Alcatel launches prepacked comms server

Alcatel is offering a packaged communications appliance for small and medium-sized businesses that need to offer telephony, data...

Alcatel is offering a packaged communications appliance for small and medium-sized businesses that need to offer telephony, data transfer, Internet access and e-mail services but cannot justify the cost of a PBX, writes Eric Doyle.

The OmniPCX Office server is delivered pre-configured to match the user's requirements. If a company requires all staff to have telephony and e-mail services but only one user to have access to the Internet, the modules within the appliance can be configured accordingly by Alcatel through its resellers. As the user company grows, the appliance can be reconfigured locally to accommodate changes.

The appliance is based on Linux. Pierre Dominique, who is responsible for Alcatel's worldwide e-business group product marketing and global strategy, said, "This need not concern the customer because they will not have to learn how to configure Linux. This is a true appliance which means that the operating system is irrelevant and totally locked away so that it cannot be accessed on the network and therefore cannot be hacked."

Like the operating system, the components of the OmniPCX are open source. Alcatel has brought these together in an integrated package to save its customers the job. "Many small and medium-sized businesses have limited IT staffing, and this will save them time while offering extended services," Dominique said.

The system management software can be used as a Windows program or via a browser interface for remote access. There are no ongoing licensing fees but future expansions will incur charges.

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

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