CommPartners: Veteran hosted VoIP provider now offers 'everything telecom.'
CommPartners, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, has an interesting slogan: "You dont have to know how. You just have to know us."
The privately held company, founded in 1995 as a nationwide wholesale provider of hosted PBX solutions and SIP trunking services, has now branched out into many cutting-edge areas of telecommunications, including
- live webinars with interactive user participation, that are similar to in-person meetings
- live webcasts, used for employee training and continuing education, that can include audio, video, and data
- hybrid conferences that include information from either a studio or on-site sources
- telephone and web-based conferencing for either spontaneous phone conferences or online presentations to thousands of participants
- social mediaincluding chat events, blogs, podcasts and e-communities
- e-marketing, such as integrated e-mail, e-surveys, and e-faxes
The firms communications services, which were initiated in 2003, are marketed under the CommPartners Connect brand, which has obtained competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) status in 49 states and the District of Columbia. This certification means that they have passed regulatory requirements for financial fitness, management experience, and business plans in each of those jurisdictions.
The breadth of the company's coverage is also extensive: It can port or provide local numbers to serve over 94 percent of the calling public in the United Statesthe only exceptions being some rural areas outside of its coverage area. This nationwide IP network is designed to deliver reliable, high quality, competitively priced carrier and wholesale hosted IP services for business including IP PBX, IPTrunking, broadband access T1, and hosted contact center services.
The company distinguishes itself with the design of its network infrastructure, which includes four fully meshed and redundant major "SuperPop" switching centers in the U.S. (New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and Las Vegas) that have been engineered to support carrier class voice service for business. This network features Sonus Networks and Telica switches and a Broadsoft application platform that are interconnected via high-capacity fiber links. In addition, the company has formed strategic alliances with such heavyweights as Acme Packet, Alcatel-lucent, Cisco Systems, Global Crossing, Level 3 Communications, and Polycom.
The hosted IP PBX solution, known as IPComplete, is targeted at the small and medium business segment (up to 100 end users). The service is available with different three feature sets:
IPComplete Dial Tone includes a dedicated call path and line, with basic features such as authentication, call waiting, call transfer, calling line ID delivery blocking, and basic call logs.
IPComplete Enterprise Standard adds more features, including call park, pickup, return and waiting, hunt groups, music on hold, speed dialing, voice mail, and voice messaging to e-mail conversions.
IPComplete Enterprise Premium includes all of the above, and adds account authorization codes, call forwarding selective, a busy lamp field, push-to-talk (intercom), sequential ringing, integration with Microsoft Outlook, and more. There are also optional ala carte features that can be added, including an attendant console, an auto attendant, conferencing bridge, IP fax, and toll free numbers.
Another available option, the IPCallRecord service, is a cost-effective hosted call recording solution that is touted as being legally compliant and highly reliable. This service is a value-added feature that allows both inbound and outbound calls to be recorded and stored as MPEG files for up to 30 days. Up to 5,000 minutes per month of call recording is included per call recording user. The system comes with a web-based administrative portal that provides access to recorded files and stored call detail records.
CommPartners Connect does not sell hardware, but its resellers typically include customer premise equipment such as phones, routers, and so on, as part of the complete communication package delivered to the customer. The company has certified and authorized a variety of SIP endpoints and gateways for use on its network in association with its hosted services platform, including equipment from Aastra, Cisco, Cyberdata, Linksys, Mediatrix, Polycom, and UTStarcom.
The company also offers the IPFaxSolution, which gives users the ability to receive incoming faxes via e-mail. When the customer signs up for this service, they are assigned a direct inward dialing (DID) number that mimics the tones of a fax machine. When a fax machine dials this IPFaxSolution number, the proper signals are sent out to the fax machine to initiate fax transmission. The incoming transmission is then converted into a PDF image file, attached to an e-mail, and delivered to the designated inbox.
The IPTrunking service is a versatile, cost-effective PBX integration and PRI replacement service that offers the benefits of VoIP service for companies that choose to retain an existing PBX/Key system, providing Internet connectivity for both voice and data. For this service, the customer purchases a limited number of lines that closely matches the actual business needs, and then leverages the data connection to simultaneously serve both voice and data media.
Further information on the CommPartners Connect solutions can be found at http://commpartnersconnect.com/. Our next tutorial will continue our review of various service providers hosted voice solutions.
Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2009 DigiNet Corporation®, All Rights Reserved
Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet Corporation®, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.