ADTRAN Expands VoIP Portfolio for SMBs

More and more small and medium-size businesses are migrating to voice over IP, and ADTRAN, Inc. wants to help get them there.

Last year the Huntsville Alabama-based company released an all-in-one, network-infrastructure-and-IP phone-system solution, the NetVanta® 7100 (which we reported on at the time).

Yesterday ADTRAN announced a refinement of the 7100, the NetVanta 7060, which leaves out the IP router and a couple of other interface features, but retains all the PBX functionality.

ADTRAN’s senior product manager for voice products, Chris Thompson, explained in a recent briefing that the 7060 is really the offspring of customer demand. “A lot of our customers thought the 7100 was a great product, but their concern was that they had a large investment in an existing data infrastructure, and really didn’t feel they could just abandon that in favor of an all-in-one solution—even though it was easier to manage. What they really needed was an IP PBX, not all the functionality that the 7100 could bring.”

Hence the NetVanta 7060.

Like its older sibling the SIP-based 7060 supports up to 50 stations, and integrates voicemail, a multi-level auto-attendant, a DHCP server, a SIP-friendly firewall, and a graphic user interface for system configuration and phone setup.

Also like its sibling, it includes a 24-port PoE switch, functions in both PBX and ‘key system’ modes, and supports a full range of trunking interfaces, including full T1, full PRI, Ethernet, analog, and—new to both the 7060 and the 7100—SIP trunks direct to the carrier or ITSP.

NetVanta 7060 IP PBX and Phones
ADTRAN NetVanta 7060 and the IP 706 and 712 Phones
Click to see full-size image

And there’s more new functionality: ADTRAN has provided a system scheduler (which lets the auto attendant respond differently at different times of day and night). Also built in is a Wi-Fi controller for the NetVanta 150 Wireless Access Point.

But Chris Thompson’s favorite new feature is Voice Quality Management (VQM) technology.

Seeing no need to re-invent the wheel, ADTRAN has integrated VQmon® technology from Telchemy, an early and well-established developer of performance management gear.

Not content simply to integrate Telchemy’s software, Thompson explained that ADTRAN has “gone above and beyond in developing some graphical displays of information. We can generate real-time charts and graphs. Everything is clickable,” so IT staff can drill down for more detailed information.

One of the more intriguing VQM features is what ADTRAN is calling ‘multi-term searches.’ There’s a Search box in the GUI where you can enter terms that will quickly narrow your hunt for specific information.

Thompson sketched out a hypothetical example of a customer or end-user calling in with a complaint of poor phone quality. “You ask, ‘What is your extension? What day of the week did you last have this quality problem?’ In the Search box, you type in poor, Tuesday, and extension 6000 and it will pull up all the calls to extension 6000 that took place on a Tuesday that were poor. So, it quickly gets you to the information you need.”

“The Telchemy software will even make some recommendations,” Thompson added, “—give you some probability estimates on what your likely problem is.” And, he pointed out, the VQM functionality is part of the NetVanta 7060 package, no extra purchase required.

Also announced yesterday were two additions to ADTRAN’s roster of IP phones, the 6-line IP 706 and the 12-line IP 712. Both are SIP phones, Thompson explained. Both are either wall- or desk-mountable, and have dual Ethernet ports.

They are, naturally, certified for use with the NetVanta 7100 and 7060, and with the Digium Asterisk IP PBX and the MetaSwitch MetaSphere feature server.

Both phones feature large backlit displays and high quality, full duplex speakerphones. ADTRAN has made the phones ‘wideband ready.’ “We have already done the work from the plastics perspective—the chambers and speakers inside the phones—to accommodate the acoustics that the G.722 codecs will require,” Thompson told, “but we haven’t yet implemented wideband.” As soon as the company sees substantial demand from customers, they can quickly and easily ‘flip the switch.’

The NetVanta 7060 will retail for $3,895, and Chris Thompson was at some pains to make clear that, aside from possible needs for interface modules (for T1, PRI, FXS/FXO, etc.), there’s nothing else to buy. Except phones, of course. The IP 706 carries a retail price of $249, the IP 712, $299. (ADTRAN also offers co-branded Polycom phones.)
Both the NetVanta 7060 and the new IP phones will be available in June 2008.

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