Sonus Networks Looks To Enterprises With Expanded Portfolio

Sonus Networks is looking to large enterprises and mid-sized organisations with an expanded product portfolio

Sonus Networks has traditionally sold its IP communications technology to service providers and smaller organisations, but it is now targeting enterprises and mid-sized businesses.

Sonus officials, who have been developing the enterprise push for more than 18 months, said the initiative comes as such trends as unified communications (UC), bring-your-own-device (BYOD), multimedia and big data have started transforming the role and needs of the network in enterprises.

Enterprise Requirements

“Enterprises are seeing their network requirements looking more and more like [those of] a small service provider,” Wes Durow, vice president of global marketing at Sonus, told eWEEK. “There’s a lot of complexity today that didn’t exist before.”

For example, in UC, large enterprises are increasingly seeing the need for a single platform that can support the disparate technologies – from voice and video to text and instant messaging – that are being used, Durow said. Currently, UC is not unified across the business; rather, UC products from one vendor might be used in some remote offices and for particular applications, while those from another vendor are being used at corporate headquarters for different purposes. Enterprises need a scalable and flexible communications platform that makes those work together, he said.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a key to creating such a single platform that can handle everything from dial plans to video to presence, and session border controllers (SBCs) are central to SIP-base infrastructures. The first generation of SBCs managed voice applications. Now they’re increasingly being tasked with not only voice, but also video and text, and are playing the role of policy engine as well, Durow said.

Expanded Portfolio

The first step in Sonus’ enterprise push – which was announced at an event in Boston 22 May – is offering an SBC aimed at larger businesses, as well as enhancements to its existing SBC 5200, for tier-one service providers and Fortune 500 companies. The Sonus SBC 5100 is aimed at enterprises and regional service providers, and can support 250 to 10,000 sessions, a key scalability feature, Durow said.

The new SBC, which is available now, offers such features as voice codecs, routing and call control, and built-in full hardware redundancy, advanced SIP messaging manipulation and denial-of-service protection.

The SBC 5100 also comes with a new version of software that also now runs across all of Sonus’ SBC offerings, including the SBC 5200, which can support 64,000 sessions on a single server. The new release 3.0 of the software offers greater capacity of up to 17,200 transcoding sessions for the SBC 5200, support for Microsoft’s Lync and an improved management user interface.

Sonus has been implementing SIP-based communications infrastructures for 12 years with many of the latest telecommunications networks. With SIP trunking and the use of voice-over-IP (VoIP) technologies, enterprises can cut their traditional telecom bills by up to 75 percent, according to Sonus.

Durow said he sees the enterprise push as a way for Sonus to significantly expand its customer base. Enterprises represent a new area for the company, and the BYOD, UC and other trends are still relatively young.

“The market is just starting to emerge,” he said, adding that 2012 will be an interesting time for the company. “We will learn a lot this year as a firm.”