Edgewater Prices SBCs For The Masses

Targeted at small to midsize businesses and branch offices, Edgewater Networks' all-in-one EdgeMarc 250 Series Enterprise Session Border Controller, an integrated Ethernet switch, reportedly simplifies the management, improves the performance and reduces the costs of converged voice, video and data networks. However, what sets the company's latest Session Border Controller (SBC) apart from competitors is its price, says Ira Weinstein, senior analyst, Wainhouse Research.

May 26, 2011

3 Min Read
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Targeted at small to midsize businesses and branch offices, Edgewater Networks' all-in-one EdgeMarc 250 Series Enterprise Session Border Controller, an integrated Ethernet switch, reportedly simplifies the management, improves the performance and reduces the costs of converged voice, video and data networks. However, what sets the company's latest Session Border Controller (SBC) apart from competitors is its price, says Ira Weinstein, senior analyst, Wainhouse Research.

“EdgeWater has done an excellent job of providing enterprise-level capabilities for SMBs, priced for SMBs,” says Weinstein. "What they're doing is exceptional. Lots of competitors are doing this, but the price points are exceptional.”

With prices ranging from $375 to $652, depending on configuration, the 250 series provides a 10/100-Mbps Ethernet WAN, ADSL 2/2+ WAN, 8 x 10/100/1,000-Mbps Ethernet switch, 802.11b/g/n WAP, 4 x FXS ports, 1 x FXO port and 1 x USB port. Key software features include support for up to 10 concurrent calls, VoIP and video-aware NAT/firewall, IPSec VPN, protocol harmonization for interoperability of VoIP and video devices, active VoIP line testing, call quality monitoring, survivability, WAN link redundancy, QoS and more.

The company says the switches provide a public switched telephone network (PSTN) connection for failover, as well as the ability to route voice and data over alternate WAN links for survivability. The WAN links include ADSL, Ethernet or certified broadband wireless cards using the integrated USB port.

Edgewater says the continued growth of unified communications (UC) is driving the demand for a comprehensive gateway for all IP communications. A recent CDW poll of 900 IT professionals who work on UC or component technologies found UC implementation rates doubled from 2010 to 2011, with 16% of organizations fully implemented today.Another new study from AMI-Partners found that U.S. small businesses, or firms with less than 100 employees, are increasingly adopting UC. More than 25% of U.S. small businesses would deploy UC integrated with software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings as paid services, if available from a single provider.

According to Weinstein, SBCs are at the heart of UC. “I think of SBCs as the Swiss Army Knives of IPC [Inter Process Communications], sitting right in the path of communications. It gives the device first-hand, complete information of what's happening.”

SBCs replace multiple boxes, such as network router, firewall, video conferencing gateway and telephony interface, he says. “What EdgeWater has done has been sizing this down; previously, SBCs were too expensive and complicated for non-enterprises.”

Hyoun Park, research analyst, collaboration and integrated communications, Aberdeen Group, says that the new switch reflects the increasing interest for SIP trunking termination in small and midsize organizations to improve telecom and UC costs. “Given the cost associated with this [enterprise] SBC solution, it provides a compelling option for companies seeking to support next-generation communications services.”

Other companies that have recently entered this enterprise SBC market include Sipera and Dialogic, he says. “These newer players are differentiated in their product design as they've focused on the needs of enterprise organizations, such as interoperability with legacy equipment and ease of use, rather than simply providing carrier-grade equipment that may not be cost-effective. By focusing on SIP trunk termination and rapid installation, these newer solutions provide more of a plug-and-play experience that IT departments seek in today's environment, where companies are increasingly pressured to support new technologies such as unified communications and cloud services with fewer resources.”

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