It our business where we are constantly bombarded with vendor claims, it at times can be difficult to not be quizzical. I can say that this is absolutely positively not the case with the latest release from Toronto, Canada-based IP hardware and software components provider Sangoma Technologies Corporation of its Sangoma Network Appliance Provisioning (SNAP) tool.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Jeff Dworkin, director of Marketing at Sangoma, at TMC’s recently concluded ITEXPO Miami event, and innocently asked, “So what’s coming?” His response was, “Sangoma is about to release what we are calling SNAP. It will allow service providers and channel partners to deploy and provision a TDM-to-IP gateway in under two minutes.” My response was, “Show me!” His rejoinder was, “Step right up!”
This was an invitation to an irresistible challenge. Just as an aside, former Pepsi and Apple CEO John Sculley, who introduced the “Pepsi Challenge” taste test that put a dent in a certain competitor’s bright red can, and launched the era of experience marketing, was a keynoter at ITEXPO. For enterprises looking to move rapidly to leverage all of the benefits of IP, experiencing this kind of rapid response from their services providers might be just the thing to give them the peace of mind to make them move faster.
It is a SNAP
Dwokin noted, before I took a test drive, that this is not only about speed but also about ease-of-use. He was correct. SNAP employs standard configuration profiles developed for each supported network provider that enables the provisioning and configuration of a Sangoma Vega gateway in the claimed under -two minute time frame.
In the formal announcement of SNAP, Dworkin stated, “The SNAP tool makes it easy for service providers and their channel partners to deliver all of the advantages of SIP trunking to businesses that want to continue using existing TDM-based phone systems…A number of regional and national SIP trunking providers have already taken advantage of the SNAP Tool to help ensure fast and efficient turn-up of new customers on their SIP networks.”
Back to the challenge. As noted, SNAP is billed as not just fast but as an easy-to-use Web-based application. I can attest to the validity of that claim. Here is how and why.
The SNAP tool selects the appropriate service provider, Vega gateway model and configuration using the service provider’s product nomenclature. Depending on the provider’s requirements, between three and six credentials are entered. The tool then works it magic. It returns a configuration file that can be uploaded to the Vega gateway. Without divulging the name of the service provider used in my test drive, this was a timed session. We beat the clock.
The real beauty here is that that all of this was done without the need for the typical specialized training. Plus, and this is not trivial for those who are practitioners, the user never has to access the command line interface of the gateway. That is almost a definition of ease-of-use for those who do deployment and provisioning of SIP.
Sangoma currently has the SNAP tool supporting the full Vega Gateway Series. The good news for customers and potential ones is that support will be expanded to support provisioning of Sangoma’s recently announced line of Session Border Controllers.
Another very helpful feature is that gateway configuration files can be pre-loaded by your service provider to support self-installation options, or can be generated in the field with a minimum of effort or training.
This is important because, as Dworkin further explained, “Each service provider determines the mix of analog and digital interfaces in the gateway, and collaborates with Sangoma to create a configuration file that is fine-tuned to work on the network.” He continued by stating, “We expect that the simple operation and assured network interoperability possible with the SNAP Tool will save time and money for service providers and their channel partners by dramatically reducing installation and troubleshooting efforts.”
Sangoma is all about solutions that enable the interworking of a wide variety of disparate TDM and IP networks, clouds, protocols, services, devices, and applications. The company’s products serve as catalysts for accelerating the transition from TDM to IP while giving users and their service providers the tools necessary to make the move at the right time, at the right pace, for the right reasons and within time frames and business imperatives that make sense. Making the deployment and provisioning of VoIP gateways a SNAP is not a bad approach to accelerating IP adoption not just smooth but fast.