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Is Acme the only horse left in this race?
Yeah - $10 million (plus another $1 million possible) for Netrake, a company that swallowed $70M. Bad day for the VCs that backed the wrong horse.
>Is Acme the only horse left in this race?
What about NexTone? $35M of new money last fall, and they claim to have more customers than Acme. Trying to be the God box of the SBCs, it sounds...
Bad day for the VCs that backed the wrong horse.
It just goes to show... Most VCs have the herd mentality. When I was entering the workforce, there were a bajillion workstation startups. Sun ended up being the only survivor (Apollo also made VCs some money) and the majority of VC cash that was sunk into workstation startups vaporized. A few years ago, everybody and his brother was doing an SBC startup. Once again, one or two might make it and the lions share of VC cash injected into SBC startups will vanish as the startups close or get unloaded for pennies on the dollar.
While it is true that most of the SBC vendors do not seem to be doing very well, IMHO Newport is not doing so bad as this article shows (specially if it is true the Tier-1 contract). Who else have a "big" SBC for inter-SP VoIP peering? Acme's 9000 might not be vaporware, but I guess that it is still very new (aka -> full of bugs).
I like Acme and I like Newport. I might be wrog, but am I the only one here thinking that part of the secret of Acme is about having lots of customers and a very small staff base to support them?
SBCs are not dependent on success of IMS or any other specific next gen architecture for deployment. They are relevant in pre-IMS, pre-TISPAN, pre-PacketCable 2.0, etc. networks. SBCs are needed to deploy session oriented IP-based communications and provide solutions around security, interworking, service quality, and regulatory compliance. They work in IMS too, and solve many problems and challenges not yet even addressed by the standards groups.
Some companies built flawed or limited products or didn't adjust to operator needs and they failed. That's not a knock against the need for SBCs.
BTW, Juniper has discontinued at least 2 of their platforms: VF 1000 and 3000. I don't think the 4000 has even made it to market.
SBCs are going away as a stand alone network element, and re-purposing into IMS is going to be tough.