Tuesday, 19 July 2011 22:05

Kerio Operator 1.1 software IP PABX ready for prime time

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Kerio reckons it has the VoIP PABX 'for the rest of us' - at least for those of us who are SMEs. Kerio Operator 1.1 is intended to be managed by people without telephony expertise.


Following a relatively quiet debut for the 1.0 release, Kerio is pulling out the stops to promote Kerio Operator 1.1, the company's IP PABX system for SME customers.

Available as an appliance (the Kerio Operator Box, available in selected markets) or software only, Operator 1.1 is designed to provide smaller organisations with a VoIP PABX that can be set up and managed by IT or network administrators with no telephony experience.

The Asterisk-based software includes Kerio's user interface, and support from the company's network of over 5000 partners is another selling point. Operator works with SIP connections and - with appropriate interface cards - ISDN, E1 or T1 lines.

New features in version 1.1 include protection against SIP password guessing (by limiting the number of unsuccessful login attempts in a given period) and anomalous use (eg, too many calls by accumulated time or absolute number in a specified period). Operator 1.1 can also be set to apply rules to block certain types of call, eg to international or premium numbers. To provide some flexibility - perhaps for employees that occasionally need to make overseas calls - the software can be set so that it reports such calls via email instead of blocking them completely.

Other changes include linking multiple devices (IP phones, or softphones running on smartphones or computers) with a single extension, and expanded auto-provisioning (various Polycom phones are now supported in addition to Cisco and Snom models). Phones that are not directly supported can be configured manually, said Kerio's vice president of business development James Gudeli.

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The new release is also designed to better handle situations where phones or softphones are connected via the public Internet and Operator is running behind a firewall, or where Operator is running in a hosting centre and the phones are connected to a private network.

Australian pricing for Operator 1.1 is $565 for a five-user licence, and then $23 for each additional user. Like other Kerio products, it is sold as a software appliance with a hardened operating system or as a VMware virtual appliance.

One year of version upgrades and email and phone support are included. Subsequent annual software maintenance costs 30% of the original licence fees.

Limited testing has been carried out with local VoIP providers. "We currently use ISPhone, MyTel and Exetel," said Kerio PR manager Andrew Staples. According to Mr Gudeli, the company has no current plans to support the use of Skype trunking. (Skype's Skype Connect product works with SIP PBAXes from a variety of well-known vendors and allows outgoing calls to be made at Skype rates as well as accepting incoming calls from Skype users.) 

The Operator Box is not yet offered in Australia. The 1210 model (SIP only; up to 40 concurrent calls; price includes a 20 user licence) costs $US2000. The 3210 (up to 150 concurrent calls; 40 user licences; capable of taking certain line interface cards) is $US3000.

 


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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