Optical/IP Networks

Freshly Funded Sentito Values VOIP

VOIP switch vendor Sentito Networks revealed today that it has raised some $28.5 million since late last year, with a $9.5 million Series D round closing as late as July (see Sentito Bags $28.5M, Hires Execs).

In all, the company has raised $53.5 million since its inception and it says it will use the cash to expand sales and marketing efforts.

The company's $19 million Series C round was led by Kodiak Venture Partners, and its Series D round was led by Core Capital Partners; both firms were previous Sentito investors.

In January, after the company had already closed its $19 million round, Sentito told Light Reading that it had only raised $25 million to date -- $11 million in February 2001 and $14 million in March 2003 (see Sentito Senses Something).

The company has confirmed that Terry Wolters left as its president and CEO back in March. Toward the end of June, it announced Dennis Chateauneuf as Wolters' replacement (see Headcount: Man-Eating Holiday and Headcount: Buy vs Lure).

While all that was going on, Sentito completely renamed its products and sought to reposition itself as less of a telephone switch vendor and more of a VOIP equipment player. Its switches used to live under the New End Office (NEO) brand, but now they exist as part of the Open Network Xchange (ONX).

"We've always been in the VOIP industry," says William Flanagan, Sentito's VP of marketing. "Previously we focused on the switching side of our box, but now that the market has matured and people are focusing on top-line revenue, it's clear that VOIP is going to give them that revenue...

"Two or three years ago we were talking about Class 5 replacement, and I no longer think that's the business."

The 80-something employee company is focusing on carriers that have aggressive plans to deploy VOIP technologies. "We still work with IOCs, we still work with RBOCs, but those sales cycles tend to be longer," Flanagan explains.

In that scope, Flanagan sees Sentito's competitors as "Cisco on the low end and Sonus on the high end."

That, in itself, is an encouraging sign for Sentito. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) plays hardball all the time against all comers, of course. But Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONSE) has been somewhat distracted while wriggling through a months-long financial scandal, a saga that makes Sentito's restructuring pale in comparison (see Nasdaq to Delist Sonus).

And, now, with some fresh funding and new executives on board, Sentito will try to get carriers' attention before the serious VOIP spending starts. "All they [service providers] are doing now is clearing their throats," Flanagan says. "We've haven't begun to see what large carriers are going to do in this space."

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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  • digerato 12/5/2012 | 1:21:45 AM
    re: Freshly Funded Sentito Values VOIP "Class 5 and teh tradtional telecom switching model is dead. AIN, SS7, Class 4, Class 5 are now things of blessed memory."

    You wish. While clearly not the future, all of that class 5 and class 4 infrastructure is going to be around for a long, long, long time. Try launching a VoIP service today that cannot terminate minutes on that good old PSTN...

    SS7 is undergoing a renaissance in the mobile world as it is the transport for SMS and MMS -- nice fat profitable services for mobile wireless carriers.

    I do, however, wish a swift death for the IN call model. May no-one ever be required to ever use it again to implement a new voice service.

    dljvjbsl 12/5/2012 | 1:21:45 AM
    re: Freshly Funded Sentito Values VOIP Another piece of evidence that the Class 5 and teh tradtional telecom switching model is dead. AIN, SS7, Class 4, Class 5 are now things of blessed memory.
    materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 1:21:19 AM
    re: Freshly Funded Sentito Values VOIP As IP technologies make Layer One a shared commodity, with control functions further up the stack, I wonder where those old trunking versus access functions will reside. Vontage uses SIP, they have millions of PC only users in their walled garden. H.323 users, who seem to be in decline, need more help from network-based functions.

    As control moves to the edge, what function does trunking and access really provide? Do the old definitions of what ever is in a Class 4 or Class 5 switch or even the functions inside SS7 have relevance?
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