InstantOffice also comes optionally with a VoiceXML interpreter for designing and running IVR (interactive voice response) applications, text-to-speech, fax-server engines, and outbound dialing capability. As an IVR server with outbound dialing, it can perform such tasks as dialing out from a database of pharmacy customers to tell them their pictures are developed and ready for pickup. Asked to draw the future product road map, Artisofts CEO said that both platforms are on the road to implement the same SIP (session initiation protocol) stack in the "not-too-distant" future. Both products currently operate internal TDM (time-division multiplexed) switching backplanes, and accept IP, digital or analog phones. IP gateway cards IP-enable the systems out to the WAN or in to phones on the LAN.In addition, current plans with longtime partner Intel/Dialogic will allow Artisoft to lower the price of its TeleVantage, and hence make greater inroads among SMBs. The first commercially scalable release of Intels HMP (Host Media Processing) architecture, due sometime in 2005, will replace Intels currently required, expensive telephony DSP board with software running on an Intel server chip. "Were pretty excited about this HMP initiative," Tauscher said. Combined with Vertical Networks, Tauscher does see Artisoft as a more viable contender in the IP PBX space. "For Artisoft to expand into the large enterprise market would have been hard if not impossible. It takes a special channel, it takes references, it takes a footprint and a toehold. What does Vertical have? A special channel: people like AT&T, IBM. Real big reference customers. And its tailored its offering, and the knowledge of its sales and service staff, to that market. Conversely, if Vertical wanted to develop a small-to-medium business channel, same comment. Weve expanded our addressable market by a bunch." While expounding on the two companies synergies, Tauscher admits that a big reason behind the purchase was the need to convince customers of Artisofts staying power. "One of the biggest reasons for doing this was to get bigger. To increase our chances of not having what some people are taking as a foregone conclusion happen." He said he has the support of some sophisticated venture capital firms, as well as the continued investment all of his earlier VCs backing him up. Check out eWEEK.coms VOIP & Telephony Center for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.
A common SIP stack will make it easier to deliver the TeleVantages contact center and convergent communications applications to the Vertical Networks platform, Tauscher said. Conversely, the InstantOffices fax server or other applications could be dropped into TeleVantage, which currently ships with a third-party fax product.