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Products & Services Selection Guide
August 2001

Roundup: Voice ASPs

As the era of convergence unfolds, let's look at the eternal questions that vex all IT managers when faced with implementing a new service -- "Can someone else do this for us easier, cheaper, and faster, or should I try to cobble together a solution (and support it) in-house? Should we do this ourselves or should we lean on an Application Service Provider (ASP)? Now, multiply the dread and confusion when the solutions or services in question are mission-critical telephony apps.

This Roundup features several leaders in the voice services market, those who provide IP or broadband-based services such as VoIP, unified messaging, IVR, and VoP. Use it as a guide as you begin your search, and as you decide whether or not is it time to call in the cavalry.

-The Editors

430 Bedford St.
Lexington, MA 02420

Informio SpeedMail for Lotus Domino is a "behind the firewall" voice-enabled e-mail solution that meets the needs of both mobile professionals and the IT team that safeguards enterprise information assets. Using Informio SpeedMail, mobile professionals can use voice and audio technologies for immediate access to critical business information from any phone, anytime, anywhere.

eco8.net Corporation
P.O. Box 5226
Diamond Bar, CA 91726-5226

eco8.net is a content distribution networks provider which provides a point-to-point DS3/STM-1 international private lease line connectivity and communications services to businesses in the US, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. eco8.net can offer companies with offices in great China region with broadband high speed internet access, VoIP, clear channel, and Layer 2 virtual private networking services.

MicroTelco Services
Quicknet Technologies, Inc.
520 Townsend St., Suite D
San Francisco, CA 94103

MicroTelco Services incorporates the most advanced features and services that IP telephony can provide, by integrating multiple Internet telephone service providers (ITSPs) together in a convenient, simple to use online account center for greater reliability and flexibility. MicroTelco Services delivers Internet-based voice calls (from your PC to a standard phone) and Internet-based faxes (from your PC to a fax machine or multiple fax machines and/or to e-mail addresses). MicroTelco guarantees improved service, competitive rates and control over long distance charges.

Ascent Computing Group, Inc.
199 Main St., Suite 314
White Plains, NY 10601
Ascent's newly developed AscenTel product is proprietary software that enables companies of all sizes to deliver enterprise and Internet data to their customers and mobile employees simply by using voice. AscenTel uniquely voice-enables all business applications running on any operating system using VoiceXML enhanced with natural language processing. Users now have the ability to request and receive information verbally from enterprise databases and conduct transactions over an authenticated, secure, and reliable infrastructure.

ITXC WebtalkNOW! Service
600 College Rd. East
Princeton, NJ 08540

ITXC WebtalkNOW! Service gives portals, ITSPs, ISPs, and other Internet-based companies a turnkey solution for offering self-branded, retail, Web-to-phone service to their customers. ITXC WebtalkNOW! Service enables these companies' customers to call from the Web to any phone in the world, typically at a substantially lower cost than the traditional telephone network.

PAR3 Communications
100 South King St.
Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98104

PAR3 helps companies leverage their rich enterprise-level customer data and exchange highly tailored, interactive alerts with their customers via telephones, pagers, hand-held Web devices, fax machines, and e-mail -- how and when the customer chooses.

1111 Military Cutoff Dr., Suite 221
Wilmington, NC 28405

TalkingNets, a telephony ASP, provides wholesale telephony solutions that allow broadband service providers and telecom resellers to offer next generation voice services to small and medium-sized businesses. Using a server-based IP telecom architecture, TalkingNets enables Channel Partners to sell basic and advanced voice services, as well as a variety of enhanced applications -- applications that previously required end-users to purchase, maintain, and manage their own on-premises hardware.

6700 North Andrews Ave., Suite 200
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 33309

TeleComputing is a leading multi-national ASP and an ASP enabler with more than 400 customers worldwide. Building on its successful ASP model for small and medium-sized businesses, TeleComputing now offers a Private Label ASP solution for telecom service providers that enables them to deliver ASP solutions to their customers. It enables service providers to deliver applications such as Microsoft Exchange, Office, Great Plains, and Commerce Server on top of core network and collocation facilities.

IP Centrex
Complete Internet Solutions, Inc. (CompleteIS)
Internet Exchange Building, Suite 300
411 Washington Ave. North
Minneapolis, MN 55401

A new, Internet-based business communications service, featuring Voice-over-IP technology, PBX functionality, unified voice/e-mail/fax messaging and high speed Internet access is now available from CompleteIS. As a feature-rich alternative to standard business-class phone service, this offering integrates voice and data services over a dedicated, high-speed digital connection to the PSTN and the Internet.

IP Communications
WorldCom, Inc.
500 Clinton Center Dr.
Clinton, MS 39056

Designed to operate over a variety of networks, IP Communications unlocks multimedia applications and allows users to improve productivity, quality of communication and save on equipment costs. IP Communications is interoperable with existing PBXs, can terminate to the PSTN, and is based on SIP. IP Communications includes features such as private dial plans, IP phones, Web-based user profiles, and enhanced services, such as presence and unified messaging.

370 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10017

iCallView is a Web-based call accounting system (for traditional switches or VOIP) that enables organizations to increase productivity and corporate security, while allocating telecommunications costs for optimal expense management. As an ASP, MBG gathers the CDR data from electronic vendor bills and polled SMDR records and makes it available to the client via either intranet or the Internet.

Kancharla Corporation
2121 Metro Circle
Huntsville, AL 35801

UniVerse is a communication service that seamlessly integrates voice, data, and Internet on the same connection and the same bill. Unlike traditional services, UniVerse uses IP for delivery of both data and voice. There is no capital investment, because Kancharla provides, maintains, and upgrades all necessary equipment for UniVerse customers. Kancharla next-generation products and services provide flexibility, adjusting to a business' needs and never becoming obsolete. UniVerse provides everything your business needs for effective communications bundled into a simple, affordable package. Services include local calling, long-distance calling, digital telephone systems and equipment, broadband Internet access, e-mail, and Web hosting.

20 Second Ave.
Burlington, MA 01803

For its Internet Telephony Services, iBasis carries toll-quality IP voice and fax traffic for more than 110 carrier customers, including such brand names as AT&T, Cable & Wireless, China Mobile, China Unicom, Concert, Qwest, NTT, Telstra, Sprint, WorldCom, and Verizon -- and iBasis currently carries on average from 10 to 35 percent of ALL voice traffic from the U.S. to more than 14 countries worldwide -- including China, Mexico, and the former Soviet Union. Most of these carriers utilize the global iBasis Voice-over-IP network without their customers knowing or detecting any difference in service quality.

Contact Center Solutions
Tundo Corporation
1500 W. Park Dr., Suite 200
Westborough, MA 01581-3936

Tundo's IP Contact Center initiative builds upon its carrier-grade media control platform, the Tundo DOT Server. Tundo's solutions for call center customers include Tundo Boundless Call Center and the Tundo HomePort. Tundo's Boundless Call Center allows enterprise and outsourced contact centers to smoothly migrate to a full-featured IP contact center architecture; customers can "build it once" and cost-effectively extend their core capabilities (specifically, PBX, ACD, and CTI applications) to anywhere in the world using IP technology. Tundo's HomePort solution allows customers to extend the voice and media from a contact center to remote agents working from their homes.

Prairie Systems, Inc.
7200 World Communications Dr.
Omaha, NE 68122

Prairie Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of integrated messaging, Internet, and telephone communication solutions. Founded in 1990, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company delivers enhanced applications via open-architecture, multimedia platforms. Prairie Systems' range of services includes Interactive Voice Response, voice broadcast, speech recognition, digital replay, e-mail broadcast, fax, unified messaging, and transcription solutions.

Hosted Communications Services
AccessLine Communications
11201 SE 8th St.
Bellevue, WA 98004

AccessLine's telco-grade Hosted Communications Services enable your business to rapidly launch new services and increase revenue without investing in development or hardware. Their comprehensive product and back-office services insure that your business has a complete solution for every requirement. Accessline provides a telco-grade system with a broad feature set, customer service, billing services, service creation environment, and provisioning.

VocalPoint Voice ASP
VocalPoint Technologies
847 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

VocalPoint VoiceASP is a complete outsourced enterprise-class voice solution, incorporating service creation, hosting, and delivery. With VocalPoint VoiceASP, customers can access content from virtually any Internet or Intranet site and deliver it live, via speech, to any phone. For customers not wanting to manage their own voice deployment, VocalPoint VoiceASP allows extremely fast implementation of services connecting existing Web content because it leverages existing HTML and XML content, automatically converting Web content to voice.

Net Talk

Net Talk was created to develop interactive voice and visual applications for the benefit of business and commercial enterprises. Net Talk is dedicated to bringing quality live audio and collaborative communications technologies to the end user that will provide a sophisticated, high-performance solution, that is small, fast to download and easy to use. The long-term goal of Net Talk is to establish a significant market share of the VoIP collaboration software industry.

Sylantro Communications Suite
Sylantro Systems
910 East Hamilton Ave.
Campbell, CA 95008

With the Sylantro Communications Suite of applications, managed telephony services are hosted on the services providers network and then "rented" to end users in the same way as the Applications Service Provider (ASP) model. This "rent versus buy" model means that end users can rent capabilities rather than buying expensive PBX or Key systems that can cost between $20K to $50K upfront. Sylantro's application-enabled softswitch architecture means that service providers can offer high margin services that offer rich telephony capabilities without the need for expensive Class 5 switches.

Speaklink, Inc.
2901 South 128th St.
Seattle, WA, 98168

Speaklink, Inc. is a global voice technology, consulting and hosted solutions provider to enterprises, system integrators, and ASPs. Speaklink Voice Application Server is a standards-based development environment that allows for rapid, speech platform-agnostic (ASR, TTS, and VoiceXML Interpreter) voice application design and deployment. Speaklink Building Blocks are modular and reusable Java applications that perform singular tasks on their own or interconnect to execute complex functions. Speaklink's 56 "Web-services-ready" building blocks generate 100 percent VoiceXML output.

Acacia Teleservices International
270 Oakway Center
Eugene, OR 97401

Acacia has a suite of products which provides a range of integrated voice, CRM / Database and call center services to small and large business utilizing an ASP model. Virtual office, Virtual Call Center, Dynamic ACD, and a unique perspective on conferencing allows Acacia to minimize the capital costs for clients. Acacia supports integration with traditional systems as well as Cisco AVVID specific enhancements.

Enhanced Service Providers, LLC (ESP)
18 Columbia Rd.
Pembroke, MA 02359

ESP's Com1One is not a single product, but many products in one. This multiple functionality has been modularly designed to match the requirements of a variety of applications on a "virtual" basis. Virtual services include: Virtual PBX/Centrex, Virtual Private Network, Unified Messaging, Auto Call Attendant, Personal Assistant, Smart Calling Card, Disaster Recovery System, Direct Dial Conferencing, and many others.

Voice Web Application Platform
910 East Hamilton Ave., Suite 200
Campbell, CA 95008-0625

Telera's Voice Web Application Platform is based on standard Web tools and technology, enabling service providers to deliver Web-driven voice applications that facilitate consistent customer service, improve satisfaction and increase revenue-generating opportunities for their enterprise customers. The platform allows SPs to provide their customers with a unified development environment for Internet and voice applications. Telephony applications including touchtone and speech-enabled IVR, voice recording, complex queuing, routing, and outbound call management, can now be developed and deployed as Web applications.

CNS 3200
congruency, Inc.
340 West Passaic St.
Rochelle Park, NJ 07662

The congruency Network System (CNS) 3200 enhanced Hosted Communications Platform enables carriers and enterprises to deploy hosted infrastructure surfaces over next-generation broadband networks. The CNS 3200 enables the delivery of packet telephony over VPNs and managed networks as well as the ability to offer new communication services to IP telephones, including screen-enabled IP telephones. When integrated with standards-based networking equipment and VoIP gateways, the CNS 3200 provides for the development and deployment of features not available with traditional telephony equipment.

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