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December 1998

This month's winners:
Cisco Systems' Cisco AccessPath-VS3
Solect Technology Group's Solect IAF/3
Ariel Corporation's Ariel RSA400

Cisco AccessPath-VS3
Cisco Systems, Inc.
170 West Tasman Dr.
San Jose, CA 95134
Web site: www.cisco.com

Cisco's fully integrated dial access system, the Cisco AccessPath-VS3, merges universal Internet telephony, switching, and high-speed backhaul routing into one scalable architecture for quick and reliable transmission of toll-quality voice and fax services over data networks at reduced operational costs. An extension of the AccessPath product family, the system is equipped with assembled components and an easy-to-use Web-based configuration tool that enables quick deployment.

Internet telephony service providers (ITSPs) and expanding corporate intranets are expected to utilize the AccessPath-VS3 for intracompany phone calling and faxing, phone-to-phone communications through PBXs and key systems, real-time fax to fax exchanges, and PC-to-phone transmissions. The AccessPath-VS3 offers toll bypass as well as toll-quality voice transmission, universally accessible voice and fax-mail systems, technology prefix support, remote zone lookup, and zone management.

The system also maintains Call Detail Records (CDRs), and an integrated H.323 gatekeeper designed to increase reliability and curb user costs. At present, the system can accommodate 48- to 1008-port capacity for T1 configurations and 60- to 1,260-port capacity for E1 configurations. It is equipped to accommodate four times its current density in anticipation of the next generation of AccessPath systems, expected to be scalable beyond 5000-port capacity.

The AccessPath-VS3 delivers on Quality of Service (QoS) with an availability of 99.99998 percent, leading to less than 6.5 seconds of down time per year. It supports 42 ISDN Primary Rate Interfaces (PRIs) initially with a capacity for up to 168 PRIs. The product is sent to consumers tested, documented, and assembled with primary components that utilize the Cisco Dial Access Stacking Architecture. Components include the Cisco AS5300 platform with voice/fax feature cards, Cisco IOS software, routing and switching products, a system controller and fully tested system configurations, and optional Cisco 3640 gatekeepers. The AccessPath-VS3 is available in mid-range, high-end, and high-end dual cabinet configurations.

For more information, contact Cisco at 800-553-6387, or visit their Web site at www.cisco.com.

Solect IAF/3
Solect Technology Group

55 University Ave., 15th Fl.
Toronto, ON MSJ 2H7 Canada
Web site: www.solect.com

The newly released IAF/3 (Internet Administration Framework) from Solect Technology Group focuses on the emerging IP-based public network by integrating customer care, service management solutions, and end-to-end billing within a flexible framework. The product's CORBA-based open architecture allows information to be shared throughout an organization across multiple servers and enables Service Providers to enact additional services without upgrading or purchasing new billing systems.

One difference between the IAF/3 and its predecessors is its ability to reduce costs to service providers through flexibility and scalability. While monthly flat fees and timed connections are no longer sufficient measures of customer usage, the IAF/3 rates and bills for complex services. Usage-based billing for new IP services like Internet telephony and video conferencing, as well as traditional services like e-commerce and dedicated access, is just one way the IAF/3 increases provider revenues. A flexible Web-based graphical user interface (GUI) to the rating engine allows providers to create, edit, and manage pricing rules.

The IAF/3 focuses on customer care and service management as well, with Java and Web-based architecture that allows providers to maintain complete control of user account information. Advanced customer self-care provides customers with billing and account information as well as immediate access to services without provider involvement, further reducing costs. The framework also promotes brand loyalty with auto registration that enables CD promotions and allows providers to cross sell their products. A Provisioning Data Collector toolkit allows new services to register themselves and offer a configurable set of features that can be administered and added to existing installations without service interruption.

Other features of the IAF/3 include electronic customer billing with flexible formats, support for multiple languages, currencies, and taxation systems, and carrier-class scalability through joint development with Bellcore. The product also distinguishes itself by exposing all service attributes including Quality of Service (QoS). And, marketing drives price management, discounts, and bundles through advanced product management features.

The IAF/3 will be available to the public in the first quarter of 1999 on Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard Unix platforms, supporting Windows 95/NT clients. It is available immediately to charter customers.

For additional information, contact Solect at 416-363-7844 or visit their Web site at www.solect.com.

Ariel RSA400
Ariel Corporation

2540 Route 130
Cranbury, NJ 08512
Web site: www.ariel.com

Enhancing their entry into the small and medium office market, Ariel Corporation has introduced the RSA400 single-slot PCI-based remote access solution. This multi-function modem pool provides PC Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and white box manufacturers with an easy solution for adding as many as eight ports of V.90-compatible 56-kbps dial-up access to PC servers. The RSA400 enables businesses to add Internet and remote access, online services, and shared fax services to their networks for convenient remote networking solutions. It comes with drivers that allow out-of-box installation under Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server and Windows NT Server, as well as a Driver Development Kit (DDK) for installation under other operating systems.

The scalable RSA400 is a plug-and-play card available with four or eight 56K modem ports. Its flexibility allows businesses to install additional RSA400 cards as demand for remote access increases. The card supports modem and fax sharing, allowing multiple users to access inbound and outbound data communications. It also allows multilink channel aggregation, which combines multiple 56K channels to form a single high-speed channel. A combination of eight channels would allow Internet access at rates of up to 448K.

Simple hardware setup of the RSA400 involves plugging the card into an empty PCI slot and connecting it to a regular telephone line. A software installation wizard automatically detects and configures the card. The product can be administered through a local network or remotely via modem, and uses the Routing and Remote Access Services (RAS) built into the server running it, including multiprotocol routing, domains, directories, and multilink PPP channel aggregation. The card also makes use of Windows authentication and security measures like PAP/CHAP and callback as well as third-party authentication systems.

The RSA400 is available immediately for OEM customers. Pricing starts at $1,195 for the four-port card and $1,995 for the eight-port modem pool.

Contact Ariel Corporation at 609-860-2900 for additional information or visit their Web site at www.ariel.com.

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