Sutus Business Central BC-200

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2009-03-29 Email 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.

The Sutus Business Central BC-200 is perhaps one of the easiest VOIP PBXes to set up. A skilled technician could easily deploy a BC-200 in about 15 minutes, from unpacking the box to getting a dial tone.

The BC-200 includes a basic file server, e-mail server, Web server, and routing and firewall functions. It includes Wi-Fi among its network options, along with Power over Ethernet (PoE) connections. All of those networking features are built on top of the unit’s core VOIP functionality.

Like many SMB VOIP PBXes, the BC-200 includes support for analog lines. Installers can integrate as many as three POTS lines, as well as a fax line. Further easing setup is the automatic support for any Polycom IP telephone, which when connected via a POE only needs a single cable run to power and communicate with the phone. That helps to make wiring a bit simpler, and when one considers that most Polycom IP phones also have an RJ-45 jack on them for providing Ethernet to a PC, new cable runs to existing PC locations can be eliminated.

Sutus uses a managed service model, giving solution providers the option of providing VOIP/PBX to small businesses as a hosted/on-premises service. The BC-200 is for businesses with 25 employees and under, making it an ideal device for solution providers looking to equip and support a small office.

Sutus offers a user-centric approach to communications, where each user has access to a "My Sutus" Web page, which acts as a digital concierge for the user’s settings, information and communications.

Sutus offers a multitude of wizards, assistants and other "ease of use" elements that come in handy during setup and maintenance of the system.

The browser-based administration screens are all done in Flash and are much more robust than the typical browser-based management application. That said, Flash-based administration does run slower than browser-based consoles, but it is worth the trade-off. Thanks to Flash, administrators will find it very easy to set up most of the unit's features, ranging from the integrated Wi-Fi access point to firewall settings to Internet connectivity. All administration screens offer ample help and recommendations.

The system can be configured to offer private and public work spaces (shared folders) that are easily accessible from a user’s PC. Full security, including group management, can be applied to the work spaces, as well as remote access. Sutus doesn’t offer an integrated conference bridge and recommends that users choose an external conferencing service to avoid overutilizing the appliance.

Some key features include Power over Ethernet, RAID storage and QOS for wired and wireless connections, all of which can improve the business user experience.

Starting at $2,199 the BC-200 is not the cheapest VOIP PBX on the market, but when one considers that the unit is more than just a PBX and brings networking, wireless and the beginnings of unified communications to a business, it seems like a downright bargain.

 


 
 
 
 
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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