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Vertical networks announces support for standards-based IP phones and new InstantOffice 6500 platform.

Vertical Networks has announced that it has added full-featured, standards-based support for IP phones from Polycom, Inc. to its award-winning InstantOffice Integrated Communications Platform (ICP), expanding the array of communications choices for enterprise branch offices and small/medium businesses (SMBs). Using InstantOffice System Release 5.0, Vertical Networks' customers can now mix-and-match IP, digital, and analog phones as appropriate for their office environments, reduce the transport costs of inter-office voice communications, and enjoy a consistent, high quality business communications experience enterprise wide. Vertical Networks also announced the InstantOffice 6500, a new high-capacity, applications-enabled ICP for larger enterprise sites of up to 192 users.

"Vertical Networks' typical customer is a growing enterprise trying to integrate multiple branch offices or stores into a coherent business communications strategy," said Dean Schoen, vice president of marketing at Vertical Networks. "These sites have a mix of different equipment and different needs than headquarters. Our strategy has been to provide the InstantOffice platform with the intelligence to transparently normalize business communications across the enterprise, while giving branches the flexibility to customize their communications to suit their particular environments. Now, our customers can extend feature-rich InstantOffic functionality anywhere an IP network goes, including a home office, and manage all users from a common Web interface."

"The beauty of the Vertical Networks solution is that it supports enterprise PBX features on an IP phone, which means I get business-class phone functionality whether I'm in the main office, or working from home," said Fritz Milner, president, Milner Atlanta Brokerage (a wholesale insurance agency). "With the InstantOffice system, I don't have to sacrifice voice quality or applications flexibility to work remotely."

In designing System Release 5.0, Vertical Networks' goal was to ensure that IP phones look, act, and feel like all the other phones supported by the InstantOffice system, both from a user experience and from a management perspective. Thus InstantOffice provides a common provisioning and management interface, dialing plan, and feature set for all users, and for all phone types. IP phones appear simply as an InstantOffice extension, regardless of their location on the network. IP phones are also fully integrated with the remote diagnostic functionality of the InstantOffice system, which offers the richest remote management capabilities of any platform on the market today.

InstantOffice System Release 5.0 supports standards-based IP phones using the Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP). Unlike many IP phones on the market today, these phones support business-class phone features such as call conferencing, intercom, and message waiting indication.

Leveraging industry standards allows off-the-shelf IP phones from other vendors to be used with the InstantOffice system and allows Vertical Networks to extend phone functionality without requiring changes to the phones, thus protecting customer investment. Vertical Networks will initially support the Polycom SoundPoint IP 500 phone.

"Vertical Networks makes it easy for enterprises to optimize their business communications by offering them a plethora of choices for voice functionality, data functionality, application support, and all the different phone types," said Brian Riggs, senior analyst at Current Analysis. "Especially for vertical industries, where business communications are so critical to the bottom line, there is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution. Vertical Networks recognized this aspect of the market from the outset, and has designed its products to be highly adaptable to customer environments."

Expanding its support of vertical markets such as retail, banking, health care, and others that require high `customer touch,' Vertical Networks has added a new high-end platform, the InstantOffice 6500 system. Like the InstantOffice 6000, the 6500 incorporates the functions of a packet- and circuit-switched PBX, voice mail system, automated attendant, multiprotocol router, Ethernet LAN, and voice over IP gateway into a high-capacity system, capable of supporting up to 192 users over analog, digital, or IP phones. The 6500 also provides high-performance support for applications, including customizable call center software and Vertical Networks' newly announced Call Management Suite.
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Comment:Vertical networks announces support for standards-based IP phones and new InstantOffice 6500 platform.
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Article Type:Product Announcement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 14, 2002
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