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Telecom Trials First Network-Based VOIP Service


A business trial of New Zealand’s first network-based call management service using voice over IP (Internet Protocol) is being undertaken by Telecom.

Telecom, working in conjunction with strategic partner Alcatel, is trialling IP Centrex with an independent company to link their branches in Auckland and Wellington.

Centrex is a call management system hosted within the Telecom network which enables businesses to manage their incoming and outgoing calls without having to invest in their own call management equipment (PABX).

The new service will include the advantages of Telecom’s existing Centrex but with a greater range of functions for businesses including:

• screen ‘popping’ - which enables a customer’s details to be ‘popped’ onto the user’s computer screen when a call is received

• contact centre software – which enables calling queues to be viewed and managed

• web-based reporting – which provides a secure website for access to up-to-date call statistics anywhere there is access to the Internet

• automated attendant – which means that all calls are answered and callers can choose where their calls are directed

“IP Centrex will provide the functionality of a ‘high-end’ PABX with the convenience and cost effectiveness of a network-based service,”Telecom Group Marketing Manager, Business, Graham Walmsley said.

“The new service will also enable staff to log into an IP Centex phone and have their work details and settings follow them so they can ‘hot-desk’; work from a number of different sites; or in the future from home.”

With the introduction of the IP Network, Telecom aims to develop an online service centre from which customers can access and manage a range of communication options. IP Centrex will be the first example of Telecom’s investment in converging services.

“Our customers want the advantages offered by an IP network without the risk associated with installing and managing this new technology. We can remove that risk as well as maintain and regularly update the service to add new functions,” Mr Walmsley said.

“Essentially customers can take advantage of the benefits IP offers without having to worry about having the resources and expertise necessary to manage it.

“With Centrex there is no capital outlay for equipment and it is simple and inexpensive to increase or subtract extensions over a number of sites. This makes it easier for a business to grow or reflect seasonal changes,” Mr Walmsley.

“The scalability of IP Centex means small and medium-sized businesses can now gain access to a range functions and business benefits which were previously only affordable for larger businesses.”

After the trial Telecom will implement a staged roll-out of the service starting with the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch central business districts in July, to be followed by a national service from early next year.


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