The company also introduced the Allworx Px 6/2 Expander, which adds support for six POTS lines to any Allworx box.
Company co-founder and vice president of marketing Sandra Gault says one of Allworx’s key differentiators is the fact that its phone system can bridge a number of crucial gaps, supporting both PBX and key system functionality as well as both VoIP and analog phones. “What that means is that small businesses… can have all the functionality that they want to have of their old legacy systems, along with the power of new, enhanced technology,” she says.
And that’s also true of SIP trunking vs. POTS lines. “The customer can now really choose within one box how they want to optimize,” Gault says. “They can sit back and say, ‘Traditional telephone company, you’re actually cheaper than an Internet telephony service provider today.’ And they can stay with that traditional telephone company—and then in six months, two years, three years from now, they can automatically switch over to complete voice over IP if they want to—without changing anything.”
Last year, Allworx introduced the ability to bring the company’s full PBX functionality to mobile phones. Think of it as find-me/follow-me with extras. “Your cell phone can become an extension of your telephone system… you can set it up to say, ‘Ring my office; if I’m not in my office, ring my cell phone,'” Gault says. “The Allworx box will ring your cell phone—and it will transfer the caller ID information to your cell phone. You can then accept, reject—or even transfer, with three-digit dialing, to somebody else back in the office.”
The same is true, Gault notes, for an Allworx phone system in a remote office. Connect a box to the Internet in, say, a California office, and it acts just like an extension at your New York headquarters. “That remote phone now behaves as if it’s inside the office,” she says. “That means that the user in California can do three-digit dialing, can do conference calling, can take calls from a queue, and can intercom anybody.”
9200 Series phones
A key strength of the new Allworx 9202 and 9212 phones, Gault says, is support for high fidelity sound, including echo canceling and interference elimination. “We optimized it for the best sound that most people want to hear—so that when I’m talking to you, your sound is coming back to me within a range that is extremely pleasing,” she says.
And ease of use has also been increased, with the addition of new one-touch programmable keys to the front of the phone itself. “We really watch how our customers use our phones, and there are certain buttons that they need front and center, like park and transfer—and we do that right on the front of the phone,” Gault says. “And then we added additional softphone buttons for your display… where you can just toggle back and forth to set your presence.”
Px 6/2 Expander
The company also announced the Allworx Px 6/2 Expander, which was developed in response to a key customer request. With 80 to 85 percent of Allworx’s customers still using traditional POTS lines rather than SIP trunking, Gault says there was a real need to support more POTS lines within the system. “When we designed the product, we knew that VoIP would be hot,” Gault says. “However, the transition hasn’t occurred as quickly as we thought… and a lot of our customers have said that they’d like to have more POTS line capability.”
And so each Px 6/2 Expander supports six additional POTS lines with the full functionality of the Allworx system. “You can attach it to any of our boxes, and you can expand up to 18 additional POTS lines,” Gault says. “You can add up to three of these port expanders to either the Allworx 6x, 10x or 24x.”
The point, Gault says, is that Allworx strives to stay flexible in meeting customers’ needs—even when those needs have to do with a preference for legacy technology. “SIP trunking is a great technology, but it doesn’t have the five-nines reliability that traditional copper does,” she says. “And in various areas around the country, it’s sometimes cheaper to stay with copper.”