Vendor Network Architectures�Part L: Seawolf Technologies, Inc.
Seawolf Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Syosset, New York, has been delivering XRainbow, its software-based Class 5 softswitch, to over 60 customers in the last year and a half. There's an interesting history: As the story goes, Seawolf, founded in 1999, developed a niche market in the United States-to-China calling card business. That niche has grown to over 20 million minutes per month, and over 350,000 customers. To handle that amount of traffic, Seawolf developed a softswitch to serve its own needs, and some of their customers asked if Seawolf could develop technology so that they could enter the resale VoIP market as well. To better serve these enterprising firms, Seawolf started selling its softswitch, and also providing systems integration, hardware procurement, and telco-trunk provisioning services. Thus, Seawolfs niche market has grown much broader with the addition of a switching solution as part of its portfolio, and now includes carriers such as China Netcom, China Satcom, China Mobile, plus carriers in Thailand as well.
The XRainbow system is a software solution that runs on the Linux platform and is compatible with standard hardware such as Dell PowerEdge servers and Cisco gateways. The softswitch can scale to support between 100 and 10,000 end users; it includes SIP Servers (Proxy/Registry/Redirect), a Billing Server, Media Relay, web-based administrative interface, and monitoring and administration modules. It supports a wide range of client end points, including phone adapters, IP phones, and PC-based softphones. The system is targeted at customers that are looking for an entry into the VoIP market, including telecom operators, virtual carriers, system integrators, Internet Service Providers, Internet Cafés, and global enterprises.
The base switch contains standard call control features, such as Caller ID, Call Waiting, 3-Way Calling, and so on. Ancillary modules can then be added which support custom features, next generation functionality, and reseller applications. These include:
- Wholesale Module: a feature-rich VoIP billing and prepaid management solution with full functionality. It is based on secured web technology and runs on Linux environments and is compatible with the standard Radius security protocol. It has a compound rate plan, graphic and tabular reporting, easy and secure customer care, flexible real-time billing, billing statement generation, and extensive support for VoIP gateways.
- Calling Card Module: provides a way for XRainbow administrators to easily set up and manage a calling card business, which remains a strong, revenue-producing business opportunity.
- XCafe Module: provides a simplified way for customers to establish and maintain phone shops, with the management done remotely from a desktop. The system provides for a full accounting of phone traffic and daily monetary exchanges, and also allows the manager of the phone shop to have total control of the phones, preventing unauthorized use. Receipts and accounting for the phone café customers plus simplified management of the operation for the phone shop manager are also provided.
- Web Software Development Kit (SDK) Module: allows XRainbow customers to develop web pages and integrate XRainbow services into E-Commerce web sites easily and efficiently. The SDK is a set of tools for interface between front-end applications and a backend database. The module is based on URL request/response commands that interact with the XRainbow system.
- XAgent Module: creates selling agents that can use the system to set up and manage accounts for their customers. The agents can also create sub-agents and the sub-agents can create additional sub-agents. The system allows the customer to see and manage every agent and every sub-agent created. The agents can see and manage the accounts they create and those of their sub-agents, but can not see anything else on the system.
- Softphone/Webphone Module: permits the XRainbow administrator to sell and configure softphones for his/her customers, allowing them to make phone calls from their computer without the use of a traditional hardware phone. These softphones can also be privately labeled with logos from the XRainbow customer, or their end-users.
- Voice Mail Module: establishes and manages a voice mailbox service for XRainbow end users. The end-users can then set up their voice own mailbox, change greetings, retrieve voice messages, and so on, either locally or remotely.
Further details on the Seawolf Technologies architecture and products can be found at www.seawolftech.com. Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors architectures.
Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2006 DigiNet ® Corporation, All Rights Reserved
Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet ® Corporation, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.