Gael Martin has been hard at work at SmartIPX heading up the upgrade of our network to use the first-in-class Orchid One Network Session and Application Manager, a highly advanced evolution of a session border controller (SBC), from Cataleya.
We chatted to him about his work at SmartIPX and the challenges facing the telecoms industry in the future.
What is your role at SmartIPX?
I have been working with SmartIPX since 2011 as Senior Architect & Technical Design Authority helping the company with system design. I work closely with Technical Support Manager Ian Eldridge and his team, as well as Chief Executive Officer Paul Tindley, on technical challenges and design, basically working out how best we can meet and anticipate customer demand.
The business focuses on leveraging our shared services model aligned to aggregation opportunities to deliver a highly cost effective yet scalable solutions platform for our managed services customers. My challenge is to optimise and adapt where we can and specify what we need.
What is your background?
I started as an electrical and computer engineer working on satellite design for a UK space and telecommunications company from where I moved more into software and interfaces. I started working with SmartIPX on the integration of billing software to telecoms and switch software and from there progressed to the ongoing development of the SmartIPX SmartSwitch (Scalable Multi-Protocol Soft Switch) and MVNE infrastructure.
How did that develop?
Development on the SmartSwitch was based on open source software to give us a greater level of control over bespoke functionality with an acceptable amount of reliability and scalability, to fit with our clients’ requirements. Our learning curve was immense in terms of customer demand and delivery options which we built into our complete refresh of our PaaS solution design in terms of scalability, functionality and agility.
Is this why SmartIPX became involved with Cataleya Orchid One Session & Application Manager?
The team at Cataleya built Orchid One to solve problems they were seeing in service provider businesses every day. They understand that the future of applications and services is dependent on QoS and QoE and created a solution that makes monitoring and managing network performance simple and effective. It was a first-in-class solution that was obvious to us as a major step up from our SmartSwitch.
I am working to integrate the Orchid One into our customer’s network solutions including Operational and Billing Support Systems (OSS/BSS). The Cataleya team are very responsive and open to new ideas, thoughts and feedback: it’s exciting to be working with them as we push the potential of what we can do for voice transit, App and MVNE/O customers.
We use Orchid One to deliver enhanced quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) for our MVNO and voice service provider customers around the globe. The Network Session and Application Manager gives us the ability to monitor QoS and QoE in real-time to maintain or enhance network performance.
Our deployment of Orchid One is a good example of how the SmartIPX “technological agnostic approach” works well. We always use the best technologies available at the time, which makes the business much more scalable.
Working towards the future?
I have recently worked on migrating Stour Marine, a UK Tier One Mobile Network Operator, transferring their analogue telecommunications services to a fully IP platform. For this project, rather than day-to-day development, I worked on the consultation side of configuration, supporting the rest of the SmartIPX team involved in the deployment.
Our next challenge is harnessing the benefits of diameter based signalling within our solution portfolio, an exciting next stage for many reasons!
SmartIPX have a great vision for the future. Everyone is trying to outsource breaking into the Cloud, minimising the cost of hardware, which allows Managed Service Providers (MSP) and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MNVO) alike to offer a similar level of service to large and small customers alike, but I think that here at SmartIPX we’re really on the right path. The future of the Cloud is at the heart of our vision for the company.
I am definitely looking forward to the future with SmartIPX, working more with the senior management team, especially Paul, on the strategic positioning of the company and working with clients on their solutions as a high level.
I have a few challenges to keep me on my toes!