Ascendent Systems Extends Voice Mobility Capabilities

Ascendent Systems has announced it has upgraded its PowerConnect Voice Mobility Suite, which extends enhanced PBX capabilities to mobile devices so that users can work from anywhere. Among other capabilities, release 4.1 adds support for softphones and presence management, says Theron Dodson, vice president of marketing and product management.

Technically speaking, PowerConnect 4.1 now includes expanded SIP Gateway and SIP Proxy capabilities to support SIP Direct Trunk Signaling and SIP CSTA. Initial support for SIP Direct Trunk Signaling is compatible with Cisco Call Manager v4.1 or greater. Ascendent will be announcing support for other manufacturers of SIP Direct Trunk Signaling in coming months as interoperability tests are completed.

By bridging legacy infrastructures with IP-based systems, the SIP-based PowerConnect solution enables users to remotely access PBX features without requiring an overhaul in the infrastructure.

Dodson says the software also now extends PBX functionality to enterprise instant messaging software like Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005, Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 (MOC) and the Jabber Extensible Communications Platform (XCP). This enables customers to click to call and click to conference from their desktop or laptop as well as from their mobile handsets and desk phones, he adds. Using the enterprise IM tool, you can click to call and reach your co-workers at any device you have registered with the PowerConnect system. Dodson says presence-based applications provide users more flexibility and support business continuity plans by establishing whether and how a user is logged into a network.

The PowerConnect Voice Mobility Suite version 4.1 is available through Ascendents partners and resellers. The companys reseller program was started in July and is targeted toward interconnects and wireless dealers. Installation is simple, Dodson says, noting it requires installing software on a server, integrating with the PBXs existing dialing plan and instructing the PBX to look to PowerConnect for routing. We are not ripping out or re-architecting, says Dodson. The PBX sees it as another device [much like it does a voice mail system], he says.

An entry-level system is about $40,000, Dodson says. Translated to a yearlong service subscription, he says, the cost is typically $7 to $12 per user per month. Commissions to dealers are tiered based on volume.

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