[VoiceOps] Evariste Systems drops open source, becomes Acme Packet VAR

Hiers, David David.Hiers at adp.com
Mon Apr 1 12:28:04 EDT 2013

... over five hundred phone calls a day...



-----Original Message-----
From: voiceops-bounces at voiceops.org [mailto:voiceops-bounces at voiceops.org] On Behalf Of Alex Balashov
Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 08:46
To: voiceops at voiceops.org
Subject: [VoiceOps] Evariste Systems drops open source, becomes Acme Packet VAR

For immediate release:

ATLANTA, GA (1 April 2013)--Evariste Systems LLC, an Atlanta-based consultancy specialising in Kamailio-based VoIP infrastructure solutions for the ITSP and CLEC market, has announced that beginning in the second quarter of 2013, it will be abandoning its Kamailio-based technology portfolio to focus on its new role as a preferred VAR (Value Added
Reseller) for Acme Packet (NASDAQ:APKT).

"It is with a heavy heart that we abandon five years of Kamailio-oriented work and the Canonical SIP Routing Platform product derived from it,"
said Alex Balashov, the principal of the company.

"However, the reality is that investment in open-source VoIP technology is a dead end.  From a technological point of view, we have lagged very badly in meeting the needs of today's sophisticated VoIP market, and it's time to cut our losses.  Asterisk, Kamailio, FreeSWITCH--all this stuff just hasn't kept up with the pace of evolution of 3GPP, ETSI, and ITU standards.  We are tired of saying 'sorry, we don't support IMS or H.323' to our resultingly dwindling customer base.  Does anyone actually run an all-SIP network?"

Starting in early April, Evariste will begin providing value-added consultancy related to the implementation of the Acme Packet Net-Net Session Director.  In Balashov's view, "the Net-Net SD is the only product capable of meeting the perimeter security, routing and peering needs of today's VoIP service delivery environment."

Fred Posner, the director of Team Forrest, a Palner Group integration and consultancy operation based in the Jacksonville, Florida area,

"SIP is a tiny piece of the telephony puzzle. The big boys of ClueCon [an interoperator revenue-sharing consortium] want DIAMETER-based interdomain peering policy control, H.323, MGCP, and IMS.  IMS is pretty much how VoIP architecture is done now.  We got out of the Asterisk business just in time, right before Mitel swallowed the PBX world.
I'm glad to see Evariste is finally seeing the light, and I'm sure its shareholders are too."

Posner also believes Evariste's lack of support for TDM interfaces accounted for dwindling market share.

"Have you seen CSRP?  It's SIP in, SIP out.  Real inter-LATA haulers and application service providers use TDM and leave SIP for things like voicemail.  I can't plug my DS3s into a SIP proxy, so I just don't think there was any real demand for the sort of thing they were doing."

Noting Oracle's US$2.5bn acquisition of Acme Packet in early February, as well as its more recently announced buyout of Tekelec, a Siris Capital Group portfolio company, Balashov remarked: "The obvious shift to an Oracle-centric telephony paradigm was a kind of validation, if you will, of our decision to unload our dead weight and sign on to the revolution in unified communications."

Sean McCord, of CyCORE Systems, an Atlanta-based software consulting house and long-time Evariste creditor, agreed that there was a natural synergy between Evariste's shift to Acme Packet and Oracle's dominance of telephony infrastructure.

"Oracle is a forward-thinking telecom pioneer," McCord said.
"The telephone is Oracle, and Oracle is the telephone."

Balashov also noted that a tightening regulatory environment and new consumer protection rules helped hasten the decision to embrace the more professionalised Acme Packet product portfolio.

John Knight, Senior Engineer at Hendersonville, NC-based Ringfree Communications, one of Evariste's oldest channel partners, said:
"As one of Evariste's long-time disties, we were jittery about exposure to CALEA and the QA requirements of large call centers.  We tried to make do, but at some point we just had to put the relationship on stop.  I'm all in favour of open, but there's just no open-source software out there that does call recording, and that's the bottom line for us.  In the end, we had to restructure some debt just to get bondholders to let us source a proprietary solution on tick."

In a thematically related move, Evariste will be dropping its heavy use of the open-source PostgreSQL database manager for its rating and reporting tools.

"The business case for standardising on Oracle's databases could not be clearer.  With Oracle Database 11g's support of warehousing and OLTP, the real mystery is why we didn't go there sooner," said Balashov.

Carlos Alvarez, a director at Televolve, a growing Phoenix-area VoIP operator, recently spearheaded a move away from Evariste's PostgreSQL- based call detail record (CDR) storage solution to one running atop Microsoft SQL Server 2008.

Alvarez commented: "Evariste had a nice idea, in a cute, David-and-Goliath kind of way, but we're processing over five hundred phone calls a day now.  Are we really going to store those kinds of volumes in an open-source database?  Might as well just put it all in flat text files at that point.  Phone service is an uptime game. You can't compromise on this stuff. What if someone needs to call 911?"

Asked to summarise his expectations, Balashov said: "I hope this turns us around in a big way.  We were wrong to think that nobody cared about stuff like P-CSCFs, or that you could deliver even rudimentary VoIP to the premise without the expansive feature set of a comprehensive solution like the Net-Net SBC.  I can only hope the market forgives us for betting on 'SIP Express Router' and its ilk back in the day, and gives us a chance to do it right in round two."

Fred Posner, of Team Forrest, added: "Besides, if you look at the Git repository, Kamailio hasn't had any code contributions in at least five years. It seems everyone's figured out this pure SIP stuff is defunct and hokey."

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