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August 27, 2009

The Dangers of Ubiquitous Wireless Networks?


By SIP Trunking Report Editor



Here’s something you might not expect the head of a communications technology company to say: Wireless networks soon will be everywhere, but it’s important for consumers and businesspeople to be able pull back from their Internet connections.

 
Yet that’s just what the president of Ingate Systems told TMCnet in a recent interview.
 
According to Steven Johnson – whose company develops firewall technology and products that enable SIP communications for the enterprise while maintaining control and security at the network edge – many consumers can’t live without a high-speed Internet connection no matter where they are, “and that includes on vacation.”
 
“And communications today are being moved more and more over the Internet,” Johnson told TMC CEO Rich Tehrani in an interview, printed in full below. “So we can’t stop airlines from installing WiFi or carriers installing 3G at beaches and resorts. But we as individuals now need to develop a new work ethic that permits us to turn off our smartphones and laptops and really get away from the business at hand from time to time.”
 
Johnson – who recently talked to TMCnet about his company’s main area of focus – also said that the market for secure SIP solutions is expanding – incumbent carrier and cable companies are now turning their attention to these technologies.
 
“And the demand is growing as well, especially for solutions that offer truly secure SIP,” he said. “Ingate’s heritage is in SIP security, so we absolutely have the advantage – no one knows SIP and security like we do.”
 
Johnson is speaking during four sessions at ITEXPO West 2009, to be held Sept. 1 to 3 in Los Angeles: “Legacy PBX/PSTN and SIP Trunking,” “SIP Trunking and Security,” “Introduction to SIP Trunking” and “The Enterprise Infrastructure.”
 
His full interview follows.
 
Rich Tehrani: What has the economic crisis taught you, and how has it changed your customers?
 
Steven Johnson (pictured left): Technologies that streamline costs, and will help customers maintain a competitive edge moving forward, are now (and will be) the real winners in today’s climate. SIP trunking is one of those unique applications that have the potential to transform the communications landscape and I think comes at a very opportune time.
 
Why? Because the ROI is tremendous and immediate. Because it’s simple to deploy. Because, if you deploy in the right way, SIP trunks can offer extremely strong security for VoIP traffic. And, once SIP trunks are in place, the architecture is all there to get started with Unified Communications. Those are some of the reasons why the SIP Trunk Seminars at ITEXPO are so popular. There’s a strong demand for this information.
 
RT: How is this down economy affecting your decisions to reinvest in your company or market, if at all? Where will you invest?
 
SJ: The market for secure SIP solutions is expanding – incumbent carrier and cable companies are now turning their attention to these technologies. And the demand is growing as well, especially for solutions that offer truly secure SIP (and SIP trunking, etc.). Ingate’s heritage is in SIP security, so we absolutely have the advantage – no one knows SIP and security like we do.
 
Our focus as a company, as always, is on our people. Ingate has the best development team in the industry. We will continue that tradition and develop products that redefine the IP communications industry, help our customers stay one-step ahead of new trends, and products that maximize investments.
 
RT: What’s the strongest segment in the communications industry?
 
SJ: Small to medium sized businesses are leading the market in implementing SIP trunks and Unified Communications because they can see immediate payback.
 
RT: With the rise of smartphones and netbooks, many wireless technologies, such as WiFi, appear to be poised for rapid growth. For example, we’re seeing more and more airlines add in-flight WiFi. In general, how widespread should WiFi be, in your view?
 
SJ: Wireless networks will be everywhere. Many of us can’t live without a high speed Internet connection no matter where we are, and that includes on vacation. And communications today are being moved more and more over the Internet. So we can’t stop airlines from installing WiFi or carriers installing 3G at beaches and resorts. But we as individuals now need to develop a new work ethic that permits us to turn off our SmartPhones and laptops and really get away from the business at hand from time to time.
 
RT: Which nation or region of the world will present the largest opportunity for your company in 2009/10?
 
SJ: North America.
 
RT: What device or devices do you use, and what do you wish you used?
 
SJ: I use my cell phone and a laptop all the time. And my GPS is invaluable in the car and on the boat.
 
RT: What has the iPhone 3G taught us? I know it’s very new, but what about the Palm Pre? What are we learning from the smartphones based on the open source Google Android platform?
 
SJ: These devices prove that there’s a real demand for Unified Communications applications. They also illustrate how powerful video (and video sharing via the Internet) is. For the next iteration of IP applications, I think we’ll see a strong push in video as the next “big thing.”
 
RT: I understand you are exhibiting Sept. 1 to 3 at ITEXPO West in Los Angeles. What will you show there? Describe the companies or people who should come to your exhibit.
 
SJ: Ingate will once again be featuring the educational SIP Trunking: Everything You Need to Know seminars at ITEXPO. Some of the industry’s most preeminent leaders in the IP communications industry – including folks from VOIPSA and the SIP Forum – will be presenting critical information for end-users, carriers, VARs, for anyone looking at deploying SIP trunks. We’ll be talking about the security perspective – how do you ensure that your SIP trunks, your VoIP, and all your UC applications in fact – are as secure as possible? How easy is it really to deploy a SIP trunk? We’ll also have case studies to help showcase the what, why and how of SIP trunking.
 
New this season is a full morning intensive on legacy PBX/PSTNs and SIP trunks, with Dialogic. A discussion on business strategies for VARs, and also a session on technical strategies addressing real-world deployment solutions, will be covered.
 
Additionally, the SIP Forum will be reprising its popular SIPconnect Workshop, to provide an overview of the SIP Forum, the SIPconnect value proposition, a "deep dive" into the most recent version of the SIPconnect technical recommendation, a step-by-step review of the SIPconnect Compliant Program application process, and lessons learned from actual SIPconnect deployments.
 
RT: Why should customers choose your company’s solutions? How do they justify the expense to management?
 
SJ: Ingate products make trusted SIP communications possible, and are unsurpassed in providing the very best in security for the network, and for SIP communications (including VoIP, SIP trunks and also UC). Ingate boasts a long history of proven deployments, worldwide. Our award-winning Firewalls, SIParators and SIP trunk solutions simplify and secure these installations, and provide a cost-effective solution for carriers, IP-PBX vendors, end-users and VARs. With Ingate, customers know they are well positioned to leverage the benefits of Unified Communications now, and in the future.
 

Learn more about Ingate during the company’s sessions at ITEXPO West — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year. ITEXPO West will take place in Los Angeles, Sept. 1 to 3, 2009, featuring three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Drop in during Ingate’s sessions in room 502A of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Don’t wait. Register now!


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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan