Moving toward convergence

By Douglas Spindler, Network World |  Networking

Next we simulated a complete power failure in Office B. Calls were dropped and
messages being left were incomplete. However, all incoming calls were routed to the
designated extensions in that office segment. Outbound calls could only be placed from
the same extensions. All other phones were dead, and all messaging features were
unavailable. Once power was restored and the server finished rebooting, everything
functioned as if nothing happened.

Neither AltiGen nor its resellers recommend the added expense of error checking and
correcting memory or RAID for high availability. AltiServ only taps the hard disk when
a message is being left, so an AltiServ box is generally less stressed than even a
departmental NT file server, they say.

The management of an AltiServ phone system is divided into three parts. Installation
and configuration are handled by an administrator. End users employ a Web browser to
maintain their own mailbox settings. Using an optional add-on called AltiConsole, a
live operator can manage the flow of incoming and outgoing telephone calls.

At all levels, AltiGen has done an outstanding job of making menus simple, easy to
understand and intuitive. Hardware installation was easy, and installing the software
took less than 15 minutes. We accepted all the defaults.

To activate individual extensions, all you have to do is plug a telephone into the
system and pick up the receiver.

The Web-based tool used for voice mail access is called AltiReach. It lets users
view messages and make changes to mailbox settings from anywhere, as long as they can
connect to the AltiGen server, through a dial-up connection or through the Internet.

Over the past decade, telephone systems, like computer systems, have become smaller,
more powerful and less expensive. With AltiServ, AltiGen is making it easier to
contemplate blending your phone service with your data network.

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