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January 2010 | Volume 13 / Number 1
Feature Story

ADTRAN Adds UC to Its Slate of Next-Gen, Converged Communications Solutions

By: Paula Bernier

ADTRAN (News - Alert) has expanded into the unified communications space, having last month introduced a handful of new UC products to complement its existing voice over IP solutions.

“We’ve had excellent momentum on our IP telephony solutions,” says Gary Bolton (News - Alert), vice president of global marketing at ADTRAN, adding the company recently expanded its 7100 product from 50 users to 100 users. “Our NetVanta 7000 series is getting some really strong traction from not only end users and resellers, but also from our service provider market. So we’re very, very excited.”

The NetVanta Unified Communications (News - Alert) Solution Suite of products deliver voice mail, unified messaging, fax server and auto attendant. ADTRAN says the solutions are notable due to their ease of use, interoperability with legacy equipment, user-defined functionalities and tie-ins to communications-enabled business processes.

The first four members of the suite are the NetVanta UC Server, which works with any existing PBX; the NetVanta Business Communications System, a solution that includes ADTRAN’s existing VoIP solution with UC integrated; the NetVanta Enterprise Communications (News - Alert) Server, a solution for 75 to 2,000 users; and the NetVanta Business Application Server. All of the above can be delivered as individual solutions or as part of a broader solution that may also entail ADTRAN routers, switches and/or IP telephony phones.

The Business Application Server allows businesses to tie their existing communications systems in with their databases. There are variety of business verticals – including banking, education, health care, hospitality, real estate and retail – for which this makes sense, but Bolton provides an example of how the solution might work in a real estate application.

With the Business Application Server a real estate office could implement a solution whereby potential buyers could come up to a house and dial number on real estate sign on the lawn of an available home, and if a person wasn’t available to take their call the call could go straight to a database and using text-to-speech functionality it could provide the caller with more details about the home. The system could also be configured to allow callers to use their phone touchpads to request additional information be sent to them via email or fax, he says. ADTRAN’s find me/follow me feature, he continues, could help callers track down realtors. Conversely, Bolton explains, realtors would be able to use the solution to get information on who’s been inquiring about which homes, and enable those agents easily to follow up with those prospects.

“As you look at communications going forward, they become more and more integrated,” says Bolton, adding that UC can enable people to do things like update websites, notifying patients of their appointments, checking messages and much more from wherever they are.

The bulk of the technology underlying these new UC offers comes from Objectworld (News - Alert) Communications Corp., a unified communications solution provider that ADTRAN bought for approximately $1.5 million in cash back in September, according to a 10-Q filing.

The deal enabled ADTRAN to advance quickly its position in the UC space and allows Objectworld to be part of a company that is able to get a bigger share of customer spends. Objectworld’s one dozen employees are now part of ADTRAN and the former Objectworld CEO Dave Levy is now an ADTRAN consultant. IT

The NetVanta UC Solutions Suite

NetVanta UC Server

This software-based UC application is designed for customers with an existing PBX (News - Alert). This solution allows customers to leverage their investment in legacy business communications systems and transition to IP telephony at their own pace.

It’s designed for Microsoft (News - Alert) Windows platforms and can accommodate 2,000 or more users per server. It can support UC on one or more different types of PBXs from various vendors. Features include unified messaging, fax server, auto-attendants, personal assistants, graphical drag-and drop non-programmatic service creation, response (IVR) for inbound and outbound calling services, integration with ODBC databases, text to speech, one number services, call redirection services, notifications, and more.

NetVanta Business Communications System

This solution combines ADTRAN’s NetVanta 7000 Series IP-PBXs with the NetVanta UC Server enhanced with click-to-dial capabilities and an integrated conference server. The solution also includes NetVanta UC Server’s database connectivity option as an added bonus.

Targeted at small to medium-sized enterprises requiring an IP-based voice system with full UC capabilities, this solution supports up to 100 users per platform and is designed for new installations or remote locations where a complete voice/data/security platform is needed.

NetVanta Enterprise Communications Server

This software-only solution provides a complete IP-based voice system for larger enterprises, scaling from 5 to 2,000 users on a single server. Designed for use with Microsoft Windows and Active Directory, this SIP-based platform offers a full soft IP-PBX that is complemented with all the UC features of NetVanta UC Server, plus click-to-dial, an integrated conference server, a paging server for overhead paging.

It addresses businesses of all sizes and brings together voice, email, fax, paging, emergency notification, corporate data and more together in phone-based applications that streamline and automate business processes and customer service.

NetVanta Business Application Server

Scalable to more than 200 concurrent calls, this Microsoft Windows-based software solution allows businesses of all stripes to implement cost-effective CEBP.

It leverages a graphical drag-and-drop non-programmatic service creation environment found on all NetVanta UC solutions to allow IT and telecom professionals to create tailored communications services quickly and easily.

Its database capabilities enable queries to leverage data in Line of Business (LOB) application databases using built-in functions such as dial-for-data, retrieve, update, add, and delete database fields. It also provides fax capabilities to integrate fax reception and transmission into communications services, a paging server to integrate overhead paging, and on-the-fly email creation capabilities, all of which operate in conjunction with ODBC databases. IT

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