All-in-one communications SME solution

edgeBOX™, a unified communications appliance with phone, email, web, print, fax, security, storage and more – all in one hi-tech “box” – is now available in South Africa through Maringo Communications.

February 25, 2010

edgeBOX™, a unified communications appliance with phone, email, web, print, fax, security, storage and more – all in one hi-tech “box” – is now available in South Africa through Maringo Communications.

The arrival of this multi-service appliance should be very welcome news for small to medium sized businesses and branch-offices with between 10 and 300 users.  It provides “big businesses” communication solutions at a fraction of the cost of up to eight standalone devices that it would replace, and the cost of ownership is less than half due to the simplified installation and management that can be taken care of by non-IT staff.

The edgeBOX provides a full business phone system (IP-PBX), plus email, web, fax, security, calendar, contact directory, and much more, and it can be managed remotely. Having access to state-of-the-art technology in a pre-configured and integrated form, with the option of outsourcing management to Maringo, allows businesses to focus on their core business, while optimizing their IT infrastructure, increasing productivity, and reducing costs.

No more “Rats Nests” and communication nightmares.

Today, in order to have competitive business communications, many firms end up buying literally stacks of equipment from different vendors. The stack typically includes a business phone system, an internet router for connecting to the internet and a server for file sharing.

Wireless (WiFi) access is also needed, and for security reasons, a firewall and a Virtual Private Network for telecommuters and branch offices. Email and web access need to be protected by antispam, antivirus and content filtering. Many firms also need shared contacts, calendars and tasks that can be synced with mobile devices as well as desktops.

Without dedicated in-house technicians, adding all the equipment needed to provide these services is often a nightmare. External support is invariably expensive and leaves the company exposed to security vulnerabilities, and dealing with multiple suppliers is time consuming and frustrating.

With edgeBOX, all communication services are integrated in a single, reliable device that is easy to use, easy to manage and scalable.

The edgeBOX updates itself transparently through the internet as more features become available, and with over 10 000 installations world-wide, edgeBOX has also proven its efficacy and reliability.

Customers can leverage edgeBOX for VOIP, IP-PBX, VPNs, security, NAC and QoS as well as web server, e-mail server and data storage.

The advantages of a VoIP Phone System (Voice over Internet Protocol) range from cost saving to increased productivity and improved integration with IT systems. Call costs are reduced by routing standard phone calls through the data network and by making free calls over the internet between offices and with remote workers.

VoIP Phone systems also bring new and advanced features that were not possible in old systems. This includes integration with mobile phones, support for telecommuters and branch offices, integration with other applications such as vmail-to-email and fax-to-email, unified messaging and more. A VoIP Phone system also shares the same existing office ethernet network, thereby reducing cabling costs and making moves easier.

Services provided by the edgeB0X include:

Data Networking: • High speed internet access via 3G, ADSL, WiMax, Microwave or Fibre • LAN and Wireless LAN networking. • Wide Area Network (WAN) capabilities between sites.

Voice: • VoIP Gateway for routing between PSTN and IP networks. • IP Private Branch Exchange (IP PBX) with a comprehensive feature list for inbound and outbound call management.

Security: • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for site-to-site and tele-workers respectively. • Authorisation, Authentication, and Accounting (AAA) providing complete control and auditing of network resources. • Firewall management; either basic or authenticated statefull firewall for each external link and VPN. • Anti-Virus protection based on both open source (ClamAV) and third-party software (McAfee, Sophos).

IT: • File and printer sharing for office desktop user collaboration. • Storage with quota management and automatic backup to a local disk or remote server backup. • Web server for intranet, extranet or internet. • Email and associated services for email hosting.

Management: • Quality of Service (QoS) and Bandwidth-Management for call prioritization to ensure voice quality. • Integrated Management from an easy to use web interface. • Provisioning and administration platform to allow Service Providers to deliver Broadband Managed Service.