Readying for the Cloud Era

Convergence Corner

Readying for the Cloud Era

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director  |  March 01, 2012

This article originally appeared in the March issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine.

Sansay recently announced proven interoperability between its VSXi session border controller and BroadSoft’s (News - Alert) BroadWorks platform extending its reach into a new potential customer pool of more than 400 operators. At the same time, it now offers BroadSoft operators an alternative to AcmePacket.

“The industry will benefit from the added choice and we’re excited about being able to help some of these Broadsoft operators with their growth plans,” says Dave Walters, vice president of marketing at Sansay (News - Alert).

As operators either move to VoIP or extend their service capabilities by moving from voice-only to next-gen communications services, their new offerings are going to require mediation at the network edge for routing, interconnect, signaling, security and transcoding. 

In fact, operators won’t have a choice. While they have been living off voice minutes for a long time, the new digital world has stripped the revenue from voice and moved it to multimedia and other higher bandwidth and profit services. Services like SIP trunking have helped usher in IP communications, but users have also experienced other over-the-top offerings that will force their carriers to innovate and roll out new services – and quickly.

Speed to market isn’t an issue. With BroadSoft, Sansay has little customization work for BroadWorks user installs because BroadSoft uses one main code stream, meaning that once interop has been proven, the extension to any BroadWorks user becomes perhaps not quite plug and play, but a straightforward process. This is important, not only because it reduces time to market, but because it also reduces complexity, driving costs down in a market that is already struggling.

As BroadSoft and its customers continue to grow, they will be adding wireless overlays to their existing fixed line services and introducing new cloud-based services. Among Sansay’s strengths is its scalability, being able to switch more than 12,000 calls per second in a 2U unit. That speed and time to deployment will prove a benefit as the cloud, in particular, become increasingly popular. (And that’s important, given the 2011 Future of Cloud Computing Survey by North Bridge Ventures indicates that three-quarters of respondents expect to have more than half of their computing power in the cloud within five years.)

In fact, at some point in the not-so-distant future, network-based call and session control will drive the complete migration from premises-based PBXs to managed cloud services – effectively bringing the mobile model to the fixed-line space. BroadSoft already has a set of enhanced and vertical-specific features designed for cloud delivery. These will soon become mainstream capabilities with traditional voice carriers. But, regardless of where services originate, they will still require session control element to mediate between the different network interchanges.

“Our platform can fit the cloud model equally well,” says Walters. “Whether it’s in the 4G wireless space, in the cloud, or across fixed IP networks, there is going to be more need to IP-to-IP interconnect, and we see ourselves fulfilling that role as more and more IP endpoints and services come online.”

Edited by Jennifer Russell