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October 31, 2012
Aastra Now Offers Virtual PBX Solution to Internet2 Members
By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

Virtual PBX and hosted PBX (News - Alert) solutions offer greater flexibility to enterprises as they eliminate the need to purchase expensive equipment for day-to-day communications. If a business moves, there is no PBX equipment to relocate, no phone numbers to change and no downtime.

In one of the latest unveilings in this space, recently Aastra, a provider of session initiation protocol (SIP)-based phone systems, has expanded its Internet2 NET (News - Alert)+ SIP Services and will now be offering PBX services powered by Aastra Clearspan.

The PBX offering was first revealed at the Spring 2012 Internet2 Member meeting and the company has plans to introduce additional components for its Clearspan Hosted Solution at the Fall 2012 Internet2 Member Meeting, further expanding the value for education and research institutions.

Some of the new capabilities include the Clearspan Communicator, Aastra (News - Alert) OnDemand Web Collaboration and Meet-Me Conferencing.

The Clearspan Communicator is a unified communications client for the PC, MAC, iPad, iPhone and Android (News - Alert) platforms that can be used to make and receive both voice and video calls as well as to initiate call control features, while Aastra OnDemand Web Collaboration offers a feature-rich Web and video conferencing tool for hosting online meetings, webinars and training. The service allows users to meet and collaborate online through voice and video conferencing, applications sharing, group chat, private chat, interactive whiteboards, and more.

Additionally, with Meet-Me Conferencing, users get an audio conferencing service supporting both scheduled and reservation-less conferences. The platform provides the ability to mute/unmute participants, lock/unlock the conference, dial out to participants, and record conferences.

According to Dr. Walt Magnussen, director of Telecommunications for Texas A&M University and co-director for the Texas A&M Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC), Internet2 is helping the community to work together to make available revolutionary functionalities such as the NET+ SIP Services that institutions likely couldn't access on their own, particularly when facing a lack of capital funding.

“And since the SIP Services solution is based 100 percent on industry standards, subscribers can benefit from additional functionality like these new features and any future applications,” Magnussen added in a statement.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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