Management and MoreBy Frank Ohlhorst | Print
By combining the best bits of open-source software into a VOIP appliance, Critical Links brings convergence to a new milestone and creates what may be the must-have appliance for most any SMB.
Surprisingly, all of the advanced features are easy to manage and implement—the unit’s browser-based configuration console offers simple menus with integrated wizards and context-sensitive help. In other words, installers and maintainers don’t have to be VOIP or PBX experts to make the system function as desired. The IP-PBX supports SIP protocols and many of the IP phones on the market today. What’s more, the EdgeBox fully supports a softphone, allowing users to have their PCs become their telephone. Softphone implementations also have the hooks to support video calls between extensions or remote sites.
For many, the collaboration features of the EdgeBox will be the key. The unit incorporates a full collaboration suite that includes e-mail (POP, IMAP, Webmail) and groupware (calendar, tasks, contacts) and can be further extended with vertical market "EdgePacks," which are optional productivity applications that include CMS (content management system), LMS (learning management system) and other applications. The collaboration features are fully integrated, meaning that any user accounts created on the unit are automatically shared across all of the applications.