February 04, 2009
At ITEXPO East 2009, Allworx Debuts New IP Phone System 7.0 Features and the 9224 High-Fidelity Phone
By Richard Grigonis, Executive Editor, IP Communications Group
When it comes to getting the most “bang for the buck” for a small business phone system, Allworx (News - Alert) has long been the company to beat.
Yours Truly caught up with Allworx at ITEXPO (News - Alert) East 2009 being held in Miami, Florida Feb. 2-4. They’ve been demonstrating here two products to bolster their already impressive line of business communications systems: New software-based features for their IP-based phone system (System 7.0 Release) and the new Allworx 9224 phone, which has a high-fidelity wideband voice codec.
The new Allworx 9224 supports 24 PFKs (Programmable Function Keys) to 96 PFKs when you add Tx 92/24 Expander units. It has a large 192 × 64 graphical backlit display, supports up to 24 line appearances, has four “soft’ keys, a high-fidelity voice handset, a reversible handset hook, Dedicated Park and Hold feature keys, an RJ-11 headset port, navigation keys, support for Power over Ethernet (PoE), a visual ringing indicator, and an Ethernet switch. It has a speakerphone capability, but it also is hearing aid compatible. The 9224 also has a dedicated presence button, and has an adjustable stand, though it is also wall-mountable.
When plugged into the 9224, the Tx 92/24 Expander will automatically be detected by the 9224 phone. It also has 24 programmable function keys; you can connect up to three Expanders to have an additional 24, 48, or 72 programmable function keys, giving you a maximum of 96 including those on the phone. (All Tx Expanders attach to the preceding Tx unit in daisy chain fashion.) The Expanders will also give the system a maximum of 96 appearances. Since the Expanders are powered directly from the 9224 phone, no other power sources are needed.
Chris Talbot, Communications Manager at Allworx, says, “We’ve finally addressed some of the lingering ‘spaces’ that we had in the product lineup. We had the individual PBX (News - Alert) phone in the form of the model 9202. We had the workforce system PBX. But really, what we needed was that fully-featured, 24-button phone with the full expansion capabilities. We found that a barrier to entry to many small to medium sized businesses was the fact they had existing key systems that they had grown to love over the years. They often had a receptionist that used the key system with a full attendant position for the past 10 or 15 years. Even when we went to such companies and showed them a call assistant and a software application that could do exactly what the buttons did on the key system station, and in a more streamlined and sophisticated fashion, it still wasn’t getting us the sale. They just didn’t want to change their behaviors. Now, however, we can come in there with a 24-button phone and the expansion units that has the look and feel of the systems they’ve known and loved over the years, and that alone has driven considerable number of additional sales. Simply keeping the attendant position happy is a big thing.”
“There’s a lot to be said for imitating the traditional sidecar attendant model,” says Talbot. “The attendant can get up to speed quickly and we can make it function exactly the same way their phone system functioned in the past. Indeed, they can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Some people are willing to embrace the new software, which we see as the path to the future, obviously, with its web-enabled interface. But for those folks who want the traditional look-and-feel at the attendant position, well, we can do that too to keep them happy, because in many cases that was the only think keeping us from making a big sale.”
Richard Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC (News - Alert)�s IP Communications Group. To read more of Richard’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi