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Speaking With Aculab's Chris Gravett


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December 17, 2007

Speaking With Aculab's Chris Gravett

By Greg Galitzine, Group Editorial Director

I recently had the chance to interview Aculab’s (News - Alert) director of sales and marketing, Chris Gravett about what the company has been up to since last we spoke. Part I of that interview appears on TMCnet’s VoIP Developer Channel as an article titled: Aculab’s Gravett Speaks to the Success of Prosody X. In this follow-up article, Gravett discusses Aculab’s HMP offering, Prosody S, as well as how the ApplianX business is faring.

A week ago, Aculab announced the latest version of Prosody S, version 2.4 of the company’s host media processing (HMP) platform. Among the key features of the software is comprehensive support for T.38 fax over IP termination, which makes this solution suitable for unified messaging and other types of IP telephony applications requiring fax.
I asked Gravett to share more on the Prosody S offering and where he sees that product line fitting in to Aculab’s future plans.
According to Gravett, “Our core product development goes along two tracks. First, we are looking to release version 3 of our host media processing solution Prosody S, in the new year. Among the key aspects of version 3 is that there will be a Linux version. There has only been a Windows version to date. Much of the market has been waiting for a Linux version.
“Secondly, we have spent a lot of time — a number of man years actually — reviewing the architecture of both Prosody X and Prosody S so we can reach a point where a media resource — an algorithm or a codec — is able to be run on either a DSP or the host. Then it will be available at the same time either on Prosody X or Prosody S, giving a lot more choice to the customer depending on whether they want to develop software only solutions or whether they want to have some of their processing run on DSPs. The choice is theirs.”
Just this past October, Aculab announced the launch of the ApplianX IP Gateway (News - Alert), a SIP to TDM gateway, that is but one of a series of planned devices designed for network infrastructure roles in the developing converged networks of enterprises and service providers.
Regarding the announcement, Gravett told me, “The launch that we made back in the end of October, was in all fairness, more akin to a re-launch, because we hadn’t got the product to the state we wanted to in the original timeframe that we looked at.”
Gravett said that ironically, being tapped by Microsoft (News - Alert) to develop a gateway for their Office Communication Server unified communications solution, has had a negative effect on their schedule.
“Our whole strategy has been derailed by the invitation from Microsoft to provide for their unified communications, what they call a basic/hybrid gateway for OCS,” Gravett said. “This adds Microsoft mediation software into the same server as the Applianx (News - Alert) gateway and obviously offers us a window into the world of Microsoft UC. If they are successful in this latest foray into voice communications then we would hope to see some benefit on the back of that.
“It wasn’t part of our original plan, and it’s probably been a bigger overhead than we imagined, so to some extent it has set our strategy back a bit, but on the other hand we are in the final stages of having the Applianx gateway for OCS certified by Microsoft. We have a number of distribution partners set up throughout the world, and it’s our belief that in the immediate future, that will be a more successful product than the Applianx general IP gateway, which is looking to be in full volume ship at the same time.
“Things are going really well, we expect to be in full volume ship during this month, and we expect to see particularly quick wins because we’ve got quite a backlog of prospects awaiting the release of the Microsoft product.”
I asked Gravett if the setback would affect Aculab’s general Applianx line plans, and if it would furthermore have any effect on the company’s overall strategy.
“Longer term we are still in line with a strategy that we shared earlier,” Gravett replied. “We are hoping to bring to market a range of appliances, and certainly the gateway is the entry point as far as we’re concerned. A 3G mobile video gateway, a SIP trunking appliance, an SS7 node, a VXML media server… these are the things that we’re still working on. We’ve got all the specifications written and we’ve got engineers deployed on that.”
Greg Galitzine is editorial director of TMCnet. To read more of Greg’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Aculab will have a major presence at the upcoming Internet Telephony Conference and EXPO in Miami Beach, which is being held January 23–25, 2008. Come visit them at 403 during Exhibit Hall hours. Furthermore, Aculab’s Ian Colville will take part in the conference proceedings, participating on a panel discussing Future Trends in IP Communications on Wednesday January 23 at 2:30pm.
So make plans now to join the action in Miami Beach at ITEXPO (News - Alert) this January. Registration is currently open.

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