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This article was written by guest blogger Justin Reynolds. Justin is a Content Producer for TMC’s Custom Publishing Division and a trusted voice on trends in the VoIP industry.

By TMC Guest Blogger

Justin Reynolds, Content Producer, TMC Custom Publishing Division

The days of headaches and exasperation surrounding IP telephony management are becoming few and far between for VoIP providers, thanks in large part to the emergence and evolution of softswitch technology. Softswitches are software-based tools that facilitate the switching environment of PBX systems, replacing both analog and IP trunks. The technology organizes and routes calls virtually, and the most advanced products on the market offer even more functionality. Therefore, rather than having to worry about the routine functioning of your network, the technology serves as both a call agent in charge of routing calls and transferring signals and a media gateway that controls the digital signals sent through it.

The VoIP market continues to grow, with Infonetics Research reporting that the global VoIP market reached $63 billion in 2012, a nine percent bump from them previous year. The research firm predicts that the market will expand to $82.7 billion by 2017, so it appears the softswitch is poised to experience a renaissance of sorts as well.

That’s primarily due to the rise of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), a process that has revolutionized networking services by decoupling network functions from proprietary hardware applications so that they can run on software. In so doing, companies can reduce hardware costs, increase time to market and enjoy centralized automated management. Since softswitches are software-based, they can be virtualized, allowing for easier, centralized management of call routing infrastructure. In addition to that, softswitch technology reduces the risk of vendor lock-in, as the software can be used on any normal computer and server.

But softswitch technology also grants VoIP providers a variety of other benefits, including:

Scalability. Softswitches are extremely scalable by nature and can handle thousands of calls simultaneously, depending on the particular model being used.

The ability to keep current. Today’s business landscape keeps changing, and in order to stay current, you’ve got to change with it. Because the technology is software-based, upgrades can be made by simply downloading new versions. That means that you don’t have to worry about completely replacing a solution that’s already in place.

Manage your systems remotely. With simple access to the Internet, system managers can look after your operations. When problems arise, maintenance and troubleshooting can occur remotely, meaning your systems will be back online as in no time.

Time savings. Best-in-class solutions integrate call routing, billing, client management and reporting in order to provide VoIP-based origination and termination services. Companies that decide to implement such a solution are able to access a plethora of information from a single interface, saving time in the process.