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VoIP Feature Article


April 13, 2007

Sphere IP-PBX and Quintum Gateway Interoperability Offers Robust IP Communications for Multi-Site Enterprises

Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Associate Editor

In the IP communications industry, it is often the case that two companies partnering can provide more robust solutions for their clients than if each operates on a completely individual. That was the tact taken this week by Sphere Communication and Quintum (News - Alert) Technologies, who announced that their products are now certified interoperable.
The two companies teamed up to ensure that Sphere’s Sphericall IP-PBX (News - Alert) and Quintum’s Tenor line of VoIP gateways work together seamlessly. The result is that enterprises now have access to a powerful set of options capable of delivering reliable communications services in multiple office locations.
In an e-mail correspondence, Sphere Senior Vice President Todd Landry told TMCnet that this is a new partnership for the two companies, made possible by the introduction of “Survivable” features in Quintum’s gateways.
A joint news release from the two companies explained that Quintum’s Tenor gateways now contain a local SIP proxy that provides “survivability” for local SIP endpoints and intelligent call routing. This means that, if connectivity to the central IP-PBX is lost, any SIP-based IP communications functions remain operational.
This new feature, combined with the other Tenor capabilities, make Sphere’s IP-PBX and Quintum’s gateways a natural match.
“Sphere’s IP PBX provides a fully distributed, feature rich unified communications solution,” Landry told TMCnet. “When combined with the Quintum gateways the solution offers the right level of capabilities for remote office interfaces to analog trunks and station devices (eg. fax machines), and allows these remote offices to continue to operate under circumstances where connectivity to the HQ communications services may be interrupted.”
By bringing their products together, Landry added, the two companies are providing resellers and end-users with a flexible solution capable of meeting specific business needs and preferences.
Some of the advantages of the combined Sphere and Quintum system include:
• Complete remote office emergency telephony solution
• Transparent operation during WAN interruption
• Intelligent call routing – utilizing local number/trunks
• Virtually unlimited scalability
• Enterprise-wide Unified Communications (News - Alert)
• Common enterprise-wide dial plan
• Very cost effective remote site solution
• Simplified, centralized administration
In particular, the Unified Communications aspect of the system, designed for enterprises with multiple locations, is worth noting.
“Operating over a company wide IP network a company can now distribute their Sphericall servers at appropriate locations while delivering the services across all locations – providing a full suite of unified communications capabilities,” Landry explained. “In the unlikely event that a remote location looses connectivity with it’s Sphericall server the SIP Proxy capabilities of the Quintum gateways automatically kick-in and preserve the ability for the remote office to continue to communicate.”
Landry stressed the importance of open standards in making this interoperability possible, especially the use of SIP in the Sphericall IP-PBX and Tenor gateways.
“SIP is the most important standard that has enabled this opportunity, with SIP-based IP telephones, SIP-based Quintum gateways, and SIP-based IP PBX and Unified Communications from Sphericall we are able to bring these important capabilities to market,” he told TMCnet.
Landry added that, while SIP is an industry standard that enables integration between products from different vendors, certifying that connectivity through interoperability testing is still very important.
“Enterprises should know that while all of these components are based on industry standards such as SIP, it is still important to bring the components together and certify their interoperability,” he said. “Sphere has taken the step to provide the very software that was certified on the IP telephones and gateways  on its resource disk (DVD) to make it low friction for resellers and enterprises to align each product.”
In the news release, Quintum vice president Chuck Rutledge noted that bringing Tenor gateways and the Sphericall IP-PBX together delivers to multi-site enterprises the critical function of business continuity.
 “This combination provides an extremely scalable and very reliable solution for multi-site businesses,” Rutledge said in a statement.
To learn more about the Sphere and Quintum products discussed in this article, please visit the companies’ TMCnet.com channels, IP-PBX and VoIP.

Interested in learning more about IP telephony? 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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