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Hosted IP Feature Article


March 05, 2007

Citel Makes VoIP Migration Easier with Portico Telephone Adapter

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Associate Editor

When updating telephone systems, the ability to quickly convert existing PBX (News - Alert) phones into IP phones using existing infrastructure is a great advantage for enterprises. One way service providers can offer this type of functionality is through hosted IP services.
Citel is doing just that with its hosted IP offerings. The company today announced availability of its new Portico Telephone VoIP Adapter, a product that quickly and easily converts PBX (News - Alert) phones into IP phones.
Using the Portico platform, enterprises can obtain the features and functions of VoIP without incurring costs associated with typical “rip and replace” upgrades. Migrating to VoIP thus becomes a relatively simple process, free from the cost of network upgrades, new handsets, and staff training.
Already, enterprises are reaping the benefits of the Portico platform. One such company is Montreal, Quebec-based Georouting Technologies.
“When we wanted to replace our aging Norstar system, ripping out our infrastructure, buying new IP phones, and retraining all our users simply wasn't an option,” Georouting president Allan Kobelansky said in a statement. “Portico is exactly what we needed. It was affordable, incredibly easy to install and configure, and, best of all, completely transparent to the employees. There was zero disruption to our business.”
Here’s how the Portico system works:
  1. The telephone VoIP adapter (TVA) connects legacy PBX handsets to a premise-based IP-PBX or hosted IP provider
  2. VoIP features and services pass through the TVA to existing handsets, using existing wiring—thus transforming the phones into VoIP phones
  3. A browser-based interface is used to set access advanced VoIP features like click-to-call, simultaneous ringing, and Microsoft (News - Alert) Outlook integration
”Recent research shows that an estimated $20.6 billion will be wasted on IP screen phones over the next five years,” Citel senior vice president Michael Burke said in a statement. “Portico provides a radical alternative to VoIP migration by removing the cost and complexity. With the TVA, businesses retain their existing infrastructure and telephones while gaining all the cost savings and productivity enhancements of IP telephony.”
When designing Portico, Citel made sure the system enabled the following advantages for enterprises:
  • Reduced monthly telecom operating expenses
  • Increased productivity
  • Continued return on existing investments
The Portico TVA—sold directly through Citel service providers and distributors—is now available in two versions: digital and analog. It interoperates with popular IP-PBX platforms including Asterisk (News - Alert), Avaya, and Pingtel and with hosted IP platforms such as BroadSoft and Sylantro.
Additionally, the Portico TVA is compatible with more than 100 handsets, including models from Avaya, Ericsson, NEC (News - Alert), Nortel, Panasonic, and Toshiba.
To learn more about Citel’s hosted IP solutions, please visit the company’s channel, Hosted IP.

Interested in learning more about hosted IP solutions? Be sure to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page. Also check out her Wireless Mobility blog.

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