While many businesses are either actively involved in or just as actively considering session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking as part of the future of communications, there are still a host of legacy systems out there that are still “doing the job,” so to speak. But a new report from Frost & Sullivan suggests that the days of wine and roses for legacy systems, so to speak, may be coming to an end against unified communications (UC) and the enterprise session border controller (SBC).
The Frost & Sullivan report in question, “Global Enterprise Media Gateway and Session Border Controller Market,” took note of what amounts to two separate parts of a market cycle in UC infrastructure: the older enterprise media gateway, and the enterprise SBC (E-SBC). While the media gateway still has quite a bit of life left to it—businesses need to support legacy platforms in order to operate, as explained by Frost & Sullivan analyst Michael Brandenburg—the growth of E-SBCs will carry on as businesses look to get the next generation of communications technology into play. This point was rather readily assured by the fact that the market itself earned fully $1.98 billion in 2012 and was on track to reach $2.54 billion in 2019.
Yet by like token, it seems that there's some migration involved in those numbers. More specifically, migration away from the enterprise media gateway and toward the E-SBC. Some migration, of course, because there is still the issue of customer awareness and front-of-mind placement. Basically, there's gearing up to be something of a dichotomy in how business is done, with lower-end businesses working with the more legacy media gateway system, and larger enterprises turning to either an owned E-SBC, or in gaining numbers, a virtual E-SBC. Thus the recommendation came that businesses should be prepared to offer all types of connectivity capability, and turn R&D attention mainly to the virtual E-SBC, allowing the future to come to more groups. Media gateways are regarded as more “mature” products, and losing ground except in those firms that stick with said products. E-SBCs, meanwhile, are the products gaining ground.
It's a worthwhile strategy, really; not only does it allow for the long run to be taken care of, but it also addresses short-term realities in which companies stick with an “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” strategy that helps save money in the short-term. Things are still shaky for a lot of firms, economically speaking, so having both a short-term and a long-term view is the kind of foresight that's likely to be economically rewarded, particularly in the long-term. The growth of things like voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service and Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) is also putting a little boost in favor of the E-SBC, changing the face of communications and presenting long-term value for users. The future of communications looks a little different depending on where a person looks, but one thing seems clear: it's rapidly changing, and it looks to be changing in favor of E-SBC.