Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Asterisk BuyNOW

Thanks to a new partnership between Digium and Polycom, now it will be easier for small and medium businesses (SMBs) to purchase, configure and deploy an Asterisk VoIP system featuring Polycom IP phones.

The new, integrated system features the Digium AsteriskNOW software appliance and Polycom SoundPoint IP desktop phones—all components which the companies say are needed for businesses to deploy a "high quality VoIP solution."

Digium introduced AsteriskNOW earlier this month and is the company's first software appliance, the open source distribution of its Asterisk platform, which features a Digium-designed GUI.

AsteriskNOW features a new setup wizard, which serves as a guide for users for the installation process, which lasts only about 30 minutes. Included in the AsteriskNOW distribution are all the Linux components needed to run, debug, and build Asterisk for a business setting. The AsteriskNOW GUI gives administrators the opportunity to add, modify and delete users. Download options include ISO/CD Image, VM Player image, Xen universal guest image and LiveCD (burn and boot).

Digium has simplified the purchasing, configuration and deployment process by enabling new capabilities in its AsteriskNOW software appliance, including a one-click function called BuyNOW that allows customers to purchase Polycom SoundPoint IP phones, and a configuration process that automatically supplies the phones for instant customer use. Digium's Asterisk has arranged for its software to now support Polycom's HD Voice technology, which enables calls to have better quality when compared to traditional analog calls.

"This expanded offering with Polycom makes it even easier for SMBs to deploy and manage an Asterisk-based solution, from the beginning stages to deploying the phones," said Digium's president and CEO Mark Spencer in a statement on Wednesday. "This development is part of our overall strategy to offer an easy, rapid migration to VoIP in an enterprise environment. Partnering with Polycom further emphasizes our commitment to providing users with a simple Asterisk installation, based on only the best quality products."

AsteriskNOW's GUI BuyNOW feature will connect users to NETXUSA a VoIP distributor, to simplify the phone purchasing process. Polycom's full line of phones will be available through BuyNOW including the SoundPoint IP 650 with HD Voice, SoundPoint IP 601, SoundPoint IP 501, SoundPoint IP 430, SoundPoint IP 301 and SoundPoint IP Expansion Module. The line also includes the SoundStation IP 4000, Polycom's market leading SIP-based conference phone.

"Many small and medium businesses want an advanced, high quality and affordable VoIP solution, but the technical challenges can be a barrier," said Sunil Bhalla, senior vice president and general manager, voice communications at Polycom. "We are working with partners like Digium to deliver unique capabilities like Polycom HD Voice and to simplify the deployment process. As open source continues to play an important role in the evolution to VoIP, we look forward to working with Digium to provide innovative, cutting-edge solutions that help customers make this important transition."

Digium and Polycom had been collaborating on supplying Polycom SIP-based phones as the exclusive phone in Digium's Asterisk Appliance Developer Kit (AADK)T. Their joint efforts would allow SMB customers to benefit from deploying a combined Digium/Asterisk Business EditionT solution for a more affordable telephony experience.


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