TMC’s (News - Alert) ITEXPO East 2012 is just around the corner and in anticipation of this exciting event, we wanted to get closer to the action by talking with key industry players. CEO Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) recently spoke with Mike Coffee of Commetrex to get his take on the market and his particular industry. What was the most significant technological advancement in 2011, according to Coffee? The cloud, of course, is providing the proverbial paradigm shift. The biggest trend for Commetrex (News - Alert) over the last year has been the move to carrier-based FoIP and the subsequent challenges for all involved.
The biggest challenge facing Commetrex customers today is FoIP reliability over tandem-carrier connections. The company has made a significant investment in testing with the SIP and i3 Forum FoIP Task Group testing program. With the proliferation of the cloud, Commetrex is building on cloud-based opportunities for FoIP, envisioning a day where we have just “one big fax server in the sky.” And, while Coffee isn’t ready to say that cloud-based communications will speed the end of the premises-based PBX (News - Alert) market, he definitely agrees VoIP service providers have a compelling sales proposition.
As for social media, Commetrex has a low-level program to ensure the right positioning. He also believes we are a long way from every business needing a social media presence. When asked about Microsoft’s (News - Alert) position with its integration between mobile and desktop iOS, Coffee highlighted the giant can be a major competitor in any market it deems of vital importance. Commetrex will have a booth at ITEXPO, demonstrating its Smart ATA and BladeWare. As for his 2012 prediction, he anticipates SIP and i3 Forum FoIP Task Groups will lay out best practices for carrier-based FoIP. Their entire conversation follows:
RT: What was the most significant technological advancement in the past 12 months and why?
MC: Well, The Cloud, I would say, because it is the proverbial paradigm shift.
RT: What has been the biggest trend in your market segment and how is it impacting your customers?
MC: The move to carrier-based FoIP and the challenges it is presenting to enterprises, service providers, and carrier. Basically, the carriers aren’t ready for FoIP, and are finally waking up to the fact that FoIP calls require special treatment, just as do HD-voice calls. We are doing everything we can to help them make FoIP work for them.
RT: What is the biggest challenge facing your customers today and how is your company helping address that challenge?
MC: The biggest challenge is FoIP reliability over tandem-carrier connections. FoIP works great within the enterprise and over the Internet, but when carriers try to use legacy techniques, such as SS-7, to route FoIP calls, problems arise. To help, Commetrex has made an enormous investment in testing with the SIP and i3 Forum FoIP Task Group testing program. As co-chair of the SIP Forum FoIP Task Group, I will be giving a report on the progress of that testing at the Ingate SIP Trunking Summit on Thursday, February 2, at 2:00 PM.
RT: How has Cloud impacted your business? How has it impacted your customers?
MC: Since IP has the property of making location irrelevant, theoretically--in the limiting case--the world only needs one giant fax server in the sky. Well, we’re a long way from that, but the point is that cloud-based fax-server resources is becoming a major consideration for enterprises with mission-critical fax requirements. And it will only grow.
RT: Will Cloud-based communications expedite the end of the premises-based PBX market?
MC: I’m not ready to say “the end”, but without a doubt, VoIP service providers have a compelling sales proposition.
RT: What approach has your business taken to social media? If you have implemented a social media program, have you been able to evaluate your program’s success?
MC: We have a low-level program because we feel that there may be something there, and we want to be well positioned. In our case, our market is engineers, and we haven’t seen much evidence that they spend much time on social media Websites for professional reasons. And, so far, we’ve been unable to evaluate its effectiveness.
RT: Does every business need a social media presence? Why or why not?
MC: I think you could say that “every” business (any real business) needs a Website, but, in my opinion, I believe we’re a long way from every business needing a social-media presence.
RT: With Microsoft touting tight integration between its mobile and desktop OS, can it become a major competitor in the enterprise mobile market?
MC: Microsoft can become a major competitor in any market it deems to be of vital importance.
RT: What can attendees expect from your company at ITEXPO?
MC: Our slogan is “We make FoIP work…end-to-end.” So come to booth 524 and challenge us on why we say our Smart ATA is the only ATA, and BladeWare is the only FoIP fax server, that can achieve FoIP-transaction success rates to rival the PSTN.
RT: Make one technology prediction for 2012 and consider its impact.
MC: In 2012, the SIP and i3 Forum FoIP Task Groups will lay out best practices for carrier-based FoIP that will make it possible for global telecom to finally make the transition to an all-IP network. This has major consequences since global telecom cannot make the transition to an all-IP infrastructure unless and until it supports fax.
To find out more about Commetrex, visit the company at ITEXPO East 2012. To be held Jan. 31- Feb. 3 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Fla. ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit Commetrex in booth 524. Don’t wait. Register now.
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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Juliana Kenny