Telephony vendors weigh in at VoiceCon 2000 show

Telephony hardware provider Avaya Inc. on Tuesday unveiled a new VOIP (voice over IP) networking tool that lets enterprises gauge the potential impact of new voice applications on existing data networks.

Avaya, which was spun out of Lucent Technologies Inc. last August, unveiled its new service, dubbed "Basic Network Readiness Assessment Offer," at the VoiceCon 2001 tradeshow taking place this week in Washington.

Designed for enterprises testing the VOIP waters, the Readiness offer makes use of software tools and online questionnaires to determine the degree to which existing corporate networks can handle new telephony applications.

The new service is run out of the company's eCom Professional Services Organization, officials said, which is the Avaya business unit that works with enterprises to first catalog existing network information, device connections and configuration, and network topography.

That information is then used as a baseline to predict the success of voice traffic. Avaya priced the system at US$1,000 for 400 users in a single building and $2,000 for corporations with more than 400 users in a single building.

Avaya also debuted a new application called EC500 Extension to Cellular for the company's Enterprise-Class Internet Protocol Solutions (ECLIPS) IP telephony line.

Extension to Cellular patches incoming calls over the public cellular network. The application is designed to create a bridge between a corporate employee's office and mobile phone, according to company officials.

Also timed to coincide with the VoiceCon show was a Monday announcement from 3Com Corp., which debuted its new PBX replacement hardware, the SuperStack 3 NBX Networked Telephony solution.

3Com added the new hardware, which scales to 600 users, to its NBX 25 and NBX100 product lines.

Designed to replace traditional phone systems with VOIP-injected capability, the SuperStack 3 NBX solution contains a redesigned gateway at its core. The enhanced gateway is supposed to allow improved displays and easier connections, the company promised.

In the way of network management tools, VoiceCon 2001 saw an announcement from Soft-ex, which debuted its Integrated Communications Management Solution (ICMS).

ICMS software is said to integrate management and monitoring capabilities of VOIP, wireless, and traditional telephony applications, according to company officials.

Soft-ex touts as one of ICMS' features a "Cost of Calls" combined report that scoops up information from PBX, mobile phones, and VOIP applications.

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