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August 01, 2008

Ingate President Discusses the State of SIP Trunking


By Greg Galitzine Group Editorial Director



Steve Johnson is President of Ingate Systems, Inc., a provider of SIP-based firewall and security solutions used by enterprises the world over. This month we’re seeing the debut of the Ingate-sponsored global online community, SIP Trunking. I asked Johnson for some insight into the company’s plans for that community and for their view of the overall SIP Trunking market. Furthermore, next month, Ingate will be back at ITEXPO, and with some of their partners will be providing their usual high-quality educational experience regarding SIP Trunking.

 
 
GG: What is the current state of SIP Trunking?
SJ: We are beginning to see strong growth in the adoption of SIP Trunking that’s reflected in our deliveries as well as our partners’ deliveries of product to support those kinds of implementations. We are seeing tremendous growth in both the interest in — and the adoption of — SIP Trunking as a method of communication, which I think is driven by the fact that there are some economic benefits that come with that and those are especially important in the small to medium sized company. But I also think that people are using SIP Trunking as a springboard to more unified communications, which is really the promise of SIP in the long run.
 
 
GG: What are some of the challenges facing the industry — what’s preventing the more widespread deployment of SIP Trunking solutions?
SJ: I think that in the beginning, it’s an understanding of what SIP Trunking is, and how it can be deployed effectively for a company of any size. It’s a new concept, and that’s one of the reasons we sponsor the SIP Trunking seminars at ITEXPO. The purpose there is to explain to people what SIP Trunking is all about, what the economic benefits are to them and then to give them some tutorial on exactly what it is that they need to do to prepare their network and to install SIP Trunking for themselves.
 
The biggest impediment that people face is the idea that they now are going to integrate their voice communications on the same network as they’re using for their data transactions, so it’s a whole concept of moving from a dedicated voice system to a combined voice and data system over the Internet. I think this is the thing that is perhaps the most difficult for people to get their arms around.
 
Having accomplished understanding the technology, the things that people then need to most concern themselves with is making sure their network is ready for voice communication, and then they need to think about what the security aspects of installing a VoIP system really will entail, and putting something in place that will maintain the security of their network, and add that layer of security on top of the PBX that they’re using. This is, again, a new concept for most companies.
 
 
GG: You mentioned education of the end user community. Is there education necessary at the channel level?
SJ: The fact is that many of the channel partners that are traditional data channels as well as those agents who have handled voice communications in the past really need to be reeducated about what it means to have a combined voice and data network in the enterprise. They need to be taught about things like security in the voice aspect, and the data people need to be informed about what the requirements are for an adequate telephony system in an organization. I think there are a great many things that need to be understood so that these two channels can really converge around the same solution. We do address those people and those companies at the seminars that we host because I think that ITEXPO does draw a lot of reseller participants and we certainly encourage them to come by the seminars to learn more about what the solutions are and what the concerns and solutions for those concerns really are.
 
 
GG: What are your plans for the upcoming ITEXPO and what are some of the things that attendees can expect to learn from Ingate during the seminars?
SJ: Well we are fortunate that Avaya has agreed to be our platinum sponsor, so they — together with Ingate — will be pulling together the agenda for those sessions. It looks like a very interesting lineup again. We have a couple of live demonstrations that we expect to be able to demonstrate to the audience in real time, how relatively simple it is to set up a SIP Trunking solution with a PBX, and an Ingate product facing the service provider and doing that in a very cohesive and very quick way That’s always a highlight, and we’re again fortunate that we’re going to do that with two vendors, one being Iwatsu and the other is still to be decided.
 
Avaya has also agreed to do a sort of whiteboarding session that addresses those things that are concerns about building a network to do VoIP and this is something that we did last time in Miami, and it was very effective and very well received by the audience.
 
We actually have the good fortune of having some case studies being presented by several of our SIP Trunking partners — again those should be very interesting to the audience of both resellers and end users to get some real perspective on real deployments and how they were made successful and what the benefits were to the company that actually had the installation done for them. It’s a pretty good lineup with a lot of PBX vendors, a lot of service providers, and of course Ingate.
 
One of the other highlights that always attracts a lot of interest is our featured speaker. This year we’re fortunate to have a very engaging speaker, Dan York, representing the Voice over IP Security Alliance (VOIPSA), who is going to give a session on what security measures ought to be put into place for a VoIP installation. This will be augmented by our Ingate product director. who will provide some perspective on what Ingate can do in those regards.
 
 
GG: What do you hope to achieve with the SIP Trunking global online community that you are sponsoring on TMCnet?
SJ: Our objective is to maintain the educational aspects that we provide at the seminars and to have that as an ongoing resource for people who are most interested in adopting SIP Trunking in particular and VoIP in general. What we hope to do is to have information provided by Ingate, but also by our partners regarding what the challenges and solutions are for doing an effective VoIP implementation.
 
Think about it as the online community that can augment what we do at the in-person seminars at both annual ITEXPO events (East and West), so that it can be a lasting information source for the people who are most interested in these topics.
 
 
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Greg Galitzine is editorial director of TMCnet. To read more of Greg’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
 
Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.
 
Ingate will be sponsoring the SIP Trunking Workshop taking place at the upcoming ITEXPO in Los Angeles, September 16–18. This educational opportunity provides a comprehensive overview of SIP trunking, with general information panels and technical insight sessions from both the service provider and enterprise perspectives. For more information, click here.
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