Aastra Shows Off Its PBX Solutions

Enterprise communications company Aastra took advantage of the 2012 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference to show off what its various PBX technologies can do for organizations working in the education space.

Aastra’s system is a unified communications solution for organizations that want to merge all their communications channels into one. One of Aastra’s most popular products, which was on display at the EDUCAUSE conference, is Internet2 Hosted PBX, which is run on Aastra’s Clearspan technology. Besides being a remote phone switchboard for managing all of a company’s phone communications, Internet2 Hosted PBX includes unified messaging, fixed-mobile convergence, interactive voice response, conferencing, collaboration, and call center applications. Its call-making capacity works on any device that employees may choose, which allows them the flexibility to work with ease from the office, their homes, or the road. And of course all that is accomplished while using the same sets of phone numbers, the same voice mailboxes, and without loss of features or functionality when switching from one device to the next.


Aastra also demonstrated a product known as the Clearspan Communicator. The Communicator merges contacts across mobile and desktop computer platforms, and across personal and business directories, and then gives employees the power to make phone calls using all the contacts held on any of their devices. It greatly reduces the time needed to manage a lengthy book of contacts, allowing users to simply throw a new number into any of their devices, and then know that it will be available whenever and wherever they may need it.

Additionally, Aastra puts out OnDemand, which is their web collaboration tool that allows colleagues and business partners to meet face to face via the internet. Besides transmitting video from all the collaborators’ locations, OnDemand boasts a host of valuable features, like a virtual whiteboard, group and private chats, polls, widgets for webinars and trainings, and the list goes on.

Aastra also produces the BluStar Ecosystem, which is a full unified communications environment that works across PC, Mac, iPad, and iPhone platforms. It allows users to tap into their companies’  communication systems using their own devices when necessary, and it encourages seamless and effortless collaboration between teammates. Customers appreciated the unified look of the BluStar Ecosystem, which makes using Aastra’s communications technology easy, no matter what device they may be using. Users never have to be out of touch, as long as they’re plugged into the BluStar Ecosystem.


Looking into the Five Myths about Hosted Phone Systems

Many people like the idea of VoIP, or voice over Internet protocol, but they don’t really understand what it means or what VoIP can do for their business phone system. Over the last few years though, a number of myths have started to envelop the service. Understanding and debunking some of those myths, such as latency and jitter, is vital for those who want to consider using the system for their business phone system. The following are five of the biggest myths that surround the Hosted Phone System.

Myth #1 – All of the Calls are Free

Even though calls that are intra office might be free this is not the case with calls that you place outside of the company. Your service provider, or you depending on the type of plan that you have, will still have to pay for those calls.

Myth #2 – VoIP is Unreliable and Suffers from Latency and Jitter

VoIP is not new. For more than two decades, companies have been using this type of service, and that means that the technology keeps getting better. Latency, jitter, and lost calls are not really as much of a problem today as they might have been in the past. Better implementation can take the latency and jitter problems down even further.

Myth #3 – When the Internet is Down the Phones Will Not Work

One of the nice things about the VoIP service is that you have the ability to have your calls forwarded just in case there is an outage that would normally cause an issue with your business phone system. A good idea is to have the calls forwarded right to your cell phone, so you don’t have to worry about missing any calls. This is the best option for those who want a truly reliable business phone system.

Myth #4 – You Can Use Any Internet Connection

It might be possible to use different types of connections, but one will find that some are going to work better than the others will. You need to have a high quality connections if you want to have the best service. This is something one should always consider when choosing a VoIP service.

Myth #5 – The Old Lines Will Remain in Place

You might believe that the old T1 lines and analog lines are going to stay in place. However, those solutions aren’t going to be around forever, and the ones that are around are not working as well as you might hope. Most of the VoIP solutions today need higher quality connections.