Adtran Converges More, Changes MSP Space
Adtran continues to differentiate itself, offering easy to use and yet sophisticated networking solutions that help administrators reduce hardware.
Adtran just released their newest carrier Ethernet customer-edge IP business gateway that takes the place of at least three appliances. Shrinking hardware is always good, and then adding features, functionality and lowering costs is a defining feature for Adtran, since this is a key differentiator about the company.
The NetVanta 6360 is a business-class voice gateway, access router for data services and Metro-Ethernet Forum (MEF)-compliant carrier Ethernet services gateway. The operational efficiency results from converging customer premises equipment from multiple appliances to one appliance that works to benefit both customer and provider.
The 6360 fits into traditional spaces, allowing customers that still want to preserve TDM investments to do so. With the optional SBC, VQM (Voice Quality Monitoring) allows managed service providers (MSPs) to keep watch over voice metrics. When ADTRAN's n-Command appliance, another layer of monitoring with automated change management, is added, management efficiencies are increased. Another cool feature added is the ability to store packet traces to the optional flash memory cards--a needed tool that prevents truck rolls.
Businesses that want to roll into hosted VoIP concurrently with data services, or that want to build out solutions in stages (adding Ethernet services, SIP Trunking, Cloud services and WAN access using just a single gateway/appliance) can now do so with the 6360. The NetVanta product is rated at 400-550 simultaneous calls, and this amount of traffic scales nicely for 10-1,200 users, whether for a small busy call center or larger enterprise.
Adtran's focus on the MSP space proves to me once again that MSPs are positioned to be competitive, forcing traditional VARs and service providers to step up to higher standards than simply offering a "local presence." (I wrote about these concerns that VARs may be ignoring in the telecom shark tank.)
Still, it's not just the VARs and traditional Interconnects that are ignoring cloud services. Some in large enterprises fail to see the value of network monitoring and real-time data analytics. Adtran hit upon this when they introduced VQM and their n-Command solution. Operational efficiency is good for both the MSPs and customers, creating win-wins. As Adtran continues to converge features, functions and appliances into one product, this should be a lesson for many to follow, to reduce onsite customer clutter and create better solutions that solve problems and fill needs.
In several past posts I've noted the need to reduce clutter found on customer premises. In short, convergence involves all wares. A reader sent me an article to comment on regarding Cisco CEO John Chambers, who asserts that, "Most corporations will die unless networks can adapt." I don't see Adtran getting displaced by Cisco; the reason is simply because Adtran continues to differentiate itself, and their solutions are easy to use and yet still sophisticated enough to be as good as or better than Cisco's.