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September 11, 2009

Toshiba's Strata CIX VoIP Systems Now Certified Interoperable with XO Communications' SIP Trunking


By Patrick Barnard Group Managing Editor, SIP Trunking Report



Toshiba’s family of Strata CIX IP business communication systems are now certified interoperable with XO Communications' SIP trunking solution, XO SIP, the two companies announced this week.


That means companies which have Toshiba Strata CIX VoIP Systems can use XO’s popular SIP trunking service and be rest assured that they are getting the very best performance -- as well as all the features and capabilities -- both systems can deliver.

“This certification confirms that Toshiba’s Strata CIX VoIP systems and XO SIP work seamlessly together, providing enterprises with the confidence of reliable telephone service and equipment,” said Eric Abing, product manager, Toshiba America Information Systems, Telecommunication Systems Division, in a release.

The family of Toshiba Strata CIX IP communication systems, consisting of six models supporting anywhere from four to 440 trunks, or eight to 1,000 telephone lines, offer flexibility, scalability and reliability. Offered through Toshiba America Information Systems Inc.’s Telecommunication Systems Division, these powerful, full-featured telephone systems help businesses save money on their telecommunications costs by enabling them to take advantage of Voice over IP technology, minimizing many long-distance charges; connect seamlessly to high-speed digital services; automatically route outgoing calls over the least costly trunk line or long-distance carrier; restrict access to long-distance calls; and more easily evaluate incoming/outgoing call patterns to make stronger management decisions and simplify client billing. The systems sport Web-based administration, which means an IT department can configure and test the system remotely.
 
These systems are ideal for companies with call centers, as they offer advanced call center functionality including advanced call routing (based on caller ID, account numbers, private lists, balanced call count, preferred agent treatment, agent priority, time-of-day, day-of-week, day-of-year and other user-entered data); skills-based routing (sending calls to the right agent to handle the call); priority queuing (enables agents to answer higher priority calls sooner); multiple group agent log-in (provides important call coverage between groups and tiered service levels); agent priority routing (gives you the ability to expand your agent pool when traffic increases); intelligent announcements (play pre-recorded messages and inform holding callers of their place in the queue or estimated time before answer, as well as offering alternative actions like going to voicemail or invoking a call back reservation); and IVR (which gathers and validates caller input, triggers responses, alerts agents when the queue gets overloaded with calls, and provides many creative application opportunities).

The system can also be used to generate detailed call center reports that let managers analyze agent performance, call center group activity, and system status, as well as forecast future call center staffing requirements by analyzing call volume patterns.
 
The system also offers mobility options that will help employees stay connected whether they are inside the building or out. The system enables employees to take full digital desk phone functionality with them, no matter where they go, with features such as desk telephone extension numbers, call forwarding, caller ID and multi-line access – it even lets employees seamlessly switch between cordless and digital desk telephones during a call. Mobility solutions that go with the system include Toshiba’s SoftIPT softphone, which runs on laptops, tablet PCs or PDAs via your wireless local area network (WLAN); as well as wireless IP telephones and cordless digital telephones.

In addition to advanced voicemail features and capabilities, as well as IVR capabilities and browser-based system administration, the system also hosts a variety of other value-added applications including auto attendant, automated speech recognition (ASR); text-to-speech (TTS); unified messaging and fax integration; third party CTI applications and Toshiba’s FeatureFlex adaptability tools. Each unit can be readily expanded to support additional lines. Plus, with its advanced software and browser-based administration, the Strata CIX line gives users unprecedented control to completely customize their unique, individual phone preferences.
 
Meanwhile, XO Communications’ SIP trunking service is a fully integrated solution designed to support the needs of businesses with the most demanding voice and data applications at single or multiple locations. The service, which offers a broad range of bandwidth options to maintain optimal network performance, uses SIP signaling and a native IP-based facility to manage all traffic between a customer’s IP-PBX, the XO IP network, and the PSTN. Using this service, companies can eliminate the need for multiple access facilities for voice and data services, as well as the need for bandwidth-consuming protocol conversions.

Some of the many features offered by XO SIP trunking include:
 
--Dedicated Internet access with dynamic bandwidth allocation
--Unlimited local calling
--Unlimited site-to-site calling for multi-location customers with IP Flex, IP Flex with VPN and XO SIP locations
--Long distance calling with choice of calling plans
--Optional voice compression
--Online feature management through the XO Business Center

“The XO SIP solution delivers low-cost SIP ‘trunks’ to users of Toshiba Strata CIX VoIP business communication systems, giving them the best of Toshiba’s enterprise telephony capabilities without the need to rely on traditional land lines,” said Shahin Hatamian, vice president of product management for Toshiba America Information Systems, Telecommunication Systems Division, in the release.

Last month, XO Communications announced that it had improved redundancy for its VoIP customers with a new Automatic Call Routing feature that allows incoming calls to be routed to an alternate phone, landline or mobile device in the face of an unplanned event. The new feature -- the latest addition to XO Business Continuity Solutions -- ensures employees are reachable and responsive in the event of a disaster, regardless of their location. It compliments XO Connect, a multi-modal mass notification service which the company introduced last year that allows customers to deliver urgent communications to thousands of recipients simultaneously via telephone, text message or email.

The company also offers XO Anywhere, a unified communications tool for customers deploying IP Flex and IP Flex with VPN that allows employees to work remotely just as of they were in the office.

XO Communications is also continuously building out its network: Last month the company announced that during the past year it had signed agreements with two leading domestic and international carriers. One agreement was focused on expanding the company’s domestic footprint, the other focused on expanding its reach overseas. The company claims that as a result of these agreements it now has coverage in all 50 U.S. states – as well as 22 nations on five continents, including Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

Patrick Barnard is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard
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