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October 2009 | Volume 12 / Number 10
Show Roundup

ITEXPO Attracts Broad Range of Topics, News

By: Paula Bernier

The ITEXPO (News - Alert) West 2009 show held last month in Los Angeles was hopping! Attendees and exhibitors alike commented on the high quality of education, exhibit hall traffic and energy at the show.

Here are a few conversation points and news tidbits that came out of the event:

BrightCom CEO: Telepresence (News - Alert) May Not Be as Pricey as You Think

Frost & Sullivan indicates the telepresence solutions and video conferencing market is posed for strong growth, with the market expected to reach $4.7 billion by 2014. But while many see great promise for telepresence, others say it’s a very limited opportunity due to the eye-popping price tags that often come with it. Such systems might make sense for a meeting between Cisco (News - Alert) Chairman and CEO John Chambers and President Obama, one gentleman recently quipped, but otherwise they are pretty hard to justify.

Comments like that don’t catch Bob McCandless, CEO of videoconferencing system provider BrightCom, off guard. “We hear that all the time,” he says.

That’s one of reason BrightCom offers a broad range of telepresence solutions, McCandless says. For those companies that want to experience telepresence without breaking the bank BrightCom offers the L37 solution under its Lumina Telepresence line. The six-seat L37 is a completely self-contained telepresence unit businesses and organizations can drop in for $100,000, says McCandless, adding that Cisco and TANDBERG don’t offer smaller solutions like this.

New Cbeyond (News - Alert) Program Makes for More Integrated Solutions, Selling & Service

Cbeyond has created a new program to help it better align its interoperability, marketing and ongoing support efforts with those of the IP PBX (News - Alert) vendors.

According to Jason Walker, product marketing manager for Cbeyond’s SIPconnect service, the Cbeyond Platform Partner Program affords it the opportunity to better support its resellers and ultimately get the best solution to the end customer.

Through the program, Cbeyond works with IP PBX vendors to ensure their gear works seamlessly with its BeyondVoice with SIPconnect service, which allows small business customers to operate like enterprise businesses by easily adding pure digital voice lines, access to a wider array of rich, configurable features and eliminating expensive gateway equipment. The service provider has already certified interoperability with 25 phone manufacturers.

On the marketing side, the program will create a framework for Cbeyond and IP PBX vendor partners to do sales referrals and other comarketing.

Additionally, the program will establish Cbeyond as the integrator’s or customer’s first point of contact for maintenance and support. If a given call needs additional support, however, Cbeyond will escalate the interactions and bring the IP PBX supplier into the conversation. But the relationship can also work in reverse in cases in which calls come in to the IP PBX vendor.

There are three levels of involvement in the Cbeyond Platform Partner Program from which IP PBX suppliers can choose: the Platinum level, which requires a $50,000 upfront annual contribution and offers an exclusive level of joint partner recruitment and training activities and demand generation programs; the Gold level, which costs $25,000 and includes three aspects of the program mentioned above; and the Silver level, which is a baseline relationship for interoperability only, which involves a $5,000 interoperability fee.

Cbeyond has already done interoperability with 25 manufacturers at this point, all of whom have joined the Cbeyond Platform Partner Program at the Silver level, says Walker.

Profitec Takes OmniSuite to the .NET (News - Alert)

Profitec at ITEXPO debuted its now completely .NET-based version of the OmniSuite solution, says Randal Minervino, vice president of sales and marketing.

OmniSuite is the umbrella solution that includes OmniBill, an OSS/BSS and subscriber management system; OmniView, Profitec (News - Alert)’s electronic bill and presentment solution; OmniSignup, an end-user purchase module; OminAgent, which is used for sales management; and OmniCare, a CRM and contact management solution.

Minervino says that the move to .NET means the OmniSuite solutions are completely browser-based, so the customer doesn’t need a server on its premises on which to run the system, which can result in savings from $10,000 to $15,000 just in server costs.

TelcoBridges (News - Alert) Intros New Networking Monitoring Tools

TelcoBridges Inc. is best known for its platforms, which help telecom developers and integrators build turnkey solutions such as media gateways. Probably not as widely understood is the fact that TelcoBridges leverages much of that same technology to deliver real-time network monitoring devices, which detect, filter, and record signaling and voice traffic. The company at ITEXPO unveiled new iterations of these tools, which can enable service providers to do next-generation network monitoring, support lawful intercept and deliver location-based services (LBS) applications.

According to Marc St-Onge, sales support director for TelcoBridges, these solutions are unique in the market because they offer such great capacity that they can be used to monitor a whole network affordably.

VoIP Logic (News - Alert) Absorbs Sundial

VoIP managed services provider VoIP Logic at ITEXPO West revealed plans to absorb VoIP engineering professional services firm Sundial Network Services. The value and terms of the transaction were not disclosed. As part of the deal, the company created the position of vice president of operations for former Sundial CEO Ardeshir Ghanbarzadeh.

Six-year-old VoIP Logic provides hosted managed solutions under the VoIP umbrella to nearly 200 service providers. The company also provides its carrier customers with its proprietary Cortex OSS. And with the Sundial deal, it brings engineering and professional services into the mix.

Michael Wimpfheimer, vice president of sales and marketing, says the Sundial makes sense given VoIP Logic is seeing more Class 5 deployments, which are significantly more complex in terms of customization requirements than its Class 4 jobs. He adds that VoIP Logic gets four new employees as part of the deal, including Ghanbarzadeh and three others with engineering backgrounds.

The new Tmonitor TM2000 and Tmonitor TM3000 follow in the footsteps of the earlier-announced Tmonitor TM1000 platform. All provide high-capacity, non-intrusive full-duplex monitoring, filtering, and analysis of network traffic, such as SS7 or ISDN signaling, at line speed. What’s new is that the TM2000 quadruples the data capture capacity of the TM1000 (increasing the number of HDLC controllers from 512 to 2,048), while maintaining the ability to monitor up to 64 T1/E1/J1 connections. The TM3000, meanwhile, offers OC3/STM-1 support in place of T1/E1/J1 connections and includes dedicated voice-recording capacity. Multiple TM2000 or TM3000 devices can be clustered together.

XCast (News - Alert) Labs Adds Two Cableco Customers

XCast Labs at ITEXPO West announced two new cableco customers, and the company’s President and CEO Cliff Rees (News - Alert) told Internet Telephony that two more such announcements would come on the heels of this news.

The company revealed that it will provide its SaaS (News - Alert)-based digital voice and video services to American Cable Services (ACS) of Florida, and Suite Solutions Technologies of Ohio. ACS, based in Ocala, Fla., offers VoIP, Internet, computer networking, intercom, security, cable TV, and other services. It helps its partners, project coordinators and construction crews design homes and buildings to meet the communications, data and security needs of both builders and residents. Suite Solutions Technologies provides high-speed Internet, cable TV and digital satellite services to residential apartment and condominium communities. The company has nearly 10,000 customers in multiple markets throughout six states.

Rees said his company is able to provide its cableco and CLEC customers hosted solutions that enable them to get to market quickly and affordability. Although Xcast quotes 30 days for delivery, Rees said the company has been able to deliver solutions within just 7 days – from deployment into production and with customization. Xcast is able to deliver services at prices that are 20 to 30 percent less than the competition because it wrote and owns all its software code, down to the SIP stack. “So we don’t pay royalties to anyone at this point,” said Rees. IT

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