Aculab Launches ApplianX Product Line
Aculab has just announced a new line of appliances and the product line is so different from any products previously supplied by the company I decided to ask some questions about the new ApplianX product line from Alan Pound, MD and CTO of Aculab. Here is the Q&A with Aculab about this exciting new initiative.
Aculab has been a strong player in boards and interfaces for some years, why the new product line?

The strategy behind ApplianX was set against the backdrop of a dramatically changing the market for hardware and software-based enabling technologies. A growing pool of solution providers are looking to take advantage of leading enabling technology but, for a number of reasons, do not wish to incur the associated development costs and time taken to integrate enabling technology or write C-based applications. In addition IT managers, may not know (or wish to know) about such low level detail. Instead they are concerned about deploying reliable, proven technology that they find easy to install and manage.
The ApplianX range has been designed with this trend in mind, offering deployment-ready products based on Aculab’s award winning Prosody X IP media processing cards. Each ApplianX product plays an infrastructure role in the converged networks of enterprises and service providers, so can address a number of service provision needs.
So, in short we are extending the reach of our technology to a broader set of solution providers and end users.
How did you come up with the name ApplianX?

The name ApplianX embodies two key elements of the ApplianX range. Firstly it does exactly what it says on the tin, it is a range of ‘plug and play’ devices or appliances, ready to serve its specific network task. Secondly, it is built on Aculab’s award wining Prosody X media processing technology – the X reflects this.
Who is the primary customer for these new appliances?

Anyone who needs to fill a particular network communications gap but does not want to undertake any development work – it’s a simple as that!
What pain do these devices take away for customers?

  1. They don’t need to source and integrate different hardware and software components from multiple vendors
  2. They don’t have to manage relations/support issues with multiple vendors
  3. They don’t need to know anything about low level enabling technology, C APIs, etc
  4. They don’t have to go through an extensive set up and configuration process
  5. They can enjoy new services aided/based upon ApplianX products quickly
What will pricing be like? Most expensive?

The ApplianX range will include a diverse mix of products from an IP gateway through to video gateways and transcoders. Because of the diverse functions of each product the pricing with vary, depending on the complexities of the task the ApplianX product is set on satisfying. The aim is to be competitive within each sector we compete within, and where possible offer the most cost effective alternative.
Where can the devices be purchased?

ApplianX products are available through a network of distribution partners. Distribution partners can be found on the ApplianX website. If you are interested in becoming an ApplianX reseller please email
Which will be your best selling ApplianX?

That’s very hard to gauge this early on – we are expecting ApplianX IP Gateway to enjoy early success because it supports features such as an extensive portfolio of global PSTN protocols, which no other gateway currently offers. We also have a good feeling about ApplianX 3G Video Gateway and ApplianX Video Transcoder when released, because of the opportunity video presents.
Do you have any of these deployed yet? If not, when will you?

No not yet, but ApplianX IP Gateway is to be tested by some very big prospects – there will be some positive announcements made in the not too distant future.
Where will the competition come from for ApplianX?

It’s difficult to say, for in many ways the different ApplianX products are providing features that are currently unsupported within competitive products, ApplianX IP Gateway’s support of DPNSS and Q.SIG for example. Additionally the features and functionality of the ApplianX product simply aren’t available in a ‘plug and play’ device format.
Is this move for Aculab more important from a corporate strategy perspective than the move to HMP? IP?

No – but it is as important. Developing and providing enabling technology will remain Aculab’s primary focus but as mentioned earlier we recognize the changing marketplace and that there is a sizable gap in the market for leading edge technology within an easy to deploy wrapper.
Where would you like the ApplianX line to be in five years?

Most importantly it will be hitting the spot. Enterprise and service providers will be benefiting from being able to take advantage of easy to deploy products.
So there you have it. Aculab is rolling out a new line of products or appliances which allow the benefits of Aculab enabling technology with a minimal of muss and fuss. It will be great to see how successful this line becomes and whether it sparks more interest in the market to purchase fixed function devices which are powerful and easy to operate.

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