Two VoIP Alternatives

Smaller IP telephony companies fill an important niche.
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Courtesy of CRN There are many big-name players in the VoIP market, but the cost and complexity of their product lines often puts them out of reach for small and midsize organizations. Here are two vendors whose technology and small-to-midsize-friendliness stand out. 1. Digium The creator and primary developer of the Asterisk open-source VoIP platform, Digium is trying to do for IP communications what Linux did for operating systems: Leverage the developer community at large to speed innovations at a lower cost. The Huntsville, Ala.-based company early next year plans to begin offering its first hardware appliance, targeted at offices with two to 50 users. It also recently launched version 1.4 of its software, the first major release in nearly a year. The upgrade adds more than 20 new features, about half of which came from the developer community at large. Solution providers said they are building up VoIP businesses around Asterisk that offer high-margin services opportunities. 2. Allworx Focusing exclusively on phone systems for small organizations, Allworx, a division of InSciTek Microsystems, builds its products to support both VoIP and analog calling, giving customers a flexible migration strategy to IP telephony. The Fairport, N.Y.-based company recently launched its new Allworx 24x, a phone system for fewer than 100 users. The new model includes features such as multiple conference-call bridges, voice mail, auto-attendant, remote-user capabilities, and an integrated router and firewall. Solution providers said Allworx provides a full-featured VoIP alternative to higher-priced offerings from vendors like Cisco Systems and Avaya.

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