Acme Packet

Kevin Mitchell, Director of Solutions Marketing for Acme Packet, gave me this exclusive interview. Take a look at what he told me about VoIP security, the impact of wireless technology, and a particularly surprising prediction on the future of communications.
A leader in session border control solutions, Acme Packet prides itself on delivering trusted, first-class interactive communications across network borders. Find out more about them and their business solutions here.
How is IP communications changing your company’s strategy?
IP interactive communications is central to our company’s strategy and direction. That’s all our company is focused on, and that focus is the reason Acme Packet was founded. Acme Packet is the market leader in providing session border controllers (SBCs). These devices enable trusted, first-class IP interactive communications for service providers, enterprises and contact centers. Our SBCs overcome the obstacles that IP networks introduce for secure and high quality communications. 
How has SIP changed communications?
It’s extended IP communications beyond voice, and is central to IMS architectures that are designed to deliver multi-session services. SIP is remarkably extensible and promises to allow future innovations.   
What is the biggest request coming from your customer base?
Our customers–service providers, enterprises and contact centers–want more features and enhancements, encompassing security, QoS, interoperability, call routing, and lawful intercept. This request stream is based on our customers’ real-world experience deploying VoIP and other IP interactive communications. Along with our customers, we are seeing the challenges first-hand and developing solutions for them.
How are you doing that?
Constant feature development. Our latest release, Net-Net OS 5.0, includes over 50 new features and enhancements that further extend the control capabilities of our Net-Net session border controllers for interconnecting IP voice, video and multimedia networks to one another. The new features enhance the precise signaling and media control required at access and interconnect borders, delivering new features in the areas of security, service reach maximization, SLA assurance, revenue and cost optimization and regulatory compliance
What do you think the future of the market is?
The SBC market is robust and the addressable market is substantial. We are still at an early period of adoption, and as VoIP networks and subscriber bases grow and more uses for SIP take hold, we see the need for session border controllers growing along with that transition to next generation networks.
What do you think of Google and Apple entering the telecom market?
Personally, I look forward to the user friendly applications and products they will deliver to the market. I welcome any company with a stellar track record of usable innovation to telecom.
How about Microsoft?
Microsoft certainly has the chance to change how users approach communications and has a very captive audience to introduce VoIP within almost every enterprise.  It’s not surprising that a number of well-established telecom equipment vendors and telecom operators are aligning themselves with Microsoft’s efforts.
How will wireless technologies change our market?
Wireless is extending IP communications services so we can use them anywhere and at anytime. There is still much work to be done, and the RAN for cellular operators will not be delivering VoIP anytime soon, but SIP-based services will make use of that 3G IP RAN, such as IM and video sharing. With no legacy circuit-switched RAN, WiMax can use VoIP from day one, so there will be ripe potential to exploit as those networks are deployed. Wireless operators have delivered a number of interesting and profitable services–think SMS, MMS and ring tones–over the RAN over the years, and will continue to develop new communications and entertainment services as the RAN gets faster.
What sorts of things will we be hearing about during your presentation at ITEXPO?
The importance of security in IP interactive communications and the critical role that SBCs play in ensuring network availability and quality, in addition to user privacy and confidentiality.
Why is your presentation a “Can’t Miss?”
There are a number of myths and over-hyped concerns regarding VoIP security, just as there are many valid and dangerous threats. I’ll be presenting Acme Packet’s view on both. This will help service providers and enterprises build a valid threat model for their businesses, and spend resources fighting where the threat and impact is the greatest. 
What do you want the industry to know about your company?
Acme Packet is the creator and leader of session border control solutions. We have over 300 employees dedicated to that endeavor, and the pace of innovation is even more rapid now than when we started in 2000.
Please make one surprising prediction of something we will see in five years.
Comcast will be one the largest communications companies in the world. 

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