Enterprise Communications

Enterprise Media Gateways Bridge Past, Present and Future

by Rob Arnold 23 Nov 2010
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As we prepare to publish the latest World Enterprise Media Gateways Market engineering report, known internally as N89A-64, I thought it was an opportune time to highlight some of the key issues that impacted the 2009 market.

This is a mature market with a clear, perennial leader in terms of market share and revenues. Yet there are many competitors and other forces in play that keep the market in constant transition.

Media gateways facilitate the stages of enterprise migration from TDM, to IP, to SIP and next generation communications networks and applications. The roles of media gateways continue to expand and evolve to facilitate these migrations.       

We all know that 2008 and 2009 were difficult years for the tech sectors and many other industries. Media gateway deployments are highly correlated with the enterprise PBX market and we saw a similar decline in both markets in 2009. We do however, expect the enterprise media gateway market to begin a rebound in 2010 as pent up demand for enterprise technology refreshes and migrations to VoIP and UC begin to become unleashed.

The growth of the enterprise media gateway market continues to be driven and restrained by the two sides of several central issues.

  • The economy has severely reduced enterprise spending on technology investments. However, gateways allow TDM to IP deployments, and UC implementations to move forward at a cost effective and measured pace –by project, departmentally or site.  
  • Although improving, limited interoperability products from different vendors (and even from the same vendor) persists and drive up the cost and complexity of deploying IP telephony and UC solutions. At the same time core transcoding and mediation capabilities offered by gateways vastly improve customer choice to avoid vendor lock-in and to facilitate best of breed solutions.  
  • As interoperability issues become resolved among various vendors and service providers it is expected that increasing availability of VoIP access and SIP trunking services will drive demand for gateways required to connect to both TDM and IP telephony CPE. The strived for but still far away possibility of ubiquitous SIP interoperability will result in traditional gateway functions for transcoding and mediation being less frequently required as enterprise priorities shift more heavily toward security, QoS, and other services more commonly associated with SBCs.

The study details a wealth of development, pricing and marketing trends as well as forecast data that I do not have time enough to expand upon here.

Overall, it is clear that flexibility has carried gateways safely through the boom of this millennium’s first decade and through the recent difficult times while promising to do the same as enterprises’ communications requirements continue to evolve.

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