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IBM and 3Com to Deliver IP Telephony Suite for SMBs
[March 31, 2006]

IBM and 3Com to Deliver IP Telephony Suite for SMBs

TMCnet Contributing Editor
Technology giants IBM and 3Com Corporation announced their plans to offer an IP telephony suite for small and medium enterprises. Specifically, both companies will introduce the 3Com VCX suite of IP telephony solutions on IBM's "all-in-one" System i business computing solution.

The new agreement between the companies will enable small-to-mid-sized businesses (SMB) to integrate IP telephony capabilities with the System i, which already comes loaded with hardware, database software, storage and security. IBM (News - Alert) and 3Com want to deliver an IP telephony suite that can run in a single Linux on POWER partition on the System i. This will allow enterprises to run business and telephony applications simultaneously, managed by the System i's management tools.

"The availability of the 3Com solutions on the System i platform will give our broad base of clients a powerful option to run a complete IP telephony solution without adding new boxes to their environment," said Mark Shearer, general manager, IBM System i in a statement. "This is a milestone in further simplifying the avalanche of data that small and medium-sized clients face and enabling innovation in their businesses. We think this offering will provide our community with yet another reason to be passionate about the System i."
The new suite is a good option for enterprises with 100 to 2,000 users. 3Com delivers a native, standards-based IP telephony and application system using SIP. The suite offers telephony features and applications, including unified messaging, large scale audio conferencing, video conferencing, presence, contact centers and enterprise mobility.
"By collaborating with IBM, we have an enormous opportunity to enable System i clients and enterprises worldwide to take advantage of the benefits that IP telephony has to offer through our VCX suite and applications," said R. Scott Murray, president and chief executive officer, 3Com in a statement. "Integrating VCX with the System i5 creates a converged environment that reduces costs while giving enterprises a competitive edge. IBM's selection of 3Com and the VCX platform is a proof point for the product's flexibility and reliability. It is also tremendous validation for our open standards-based approach versus proprietary systems."
The first software products for integration onto System i are expected to be available by third quarter of this year.
3Com began to address the need to connect businesses with multiple locations with IP-based technologies when it launched the V6000 Integrated Branch Communications platform back in January. The new V6000 Integrated Branch Communications platform runs 3Com's VCX IP Telephony module and convergence applications. The platform seems to be a good choice for medium to large, geographically distributed enterprises and supports SIP-based IP Messaging, IP Mobility, IP Contact Center, IP Conferencing and Presence.
In the case of a natural disaster or any other type of service outage, should the WAN between sites be lost, the IP Telephony and IP Messaging applications running on the V6000 can work totally independent of the corporate headquarter system. Once the service is restored and the network becomes operational, the VCX systems will automatically resume normal networking operations. Even in the extreme event of a failure of the local V6000 server, the 3Com IP phones will automatically re-route to the central site server running the VCX system for call control.
The V6000 is currently available and it's priced starting at $3,500 (US) for the hardware and $1,000 (US) for the software license.  The 3103 Manager Phone is priced at $365 (US).
3Com Corporation
Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet and Internet Telephony magazine. To see more articles by Johanne Torres, please visit Johanne Torres' columnist page.

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