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IBM, 3Com Tag-Team On IP Telephony Suite

3Com and IBM announced a partnership today to port 3Com's IP telephony server onto IBM's System i server platform, the re-branded, multiplatform version of the old AS/400 series.

The System i IP Telephony Suite will enable IT to reduce the cost and complexity of mid-market offices by deploying a single server housing all of their core applications -- ERP and CRM, Websphere, DB-2 and now their IP telephony server, 3Com's VCX. Up to 2,000 users will be supported on a single System i5 520 or 550.

The VCX was the first commercially available SIP server provided by a major networking vendor. The software was originally developed for carriers before 3Com ported it down to the enterprise. Today the VCX runs on Linux on IBM's eServer xSeries platform and is being ported over to the System i5/OS. Aside from the traditional telephony features, the SIP server will provide System i with presence, unified messaging, audio conferencing, video conferencing, contact centers, and enterprise mobility.

While the IBM System i IP Telephony solution may be the first server to integrate an IP PBX, it's hardly the first integrated device. Increasingly, networking vendors are realizing that at the branch, integrated bundles sell. Cisco claims to have shipped 750,00 of its Integrated Service Routers (ISRs) that combine switching, routing, network security.

So successful has Cisco been with the ISR, that Adtran has since released its own ISR-killer. The NetVanta 7100 IP PBX was introduced earlier this month at the VoiceCon show and includes a router, Ethernet switch, firewall, VPN, CSU/DSU and an IP PBX.

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