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February 05, 2010

Positron Telecom's PBX Systems Enable Fast, Simple Deployment of Asterisk-based VoIP

By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet

Looking for a faster, simpler way to deploy VoIP across your organization? For small- to medium-sized business, Asterisk (News - Alert)-based telephony solutions provide an option to subscribing to hosted VoIP services -- and also offer greater flexibility in terms of control over features and capabilities, as well as integration with other systems.

Many organizations have found that they can save even more on their communications costs, in the long run, compared to going the hosted route, by deploying their own in-house PBX (News - Alert) systems. Sure, there is an up-front capital investment that must be made, but once the system is up and running the organization avoids the need to pay a monthly subscription for a hosted VoIP service -- which can add up to huge savings over time.

The challenge in the past, however, has been installation: Most Asterisk-based PBX systems are complex, tedious and time consuming to install. To address this challenge, Canada-based Positron Telecom has developed a line of “plug-and-play” Asterisk-based PCI (News - Alert) cards that bundle Asterisk, Linux, PBX, gateway, echo canceller and Ethernet all on the same card for the purpose of simplifying installation.

Positron Telecom’s all-in-one PBX systems, geared for SMBs with 2 to 100 lines, represent a change in approach compared to the traditional open source telephony card market in that they can be quickly and easily installed on any PC. By interfacing Ethernet with the PCI bus, its solutions are operating system independent, with no special drivers required. In addition, all processing happens on the card, requiring no CPU power. What’s more, because the company’s PBX systems are Ethernet based this allows boards with different telephony interfaces to co-exist within the same host PC.

As a result of their “all-in-one” design, Positron’s PBX systems are many times faster and simpler to install and configure, compared to competing Asterisk-based telephony products. Positron claims its PBX systems help organizations lower their cost per port, while achieving better reliability and security, improved quality of service, and the ability to gain features and capabilities that competing vendors have not yet been able to deliver on a single PCI card. The company’s solutions offer an even more compelling return on investment when integrated with VMware -- thus facilitating a virtualized, cost effective and feature-rich telephony system.

Currently Positron Telecom’s V-Series consists of three on-card PBX systems: The V-114 (FXO, FXS, Ethernet), the V-214 (ISDN, FXS, Ethernet) and the V-310 (E1/T1, FXS, Ethernet). The company also offers two standalone IP gateways, the G-124 (analog) and the G-320 (E1/T1 PRI). The V-214 ISDN card, in particular, has been a hot seller in Europe, due in part to the fact that Positron Telecom has established agreements with numerous leading retail distributors across the region, including Mapleleaf Technologies, WildEx, Bitmovers Srl and VoIPon Solutions (not to mention numerous agreements with distributors in South America, the U.S., Canada, Scandinavia and other regions).

The company has also established some important interoperability partnerships in the past year – for example, in October Positron announced that its V-Series is fully interoperable with Vyatta’s open networking and security software, thus providing an easy to use, integrated voice and data networking solution. In addition its solutions are interoperable with Microsoft (News - Alert) Office Communicator -- in fact, Positron Telecom’s PBX systems can interface “out-of-the-box” with just about any application that uses SIP, or session initiation protocol -- another key differentiator between its products and those of its competitors.

When asked what the target market is for Positron Telecom’s PBX systems, company president Richard McGravie explained that the solution is geared for resellers, distributors and partner vendors looking for a simpler way to meet their customers’ various needs, without having to go down the road of complex, “customized” deployments.

“We are approaching vendors like Vyatta,” McGravie explained during a recent interview with TMC’s (News - Alert) Tom Keating, who recently wrote a positive review of Positron’s V-114 card. “We have a neat application for them because we're an Ethernet adaptor and they're just like a firewall/routing type appliance. They've got line interfaces from Sangoma and others, but it's not an application -- it's just another interface. So it doesn't generate incremental sales for them. By installing one of our cards in their system you can then add secure VoIP routing and firewalling. So it becomes more for the reseller base to easily sell.”

McGravie added that resellers and vendors prefer Positron’s PBX systems “since they don't have to rewrite code or learn a new API interface to a card since Positron's solution is 100 percent SIP-based.”

To learn more about Canada-based Positron Telecom’s plug-and-play PBX systems, click here.

Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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