Choosing a VoIP vendor: A buyer's guide
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
Editor's note: This article is part of a buying guide on voice over IP (VoIP). The features in this series describe the evolution of VoIP, its use cases and important criteria to consider when buying a VoIP service. The series also compares the top VoIP products in the marketplace. This article gives a brief overview of Toshiba IPedge.
IPedge is Toshiba's answer for businesses migrating from a legacy PBX (analog/digital) to a pure IP PBX service. IPedge is a software-based PBX that runs under the Linux operating system and is installed on its own dedicated hardware or virtual platform (VMware). The IPedge VoIP PBX series is the next step up from Toshiba's Strata CIX series -- a hybrid PBX that supports both digital telephony and VoIP. The Strata CIX was designed to bridge the gap between legacy and IP-based PBXs.
As with all modern VoIP PBXs, Toshiba IPedge offers rich features designed to make communication within the enterprise as easy as possible. Users can customize various aspects of their IP phone, including address book and ringtones. A full list of functions can be found on Toshiba's website.
Toshiba IPedge server specifications and virtualized offerings
Three IPedge editions are currently available, each supporting a different amount of users. The largest model, the IPedge EM Server, can support up to 1,000 users and 440 SIP trunks. However, customers can connect multiple IPedge systems to scale beyond this limit. IPedge EM is available as a 1U rack server that packs two Intel Xeon Quad-Core processors clocked at 2 GHz, 12 GB of memory and two 300 GB hard disk drives (HDDs) in a RAID 1 configuration.
IPedge EC Server is a step down from the EM Server and is also offered in a 1U rack server. It supports up to 200 users, up to 96 SIP trunks, and is powered by a single Quad-Core processor running at 2.6 GHz with 4 GB of memory and a 160 GB HDD.
Finally, Toshiba IPedge EP is a compact shelf/table server that can support up to 40 users and 30 SIP trunks. Powered by an Intel Atom Dual-Core 1.8 GHz processor, 4 GB of memory and a 250 GB HDD, it's an ideal compact IP PBX with small space and power requirements.
Toshiba also offers IPedge as a virtual server package, which combines the IPedge PBX with the Toshiba automated call distribution and reporting contact center applications. The all-in-one service consolidates two servers into one, simplifying administration and licensing.
Native SIP trunk support and third-party SIP hardware
Toshiba IPedge natively supports SIP trunking, which means, unlike other vendors, no voice gateway is required. SIP trunks from telecommunication providers can terminate directly on the IPedge server. This is a major benefit, as no additional hardware is required, therefore, it noticeably reduces costs.
IPedge also offers support for third-party SIP devices, allowing users to select from a range of IP SIP-based products and vendors.
If IPedge requires a PSTN/ISDN connection, a separate voice gateway must be purchased. The voice gateway terminates at the telecommunications provider on one leg and connects to the IPedge PBX on the other, using the SIP protocol.
Customers who already have a Toshiba PBX service based on the Strata CIX PBX system can connect to IPedge in order to expand their coverage and functionality by using Toshiba's IPedge Net product. Customers can also connect analog devices such as old telephones or fax machines using FXS gateways, bridging old technology with the IP PBX.
Toshiba also offers the IP5000 Series phones with Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.
Expanding Toshiba IPedge services and users
For companies looking at expanding their IPedge system and services, Toshiba offers a range of applications and services such as IP mobility, a softphone client for Apple iOS or Android, and Call Manager, an application that provides presence status and chat capabilities over the network. Toshiba also provides full-fledged automated call distribution for advanced call routing between locations.
IPedge is offered exclusively through Toshiba's dealer network, so potential customers will have to find and contact an authorized Toshiba dealer to obtain customized pricing.
Additional information on Toshiba's IPedge system and unified communications services can be found on Toshiba's website.
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