A visit with MetaSwitch

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During a recent trip to the West Coast that included visits to Streaming Media West and AstriCon, FierceVoIP Editor Doug Mohney stopped by MetaSwitch's offices in Alameda, Calif., for a chat.

"MetaSwitch is not a niche product company," said Andy Randall, vice president of marketing. "We have a broad set of solutions now. In a survey of our customers, they see us as central to where their business is going. They rely on us, trust us, these are relationships that go beyond buying a piece of equipment. We have a broad solution emphasis across a range of different products." 

"The other key thing I'd like to emphasize is quality and reliability. We want our customers to say ‘I can sleep at night. MetaSwitch just works.'"

As of March 2008, MetaSwitch had 240 publicly listed carrier customers, with the total number of customers approaching 400. The company has its products installed at carriers in all 50 states, plus all U.S. territories.

Infonetics puts MetaSwitch at number two in market share in North America, between Nortel (1) and Siemens (3).  But it's a market that has plenty of growth left, Randall said, as carriers move to replace their legacy hardware - such as Ericsson and Siemens - with softswitches.

With economic conditions tightening up, the era of just shipping equipment, "is gone," said Randall. Customers must see an immediate impact of purchases upon their businesses, so they are buying to see a tangible reduction in operational expenses (OPEX) and/or to get value-added services through new applications.

MetaSwitch is investing its energies in new applications around the MetaSphere applications suite. "The key benefit of MetaSphere is it can deliver features to legacy systems," Randall stated. "It's important to talk to Tier 1s. Even if they are starting to do switch migration, most subscribers will be on legacy switches for a long time... the market is still thinking about VoIP or IMS or session control, but a lot of [new applications] can take place on top of legacy switches."

In 2009, MetaSphere applications will likely appear on more devices, including TVs and mobile phones; a fixed-mobile convergence solution may also debut.