BEA Launched WebLogic Communications Platform
- By John K. Waters
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--BEA Systems has formerly unveiled a new suite of products designed specifically for the telecommunications industry. Formerly code named "Project Da Vinci," BEA's new WebLogic Communications Platform is a version of its Java-based WebLogic application sever, designed for what the San Jose, CA-based infrastructure company calls the "convergence of IT and telecom."
"A new world order is emerging," BEA chief exec Alfred Chuang told reporters and analysts gathered at a San Francisco art gallery last week, "and the whole thing is running on a software platform."
As part of the company's evolving strategy to develop industry-specific versions of its products, this new bundle of carrier infrastructure products is aimed at providing technologies for managing Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), email, calendaring, peer-to-peer services, and a range of digital content and video services over wireless and wireline networks.
"We see the telcos going away from just using price, to compete on last-generation technology," Chuang says. "The telcos are finally investing heavy money into next-generation voice, data, and multimedia combinations."
The company released the first of the products that will make up its new communications platform, the BEA WebLogic SIP Server, a carrier-grade, J2EE app server that supports the Session Initiation Protocol. SIP was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force as a standard for establishing a communication path between two or more entities for the exchange of information in a variety of media (voice, images, video, etc.).
A second product, the WebLogic Network Gatekeeper, is still in development, and slated for release in June. The Network Gatekeeper is being designed to help carriers manage quality-of-service and billing issues for services, and also to provide a software platform for integrating third-party applications. When completed, it will act as "a single point to define and enforce policies for accessing key network capabilities, such as content charging, mobile terminal position information, SMS, and MMS message delivery," the company says.
Yankee Group analyst Rob Rich believes that the telecom industry is at a "critical juncture in its evolution." "With expanded competition and increased pressure for new services revenue, service providers are looking for ways to accelerate service innovation while minimizing delivery costs," Rich said in a statement. "Emerging service delivery platforms provide operators with the software infrastructure to deliver a much broader and more compelling customer experience, while leveraging existing network assets and retaining the service quality subscribers have come to expect from the industry."
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached