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In the CEO Spotlight section of Internet Telephony�, we recognize the outstanding work performed by exemplary companies. Each month, we bring you the opinions of the heads of companies leading the Internet telephony industry now and helping to shape the future of the industry. This month, we spoke with Nathan Franzmeier, CEO of Emergent Network Solutions.


GG: What is Emergent�s mission?

NF: Emergent desires to be the market leader in providing �emerging network� solutions to the tier 2-3 market, specifically, in the following categories: Network-wide session control � which includes SBC and CSCF (IMS-compliant) solutions � and residential/enterprise broadband solutions � which include our E-REV solution portfolio.

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

NF: Emergent has been providing �next gen� solutions for the emerging market since it�s inception. We believe that the market is converging on the IMS architecture as the accepted strategy for delivering services into networks across the various access topologies (wireline, cable, mobile, WiFi (News - Alert)/WiMAX, etc.). We believe, specifically, that the market will be shifting to mobile/wireless devices as the general mechanism for interacting with each other, the network, and the world. Emergent is positioning itself to provide solutions into this market with the view that, while infrastructure components are a requirement, they will be eventually commoditized and the focus will be on delivering application functionality.

GG: 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?

NF: Obviously, the regulatory environment could have a huge impact, but we don�t view this as likely. Another concern is that, as the network matures, we believe there is a move to change the fundamental nature of the network from an essentially blind, benign transport mechanism to one that is not only aware of what is going through it, but either is only grudgingly willing to grant access to certain traffic or is outright antagonistic towards it. As the technology matures to implement a wider scope of network management and control, we don�t believe this will be limited to generally agreed upon targets, such as spam. This will be presented as providing QOS and security for paid subscribers � which it will, but it can also be selectively used against those providers who were just counting on �reliable pipes.�

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

NF: As stated earlier, we have shifted our focus to delivering IMS-compliant infrastructure elements � specifically, CSCF, MGC, and SBC functionality. Simultaneously, we are increasing our application portfolio, as we believe we can use our technology (ENTICE) to both build infrastructure and deliver applications into existing infastructures.

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

NF: I shared some of this earlier, but I believe that the industry is evolving towards an intelligent network topology, where applications can be delivered on any device on any network. IP appears to be one of the fundamental technologies for realizing this vision, but, ultimately, I don�t think consumers care about the technology. They care only about what can they do easily (applications) and how much it costs. Our goal, as a solutions provider, is to harness this technology and make it easy to use and manage for both the service provider and the consumer. IT If you are interested in purchasing reprints of this article (in either print or PDF format), please visit Reprint Management Services online at or contact a representative via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 800-290-5460.

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