Voice over IP (VoIP) communications specialist Aastra announced the release of Connector, a PC-based search-and-dial application. Connector unifies telephony call control with Microsoft and Google PC desktop tools and acts as a single access point for users to search for and dial contacts, as well as retrieve and pop up contact information, documents and e-mails based on incoming caller ID.
The optional Connector Softphone provides the same user interface and functionality as the PC application.
Connector makes use of the XML API built into Aastra SIP phones to allow users to automatically control their phone via these APIs, and also allows users to control the built-in softphone using a PC speaker and microphone or using a USB phone. Once connected to a desk phone or softphone, users type the name of a person or business into the Connector telephony tool bar, and contact matches from Outlook, Clearspan Directory, Active Directory or LDAP directories, Google Maps, or Google Search will pop up; then users just click to dial. For incoming calls, users can set the application to automatically open an Outlook contact, do a Windows desktop search or generate a toast pop-up based on incoming caller ID.
"Aastra Connector is an innovative solution that will provide Aastra customers with rich PC-phone integration," said Tim Whittington, executive vice president and general manager of Aastra USA. "Its simple-to-use search-and-dial capabilities improve productivity and enhance the Aastra value proposition to our end customers."
The company also said Graybar, a distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products and provider of related supply chain management and logistics services, is now an authorized distributor for the Aastra MX-One Compact. The MX-One Compact is designed to provide small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) with a solution for IP telephony and unified communications (UC). The MX-One Compact supports standards-based communications protocols like SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) on both extension and trunk lines and is available with a variety of terminals (i.e., SIP, IP, cordless) and applications.
According to the company release, the MX-One Compact scales from 50 to 1,000 users and can be converted to the full enterprise version of MX-One with a license upgrade. Applications include integrated mobility, where mobile phones are integrated into the call manager (called fixed mobile convergence); productivity enhancing tools such as advanced messaging (for voice mail, fax mail and unified messaging); and a call screening and contact center application. Solidus eCare Lite is a specially packaged version of Aastra's multimedia contact center solution for enterprises, which can be also converted to the full enterprise version with a license upgrade.
"Graybar and Aastra have had a solid working relationship for years," said John Drolet, vice president of sales, indirect channels and carriers at Aastra USA. "With recent changes to Graybar's PBX portfolio, we are confident that the Aastra MX-One Compact system will bring our mutual customers a product portfolio that will benefit resellers and their end users for many years to come."