Alan Percy : The SIP Invite
Alan Percy
| Observations by Alan D. Percy on VoIP enabling technology, industry and our personal reach for success.


Avaya Aura Launch - Leveraging SIP

April 1, 2009

Yesterday's big news here at VoiceCon Orlando 2009 was the launch of Avaya Aura, a new SIP-based architecture and strategy from Avaya that  "simplifies complex communications networks, reduces infrastructure costs and quickly delivers voice, video, messaging, presence, Web applications and more to employees anywhere."

As Kevin Kennedy, president and CEO, Avaya noted in both his keynote address and press materials:  "We've seen some organizations use SIP routing to reduce trunking costs by 20 percent to 60 percent. With this new architecture, for the first time, the way we communicate is defined by the applications and the user, not the network."

Bruce Mazza, Director of Branch Office Solutions and Alon Waks, Solutions and Product Marketing for Avaya gave me a quick tour and demo of the Remote Branch portion of the solution showing how branch offices leverage  AudioCodes MediaPack analog gateways to provide survivability in situations where the wide-area-network were to fail or become unavailable.

In addition to survivability, the AudioCodes MediaPack gateways can provide connectivity to analog phones, fax machines and other legacy devices in remote branches.

This announcement highlights one of my key strategic visions of the power of SIP, connecting diverse and distributed businesses together at far lower costs than using the PSTN to call inter-branch.  

I'll be joined by Bruce Mazza to discuss the new Avaya Aura strategy and branch office survivability in an upcoming webinar that I'll be hosting.  Click here to register for the event

Discussion with Bruce Mazza on SIP-enabled Distributed Enterprises

March 23, 2009

AudioCodes has been working closely with Avaya for a number of years and as part of our exhibition at VoiceCon Orlando next week, I've invited Bruce Mazza, Director of Branch Solutions at Avaya to present during our AudioCodes / ScanSource Solutions Theater.  Avaya's Branch Office solution leverages SIP to connect remote branch offices to regional offices, which reduces operating costs for banks, insurance, retail and government customers that frequently have dispersed remote offices.

AP: Bruce, thanks again for joining us in Orlando. What's the title/topic of your presentation?

BM:  "Distributed Enterprises -Reduce Operating Costs and Maintain Reliability"   AP: How does the Avaya application help enterprises in this difficult economy?    

BM: The joint solution from Avaya and AudioCodes will help medium and large businesses with many small branch office locations to reduce the cost of deploying and managing communications by centralizing trunking access and reducing monthly fees, reducing inter-enterprise long-distance fees by running voice over the customers WAN, centralizing management to reduce overhead costs, all while increasing branch user productivity through value-added UC applications.   Since the solution is survivable with the AudioCodes SAS capability matched with Avaya's SIP 96xx phones, branch office users can have the assurance of business continuity.   AP: What will this solution mean to VARs that service companies with remote branches?  

BM:  VARs will enjoy the opportunity to address medium and large enterprises with a full complement of branch solutions from Avaya, and to address the very small branches that are so prevalent with the survivable SIP branch solution from AudioCodes and Avaya.  Opportunities exist for product sales in Data Centers, and Branches, as well as services to design, build, and deploy customers branch networks.   AP: What about the Avaya strategy is different from before the economy went sour?   

BM: Frankly, we had planned to introduce this solution before the economy went sour. Now customers will be even more compelled to implement the solution to gain the OPEX savings.   AP: Share with us who would get the most out of your presentation at VoiceCon?    

BM: I believe IT Manager, Telecom Directors and CIOs of companies that numerous remote branches would find the session very helpful.      AP :Where would someone learn more about the Avaya Branch Office solution?    

BM: We'll have information at both the Avaya and AudioCodes booths with live demonstrations that can be seen by attendees.
Bruce's presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, March 31st at 2:00 PM EDT in the AudioCodes / ScanSource Solutions Theater within booth #931.

Did I mention that by attending you can win one of 14 iPod Touch PM3 players that we are giving away?

Interview with Rick Q. Chin @ Interactive Intelligence

March 19, 2009

Another interesting presenter and topic that I am looking forward to at the AudioCodes / ScanSource Solutions Theater at VoiceCon Orlando is Rick Q. Chin from Interactive Intelligence.  AudioCodes has been working with Interactive Intelligence since the very earliest days of their Customer Interaction Center, one of the premier SIP-based contact center solutions on the market.

AP: Rick, what's the title/topic of your presentation? 

RC: The presentation I'll be bringing is 'Improving the Customer Experience with CIC' and it discusses how to help companies win and keep customers

AP: How does Interactive Intelligence CIC help enterprises in this difficult economy? 

RC: Increases efficiency, effectiveness, and utilization of resources, improves customer service and increases customer satisfaction, provides lower operating and ownership costs

AP: Is there an opportunity for Value Added Resellers (VARs) that would be at the event to leverage with your solution? 

RC: Absolutely, Yes they would get a lot from my presentation.

 AP: What about the Interactive Intelligence strategy is different from before the economy went sour? 

RC: Focusing on communicating the value and high ROI of our completely line of applications, unique truly all-in-one product, and the higher productivity and effectiveness it provides vs.

Interview with Bill Miller at Digium

March 18, 2009

I'm very much looking forward to the upcoming Solutions Theater and iPod Give-away we are hosting at VoiceCon later this month.  As part of this series of presentations on SIP applications, we'll be joined by Bill Miller, Vice President of Product Management for Digium.  Bill brings a wealth of experience and knowledge on both IP-PBX solutions and open source to the stage.  Bill was kind enough to share with me some thoughts on his upcoming session: 

AP: Thanks again for presenting in the upcoming Solutions Theater at VoiceCon.  Can you give us a sneak peek at the topic of your presentation?

BM: My session is titled "Open Source Alternatives in a down economy"

AP: Please share with us how Digium|Asterisk and open source solutions help enterprises in this difficult economy?

BM: The business case for open source and open source based solutions is compelling for both business and technical reasons. We will explore why the momentum is not just building daily, but there are proven solutions, case studies and growing list of enterprise class solutions.

AP: How can Value Added Resellers (VARS) best leverage Digium|Asterisk?

BM: VARs are adopting alternatives to traditional telecom solutions at alarming rates. The ability to leverage experience already gained from traditional telephony solutions, the new emerging models provides new channels of revenues, new pipelines of opportunities and many alternatives to build custom telephony solutions to grow faster than the market. price conscious users want to kick the tires and understand open source today.

AP: Who would get the most out of listening to your presentation?

BM: Resellers and enterprises or all sizes

AP: Bill, where would someone learn more about your Digium Open Source solutions?

BM: The Digium booth is #1328 here at VoiceCon and our web site is

Interview with Joel Maloff @ BandTel

March 11, 2009

 As noted in yesterday's post about VoiceCon, our opening speaker in the AudioCodes / ScanSource Solutions Theater will be Joel Maloff, Vice President of Marketing for BandTel.  BandTel is a pure SIP Trunking service provider that utilizes AudioCodes gateways to connect their services to end-customer TDM PBXs or other equipment.  Joel was kind enough to spend a few minutes with me yesterday, providing a preview of what to expect in his presentation at VoiceCon.

AP: Can you share with us the title and topic of your presentation?

JM: Sure, the title is 'SIP Trunking - Ready for Prime Time '

AP: How does SIP Trunking help enterprises in this difficult economy?

JM: SIP trunking has two immediate benefits for enterprises, especially in light of economic conditions. The first is the ability to broaden an enterprise's reach via the use of remote local telephone numbers. For example, an enterprise that is forced to consolidate and close down physical locations can retain those telephone numbers and have them ring into one or more centralized facilities. In this way, local identification is retained, operations are consolidated, and costs can be dramatically reduced.

Learn about SIP Applications - Win an iPod Touch?

March 10, 2009

Want a really good shot at winning a free iPod Touch?  If you are headed to VoiceCon in Orlando later this month, you should definitely read on...

AudioCodes has joined forces with ScanSource Communications at this upcoming VoiceCon in Orlando and as part of the exhibition, we are hosting a "Solutions Theater and Pavilion" in our expanded booth #931.  We are thrilled to have pulled together 14 industry leaders that will deliver a series of presentations that focus on SIP-based applications that help end users and VARs deal with this difficult economy.  

Now for the really cool part: After each presentation, AudioCodes and ScanSource Communications is giving away an iPod Touch to one of the lucky audience members.  (Rules for the drawing will be posted in the booth)

VoiceCon Orlando 2009 Solutions Theater Presentation Schedule At Booth #931   Monday, March 30, 2009 Time Presenter Topic 4:00 PM BandTel Joel Maloff
Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing SIP Trunking 4:30 PM CTI2 Erez Marom Unified Communications   Tuesday, March 31, 2009 Time Presenter Topic 1:30 PM AudioCodes Alan Percy Director, Market Development IP Communications -
An Opportunity in a Down Economy? 2:00 PM Avaya
Bruce Mazza Branch Office Solutions 2:30 PM The VIA Group Jeff Stillings Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 3:00 PM Genesys Charles Lee      Sr. Product Marketing Manager Empowering enterprise-wide customer service     3:30 PM Atlantic Communications Michael Light Hosted Solutions (Cosmocom) 4:00 PM Digium Bill Miller VP Product Management Asterisk Open Source Solutions   Wednesday, April 1, 2009 Time Presenter Topic 1:30 PM Brian Cuppett ScanSource Comm. ScanSource Communications 2:00 PM Strategic Products and Services (SPS) Mike Taylor, CTO Avaya Branch Office Solutions   2:30 PM Interactive Intelligence Rick Q. Chin Manager, Solutions Marketing Improving the Customer Experience with CIC 3:00 PM EUS Networks Robert Campozano CEO Asterisk Solutions on Mediant 1000 OSN 3:30 PM Sagem-Interstar TBA Enterprise Fax Solutions 4:00 PM Enabling Technology Steve Bruno Deploying Microsoft Office Communicator   See you in Orlando!

SIP at ITExpo Miami Next Week

January 29, 2009

 The week of February 2nd takes me to ITExpo in Miami Beach.  A much needed break after the big snowstorm that hit the Northeast and a chance to meet face-to-face with others in the industry.

After spending a couple years of experiencing the social networking evolution, connecting with with Linked-In, Facebook and other social networking resources I've started to re-think my understanding of industry conferences.  One might think that with all the virtual and on-line tools we have (teleconferencing, Webex, Facebook, etc.), industry conferences might fade into obsolescence.  However, I would argue the opposite might be the case.  Certainly the tools have helped me keep connected with my industry contacts (and in many cases, get even closer than before) but there is no replacement for a face-to-face visit, a handshake, or a drink together.  In fact, I feel the need is even stronger to get some much needed face-time with these people.  Why?  Because with social networking tools, access to each other is easier and everybody is competing for my time and others.   In the face-to-face world, I can cut through all noise and get quality time and converse with those that I really need.

So, what do I have planned for this next week?   I've put together three great sessions that I hope my readers will take the opportunity to participate in while at ITExpo:

"SIP Interoperability: The Ultimate Myth?"
MON 2/2 -- 12:00-12:45pm
TRACK: DEV-01 -Developer
ROOM #: B212
This is a discussion on the real-world of SIP interoperability.  I spent quite a bit of time with the director of our interoperability lab, discussing the challenges that he sees when trying to complete interoperability between two SIP-based devices.  I've brought alone some thoughts and ideas on how resellers, OEMs, integrators and others can solve tough interoperability issues in their solutions.  No product pitches here, just solid advise from real industry insiders.

"HD - What's the noise and are we ready?"
TUE 2/3 -- 12:00-1:00pm
TRACK: L-01 -Special Luncheon Panel
ROOM #: B216
Back a few months ago, we launched our HD VoIP strategy and with that found that few people understand what HD really is and the impact it will make on our industry.  Working with Rich and the staff at TMC, we're taking this conversation to a much wider scope and bringing together a number of experts on HD to discuss how we can make our joint dream become reality.
"New SIP Trunking Announcements"
MON 2/2 -- 2:00-2:45pm
TRACK: RES-03 -Reseller Day
ROOM #: B116/B117
In response to the economic melt-down, we sat down and came up with a short list of opportunities for our industry could leverage to not only get through the down-turn, but better position themselves for the recovery.  One of these opportunities is SIP Trunking for existing SMBs that have existing TDM equipment and need to save operational costs without large capital expenditures.  I'll introduce our "SIP Trunking As You Are" strategy and provide the tools attendees will need to leverage this opportunity.

And, as always, I'll be racing from one meeting to another during the event.  If you'd like to get on my calendar, please drop me a note or stop by our booth #616 during the event.

SIP Trunking As You Are

January 12, 2009

If you remember a few weeks back, I mentioned that we were seeing a growing opportunity in the market for SIP Trunking providers connecting their services to the very large installed base of TDM PBXs, KSUs, Contact Centers, etc.   In a number of conversations I've had with both our VARs and with end-customers, a pattern has clearly evolved in the market that is a perfect fit between SIP technology and business needs.

The Business Problem

With the stress on businesses today, finding ways to save on communications costs is a major concern. Replacing aging PBX equipment would save some operating costs, but the CFO is adverse to large capital expenditures, trying to conserve cash and keep their lines of credit available for unforeseen troubles ahead.   In addition to the financial challenges, a change-out in PBX is a very complex and disruptive process, needing time to find the right application and do proper evaluations.   Is there is a solution that can save operating costs today and meets the long-range needs for the organization in mind?

The Technical Problem

The TDM PBX is still in perfectly fine working order, but is clearly a dinosaur with limited SIP capabilities without being replaced.  Because it is older and TDM, it cannot directly connect to the new SIP Trunking services without major upgrades.  

The Solution: SIP Trunking As You Are

In a nut-shell, this strategy takes customers that are using expensive dedicated voice T1/E1 or analog trunking from the local telco and replaces them with a SIP connection to a SIP Trunking service provider as shown below:

TDM Trunking

SIP Trunking

  Today we participated in a joint announcement with Broadvox, one of the leading and most aggressive Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSPs) that offers a very comprehensive SIP Trunking offering.  In our discussions with David Byrd, VP of Sales and Marketing for Broadvox noted: "During this challenging economic period, businesses are looking for ways to save on communications costs with as little capital expenditure as possible. "With Broadvox SIP Trunking and the AudioCodes Mediant 1000, businesses can start saving today without having to replace their PBX dramatically improving their ROI."

We are holding a special web-based seminar to discuss this on Wednesday, January 14th at 2 PM ET.  To register for the event, visit:

IP Communications and Opportunities - Question and Answers

December 18, 2008

Some great questions were raised during the most recent webinar titled "IP Communications - an opportunity in a down economy" and I thought sharing the entire list would be valuable.  So here it goes:

Q: What needs to be done to the typical PBX to use SIP Trunking?
A: Most PBXs, Key Systems and other TDM equipment connect to the public network using either analog or T1 trunks here in North America.  In EMEA and other areas, you'll also see E1 and ISDN BRI trunking.  For SIP trunks to connect these legacy systems, a SIP media gateway with matching TDM interfaces is required.

Q: What kind of interoperability issues are there between SIP trunks and IP-PBXs?
A: Right now there are plenty of interoperability issues and while there is some progress on standardization, is seems that it will be a while before you can just "plug and play".  The issue is the looseness of the SIP standard and investment many vendors have already made in their networks.  The end result is that today some either software or hardware device must do the IP-to-IP mediation between the two different formats, converting both signaling and media as required.  I put together a paper on the topic last year that you may find helpful.

Q: Do you see more opportunities in the residential or in the business segment during this recession?
A: It seems that today business are the most eager to cut operating costs.  Residential customers seem to be frozen in their tracks or just cutting the cord to their land-lines.

Q: What new products does AudioCodes have for hosted PBX providers today?
A: We have CPE gateways for the customer premise, large media gateways that connect the hosted application to the PSTN, session border controllers that secure the connection between the service provider and CPE, and media servers required for conferencing, announcements and other applications.  Check out our new web site at and use the application navigation page for more ideas.

Q: Does SIP Trunking replace the existing T1 completely?
A: In many application - Yes.  The legacy TDM Voice T1 is completely removed.

Q: What changes are needed in the TDM PBX to use SIP Trunking?
A: In many cases - none.  The media gateway would be configured to emulate the legacy TDM T1/E1/BRI/Analog trunk allowing the PBX to continue to operate as-is.  In a rare few cases, a few parameter settings within the PBX would need to be changed.  However, there is no need to add any cards or spend any more money on the PBX.

Q: I keep hearing that SIP carrier trunks are not available in all markets? Can you please comment on that .?
A: Some of the SIP Trunking service providers do have a regional focus.  This allows them to better address and service their selected regions.  Others are more global.  When you call a SIP Trunking service provider, make sure you have your service locations in hand and they can tell you if they can service those sites.

Q: On slide 16, what is "OSN"?
A: Open Solutions Network - this is the embedded application server that is part of our partner network program, allowing them to run their applications within the gateway.  You can think of this as an Intel server sand-box within the gateway.  This eliminates a separate server and allows for one-box appliances.

Q: How is VoIP security such as Session Border Controller functions addressed by AudioCodes?
A: How a Session Border Controller (SBC) works is a very complex topic and a paper on our web site explains it in detail, but in a nut-shell it uses a Back-to-Back User Agent to terminate the SIP sessions, allowing the examination of the request and comparing it against a number of security rules.  Once validated, the request is re-issued on the other side and sent along the way.  A similar process may also occur with the media streams.

Q: Can the Mediant 2000 support your SBC module?
A: The Mediant 1000 has an SBC module, but today the Mediant 2000 does not have an SBC module.  An external SBC like our nCite 1000 may fit the application/

Feel free to use the Comment feature to post more questions and keep the dialog going!

IP Communications - An Opportunity in a Down Economy?

December 16, 2008

Thanks everyone that participated in yesterday's webinar.  It was interesting to see the diverse range of participants and responses from the session.

If you missed it, here is some background on the topic:

This most recent economic downturn has far reaching impact on a wide range businesses and industries. In this climate, corporate executives are examining every capital expenditure to ensure there is a quick return on investment and that the expenditures are in line with the strategic goals of the business. This has put many large communications infrastructure capital improvement projects on hold while alternatives are examined more closely. However, even in a down economy there are some very clear opportunities for businesses to reduce current operating costs without large capital expenditures.

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