Ingate Systems, in its quest to continue to be an innovator and leader in the SIP communications space, brought on Michael Oljemark from its Board to become the company’s newest CEO. Oljemark boasts a 30-year legacy in the technology market holding multiple leadership roles prior to joining Ingate, and having earned his Master of Science (M Sc) degree from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He comes to Ingate at a time when SIP trunking and its complementary technologies are enjoying unprecedented business adoption. I had a chance to discuss how these trends will pave the way for Ingate going forward, and how Oljemark plans on continuing Ingate’s growth. Here’s what he had to say.
As a 30-year technology industry veteran, what is attractive about Ingate that made you accept the opportunity to lead the company?
Three things: Great products, great people and great potential. I find the combination of today’s product portfolio of proven quality products, our global reach and our competent channel to be very exciting in itself. Add to that all the great people in our team and the potential that right now lies in WebRTC and we have a really attractive mission and an offer I just could not resist. Working with Karl (Stahl) as my chairman is also a fantastic opportunity. I think Karl is a great business entrepreneur and inventor that I admire.
How would you characterize Ingate’s current position in the market? How can you build your competitive market presence?
I think Ingate’s position is very strong with the customers, resellers and distributors that know us. What I mean is that once you have gotten to know Ingate and our products, then you are likely to be an Ingate fan. We probably suffer a bit from not being as well-known everywhere as some other brands and we will work on improving that in the near term.
How important is WebRTC to Ingate’s future?
We believe there is a good chance that WebRTC will lead to a new paradigm shift in real-time communications. We have pioneered the WebRTC field and we are determined to continue to be a substantial supplier and enabler also when the WebRTC market grows and matures. Our first offering in this area is a product called the WebRTC & SIP PBX Companion that brings all the features of WebRTC to PBXs, UC and call center solutions. Enterprise contact centers will now also be called via context-sensitive talk or video conferencing links on the company website or elsewhere rather than via telephones only. Using WebRTC as soft clients for the PBX brings mobility, excellent audio and video to everyone in front of a browser. PBX, UC and contact centers will get superior voice quality, multiparty videoconferencing, screen sharing and mobility by using Ingate’s WebRTC & SIP PBX Companion product, vastly increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of their existing PBXs and workforce infrastructure. There are and will also be other WebRTC-enabled products from Ingate such as Q-TURN which will provide WebRTC quality and control.
Does the increased adoption of cloud-based services provide increased opportunity for E-SBC vendors like Ingate?
Yes, both for bringing SIP-based and WebRTC-based real-time communications into the enterprise LAN and allowing that with both quality and security. I will be happy to discuss this more in depth once I have analyzed this a bit more. I am only two weeks into the new job, remember. :)
Microsoft has made significant progress in the UC market. Is Lync the future of Unified Communications and has Microsoft finally achieved what it set out to create back in 2007?
Microsoft has long history of experience with SIP-based real-time communications on the enterprise LAN, from early 2001 with the LCS (Live Communication Server), which became OCS (Office Communication Server), which became Lync. WebRTC enables further developments allowing enhancements and bringing new features to Lync.
How can Ingate build on Microsoft’s success in UC?
I believe that will be the time when Microsoft enables WebRTC in Internet Explorer and Ingate surely hopes to contribute to that Lync integration just like we do SIP trunking for telephony integration today.
Does the emergence of Wearable Technology offer yet another growth avenue?
WebRTC, especially its advanced telepresence-quality video, is both CPU and bandwidth hungry so it will take some time before it makes an appearance on small and lower-cost devices – But for sure, that will come with time and offer further opportunities for Ingate, especially on the network side, delivering high-quality bandwidth via our Q-TURN technology.
Will fully connected homes require Consumer SBCs to manage all the in- and outbound communication from connected devices?
Yes, when the fully connected homes want to run real-time communications using WebRTC, SBCs-like functionality, in the access modem (cable, DSL etc.) using Ingate’s Q-TURN technology, will be required for many networks to achieve sufficient quality, especially as both real-time and data traffic will increase.
Where will you focus your efforts for Ingate’s continued growth and what are your goals for your first year as CEO?
Initially, I am focusing on learning and analyzing the business more in depth. I will be happy to provide you with more info on focus areas and plans further on.
What are the keys to Ingate’s success in achieving your objectives?
Again, the key to our further success will be our great products, great people and great potential. We have great innovative developments in progress. I feel very fortunate and excited about the possibility I have been given to lead Ingate through the next phase of our growth.