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June 2007
Volume 10 / Number 6


Pannaway Evolves With Their Most Powerful Platform Yet

By Richard “Zippy” Grigonis, Editorial Sponsorship Series

Pannaway Technologies (news - alert) ( has forged a reputation for delivering platforms that enable various kinds of telcos (IOCs, CLECs, and the emerging MDUs and MUNIs) to cost-effectively offer top-notch, carrier-grade services. For example, Pannaway's award-winning Service Convergence Network (SCN™) is an end-to-end IP Ethernet access solution that provides telcos with the ability to cost-effectively deliver IPbased, broadband voice, video and data services. Such Pannaway offerings as their SIP-based Primary Line Voice over IPSM and BAM™ (Broadband Access Manager), combined with an easy migration path to their robust IP video delivery platform, have quickly and inexpensively revitalized many telcos.

Even rural independent operating carriers have found they can remain competitive by adopting Pannaway's smaller form-factor, mid line-count devices, such as their BAS™ (Broadband Access Switch), an ADSL2+ aggregator and digital loop carrier, as well as their BAR (Broadband Aggregator), which aggregates all the BAS devices using layer 2 or layer 3 technology.

Even with a string of awards and positive product reviews under its relatively young belt, Pannaway wasn't content to churn out the same product yet again. About a year ago and after extensive research with existing customers, Pannaway recognized that the telco market lacked a converged, IP chassis that could scale to support larger deployments and integrate a myriad of existing and emerging technologies. They began to formulate a plan which TMC has now learned consists of enhanced customer service, training and support programs as well as a super-high bandwidth platform capable of satisfying even the largest telcos for years to come. The result, to debut in June at the NXTcomm show - and at an accompanying special event nearby - is MAGNM-20 (Multi Media Aggregation Node)-a cost-effective, 23-inch rack mount packed with a pure IP chassis, designed to trump competitive offerings from Calix, Occam and Adtran.

Pannaway's Vice President of Marketing, Kevin Brown, spearheaded the development and launch of the new chassis. "For the past 6 months or so, we've worked closely with existing customers to enhance our support and training organization and to develop MAGNM-20, our new high-performance IP chassis," says Brown. "We've been building the business, with continued revenue growth from quarter to quarter, preparing for this company re-launch. As an enabler, late in 2006, we raised a significant round of capital from our established group of 30 visionary investors, including Allen Bildner, the past chairman of King Supermarkets, who sits on the board of the Yankee Entertainment and Sports (YES) Network, and Bob Levine, founder of the former Cabletron Systems. The combined net worth of our investment group exceeds one billion dollars of liquidity, which simplifies the fund raising process vis-à-vis our competition."

The ability to evolve and quickly fund the new platform based on that process is of tremendous value to Pannaway's customer base, because it ensures the company's financial stability and enables it to bypass the traditional red tape associated with the development of cutting-edge products and services. Essentially, Pannaway's operational structure allows them to always maintain a competitive advantage in the converged IP services market. "As an investor, I view Pannaway as a market leader in converged IP technologies," says Allen Bildner. "My continued investment support in Pannaway is for the long-term, and I believe in what they're doing. I'm familiar with their business plan, and I recognize the market opportunity for their new IP chassis. I expect great things from this company in 2007 and beyond."

"As a company, we still have zero debt," says Brown, "and we're fast approaching the 100 customer mark which includes some very large telcos including Etex Telephone Cooperative, which is using our SCN to deliver one of the largest Triple Play service networks in Texas, and NTELOS, a 90,000 line ILEC in Virginia, which is deploying our SCN so they can easily transition to an all-IP, converged services network with Session Initiation Protocol [SIP]-enabled, carrier-grade digitized voice."

Pannaway has also worked diligently to develop its partner network and has arrangements with such industry leaders as Cisco, MetaSwitch and Nortel. According to Brown, Pannaway works closely with each of its partners on multiple fronts including joint training, sales and support, and is recognizing a steady revenue stream from their joint efforts. "We're part of Nortel's development program and we spend a significant amount of time with their engineers," says Brown. "We're looked upon as the gold standard as far as SIP interoperability and the features that we support. So we feel from a business standpoint that we've made major strides."

Pannaway is gearing up to unveil MAGNM-20, which incorporates all of its existing IP technologies in one high-density, high-performance platform. MAGNM-20 is a compilation of the company's broad spectrum of IP products, making it ideal for existing customers while creating new opportunities with larger tier-two Telcos. "As far as big ticket numbers go, the system capacity of this product is nearly a terabit per second," Brown says. "The capacity of this chassis will protect our customer's investment for the next decade."

Pannaway's new chassis exceeds the highest density of any pure IP access solution capable of delivering Triple Play. Moreover, it supports a remarkably wide range of IP-based technologies including T1, FTTH, GPON and VDSL2. With its passive design, no active components are permanently attached to the backplane, and all modules have redundant power and backplane connections. The company's goal with MAGNM-20 is to ensure that there is no single point of failure in the system, thanks to a complete range of redundant common equipment components.

So, what does this new chassis do for Pannaway's customers? With its compatibility and unmatched scalability, MAGNM-20 essentially gives customers the ability to combine IP POTS, ADSL2+, VDSL2, or Gig to the home or 100 megabits per second [Mbps]. These legacy and next-gen technologies take up a chunk of the backplane bandwidth, but won't come anywhere near exceeding the capacity of MAGNM-20. This tremendous capacity prolongs the life of the system in a Telco's network. And, because the system is both forward and backward compatible, Pannaway's engineers can continue to develop and deploy new blades, which will interact with both legacy and emerging technologies.

Further, MAGNM-20 is truly IP to the core, not ATM-based like competitive products. It has a point-to-multipoint meshed backplane with Ethernet framing in a non-blocking architecture, which, adding up all of the high-speed serial links, yields a backplane capacity that has already been tested to 922 Gbps. Brown says, "Pannaway can do 864 single-ended ADSL2+ ports out of this device and if you bond the pairs to increase the bandwidth per user, then you divide that by 2 to get 432 users per chassis. We also have boards that support 100 Mbps or even a gigabit per second per line, so we can support each user at 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps speeds."

Pannaway's startlingly powerful new platform, combined with its wellknown, superlative customer service and support, should boost the company to the very pinnacle of next-gen converged IP broadband system vendors.

Richard Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC's IP Communications Group.

Next-Gen Chassis, Next-Gen Service and Support

With the introduction of its new super chassis, MAGNM-20, Pannaway is strengthening its mission of creating pure-IP convergence solutions for telcos seeking to retain a competitive edge in the Triple Play marketplace. But the investment in MAGNM-20 is only part of the bigger picture.

"We've spent the last six months taking stock of where we, as a company, want to be in the IP convergence space," says Mark Carpenter, President of Pannaway. "Once our board and executives had a chance to come up for air, and take a look at what we'd accomplished over the last two years, what we found was that in addition to the award-winning products, one of our major differentiators as a company was our dedication to service and support. The level of training and post-sale support our customers receive is something that we're very proud of and we decided to expand on it. We listened to our customers to find out where their pain points were, as well as what they thought the best-practices approach to those problems should be."

In addition to focusing on its future product roadmap, Pannaway has also made significant enhancements to its customer care organization. The company now provides its customers with a knowledge-base allowing them to view in real-time, open trouble tickets, case status and call history; advanced trouble shooting and monitoring capabilities which enable Pannaway technicians to see issues in customer networks as they occur, and automated Webbased Element Management capabilities which deliver dynamic upgrades to Pannaway products.

"In addition to building a new chassis, we've also taken a look at how we deliver support and how we can improve our customer's experience," says Carpenter. "In doing so, we've raised our customer care to a new level and added new programs which include a new customer-driven user's group and enhanced post-sale product training."

The result, as reflected in a recent independent survey, has been worth the investment. Pannaway currently enjoys an all-time high rating in customer satisfaction, at about 99 percent. And Pannaway's loyalty to existing customers has reaped other benefits as well: Carpenter says that several of the company's existing telco customers have already placed orders for MAGNM-20. "They're as excited about the product launch as we are," he says.

As for the future of Pannaway, senior management at the company plans on the long term. "We want to be recognized as the leader in VoIP interoperability," Carpenter says. "Pannaway also sees itself taking a leadership role in the delivery of next generation IP platforms, and in the delivery of world-class customer care."


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