Sangoma and HP Partner on UC Platform

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Randy Savicky
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Sangoma and HP Partner on UC Platform

I saw a release a couple of weeks ago about Sangoma entering into an OEM relationship with a "major computer and networking equipment supplier", which really piqued my interest since I'm a Sangoma telephony card fan. The release however doesn't name the company.

However, it got me thinking that there are not many companies that sell computer AND networking equipment. The only two companies that came to mind are Intel and HP (which now owns 3Com now). I doubt Intel would ink a deal with Sangoma since Intel already tested the telephony waters with Dialogic which they bought & then sold.

That leaves HP.

I did some digging and a source told me that they saw a Sangoma logo on some HP hardware at the last VoiceCon show. This certainly indicates that Sangoma and HP are up to something.

With HP recently acquiring Palm and 3Com and HP stressing their move towards a converged infrastructure and UC, certainly HP using Sangoma's NetBorder Express cards in one of HP's blades makes a lot of sense.
In fact, I can see HP using Sangoma hardware along with Microsoft Communications Server 14 (formerly OCS 2007) to deploy a turnkey scalable UC solution for the enterprise. No need for a separate gateway box. It's an all-in-one solution.

I remembered in 2009 that Microsoft & HP announced they were spending millions together combine software, hardware and professional services around a core group of products that include Microsoft's SharePoint Server, Exchange and Office Communications Server (OCS/MCS), and HP's ProCurve networking hardware. So certainly HP is investing heavily in the UC space, but they don't have the telephony/TDM piece. Sangoma's NetBorder Express cards fill that missing piece. Sangoma's NetBorder Express portfolio is a  SIP-compliant VoIP Media Gateway solution that comes in either PCI or PCI Express form-factor.

In fact, I was thinking that HP hardware + Microsoft software (MCS 14) + the recent Palm/HP deal (WebOS + wireless/mobility) = Ultimate UC!  You get enterprise telephony, wireless telephony, plus all the UC features of MCS 14. I definitely see HP going after Cisco in offering a converged switching platform that combines networking, telecom, UC, collaboration, and more.

Reliable sources have indicated that I am correct in my assertions and that a HP & Sangoma deal is happening very soon.

I reached out to Sangoma's public relations and they refused to comment. I also contacted HP's PR contacts and none of my emails were returned.

However, I found the evidence I needed to confirm that they are partnering. I found a video from VoiceCon showing what I know to be a Sangoma card inside a HP blade. Let's examine the evidence:

First, let's look at what a typical Sangoma card looks like:
sangoma-card-showing-etched-logo.jpg

Notice the metal etched logo with a circular logo?

Just to give you a better idea, in full color it looks like this:


Now look at this snapshot I took from the VoiceCon video - specifically the arrow (click for larger image):
sangoma-card-in-hp-blade.jpg

That is the Sangoma logo. Even looking at the larger image you're probably thinking I have the greatest vision in the world to make out their logo. Well, you can't go by this still image. You have to play the HP video and then apply human brain analytics of the different frames to see the image of the Sangoma card logo more clearly. Kind of like computers are able to clean up fuzzy images. Basically, as the person holding the blade moves around I was able to make out different parts of the logo and then piece it all together in my head.

I was able to just make out the Sangoma logo - especially since I'm familiar with it. I have a Sangoma T1 card in our PBX so I know exactly what to look for.

According to HP's Manfred Arndt who was interviewed in the VoiceCon video, "This is a blade that fits into the HP Procurve 5400 & 8200 zl series switches to provide a complete all-in-one solution for OCS users who want to have a survivable branch solution. On top of the blade we host OCS, we host the mediation server, SIP registar and a media gateway that goes SIP to PSTN gateway." Very interesting, no? And I wonder who is providing the media gateway? Sangoma anyone?

hp-procurve-5400.jpg
                        HP ProCurve 5400zl Series

Here's some background on the HP ProCurve Switch 5400zl series. It's an advanced intelligent switch in the HP ProCurve Networking product line and includes 6-slot and 12-slot chassis and associated zl modules and bundles. It sports 10/100, Gigabit and 10G interfaces, integrated PoE+ on 10/100 & 10/100/1000Base-T ports. Now when you add in the blade that includes the mediation server, OCS/MCS, and the Sangoma card which adds media gateway functionality, you have one seriously converged network & telecom switch!

MCS has several separate components, which makes it somewhat complex. HP combining MCS, the media gateway, the mediation server, plus the network switch means easier maintenance much lower TCO for the enterprise. See the blue circles I drew for what gets combined in a MCS deployment using HP's solution: (click for full)
mcs-hp-combine-gateway-mediation-server.jpg

This very interesting product is due out later this year. Watch for HP to announce Sangoma as the preferred card of choice for the media gateway. You read it here first.


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