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3Com expands VoIP suite modules

Add-ons enable remote users, call to centres take advantage of VCX system features

3Com has added more modules to its VoIP-based suite for large enterprises using its VCX soft switch.Companies use the VCX to set up voice over IP systems in their offices. But users of VoIP phones outside the main office, either working from home or branch offices, usually can’t take advantage of all of the switch’s telephony features, such as messaging and conferencing, without special hardware or software at the user’s end.
3Com’s IP Telecommuting module is server-based Linux software running an Oracle database, which allows a company to let remote IP phone users access all those features.
“When you’re trying to implement a remote solution with voice over IP there are issues with firewalls and transversals that just play havoc with the ability to provide more than basic dial tone,” explained Michael Leo, a senior marketing manager in 3Com’s convergence business unit.
“The Telecommuting module allows users to deploy (IP) phones remotely and not have anything else at the remote end other than the phone.”
A call centre could give a temporary agent working from home full remote access to the operation with an IP phone and easily revoke the privileges when necessary.
Licensed from Ingate Systems, qualified 3Com VARs will sell the module bundled with an IBM 306 Pentium 4 server in a 1U rack.
The price varies by the number of seats, but Leo estimated the bundle would cost about US$8,000 for 100 concurrent users.
3Com also introduced the IP Contact Centre module, which also runs on its VCX soft switch, aimed at call centres with 20 to 200 agents.
Licensed from Nuasis Corp., the module allows the integration of multiple databases on a single monitor so support staff can view many pieces of the customer at the same time.
It consolidates multiple contact centre systems such as automatic call distributors, interactive voice response units and telephony integration units on a single platform.
It will come in several versions including an entry-level, single-site version of the module; a voice only, multi-site edition with the ability to switch calls to several locations; and a voice-only multimedia edition.
The module, which also will only be sold as a software-IBM server combination, will be available later this year. List prices will range from US$1,400 to US$2,500 per concurrent user.