It envisions replacing multi-$100,000 VoIP installations with inexpensive, easy-to-use all-in-one appliances powered by open-source software from the FreeSWITCH project and—as announced last week—telephony interface boards from Sangoma Technologies Corp., long recognized as a leading provider of hardware and software components for server-based voice and data applications.
Sangoma’s phone cards have been designed to be compatible with open-source VoIP software systems—including Digium’s Asterisk and FreeSWITCH—and this known compatibility is one of CudaTel’s criteria for choosing the Toronto-based provider’s hardware components.
Another key factor is that Sangoma designs its phone interface boards specifically to let software powered communications apps to run more efficiently and cost-effectively on a host computer.
“When it was time to select which voice cards we would use to launch our new IP-PBX offering, it was natural for us to consider Sangoma, a recognized leader in providing high-quality telephony interface cards,” said Sean Heiney, CudaTel product manager and director of new product initiatives for parent company. Barracuda Networks.
“Sangoma’s compact form factor, completeness of telephony protocol support, and FreeSWITCH software compatibility allows us to deliver a tightly integrated, cost-effective, and easy-to-use appliance,” he said in a statement.
The CudaTel Communication Server (IP PBX appliance) will be available in four models, differing only in the capacity they are expected to serve. The feature set of the first generation will include VoIP PBX services, automated attendant, audio conferencing, follow me forwarding, and more. The devices will be compatible with any SIP device and/or provider, and can be configured to work with analog as well as digital phone systems.
Crucial to the product’s concept is a simplified user interface that, for example, integrates automatically with Active Directory, Novell eDirectory and other LDAP directory applications for rapid setup. According to Heiney, the interface minimizes elaborate jargon, simplifies settings, and basically reduces the technical difficulty of setting up an enterprise phone system to roughly the same level as deploying a consumer router.
“Everything we do at Sangoma is aimed at enhancing and completing software-based communication applications,” said Serge Forest, Sangoma’s vice president of marketing. “With Barracuda Networks’ well-known expertise in designing, manufacturing, and marketing high-quality, easy-to-use appliances, we believe CudaTel is poised for great success in the enterprise, and we are proud to be along for the ride.”
Pricing for the CudaTel Communication Server—which starts at $1,995—involves none of the per-seat or per-feature charges that have been typical of traditional IP PBX pricing in the past.