions for next-gen networks. Seawolf focuses on the world’s largest two communication markets — the U.S. and China — offering a wide range of telecom solutions and services, such as softswitches, IP PBXs, online billing and prepaid calling card platforms, global termination, nation-wide 800/888/toll free service, international call forwarding and call back, and enterprise VoIP solutions. One recent and interesting development by Seawolf is the Xrainbow Softswitch, a SIP-based softswitch platform designed and built so that next-generation telecom carriers and service providers can offer VoIP service through Internet. It supports a wide range of client endpoints from phone adapters and IP phones, to PC2-phones and Web2Phones (softphones). Xrainbow Softswitch runs on the very stable Linux platform along with feature-rich supporting modules: XOperation, XAgent, XCafe, XCustomerCare, XCallback, and XPC2Phone. With this functionality at one’s disposal, any telecom or nework operator, virtual carrier, system integrator, ISP, Enterprise, and website can now gain entry to the huge VoIP market with just a minimum investment. Internet Telephony magazine recently caught up with Seawolf’s CEO, Danny Lu, who gave us personal insight into how Seawolf continues to keep customers on the cutting edge of communications technology.

ITMag: What is Seawolf’s mission?

Lu: At Seawolf (http://www.seawolftech.com), our mission statement is, “We bring new technologies into your business.” We are committed to keeping our customers on the cutting edge of technology and helping them to effectively compete with their competitors in the VoIP world.




ITMag: What is your vision for Seawolf and how is the company positioned in the next-generation telecom market?

Lu: Seeing Tier 1 companies like AT&T and Verizon announcing VoIP services, there is no doubt that the VoIP technology has matured. However, for some Tier 2/3 carriers, CLECs and ISPs, with limited CAPEX and in-house tech expertise, it is still a dilemma for decision makers on when and how to integrate their legacy TDM or data system with the latest VoIP technology so that they can quickly get into the VoIP market to compete in the next-generation telecom market. As a VoIP pioneer - starting with VoIP in 1999 – Seawolf positions itself well as a technology service provider in this Tier 2~3 market sector and has developed ‘Xrainbow’, a turnkey SIP-based NGN softswitch platform which can help our customers to migrate to VoIP cost effectively. Xrainbow has won Product of the Year Awards for 2005, 2006, and 2007 and Excellence Awards for 2006 and 2207 from IT magazine.

Built on top of Linux and Open Source platform, Xrainbow includes a SIP proxy server, billing server, media-relay server, and voicemail server along with a suite of business applications: IP-PBX module, call back module, PIN-less module, web SDK interface, e-commerce portal, and a customer self-care module that has everything needed to start a VoIP business. It can be easily integrated into a customer’s operation and will allow quick, easy entry into the VoIP market. No more year round system integrations among different vendors. No more lengthy in-house custom software development before “go-live day”. No more ‘breeding technology’ syndrome — taking a big ‘loss’ (some people call it investment) before you even start your operation. I mean six-figure payments for Hardware, Software, and tech geeks, respectively.

Xrainbow runs on a few Intel-based Linux boxes and works with virtually all the gateways supporting Radius protocol. Normally our customer’s current tech force will be sufficient to support the system after training. For market newcomers, such as virtual carriers, phone card operators or ISPs which are not telecom facility-based, we also offer DID origination, global termination, collocation, and everything to help get our customers through the VoIP learning curve quickly.

With “you-grow-I-grow” in mind, my vision for Seawolf is for it to be more a service company than a technology company. We are working hard not only to invent cutting edge technology, but more important to provide excellent service so that our customers can build a profitable business. This has not only helped our customers become leaders in the VoIP space, but it has created loyal customers. About 80% of our customers come back to us for customization, upgrades and larger systems.

It is our goal to continue to keep our customers on the cutting edge of technology and help them at the every stage of becoming an NGN carrier.

ITMag: Now that it appears that growth and opportunity are the trends in the VoIP industry, what possible hurdles do you see that might upset this momentum?

Lu: Compared with traditional telecom, the VoIP carrier has a relatively lower entry point into voice business. That is why we see many new VoIP/NGN players in the market. However, if the NGN carriers can’t provide comparable reliability and voice quality, and customer service to their customer base, these factors will be the possible hurdles to upset this VoIP momentum.

Due to the “best try” nature of the Internet and the fact that different companies own different portions of the Internet, when a voice packet leaves its ending device, we can only wish it good luck on its way to the destination IP. This could be become a serious problem if your customer’s IP is located in “hostile” IP territory, where artificial jitter, delay, and packet loss are common tactics to drag a competitor down. Never-ending debate and lobbying about whether a VoIP company needs to pay an underlying network company will also add some uncertainty concerning industry regulation and trends.

ITMag: What are some of the technology areas where Seawolf Technologies is increasingly focusing, and why are these areas important to the future of your company?

Lu: While basic voice is becoming a commodity, Seawolf has been increasingly focused on the technologies of value-added services so that our customers can offer more services to their customers. With our flagship Xrainbow’s capability to deliver products such as IP-PBX, callback, PIN-less, Internet café, SMS, softphone, content and ads delivery [music and distance learning], and click-to-call, Seawolf’s customers enjoy a competitive advantage in turning their VoIP business to profit quickly. We also put a lot of effort into integrating value-added voice service with Internet space to make it more search engine friendly. One good example is http://www.phonecardonsale.com where we integrate phone card and pinless service into the site, and it has reached the first position in Google and Yahoo searches for the common keyword “phonecard”. Our expertise in combining Internet and VoIP technology has attracted customers with the “buying” mindset right to our doorway. We are also working on a project to integrate English distance learning with our voice technology, http://www.en400.com, where 400 is China’s nationwide toll-free number, like 800 in the States. Recently, we integrated our core softswitch technology with content applications to deliver entertainment content along with voice service for one of our customers in China, http://www.kubao.com which is aiming to become Skype in China, and to help them to attract $5 million venture capital.

The focus on technology to provide value-added service is important to Seawolf, as our customers need and require us to provide more arrays of value-added services to their customers, so they can stay ahead of the game with their competitors and be profitable.

ITMag: Describe your view of the future of the IP telephony industry.

Lu: With telecom carriers, underline network operators, cable companies, and web portals all launching VoIP service to their customers and more CPE devices coming to the market, we will see more combined service offering along with voice service, from double/triple play, advertisements, to various content delivery. The marketplace will be getting crowded and strong competition will commoditize pure voice minutes. More revenue will come out of value-added services or combined services on top of basic voice service. For the next 2-3 years, while the residential VoIP market continues to be very hot, the small-to-medium enterprise [SME] IP PBX market will pass its infancy stage and really take off. This provides another golden opportunity for service providers who serve for SME or plan to serve them. IT

» Internet Telephony Magazine Table of Contents



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