Packet Island

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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Packet Island

I recently had the opportunity to ask Packet Island President Praveen Kumar about VoIP, the IP Communications space and more.
 
Packet Island provides the a micro-appliance based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that enables service providers and VARs to deliver managed IT services like VoIP lifecycle management at disruptive price points.
 
To get some history on the company, be sure to read this blog entry I wrote earlier this year about how the company has redefined network management.
 
What pains does your company solve for customers?
 
We enable service providers and VARs to design solid converged media networks for the SMB market. Our solution solves the quality problem that has been hobbling the VoIP industry.
 
How has SIP changed communications?
 
SIP has been a boon for SMB customers because it has commoditized the VoIP equipment market. Now that SIP interoperability issues are gradually going away, the next phase of the industry will see a variety of SIP-based advanced communication and collaboration services becoming available to the SMB mass market.
 
How do you think the future of the market looks?
 
The future looks very exciting. Several key market events in the past year (e.g. Microsoft making a major push into VoIP) promise to take VoIP deeper into the business market. Many hosted service providers are also figuring out that telecom is more about service quality and less about cost. Many of the cost-based business VoIP providers are dropping dead. The ones left standing will build very successful businesses.
 
How about Microsoft?
 
The reality of how this will play out remains to be seen. Microsoft has some big partners (e.g Nortel) they have to dance with. I suspect that Microsoft will go after the mid to large end of the market. They will likely compete aggressively with Cisco - it will be interesting to watch.
 
The low end will still be dominated by open source Asterisk. It is possible that some of the big Microsoft rivals may embrace open source asterisk to setup a barrier.
 
How will open source technologies change our market?
 
Open source has already commoditized the SMB VoIP market. Asterisk has found a strong foothold in the small business side of the enterprise market. They will continue to move up-market and bring about great innovations that will bring true seamless collaboration to the mass market.
 
What are your thoughts regarding hosted solutions?
 
Hosted solutions have been struggling for the past few years because of Internet quality issues. Many of those problems are being resolved now as hosted VoIP providers are putting in comprehensive processes to ensure end-to-end quality. The next 2-3 years will see nice growth in this market.
 
What do you want the industry to know about your company?
 
At Packet Island, we have built what we consider to be the Next-Gen HP Openview platform. While traditional network management solutions use SNMP polling to monitor the health of networks, the Packet Island solution uses deep packet inspection using inexpensive micro-appliances to enable the centralized management of highly distributed converged media networks.


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