Telephony Technology of 2008

Updated: May 05, 2009

The telephony industry struggled like every sector of the down economy in 2008. But adversity yields adaptations and innovations. Dozens of new and enhanced products flooded the market as producers tried to find buyers' sweet spots. Here are some of the most noteworthy new products to hit the marketplace in 2008.

The small to midsize business market received a great deal of attention. Nearly 60 percent of new systems introduced during the year targeted businesses with fewer than 250 stations, according to Internet Telephony magazine.

Aastra Telecom rolled out the AastraLink RP phone system, a combination of Microsoft Response Point phone system software and hardware from Aastra Technologies; and the AastraLink Pro 160, a Linux-based appliance that runs the Asterisk open source PBX software from Digium. Both products support as many as 50 users.

Nortel Networks unveiled its model SCS500 (SCS stands for SIP-based Software Communication System) targeting SMBs with 30 to 1,000 users. The SCS500 software, based on open source sipXecs software from Pingtel, runs on industry standard servers from Dell, IBM and HP to deliver unified communications features including VoIP, voice and video conferencing, presence and instant messaging, voice and unified messaging , find me/follow me features and more.

Panasonic Corp. released a family of hardware and software telephony products for SMBs called Enhanced Communications Solutions. The ECS umbrella covers the recently introduced Panasonic KX-NCP rack-mount business telephony systems; the KX-NCP500 supports as many as 68 stations and the KX-NCP1000 goes up to 108 stations. ECS also includes digital, IP and SIP telephones; DECT 6.0 wireless telephones; desktop and business applications; video cameras and third party applications.

Enterprises needing thousands of telephone stations got a welcome dose of server simplification from the new MCS (Mitel Communications Suite), a pre-integrated platform that allows Mitel Networks Corp.'s flagship 3300 ICP (IP Communications Platform) software to reside on Sun servers. This solution preserves all the features and functionalities of the traditional Mitel 3300 ICP and allows organizations to carry voice-based solutions on a Sun data infrastructure. The MCS can support an astounding 65,000 users in a clustered environment on a single software stream.

The UNIVERGE Mobile Client (MC530) from NEC Unified Solutions, Inc., was awarded a "Best" rating in the 2008 Enterprise Unified Communications Industry Study conducted by Miercom, an independent product testing and analysis firm. "Based on our testing, the mobility attributes of NEC's UNIVERGE UC for Enterprise are superior to those of any other UC solution on the market," said Rob Smithers, CEO of Miercom. "Specifically, the Mobile Client MC530 offered seamless connectivity, including presence status and a simple, intuitive interface that gives users all of the features of their NEC UNIVERGE desktop while away from the office." In a separate test, Miercom found the UNIVERGE SV8500 enterprise communications server consumes 40 percent less power than previous generations of traditional PBX and IP PBX servers.

Mu Dynamics has garnered a host of awards for its money-saving Mu-4000 Service Analyzer product, designed for carriers and large enterprises. The Mu-4000 proactively eliminates the high cost of service, application and network downtime. Mu's solution automates a systematic and repeatable process that identifies hard-to-detect sources of potential downtime within IP services, applications and underlying networks.

The MultiVOIP GSM (Global System for Mobile) SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)-to-cellular gateway from Multi-Tech Systems, Inc., routes voice from your internal network to a GSM connection, enabling substantial savings on long distance charges. It also serves as a backup connection to remote VoIP sites in case of external Internet failure. By placing MultiVOIP GSM units at all facilities, you can direct your VoIP traffic over a cellular connection and do not need to route traffic to the PSTN (public switched telephone network). The MultiVOIP GSM gateway is available in a two-port model.

Enterprise OneNumber from QuesCom enables a user to be reachable at any time through a single phone number and answer incoming calls from any device with multiple simultaneous rings. Landline features become available on the company's mobile phones, i.e., three-party conferencing , call transfer, corporate short dial plan access, music on hold, voice mail and office phone number display. If a user answers a call on his or her desk phone, during the communication the user can swap the call to a mobile phone with Handover function. All calls to and from all devices are routed through the corporate infrastructure to minimize roaming charges.

Polycom, Inc.'s RMX 2000 V4.0, released in February, is the videoconferencing industry's first solution to incorporate 1,080p and broadcast-quality 720p HD quality, for unrivaled flexibility of pure HD or mixed-resolution video environments. The RMX 2000 v4.0 addresses existing and emerging applications including immersive, room and personal HD telepresence, broad-scale desktop video collaboration, specialized industry applications and traditional video conferencing.

SIP Print LLC's SIP Print is the world's first affordable SIP-based call recording system. SIP Print is built from the ground up for SIP-compliant IP telephony systems, making it more streamlined, powerful and as much as one-third less expensive than legacy analog call recording systems.

Featured Research
  • 7 Ways the Wrong Phone System Can Haunt Your Business

    The wrong phone system could be haunting your business - and we’re talking about problems more serious than ghosts and ghouls. From increased costs to issues with scaling, we’ve identified seven important ways that a less than ideal phone system could be holding you back. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference this can make to your bottom line too. more

  • Ditch Your Fax Servers

    An in-house fax server gives an IT department centralized management and monitoring over the entire enterprise's faxing. This can help your company track usage and better maintain records for auditing and record keeping. However, there are serious drawbacks that come with utilizing an in-house fax server solution and these range from security to cost-prohibitive pricing. more

  • The IT Manager's Survival Guide

    As an IT manager, maintaining physical fax servers and infrastructure is not a high priority. However, fax capability remains a business need simply because chances are your industry is dependent on its security. What if there was a way to reduce the amount of time spent handling fax complaints and maintaining physical servers? And this way took into account security, cost savings, and freed up your IT resources. Would you be interested? more

  • VoIP: Your New Secret Weapon for a Strong Year End

    As the end of 2017 nears, you may be feeling pressure to make sure you close the year out strong.If you’ve been sitting on the fence regarding VoIP, this may be the perfect time to switch. VoIP options had never been better or more full-featured than they are now, and it may be just the thing your business needs to see a productivity and profitability boost. more

  • Is Your Phone System Stealing Profits?

    Having the wrong phone system can dramatically cut into your profits. Despite this, many businesses just sign up for a plan or platform that seems ‘good enough’. If you haven’t carefully considered your options and the included features, there’s a very good chance that you are leaving money on the table in some way. more