Switchvox is only one of a number of companies that's built a product line on the foundation of the Asterisk open-source PBX code, but it is certainly one of the most successfuland one of the first to take the approach of bundling its software with carefully engineered hardware, to create an easy-to-deploy, easy-to-manage IP PBX appliance.
Of the various Asterisk-based product lines, principal Asterisk sponsor Digium selected Switchvox as a partner, in a sense, acquiring it last September. Since that acquisition, there as been a steady stream of announcements, including a free Switchvox offering and a hosted version.
Back in March, we reported on the debut of Switchvox's offering for the small end of the SMB scale, the AA60 appliance, designed to support a maximum of 30 users. Also announced at that time was version 3.5 of the Switchvox SMB software suite.
|Switchvox AA300 Appliance|
This week Switchvox, unveiled the latestand finalmember of its trio of SMB-targeted PBX devices, the AA300 Appliance, which scales to 150 users and supports 45 concurrent calls. (The heavy hitter of the trio, the AA350 scales up to 400 users, and offers some hardware redundancy.)
To recap some of the more appealing features of Switchvox's SMB Appliance offerings, they come "VoIP ready," meaning that no additional hardware is required to connect them with SIP or IAX IP trunk lines. Other kinds of network connectionsincluding analog trunks, and T1/E1 linesare facilitated by optional (extra cost) interfaces. Conferencing and conference scheduling are integral, as is call recording.
For an exhaustive list of the features of Switchvox SMB, go here.
Above all, the Switchvox technology is designed to be easy to deploy and manage. "Customers and our channel partners are benefiting from the rapid delivery of Switchvox on appliances that can be up and running, supporting phone calls just about as soon as they come out of the boxand can be easily upgraded as customers need more features or to add users," said Digium general manager Joshua Stephens. "The result of all our work is more options for customers that let them get rid of expensive phone systems, yet keep all the functionality of a PBX designed for the largest business."
For an in-depth discussion of some of the slicker setup and management features, see our March article.
Retail pricing for the AA300 begins at $4,240with substantial discounting through channel partners. It is available now.