Products used in our Voice Solutions
Louisa Voice uses a number of commercial and open source products in building next-generation voice solutions for our small and medium enterprise clients. Some of these products are listed below.
Phones and Softclients
Phones are often the largest investment in a voice solution for small and medium enterprises. Customers expect phones at a variety of price points depending on the user needs, headsets to complement the phones, conference phones, cordless phones, and soft clients for their voice implementations.
Louisa Voice recommends Polycom VVX Business Media phones for deployments into small and medium enterprises. The Polycom voice quality is excellent and their SIP interoperability with open source telephony systems is superb. Custom line keys for 'one-touch' transfers and other applications can be enabled via Enhanced Program key macros for use by office receptionists and other administrative positions within small and medium enterprises. A popular Polycom feature for healthcare, legal, and financial businesses is shared line appearances (also known as bridged line appearance) across multiple phones. For example, the main line for a business appears on multiple phones with multiple appearances. When an incoming call comes in, the line key for the phone answering the call turns green while the line key on the other phones for that call turns red. If the call is placed on hold, the line key on all phones for that call blink red and the call can then be picked up by another phone. If another call comes in while the first call is still active, that call rolls over to the second appearance of that main line on each phone. If additional line keys are needed for administrative positions, the Polycom color expansion module works with all VVX business media phones. For conference rooms, Louisa Voice uses the Polycom IP Soundpoint family of conference room phones in its deployments. Final point - Polycom business media phones are used by many commercial hosted voice providers. This offers the small and medium enterprise investment protection in the event that the business decides change strategy and receive their voice services from a cloud-based voice provider.
Jabra wireless headsets certified by Polycom in their labs is what Louisa Voice uses in its voice deployments. For cordless IP phones, the Panasonic SIP DECT Phone System is recommended as a high-quality platform for its clients.
For soft clients, Louisa Voice leads with the Counterpath Bria family of clients in its solutions. Counterpath offers free and licensed versions of its soft clients on Windows and IOS-based platforms. Soft clients are also available on a variety of mobile platforms.
Routers currently used by Louisa Voice target the small and medium enterprise segment where the office sits behind a broadband modem or metro ethernet connection. These routers perform network address translation, Virtual Private Network, quality of service for voice, DHCP for local area network devices, and firewall functionality.
Open Source NAT Routers
Network Address Translation (NAT) Routers are placed behind the broadband modem or WAN connection at the customer premise and provide a firewall between the Internet and the customer network. These NAT routers also provide QoS for voice traffic and allow VPN tunnels to be statically or dynamically configured. Louisa Voice deploys Monowall and Pfsense routers in the following configurations:
- Stand-alone hardware using commercial system boards.
- Virtual appliance on a Louisa Voice or customer provided server running VMware.
Ubiquiti EdgeRouter lite Router
The Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite router is a Gigabit Ethernet router with advanced networking concepts specifically targeted for small and medium enterprises. This router is deployed in trial locations and is currently undergoing certification for voice deployments with Louisa Voice solutions.
Gateways that convert Analog Lines to SIP
Analog to SIP gateways are often used for applications such as connecting legacy faxes or cordless phones to open source telephony servers and helps preserve existing customer investments in TDM telephony equipment. Other applications includes use of analog lines for PSTN connectivity with an open source telphony server or using a secondary analog line for emergency calls when the primary SIP trunk is unavailable. Depending on the application, Louisa Voice uses FXS/FXO to SIP gateways from Audicodes, Linksys, or Grandstream.
Gateways That Covert TDM Trunks to SIP
Some customers want to maintain their existing PBX but take advantage of the flexibility and cost advantages of SIP-based connectivity to the public phone network. Louisa Voice configures Adtran IP Business Gateways to take T1 and analogue trunks from the legacy PBX and converts this time-division multiplex (TDM) traffic to VoIP.
Open Source Telephony Software
The majority of Louisa Voice deployments use open source telephony software from Sipfoundry.org. SipXecs is deployed as a standalone server as well as a virtual appliance at customer locations. Louisa Voice is an active contributor to the Sipfoundry user forums and Wiki pages.
Open source telephony software from Asterisk.org is also used in some customer networks to address specific end-user requirements.
Both SipXecs and Asterisk voice server applications are feature-rich and and are available to customers without the additional licensing costs that traditional PBX vendors often charge to enable specific features.
Other Products Used For Voice Solutions
Louisa Voice uses VMware products internally for testing new solutions and customer deployments. Customer backup and monitoring applications, Louisa Voice internal Wiki, and internal production voice servers also run on a VMware-enabled server located in a secure co-location data center. For customers that have VMware-enabled servers in their network, Louisa Voice installs the open source telephony server application as a virtual appliance.
For every customer deployment, Louisa Voice creates one or more sensors to continuously monitor the health of the broadband connection as well as key voice server processes. Alarms are generated when network or server events occur that impacts voice quality and allows Louisa Voice to proactively address these service issues. For every customer deployment, Louisa Voice creates an automated backup of the voice server configuration (including voicemail) on a weekly basis and stores these files on a secure data center server.
For new customers, Louisa Voice tries to leverage the network infrastructure where possible to engineer its voice solutions. Our solutions have been integrated with Ethernet switches from Cisco, Avaya, Brocade, Dell, HP, Netgear, and others. If there is insufficient Power Over Ethernet (POE) switch ports available in the existing network, Louisa Voice works with the customer to select a suitable Ethernet POE-enabled switch that will service the Polycom IP phones in the network.
Finally, Louisa Voice ascertains that key network elements used for voice in the customer network are connected to backup power units. If there insufficient backup power available, Louisa Voice selects backup batteries from the APC family of products.