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

Ryan Delgrosso ryandelgrosso at gmail.com
Mon Apr 1 13:14:37 EDT 2013

Golf clap to you sir. Well played.

happy April 1st.

On 04/01/2013 08:45 AM, Alex Balashov wrote:
> 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,
> agreed:
> "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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