Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
Read Full Bio >>

Zeus Kerravala | September 25, 2014 |


Oracle Plays Small Ball with the Acme Packet 1100

Oracle Plays Small Ball with the Acme Packet 1100 The release of the Acme Packet 1100 opens the addressable market for Oracle to play small ball and go after a group of customers and locations that it could not have before.

The release of the Acme Packet 1100 opens the addressable market for Oracle to play small ball and go after a group of customers and locations that it could not have before.

The term "small ball" is used in baseball to describe a team that wins by doing lots of little things well. Historically, teams wait for the big inning or look for the one big swing that wins them the game. Small ball can be just as effective, though, for those that have the strategy and patience to execute. (If you're from overseas and you're not familiar with baseball, just know it's a way more entertaining version of cricket with no tea served in the middle.)

In the UC space, Oracle, via its Acme Packet acquisition, has been a company that relied on swinging for the fences to grow its business. The company makes session border controllers and management tools for large enterprises and service providers. Because of this, Oracle tends to have larger deals, meaning the company typically plays long ball.

Next week is Oracle OpenWorld, and the big news is that Larry Ellison is stepping down as CEO and moving into more of an engineering role. However, there will be lots of other news from the show, including Oracle announcing the release of Acme Packet 1100 – an enterprise session border controller (E-SBC) focused on small to mid-size businesses as well as branch offices of larger organizations. The release of the 1100 opens the addressable market for Oracle to play small ball and go after a group of customers and locations that it could not have before.

While it's easy to say the release of the SMB-focused product is long overdue from Oracle, the needs of the small and medium-sized businesses are quite different than large enterprises. This means that building a product for this market involves more than just taking the enterprise product and making it smaller and a little bit cheaper. Many, many vendors have tried this over the years and typically have had little success until they actually create a product that's purpose-built for this market.

The Acme Packet 1100 isn't a "mini me" version of other E-SBCs. Rather, it's a product with the performance, features and capacity optimized for branch offices and small to mid-size organizations. Some of the highlights of the product are:

Available as an Appliance - While the industry is gaga today over virtual appliances and network functions virtualization (NFV), most SMBs prefer the simplicity and performance guarantees of an appliance. I'm not saying that appliances outperform software or virtual versions, but by having it on a dedicated appliance, the business is assured that the processor, memory, interface cards, etc. are all optimized for that application. The appliance provides performance assurance, which is ideal for SMBs and branches since local IT resources can be an issue.

Support for up to 360 Simultaneous Sessions - While the enterprise versions of the E-SBC can support thousands of sessions, that kind of capacity is overkill for smaller organizations. The 360 sessions should provide plenty of room for growth for voice, video and UC services in this segment of the market.

Optional TDM Interfaces - This may seem a bit counter intuitive. In a market that's rapidly moving to IP, why build TDM interfaces on the E-SBC? In some ways, it could be viewed as Oracle prolonging the lifespan of old world communication services. That may be true, but outages do occur and TDM circuits provide reliable, cost effective backup connections when the IP network becomes unavailable. I believe this is the first Acme Packet E-SBC that provides TDM interfaces, and it's a good example of a feature that is specifically for the small market.

Session Optimization - The Acme Packet 1100 supports quality of service measurements and hardware assisted transcoding between various UC systems. The processing in hardware means businesses can enjoy these features without any loss of quality or performance.

The release of the product is well timed to coincide with the growing adoption of SIP trunking in the small and mid-markets. The use of SIP trunks has been on the rise for the past five years or so, but has primarily been leveraged by larger organizations. Now that there are more best practices and more engineers who understand how to work with SIP trunks, I certainly expect to see a rise in the use of them by SMBs.

The SBC plays a key role in not only terminating the SIP trunks, but also securing the connections and providing a bridge to cloud services. For SMBs, the Acme Packet 1100 is a purpose-built platform that can speed up the shift to SIP trunks.

Follow Zeus Kerravala on Twitter and Google+!
Zeus Kerravala on Google+


March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.