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Posts Tagged ‘voip’

Session Border Controllers (SBCs) have seen unprecedented growth over the past five years from the rise of SIP trunking, IP peering, VoIP security issues and other factors related to the growth of IP-based communication services. Although the market is in a bit of a lull right now, increased penetration rate of SIP and Voice-over LTE will create another wave of growth for SBCs over the next five years. Because of this, the market for SBC vendors, or at least vendors claiming to be SBCs, has exploded accordingly.

Are all solutions equal, though? My answer to that is a resounding “no.” I think there are many vendors that claim to be an SBC to try and leverage a hot market or to gain an entry into the space, but they’re not SBCs. From the research I’ve done in this space, here’s my criteria of what makes an SBC.

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Earlier this week I was at a CIO conference in Europe and one of the big topics of conversation was Unified Communications. Remote working, collaboration initiatives and cost cutting have all made UC a more important topic over the past twelve months. There was lots of discussion about deployment issues, the ROI of UC, training issues, etc. but the biggest point of discussion was Cisco versus Microsoft and where to use which. Based on the conversations I had at the CIO summit plus others, here is where companies should leverage the respective strengths of each of the two 800 pound gorillas:

• Video. There seemed to be little doubt here that Cisco is the vendor of choice. Between TelePresence, Tandberg, Callway, Show and Share and all the other video solutions Cisco has, the company is, by far, the most dominant vendor in the video space. Additionally, there’s a common belief by people with a Cisco network that Cisco video on a Cisco network will give the best experience. I think you can provision quality video on any network with any end point but I do believe it’s easier with Cisco on Cisco.

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In 2012, look for the Unified Communications (UC) industry to finally evolve away from using terms like “calls” and “trunks” and replace it with the concept of a “session.” I believe this to be an important step on the road to more pervasive UC deployments, particularly mobile UC.

Why do I believe that? The first step in believing this is to understand what a session is. With voice over IP (VoIP) and UC, the industry uses terms like “calls” to discuss the features in a UC solution. However, this term is a throwback to legacy communications and is used to make new UC solutions look like an old PBX. It reminds me of when I was in college taking a software development class and the lab instructor referred to lines of codes as “job cards.” There were no cards, just lines of code. Similarly today, we aren’t making calls in an all IP world.

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