Edgewater Pushing SBC Adoption Downstream

The growth of session border controller (SBC) technology has been an emerging story in the UC channel thanks to the ongoing adoption of SIP trunking services by enterprises. According to Infonetics Research, enterprise SBC revenue grew about 70 percent in 2010 on the back of SIP trunking growth, and is a market expected to grow five-fold between 2010 and 2015.

Acme Packet and Cisco are the better-known names in the SBC market, but Edgewater lays claim to about 21 percent of the enterprise SBC market when measured in sessions, according to the company.

According to Dave Martin, vice president of marketing, Edgewater is looking to promote greater channel adoption as well as draw more attention to its distribution and OEM relationships as demand for SBCs heats up.

"I feel like we're the industry's best kept secret," he said in a recent interview with CRN. "We're in various states of getting partners to be more public with us, and that's very much on purpose."

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New to the Edgewater portfolio is the EdgeMarc 250 series, whose technical specs include an integrated 10/100 Mbps Ethernet WAN, ADSL 2/2+ WAN, 8 x 10/100/1000 Ethernet switch and 802.11b/gn wireless access point. According to Edgewater, the SBC can support up to 10 concurrent calls and includes a VoiP- and video-aware NAT/firewall, IPSec VPN capability, protocol harmonization, active VoIP line testing, call quality monitoring, WAN link redundancy, QoS and other features.

Added appeal to SMB customers and branch offices, according to Edgewater, is that the 250s can connect analog phones, fax machines or PBXes to IP systems, along with a PSTN connection for failover and the ability to route voice and data over alternate WAN links if needed.

That's a powerful combination for deploying UC applications like video and hosted PBX, Martin said.

"SIP and H.323 are really wonderful communications protocols but they don't guarantee interoperability," he said. "There's a new layer of security and policy management needed."

U.S. pricing for the 250 is listed at $375 to $652 depending on configuration.

The company also offers EdgeView -- VoIP support and reporting software with which the EdgeMarc SBCs operate -- and a family of LAN switches called EdgeConnect. All of Edgewater's sales are through the channel via OEM agreements or resold through partners.

The wider adoption of UC among businesses of all sizes is going to continue to create demand for SBCs, Martin insisted, and Edgewater wants to appeal to SMB and enterprise customers alike.

"It's really an ideal platform to connect small business to SIP trunking to cloud services," he said. "But there's also interest from enterprise to take advantage of these cloud services and have a device that can provide connectivity very simply."