DECEMBER 20, 2007 By Meghan Fuller Hanna -- Following their August acquisition of TelStrat International (search for TelStrat International), the folks at Pannaway Technologies (search for Pannaway Technologies) hit the road for a series of customer meetings to determine how best to exploit the synergies of the two companies. What they discovered is that most customers have similar needs.
Recalls Kevin Brown, vice president of marketing and product management at Pannaway: "We met with them, and they said, 'Okay, we really want to get to an IP transport. Can you guys make this happen--and quickly?'"
"Everyone understands that fiber is the ultimate goal," he says. "It's how to get there and migrate there in an efficient manner, whether it's from copper to fiber, from SONET to IP, from circuit switching to VoIP. But," he notes, "the common thread is IP or Ethernet."
Pannaway says it had this network migration in mind when it decided to purchase TelStrat's access division, which included the Inteleflex broadband loop carrier (BLC) platform (see "Pannaway acquires access division of TelStrat International"). The acquisition was significant, says Brown, because it gave the company an already shipping GPON offering to augment its existing MAGNM-20 or Multi-Media Aggregation Node, which supports both ADSL 2+ and active point-to-point Ethernet to the home.
Brown confirms that Pannaway currently is selling both GPON and active point-to-point Ethernet systems--sometimes to the same customer. "Some folks are leveraging active Ethernet for business-type applications so they can deliver symmetric bandwidth, 100 Mbits/sec down and up," he says. "And they are actually shipping PON to their residents. It's changed the dynamic of how we even sell to our customer base; before, we used to sit there are harp on the benefits of one over the other."
While he says he's seen an uptick in active point-to-point Ethernet deployments, Brown admits that "between the two, we have more GPON customers than active customers."
The common link between them, he says, is 10-Gbit/sec transport. "Whether it's 2.5 GPON or active point-to-point to the home, the need for a 10-Gbit backbone is pretty common out there," he muses.
If Pannaway were to adopt a catch phrase for 2008, "cross-pollinate" might be appropriate. The vendor plans to leverage the best of both the Inteleflex and MAGNM platforms and incorporate--or "cross-pollinate" to use Brown's phrase--those features into the other. In the first half of 2008, for example, Pannaway says it will announce enhancements to the Inteleflex line; namely, the ability to transport 1 Gig or 10 Gig, thereby enabling customers to support the migration from SONET to IP. Brown is optimistic about Pannaway's ability to deliver this enhancement in Q2, as he says, "It's not bleeding edge."
"The integration is actually taking very short cycles from an engineering standpoint," he reports, citing common chipsets and operating systems as a key reason for this ease of integration. "We're able to take the uplink from our MAGNM platform, which we released last year, and we're able to form-fit that uplink into the Inteleflex line to give [customers] the IP transport."
By the middle of 2008, Pannaway hopes to announce the addition of GPON capabilities to the MAGNM platform; work is already underway to take the high-density GPON technology from TelStrat's Inteleflex line and incorporate that into a blade for the MAGNM-20.
Finally, the vendor says both platforms will be provisioned and managed via a common platform, the Broadband Access Manager (BAM).
For his part, Brown believes the TelStrat acquisition is "definitely playing off. From a customer standpoint," he says, "we have over 300 customers, and there's a cross-pollination of selling going into our existing base, leveraging the Inteleflex for certain applications and [selling] the Inteleflex folks [on] classic Pannaway products. It's really helping from a business standpoint."
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