This originally appeared on Rich Tehrani’s Communications and Technology Blog.
Having covered Dialogic for about two decades, I can tell you they were an integral player in the converging world of communications and technology. When you leave a voicemail, call into a call center or benefit from a telecom advancement, quite often a Dialogic product is involved by providing an interface and performing some sort of processing behind the scenes.
After rolling up much of the competitive space and other telecom vendors as well, the company found itself in a situation where much of its core business was being eliminated as many of the tasks you once needed proprietary boards to handle could be taken care of through software on ever-more powerful Intel CPUs.
If this challenge wasn't enough of an issue, Asterisk made it easy to have a standardized base of solutions to build on top of when looking to solve the problems you once had to rely exclusively on Dialogic to provide.
In response to this pressure, the company has re-launched itself with a new branding campaign titled "Network Fuel" which is designed to remind carriers the company can help it solve a myriad of networking challenges for them.
Andrew Goldberg, Dialogic Senior VP of Strategy & Marketing proudly stands in front of signs depicting the company's rebranding efforts
Andrew Goldberg, the company's Senior VP of Strategy & Marketing, took me through the company's new reorganized product line, but started by saying the goal of the company is to make networks better.
The three pillars of the Network Fuel paradigm are as follows:
Any to any networking/interconnection, which includes gateways, control switch, SBCs, session-management, signaling management which allows for roaming, etc.
Network congestion - which is a rebrand of bandwidth optimization. They refer to this new area as "amplifying capacity" which includes VoIP, video and more recently, data. He explains that Dialogic has new products coming which will sit in network core and backhaul, optimize and amplify capacity - even if the data is currently optimized. He says carriers can build more network or deploy the company's technology and amplify what they have. He says the ROI gets even better in developing markets where backhaul is handled by satellite and microwave. "Capacity is at a premium," he emphasized. He continued to say their solutions are a better CAPEX and OPEX solution.
Lastly, there is application enablement, which as you may recall harkens back to the company's long-history of being the underlying technology of the app-gen business of the 1990s which allowed developers for the first time to use a GUI to write telecom applications. Sure, this seems like it’s no big deal now, but when you consider PBXs and central office switches of the time, not imagining the concept of open APIs on their systems, you see why Dialogic's entry into the open telecom space was a game-changer.
Speaking of game-changing, this is what he said about WebRTC - the company knows this is a huge area of opportunity and envisions having its PowerMedia solutions be the integration layer allowing additions like voicemail, videomail, collaboration, multi-party-conferencing, call recording and more.
He said, in fact, PowerMedia as a software media server fits in the middle and turns WebRTC into something people want "beyond a novelty."
The reason this is interesting has to do with the IP telephony space, which first emerged in the late 1990s. As some of you recall, in 1997 I went to the then-prevalent COMDEX trade show to tell people my company, TMC, was about to launch a magazine called Internet Telephony. The reaction was unanimous - why do we need a magazine on a hobbyist toy?
They may as well have called it a "novelty," right?
What most didn't see coming was a thriving IP telephony/VoIP gateway business enabled by companies providing boards and software such as Dialogic. Turns out, it only took a few modifications to adapt current boards used in voicemail systems to handle real-time IP communications. From there, the calling card market started to adopt VoIP and we soon saw IP-based PBX and ACD solutions emerge. Amazingly, this simple concept of transporting communications over IP is responsible for the FCC discussing the sunsetting of the PSTN or traditional telephone network later this decade.
The point is WebRTC, as Goldberg describes it, sounds exactly like the VoIP market when it emerged more than 15 years ago. Will it be as big? Bigger? No one knows for sure, but Dialogic is once again positioning itself to be in the middle of the action - "fueling" not only your network, but development efforts as investors, developers, carriers, Web portals and start-ups try to strike it rich in this new and exciting market.
To learn more about WebRTC, see the recent TMC webinar Dialogic recently held on the matter and visit them live atWebRTC Conference & Expo in Atlanta, June 25-27, 2013.
Edited by Braden Becker