Allworx: Allworx 6x

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


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New products from Allworx, Critical Links and Sutus make easy work of delivering enterprise-class VOIP/PBX capabilities to small businesses. These vendors are delivering more than just voice services, giving solution providers valuable systems that enhance network services and provide ongoing support opportunities.

Allworx is heavily vesting the small business VOIP market and offers several phone systems and accessories. The Allworx 6x VOIP PBX combines full PBX and VOIP duties with networking functions, including automated backup, Web server, e-mail, security and LAN management. Allworx offers all of the critical PBX capabilities and matches Critical Links and Sutus as far as VMX, routing and other VOIP options go.

Allworx 6x is ideally placed at the edge of a small network and functions as a firewall and router for connecting phones and PCs to the Internet. The unit features four analog connectors, which incorporates POTS into the PBX. The combination of POTS support with VOIP features allows the device to be installed over time. In other words, customers do not have to re-engineer their phone systems and network connectivity overnight, allowing for a gradual VOIP transition.

Allworx 6 has an initiative installation wizard, browser-based management console and other support tools. However, the company recommends installation by its solution provider partners; it’s sage advice, since the unit is anything but plug and play. Installers will need to have a good understanding of networking, firewalls and routing.

With a device as complex as the Allworx 6x, management features are critical. Administrators will find it a breeze to set up voice mail boxes, call routing and the dozens of other features available on a PBX. The same ease of management applies to the unit's networking features. VPN connections are straightforward to set up, as well as remote access.

The device provides a platform for setting up unified messaging, thanks to integrated e-mail support, as well as group scheduling and customizable Web portals for each user. The Allworx 6x includes an eight-seat conference bridge, which eliminates the need for businesses to rely on external conference services.

Pricing is very competitive; users can get set up with an eight-user Allworx 6x system (eight phones included) for under $3,000. For solution providers looking to offer an advanced but affordable VOIP PBX that integrates well into small networks, the Allwork 6x is a good choice.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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