Deploying Broadband Phone Solutions Designed for Small and Medium Businesses

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1 W H I T E P A P E R Deploying Broadband Phone Solutions Designed for Small and Medium Businesses

2 Deploying Broadband Phone Solutions Designed for Small and Medium Businesses Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) all need robust phone capabilities that are easy to use, scalable and cost-effective. SMBs can now leverage the benefits of IP Telephony over their broadband cable or DSL connection to: Streamline communications Improve worker productivity Optimize customer service Integrate voice and data networks Reduce capital and operational costs But SMBs face the challenge of selecting the right phone solution to meet their business needs. Many already have antiquated telephone systems with outdated features and costly service plans. Some SMBs rely on carrier-hosted IP Centrex services, which can be expensive, limited in features and expensive and hard to scale as the company grows and needs more phone stations. Many SMBs settle for IP Centrex services because they do not want the hassle of maintaining voice communications systems internally. Premises-based IP PBX services can also lead to high ongoing costs, and PBX platforms from traditional PBX providers such as Avaya, Nortel and Cisco have been designed for large enterprise customers with features scaled down to address the SMB market. They are expensive to purchase and operate, and may require ongoing, fee-based technical support. Whaleback Systems allows SMBs to avoid the costs and technology limitations of these other approaches and enjoy the benefits of enterprise IP telephony with assured cost and performance Our all-inclusive CrystalBlue Voice Service leverages advanced technologies to deliver major business advantages to companies with between five and 1,500 employees. Whaleback has leveraged cutting-edge technologies and the latest industry standards to engineer a simple, yet powerful and feature-rich business phone system that transports voice signals over a broadband connection instead of a traditional phone line. Our software-driven solution seamlessly integrates with existing IT networks to simplify system management and reduce ongoing communications costs. The SMB 1500 IP PBX is designed specifically for broadband. It is installed at customer locations and it simplifies system administration, improves staff productivity and enhances customer service. System-wide upgrades, moves/adds/changes and station setting adjustments are achieved with a quick click of a mouse. In addition, the linear expandable system grows with a company to support up to 1,500 phone stations. Whaleback s all-inclusive, flat-priced service package makes the most advanced technology immediately affordable for small and midsized businesses without the operational hassles of maintaining equipment. In essence, the Whaleback solution combines the same rich features as the larger and more expensive big business IP PBX platforms at a dramatically lower price point, while also providing the assured reliability and availability of hosted IP Centrex service. The Whaleback solution provides major business advantages: SMBs can eliminate hidden charges and fluctuating monthly costs while capitalizing on the rich features of the first business solution built from the ground-up for Voice over Broadband (VoB). Cable operators and telephone companies can partner with Whaleback to accelerate the delivery of VoB services to the lucrative and untapped SMB markets. Distributors and VARs can partner with Whaleback Systems to resell the service to SMBs. Voice over broadband is a driver for SMBs selecting new infrastructure and services, so distribution partners can benefit from the opportunity to share recurring revenues. 2

3 Many SMBs have hung onto their existing PBX system or hosted IP Centrex services to postpone installing a next-generation VoB system due to fear of high integration costs and Quality of Service (QoS) problems. The result is that from a business communications perspective, these companies are underserved. But Whaleback offers a premises-based business communication service that provides SMBs with full-featured communications and a comprehensive service plan that includes remote monitoring and onsite engineering and system management. It provides SMBs with a predictable cost model for business communications and PSTN-like voice quality. IMPLEMENTING A TURNKEY SMB COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTION An easy way to understand the simplicity of the Whaleback approach is to consider how residential phone service was distributed decades ago. A person would order the service and then a phone would be shipped by Western Electric, and AT&T would provide the dialing plan and access. Today, Whaleback provides everything SMBs need for a business phone solution, including: A next-generation IP PBX designed for broadband IP handsets Setup and configuration Remote maintenance and monitoring Local and long-distance calling for a flat monthly rate Whaleback pulls the plug on traditional phone service and puts advanced VoB technology to work for SMBs. Whaleback offers a turnkey solution that reduces communications costs and simplifies business communications for SMBs. Companies can therefore implement a complete communications solution optimized for IP carrier interconnection. The Whaleback CrystalBlue Voice Service provides business-quality voice services with advanced features at a low, fixed monthly rate. It requires very low capital investment and lets SMBs converge the advantages of VoB with desktop applications so they can benefit from a more intelligent phone system. SMB 1500 IP PBX The Whaleback SMB 1500 is the cornerstone of the service. It is the first IP PBX designed specifically for broadband. It transports voice signals over broadband connections to drive down recurring bandwidth charges. Unlike IP Centrex and alternative VoB solutions, the SMB 1500 is premises-based and software-driven to simplify system management, enhance call quality and optimize network performance. It is deployed at the SMB s location and connected to the SMB s Ethernet network. It offers linear, pay-as-you-grow scalability so SMBs can support up to 1,500 phone stations. The SMB 1500 is the only IP PBX with Key System Unit (KSU) emulation features such as shared and bridged line appearances, intercom with hands-free response and group paging. Traditional PBXs and IP Centrex services do not include KSU emulation features, leading to tremendous user frustration. The SMB 1500 manages all of the application functions, including calling features, call management and QoS. Unlike traditional IP PBXs that terminate T1 or Primary Rate Interface (PRI) trunks, the SMB 1500 manages SIP calls to provide SMBs with a pure IP solution for voice communications. It is not available for purchase, but as a critical element of the Whaleback solution. There is no equipment that SMBs need to purchase and upgrades are free, so SMBs do not have to worry about obsolescence. The SMB 1500 offers a rich set of innovative features once only available on big business phone systems. For example, the SMB 1500 offers Road Warrior Functionality that allows businesses to seamlessly extend their office communications to employees that are on the road or working from home irrespective of their location, underlying access network or endpoint device. Road Warrior Functionality allows SMBs to connect multiple offices, mobile employees and telecommuters as if they were all located under a single roof. 3

4 Users can be provided with softphone clients to gain access to the rich features of the SMB 1500 from the office or through another broadband connection or WiFi hotspot. And desktop integration enables features like one-click dialing so that users can highlight a phone number in any type of electronic file (PDF, DOC, PST, HTML, etc.) and instantly call the number without keying it into the IP handset. IP Handsets Whaleback offers executive-class IP phones as part of the service. The IP handsets, which are manufactured by proven worldclass vendors Polycom and Snom, offer proven broadband interoperability and they make it easy for employees to easily utilize advanced communications services. All phones are administered from a simple, common interface, and adding new IP handsets is as easy as ordering them from Whaleback and plugging them into the Ethernet network. Setup and Configuration The SMB 1500 IP PBX is deployed on the customer premises. The initial setup includes an infrastructure assessment, design of a customized system, installation of the SMB 1500 and the phone stations, and system configuration and testing. Remote Maintenance and Monitoring Whaleback conducts centralized call quality monitoring. The SMB 1500 generates alarms that alert Whaleback to take corrective steps if necessary to improve performance. SMBs therefore do not have to worry about QoS and line quality, and can focus daily efforts on running their businesses not on running their business communications system. Whaleback also offers free feature enhancements and upgrades, and delivers U.S.-based 24x7 technical support. Local and Long Distance Calling Whaleback s all-inclusive service package includes a fixed price for local and long distance calling. SMBs can avoid variable communications costs and pay a fixed fee for calls from each phone station. 4

5 AN ALL-INCLUSIVE SERVICE SMBs are no longer faced with selecting either rigid, carrier-based services or buying an IP PBX originally designed for large companies. Whaleback's all-inclusive service package eliminates hidden charges and unpredictable monthly costs. For a fixed monthly rate of only $49.95 per station, SMBs benefit from: Unlimited local and national calls E911 lifeline support Multi-line executive IP phones Shared and bridge line appearances Intercom with hands free response Group paging Local number portability Direct inward dialing Auto-attendant Desktop messaging Voice mail Music on hold Caller ID Speed dial Call forwarding Remote access Video calling Conference calls First-class sound quality Desktop integration Linear expandability U.S.-based technical support Speed dial AVOIDING TRADITIONAL OBSTACLES Whaleback can help SMBs take advantage of enhanced voice communications functionality while avoiding the roadblocks caused by alternative solutions. This innovative service overcomes the following issues as SMBs drive down costs and improve business communications: Juggling Multiple Vendors Instead of having to deal with equipment vendors and telecommunications service providers, SMBs can turn to Whaleback for an integrated, turnkey business communications solution. Phone Company Negotiations A fixed-fee for each phone station avoids the costs and hassles of provisioning and pricing services from phone companies. Punch Blocks SMBs can leverage existing Ethernet cabling to deliver both voice and data services without the need to manage punch blocks to ensure voice connectivity for each phone station. Hardware Purchases Whaleback s all-inclusive service package allows SMBs to avoid the capital costs of purchasing PBXs and IP handsets. System Programming SMBs can rely on Whaleback for ongoing maintenance and avoid the tedious system programming often inherent in PBX platforms originally developed for the largest and most demanding enterprise applications. Ongoing Monthly Maintenance Whaleback monitors and maintains the SMB 1500 so that SMBs can outsource business communications. Hassles Running a small or medium business is challenging enough without the need to deploy and maintain a voice communications system. Whaleback allows SMBs to avoid the hassles of configuring and maintaining business communications systems by offering an inclusive service designed specifically for SMB requirements. SELECTING A PHONE SERVICE FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES Whaleback Systems offers a unique, all-inclusive service designed and built for broadband communications. SMBs can capitalize on the efficiencies of IP and reduce costs by running voice calls over broadband cable or DSL infrastructure. This server-based solution leverages a software-based architecture that can easily scale to support more users. The Whaleback CrystalBlue Voice Service offers advanced business features, and it is available with a low capital investment and low ongoing costs. Proactive monitoring ensures reliability and performance, and SMBs can turn to Whaleback for a turnkey solution backed by first-rate, U.S.-based technical support. 5

6 ABOUT WHALEBACK SYSTEMS Whaleback Systems is the pioneering developer of the first business phone solution built from the ground up for broadband. Unlike traditional systems, the Whaleback CrystalBlue Voice Service is 100 percent premises-based and software-driven. It includes the only IP PBX with Key System Unit features and Road Warrior Functionality. Whaleback's all-inclusive, unlimited nationwide calling package makes the most advanced technology immediately affordable for companies that need between 5 and 1,500 phone stations. The Whaleback service is available through direct sales and through partnerships with distributors and VARs. For more information, visit Whaleback Systems, Road Warrior Functionality and CrystalBlue Voice Service are trademarks of Whaleback Systems; other trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. WSWB

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