Vinculum Communications: Hosted voice, fax, and conferencing for SMBs.
Part 37 of Phone for Rent: Understanding Hosted PBX Services In addition to selling corporate communications services, Vinculum operates an international long distance VoIP network.
Vinculum Communications, headquartered in San Diego, California, is a provider of VoIP services, with an objective to deliver reliable, cost-effective, integrated voice and data services to small and medium size businesses.
The word vinculum is Latin for "bond," as the company was founded in 2001 to build an extensive private international VoIP network to serve domestic and international communications carriers, and recently celebrated the termination of the 2.5 billionth minute through that network.
The companys 35 employees are located in sales offices throughout the United States and India, serving business customers worldwide, and posting $36 million in annual sales during the previous reporting period.
Vinculum has three distinct yet interconnected lines of business.
Vincomm provides international carrier services, transporting 60 million minutes per month to over 1,000 destinations in over 200 countries worldwide. This division has developed over 175 global carrier relationships, including deals with heavy hitters such as AT&T, British Telecom, NTT in Japan, Telecom New Zealand, Qwest, Sprint, and Verizon. This network is supported by redundant data centers at the InfoMart in Dallas, Texas, and at Time Warner Telecom in San Diego.
Vincall is a web-based international call service that claims to reduce international calling charges by 90 percent. It leverages the low cost Vincomm network for termination services, and can operate via any wireless or TDM network.
Vintalk provides hosted business communications services, including bundled Internet and phone service for small and medium sized businesses.
Leveraging the companys experience as a telecommunications provider, the Vintalk business unit operates and manages a proprietary hosted call control platform within the Vinculum network, bringing a wealth of scalable features, flexible packages, and low-cost long-distance calling to the retail SMB market. The service features high speed internet access using either DSL or T-1 circuits, a huge list of business communications features, plus support for a very broad spectrum of SIP telephones including those from Aastra, Cisco, Counterpath, Grandstream, Linksys, Polycom, Quintum, and snom.
Vintalks User Portal (VUP) is especially robust, and is made available to each user assigned an extension within their company domain. The VUP was developed on a LAMP (Linux, Apache Server, MySQL, and PHP) platform, and allows each user the flexibility of programming their extension feature set to suit exact business requirementsas well as the option to remotely change it on the fly without being physically next to their IP phone hardware. The VUP allows users to view all of the users within the domain, and then place a call by clicking on a name. Users can also review inbound and outbound call history by extension; provision a conference call with between 2 and 200 participants; record personalized voice greetings; check voicemail remotely; select unified messaging to forward voicemail to e-mail; and display current network activity.
In addition to the hosted PBX services, Vinculum has developed some targeted offerings that address specific customer requirements. Vinfax Internet Fax is designed to reduce the cost of outbound fax transmission. This service supports the ITU-T T.38 facsimile standard, and allows an existing fax machine to be attached to the Internet. Faxes are transmitted to the intended destination through Vinculum's secure, high speed network. This service provides for fax-to-fax, fax-to-e-mail, e-mail-to-fax, PC-to-fax, web-to-fax, and fax broadcast services, and includes web-based provisioning for service management.
The Vintrex service provides SIP trunking, allowing customers to upgrade their existing legacy PBX by replacing the existing analog trunks with connections to the Vintalk network, which then manages all incoming and outgoing calls.
The VinBridge Conference Calling application uses industry-standard SIP to provide advanced conferencing capabilities. Built on a scalable and reliable high-availability architecture, the conferencing application provides a reservationless, on-demand conference bridge for an unlimited number of participants. Customers get a dedicated local or toll-free dial-in number that never changes, and network administrators simply change a security PIN after each call through the Vintalk user portal. In addition, conference attendees can be stored for future use with "dial all" functionality, and online visibility is provided for the conference moderator.
Further information on the Vinculum Communications solutions can be found at www.vinculum.net. 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.