Charging Midfield

A NUMBER OF LEADING TELEPHONE system manufacturers are addressing capacity and migration needs of growing businesses by adding new, larger platforms to existing families of business telephony systems. Distributed work environments with branch offices and remote  workers continue to be the workplace trend, and manufacturers are responding with telephony systems for SMBs. However, database publisher and analyst group TelecomTactics has detected a shift in focus from small business systems that target businesses with fewer than 250 employees to growing businesses in the mid-sized range (250-750 employees). Nearly 40 percent of the new enterprise telephony systems introduced in 2006 (as of September) in the North American market have been designed for SMBs in the 250-750 station range a shift from previous years in which 70-80 percent of system introductions in the SMB market targeted the less-than-250 station range.

New IP PBXs for the Mid-Sized Market



Target Market

Maximum Stations














OfficeServ 7400



Source: TelecomTactics

In addition to addressing capacity requirements, these new systems also provide ease of migration, convergence, improved performance and reliability and advanced applications, including unified communications, enhanced networking and wireless LAN.

No one goes into business with the intention to stay small or keep the same profit levels. From the largest enterprise to the smallest business everyone is looking to grow and succeed. So, when businesses look at convergence technologies that are vital to helping them grow, they are asking for products that have the capability to grow along with them, notes Steve Gobeli, vice president of Samsung Business Communication Systems (BCS).

Samsung OfficeServ 7400

Samsung BCS

announced OfficeServ 7400 for the North American market this summer, a voice, data and wireless platform for businesses with up to 500 users. The new system promises more power than the earlier OfficeServ 7200 (192 ports) introduced in October 2005, adding additional capacity (up to three cabinets and 1,344 ports), gigabit Ethernet connectivity and 64-channel Media Gateway Interface cards to interface between circuit-switching and packet-switching applications. Trunk and station cards are compatible with smaller OfficeServ 7200 systems, and digital and IP telephones are compatible among most OfficeServ systems (including the former iDCS100/500). A recently introduced Wireless LAN solution with a wireless Internet phone that operates on a 2.4GHz frequency band is also available for employees who need freedom of mobility in their office environments.

ESI-600 System for Converged Communications

In recent months, Estech Systems Inc. (ESI) announced an array of new and enhanced products that target larger businesses and address employee  productivity. The new ESI-600 System for Converged Communications is the largest system ever offered by ESI, scaling to 408 IP stations or 336 digital stations in a single location with additional capacity by networking up to 100 systems. ESI-600 is a compact, rackmounted system with one main cabinet and three expansion cabinets and includes an on-board integrated voice mail/auto attendant system, optional Mirrored Memory Module and ESIs Visually Integrated Phone communication management tool, ESI PC Attendant Console and the Presence Management Suite among other options. In addition to the new ESI-600, the company offers a number of other systems for smaller businesses in North America, including entry-level, full-featured and LAN-based platforms.

Inter-Tel CS-5600

Inter-Tel Inc.

recently addressed growth requirements for smaller businesses with new software and a new server platform for the companys Inter-Tel 5000 IP-based system family. The new software expands the capacities of the Inter-Tel CS-5200 and CS-5400 servers, while a new server platform, the Inter-Tel CS-5600, addresses growth to 346 endpoints (250 IP devices per site and 96 analog and digital phones). The CS-5600 is a dual 1U configuration that combines a base server (same hardware as that of Inter-Tels CS-5200 or CS-5400 server) and a processing server. All Inter-Tel 5000 servers run the same applications (Inter-Tels Unified Communicator, Call Center Suite, Enterprise Messaging and Enterprise Conferencing/Instant Messaging), use the same trunk cards and accommodate Inter-Tel IP telephones, digital phones and wireless handsets easing the migration for growing businesses. Inter-Tel also just introduced the Inter-Tel 7000 IP-based system family with server platforms that support from 100-to-2,500 stations.

Panasonic KX-TDA600

Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co.

rolled out the new KX-TDA600, a hybrid IP PBX and larger version of the companys earlier KX-TDA100/200 platforms. Ideal for businesses with more than 175 employees, the modular and stackable (or rack-mountable) KX-TDA600 includes a basic shelf and up to three expansion shelves, creating a system that can scale to 640 devices (analog, digital, IP or wireless) or 960 Panasonic KX-T7600 digital proprietary telephones using Panasonics Digital eXtra Device Port (XDP) feature. Power supplies, most circuit cards and telephones are compatible among all KX-TDA platforms which results in cost savings for Panasonic customers who outgrow a smaller TDA system. The KX-TDA600 supports Panasonics Version 3.0 KXTDA software, introduced earlier in 2006 for the KX-TDA100/200 systems, with enhanced networking (centralized voice mail, network DSS/BLF, expanded call coverage), additional cellular phone features, new call center functionality and more.

Sandra M. Gustavsen is an analyst covering enterprise systems for TelecomTactics, a database publisher and analyst group within Access Intelligence LLC. Visit

Access Intelligence LLC
Estech Systems Inc.
Inter-Tel Inc.
Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co.
Samsung BCS

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