Voice application delivery gets boost

Delivery of voice applications improved when one company used an application session controller as a gateway to its network.

For a 25-year-old automated enterprise-level voice solutions provider, keeping up with the changes and challenges of a steadily shifting world of networking began to take its toll -- on the business and its workers -- forcing the development team to work more on keeping the network up to date than actually developing products and services to offer customers.

Specialising in personalised, multi-channeled automated information and voice solutions, Intervoice has based its business on helping other businesses design voice systems that improve customer interactions. So when network demands began to weigh too heavily on the development teams, Intervoice knew it was time to find another solution.

With networks continually building out, more providers, like Intervoice, have found that keeping up their own networks is limiting their ability to improve their product offerings. Using today's typical solution of "stovepiping," the cross-network connections often suffer -- application delivery is impeded and lacks transparency when connections aren't rewritten. As a result of these challenges, Intervoice found itself in need of another solution to keep its own network running so that it could continue to offer customers the services they expected.

"We wanted a service that handled the network so we didn't have to see or think about how it worked," said Andy Thomas, vice president of Intervoice's product development. "Traditionally, we had built our own telephony infrastructures, but that came to dominate the work time of our own team. We needed someone else to handle the network so we could continue to be the solutions provider our customers expected us to be."

After searching for a service that would meet its needs, Intervoice selected AppTrigger's Application Session Controller, a solution designed with a purpose-built application delivery architecture that provides specific call-control functions independent of each network, reducing the need for application stovepiping. AppTrigger said that the Application Session Controller -- as a scalable, carrier-grade network platform designed to protect VoIP, IMS and legacy intelligent network applications from a continually changing network -- future-proofs network connectivity.

Focusing on interoperable solutions, AppTrigger describes itself as a company that helps users insulate their revenue-producing applications from the constantly changing world of networks through the use of its Application Session Controller.

As IP networks will continue to be built out over the next 15 to 20 years, specifically in the service provider arena, other intermediary solutions are needed, according to AppTrigger's vice president of marketing, Patrick Fitzgerald.

"AppTrigger's Application Session Controller eliminates the inefficiency of gateway stovepipes at the network layer while enabling service providers to maintain and support legacy applications, even while deploying and growing their next-generation IMS architectures," said Ronald Gruia, principal analyst of emerging telecom with research firm Frost and Sullivan.

Thomas said that Intervoice chose the Application Session Controller for its feature richness in comparison with other similar tools. Using the service essentially as a gateway, AppTrigger's handling of the connection to the network allows Intervoice's team members to focus instead on building infrastructure and application development.

Thomas said AppTrigger's controller essentially "handles our network's plumbing."

In addition to freeing up Intervoice's R&D team to focus on application development, the Application Session Controller is supported by a robust platform which is extendable and on which Intervoice can quickly and easily implement any changes, Thomas found. Intervoice also wrote its own protocol-independent scripting language to control the Application Session Controller's interaction with the network.

Though some initial glitches appeared during the testing process, Thomas said, AppTrigger's service and support helped resolve issues quickly.

"Allowing our R&D team to focus on product development rather than our own network's maintenance," he said, "has been the proof that the Application Session Controller was our best choice." 

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