The Voice over IP market may seem mature -- even old hat -- to many in the telecom space, but Kevin DeNuccio, CEO of Metaswitch Networks, insists the best is yet to come for VoIP.
Given that his company, a Leading Lights Awards finalist, makes softswitches and other gear aimed at the an all-IP infrastructure, DeNuccio probably has to espouse that viewpoint -- but he does so with vigor. (See Leading Lights Finalists: Private Company of the Year .)
The key point is that VoIP and wireless communications come together with 4G network deployments, DeNuccio says, and that will create new possibilities for innovation that could fuel voice service usage.
So while wireless communications today are moving away from voice, as more consumers text their messages, VoIP-enabled smartphones will be communications tools of a different type.
"As IP voice is happening in the 4G world, you will be able to take your mobile phone and it becomes your communications device, however you utilize it," DeNuccio says. "It is your work extension through hosted PBX capabilities -- it's with you whether you are at home or at work. You will use that device as a soft client, using WiFi and broadband at home as well as a mobile network when you are traveling around, beginning to get a utilization factor that doesn't exist today."
All that is possible today, but can happen much more gracefully when mobile voice is VoIP, he argues, because smartphones will have more functionality than current home phones or even office VoIP phones. Where, currently, people use their wireless phones to conduct business, a future smartphone with a soft client will enable a user to make business calls via one account on the phone and personal calls on another, while maintaining a single interface and contact list.
Metaswitch is working with CounterPath Solutions Inc. to create just such an end-to-end fixed-mobile converged solution using the MetaSphere platform to link softphones, whether they are desktop units or mobile phones, with messaging servers to offer a range of features to both wireline and mobile units.
The Metaswitch play in the mobile VoIP world is clearly providing scalable infrastructure to a much larger group of companies that will be transitioning their circuit-switched networks to all-IP operations, including the provision of security for new VoIP capabilities, DeNuccio says.
"The place I see for us is in VoIP and SIP, in particular, because they are going to grow by an order of magnitude in three to five years," he says. "The depth of knowledge we have and the technology we have in those areas will create enormous opportunities for creating very highly scaled SIP and VoIP environments."
Scaling securely will be key because "people will be attacking this network like they attack the Internet today," De Nuccio says. "We have the products, engineering, and technology to go after and solve those problems."
The second major area where DeNuccio thinks Metaswitch will see major growth and innovation is in the next generation of social networking, when Facebook-like capabilities become more universal and more business-oriented.
Today's social networks, such as Facebook, enable consumers to limit access to a specific set of people, but future social networking will become more granular, allowing consumers to decide who gets to see what, based on the type of information or the person, for example.
"It all becomes more granular -- certain people know where you are and that you are present," DeNuccio says. "The user has more control."
DeNuccio says Metaswitch has "several irons in the fire" on this applications front, building on its voice messaging and Unified Communications expertise,
"We are spending a lot of money on the evolution of that kind of capability and what we think messaging is going to look like at the handset all the way into the network, and pulling all that together," he says. "We can be an agile integrator in this space."
In fact, expect Metaswitch to roll out three major new products over the next several months, some of which will come from new communications applications.
The company, which recently reported healthy sales growth, is also expanding geographically: Having recently entered Latin America, it is now planning to set up shop in Asia/Pacific. (See Metaswitch Reports Annual Growth.)
DeNuccio isn't ruling out future acquisitions, following the integration of service broker specialist AppTrigger, but as the company furthers its IPO plans, the CEO us is looking more for organic growth in the near future. (See Metaswitch Eyes an IPO and Metaswitch Squeezes AppTrigger.)
â€” Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading