Inter-Tel bolsters Linux-based IP PBX

Inter-Tel later this month is expected to announce a Linux-based IP PBX with multimedia support, presence and other advanced communications features that could help users perform their jobs more efficiently.

The Inter-Tel 7000 will be a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based IP PBX that can support as many as 2,000 IP phones, as well as analog handsets, via a built-in gateway.

The phone system includes built-in multimedia messaging applications based on SIP that could improve user productivity with features such as unified-messaging options and integrated instant messaging and presence technology, according to Inter-Tel.

The Inter-Tel 7000 includes two appliances: a call-processing server, which has SIP-based call control and features; and a media server, which includes presence IM and unified voice mail and e-mail applications. One media server feature lets users set an out-of-office reply in Outlook that will be flagged as such in the IM and voice mail systems. If a user is on the phone, his status will reflect this as well.

For smaller deployments (fewer than 100 users), a single-server appliance can be loaded with the call-processing and media-server software.

Inter-Tel says it's using the SIP-for-Business, or SIP-B protocol extension framework, on its telephony and presence servers. SIP-B defines extra PBX-like features - such as multiline appearances and conference-call bridging - which are not supported by the standard 40 telephony features provided in the basic IETF version of SIP, says Jeff Ford, Inter-Tel's CTO.

For user interaction, Inter-Tel is launching the SIP-based Personal Communicator software client, which ties together voice and e-mail access with presence, contact-preference settings, address books and call logging. Inter-Tel also is launching new SIP-based IP phones: The 8690 has an LCD touch screen; the 8662 has a six-line LCD and the 8622 has a two-line text display. A Windows CE-based PDA IP phone client also is available. Related links

One analyst says the Inter-Tel 7000 launch gives users a higher-scaling phone system than previous, H.323-based and digital PBX systems offered by the company.

"The existing Axxess [PBX] and Inter-Tel 5000 [non-SIP IP PBX] platforms have strong multisystem networking capabilities," says Frank Stinson, principal analyst at IntelliCom Analytics "The Inter-Tel 7000 provides greater scalability per system and delivers additional capabilities that will appeal to enterprise customers."

Basing the product on SIP and offering a presence server as a default gives users a more flexible IP PBX system than some competitive, entry-level VoIP systems for small to midsize businesses.

The Inter-Tel 7000 will be available in selected countries in July and start at around US$640 per seat.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

More about GatewayHISIETFInter-TelVIA

Show Comments