Puerto Rican service provider Optivon has opted to replace its aging voice-over-IP (VoIP) and Unified Communications service platform with a fully virtualized package from Metaswitch that will use software-based functionality running on commodity hardware in a company data center.
The move to an all-software solution gives Optivon Inc. increased flexibility in growing and expanding the reach of its voice services and adds functionality such as virtual contact center capability, says Chris Carabello, senior director, product marketing, Metaswitch Networks . The new Metaswitch Business Communications platform, built on Metaswitch's Clearwater Core IMS, will also let Optivon add new business services and features much faster than before.
While Metaswitch has been engaged in multiple proofs of concept in the virtualization space and was named as part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Domain 2.0 program, having a service provider deploy the full virtualized platform is a milestone that gives the software provider an example to which it can point. In Optivon's case, the motivation for change was pretty clear-cut, but the extent of change it embraced is significant. (See AT&T Chooses Metaswitch Virtual SBC and Metaswitch: Telcos Must Get Soft to Survive.)
"They were in a situation where their current platform was going end of life," Carabello tells Light Reading. "They felt like they had a compelling event to drive them to consider their future based on that. Instead of just replacing this network function with another from either the same supplier or a different one, they really thought about who they wanted to be long-term and future-proofed their offering."
The immediate benefit of doing that is greater control and flexibility, but there will be some new opportunities for revenue that open up, including the ability to provide services beyond their current footprint into the US, delivering more advanced services and using the virtualized contact center capabilities.
The immediate challenges include connecting the new virtualized systems to Optivon's existing back-end processes for billing and service delivery, something Metaswitch could demonstrate and then do, Carabello notes. "We are still sending them billing forms from our platform -- nothing changes from that standpoint."
To set up and deploy the VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW)-based virtual environment, Metaswitch collaborated with systems integrator Codecom, which sourced and built the VMWare environment to prepare that for the commissioning of the Metaswitch solution.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading