You would think that with all of the talk about the cloud and how “everybody’s moving there,” that the on-premise communications systems market was either dead or on life support. In reality, even in the small-to-medium sized business (SMB) market—which has been considered the “low-hanging” fruit for cloud—there is more than ample opportunity and even interest in replacing legacy systems with premises-based next generation capabilities.
The reasons for significant remaining interest in premises-based solutions by SMBs are varied. The first is that the number of systems—as opposed to lines—that companies with fewer than 500 employees globally represent is north of 90 percent. Additionally, their installed equipment has never been older than it is today. There are other reasons including the economics of owning versus leasing, requirements for things like overhead paging, etc., but the fact remains that—despite being state-of-the-art and incredibly easy to use—this is a market that has been under-served by the big names in the industry who just want something they can own.
With all of this in mind, Rochester, New York-based Allworx Corp., a Windstream company, has introduced Allworx (News - Alert) Connect™, a new family of VoIP communication systems designed specifically to meet the needs of SMBs seeking next generation communications that they can own and are simple to operate. Supported by the new Allworx System Software 8.0, the Connect series boasts faster processing power, enhanced Codec support, native Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, improved mobile connectivity and better system security. It should be added that the new server family has a small footprint and does not require additional power or air conditioning to operate at maximum efficiency.
"The main idea behind the Connect systems was to build a robust family of VoIP systems that serves as a platform for the exciting software-based features and functionality we are introducing in 2015 and beyond," said Chris Hasenauer, vice president and general manager at Allworx. "The Connect series packs in the speed and power necessary to support innovative voice communication features that enhance the user experience at their desks, on their mobile devices and on their PCs."
In discussing the introduction with TMCnet, Hasenauer also explained that, “We have build the family so that it fits the size of the customer with room to grow, and unlike most other systems almost all of the features come with the system. These are next generation VoIP servers that you purchase once and you are done. Plus, we are committed the SMB market and focused on constant innovations to meet the needs of these customers.”
What’s in the new Allworx VoIP servers?
A look at the specifications of the five models of the Connect series details how Allworx has covered all the bases for SMBs, and tailored this as a family to meet unique requirements.
Together with System Software 8.0, the Connect series provides significant enhancements, including:
- Improved mobile connectivity with Allworx Reach Link™: Reach Link enables Allworx Reach™ mobile app users on Android and iOS devices to move freely across a WiFi (News - Alert) network to a mobile data network, and vice versa, while they are on active voice calls
- Support for G.711u, G.711a and G.729A codecs to increase network bandwidth efficiency and improve interoperability
- Native Gigabit Ethernet interfaces
- Enhanced security: Enables HTTPS encryption when accessing the web-based Allworx administration page for system administrators and My Allworx Manager for end users
- Allworx Migrate™: This free tool simplifies upgrading to a Connect system from any existing Allworx system. Connect the two systems to a PC and Migrate will guide the user through each of the work steps. Migrate can also work with any Allworx systems running System Software 8.0
In short, it is state-of-the-art in terms of mobility friendliness with functionality that in many ways exceeds what can be done via service providers on the handover front from cellular to Wi-Fi and vice versa. It also not only supports the latest in codec technology but also provides backwards compatibility with existing needs for support of things like fax, analog lines for disaster recovery, and a series of other capabilities for supporting voice calling that allow customers to have options for migrating capabilities as their requirements evolve.
Connect 731 is available late March through Allworx Authorized Distributors, with the remaining systems available in late April 2015.
The attraction of this customization for SMBs was echoed by Rob Arnold, industry principal and program manager at Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) who commented that, "The small and mid-size enterprise markets are seeking secure IP-based telephony solutions that blend simplicity with a feature set that enables increased flexibility, enhanced mobility and greater customer responsiveness…Allworx's new series of Connect systems provides customers with a next-generation VoIP communication platform that's much faster, more secure and enables greater mobility."
Allworx is not a newcomer to meeting the needs of SMBs. It provides a complete portfolio of VoIP systems, IP phones, network switches and advanced software options and has deployed more than 40,000 VoIP systems and more than 600,000 IP phones across more than 25,000 business customers. In addition, it has a broad market reach through a network of 1,000+ independent resellers in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Plus, it leverages being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Windstream (News - Alert) which enables customers to take advantage of Windstrem IP Simple, a managed monthly subscription service that combines Allworx with VoIP and data services from Windstream.
SMBs feeling the urgency to have next generation communications have options, and one of them is to continue to own their own system. Innovation is alive and well in the premises communications systems business, and the reports of its demise are clearly over-stated.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino