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Sangoma - No Longer Just a Board Company

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September 09, 2011

Sangoma - No Longer Just a Board Company

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Technology and telecommunications markets have evolved over the last year and in anticipation of the ITEXPO West event in Austin next week, TMC (News - Alert) CEO Rich Tehrani wanted to gain insight from market leaders. As a result, he sat down with one of these leaders, Jeff Dworkin, director of Marketing for Sangoma Technologies (News - Alert). Their entire conversation is provided below.

When asked how his market segment has evolved over the past year, Dworkin noted the market hasn’t changed as much as Sangoma has changed as a company. As for the next disruptive force in technology, Dworkin noted that IP telephony and SIP are being treated as the next big thing, when companies like Sangoma have been deeply involved with these platforms for years. He also believes that the adoption of the cloud is one of the driving forces behind the reinvention of Sangoma.

The most common requests received from Sangoma customers include External VoIP Gateway Appliances, according to Dworkin. As for the growth of social media, the company is starting to see its use within its own marketing group. Dworkin does not believe Google+ will become bigger than Facebook or Twitter (News - Alert). For the big show next week, this is the first event since Sangoma re-launched at its Partner Summit in July. Dworkin is looking forward to letting the world know they are not just a board company anymore. Participating in the event, Sangoma is presenting a session inside the developer track about Transcoding.

Their entire conversation follows:

How has your market segment evolved over the past year and what trends have fueled those  changes?

For Sangoma, it is not so much that the market has changed, but that we are changing as a company.  We have reinvented ourselves to me a much more compelling provider in the IP Communications space, rather than a company that provided TDM Telephony Interface boards.  We now have media processing products, Media Gateway Appliances, as well as another dozen or so products on the roadmap, all schedule to be released in the next year.

What do you see as the next disruptive force in technology and how will it impact your market or business?

While those of us who are deeply involved in this space already tend to think of IP Telephony and SIP as “old technology” it is only recently that these technologies and the solutions based on them are really hitting the Enterprise Market.  At recent events I’ve attended, you would think SIP is a brand new technology based on the vendor presentations.

So IP-PBX’s, SIP Trunking and other solutions based on IP Telephony and SIP are now becoming MARKET disruptors for Enterprise Level products.

While I’m sure it squarely fits into this category, the “consumerisation” of corporate communications is creating a lot of discussion.  Consumerisation is all about figuring out to integrate an employee’s personal communications devices into the corporate environment.   Many employees want to use their personal devices, (smartphones, tablets, laptops) for company business and not have to carry or manage one device for personal use and one for business.  There are many issues around interoperability, management, and security that are creating lots of opportunity in the space.

How has the acceptance and adoption of the cloud model influenced your development cycle and process?

It is one of the driving forces behind the reinvention of Sangoma.  While our legacy business is all about connecting VoIP systems to the TDM network, our expanded focus providing products and services that expand beyond that narrow piece of the technology landscape.  Delivering products that can be accessed from the cloud, or in support of a cloud-based installation, are paramount to our roadmap.

What is the most common request you are seeing from your customers? How is your company addressing these demands?

External VoIP Gateway Appliances.  Our customers have always had the choice between integrating one of our TDM interface boards into a system or using one of software applications like SMG or NetBorder Express with one of our boards to create the bridge between a VoIP solution and the TDM Network.  They also wanted that third option of an External Gateway Appliance.  We have recently purchased the assets of VegaStream so that can down deliver this third option to our customers.

How is the continued growth of social media changing service and product development strategies?

While we are starting to use social media within our Marketing group, we have not yet leveraged those resources for the benefit of support or product development.

Will Google+ become bigger than Facebook and Twitter? Why or why not?

I don’t think so, unless Facebook (News - Alert) and/or Twitter make huge blunders that cause a mass exodus from their services.  Again, not likely that anyone will make such a big blunder, but then again, there is always New Coke.   So anything is possible.

What are you most looking forward to at ITEXPO West  in Austin? What do you see as being the biggest trends at the show?  

This is the first show since we “re-launched” Sangoma at our Partner Summit in July.  We are really looking for letting the world know that “We are not just a board company anymore”.

What issues will you be addressing during your ITEXPO session and why should attendees be sure to attend?

Our session inside the developer track is about Transcoding.  It is all about managing the different codecs and capabilities of the ever increasing number of endpoints that connect to IP Communications networks and when networks need to connect to other networks.  Getting the media stream, be it audio or video, to be optimally delivered by the endpoints and to get that media to flow smoothly through the network is become increasingly complex.  If providers and developers haven’t yet encountered this issue, they will in future and it’s important they develop their awareness of the issue sooner rather than later.

Sangoma Technologies is a Gold sponsor of ITEXPO West 2011. To find out more about Jeff Dworkin and Sangoma, visit the company at ITEXPO West 2011. To be held Sept. 13-15 in Austin, TX, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit Sangoma Technologies in booth #920. Jeff Dworkin is speaking during “Media Handling and Transcoding in a Distributed VoIP Network.” Don’t wait. Register now.

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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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