Siemens Takes The HiPath With IP Telephony


Siemens Enterprise Networks this week plans to expand its HiPath IP telephony line with the introduction of two new IP convergence platforms, new phones and enhancements to its unified messaging and contact center applications.

With the new products, Siemens' entire line is now IP-enabled, said Mark Straton, vice president of global marketing for Siemens.

Designed to replace the HiCom 150 PBX, Siemens' new HiPath 3000 is targeted at small to medium-size businesses as well as enterprise branch locations. The platform supports circuit-switched and packet-switched configurations as well as a mix of both, providing a migration path for customers that aren't ready to make the change to a softswitch, or all-IP, environment, said Joan Vandermate, director of product line management for Siemens.

Many businesses run specialized telephony applications on their circuit-switched networks for which no replacements are available, Vandermate said, so customers can later port the circuit-switched technology to IP when they are ready, she said.

The migration path is key in selling clients on IP telephony, said Tim Stone, product manager for Minneapolis-based solution provider Norstan. "When you talk to a legacy customer with legacy applications, they aren't ready to move to a softswitch approach," Stone said. "This is one of the few solutions I've seen that lets you migrate your way completely out of it."

The HiPath 3000 scales to 1,000 users with up to 16 nodes when combined with the company's HiPath AllServe networking solution, Vandermate added.

The HiPath 4000 platform has all the features of the 3000 but can scale to 100,000 users with 64 nodes, Vandermate said. The 4000 platform also comes with Web-based centralized system management.

Tom Grinde, director of the interconnect division of Virginia Beach, Va.-based Quantrex, said the new architecture is particularly interesting for his multisite customers. "We do a lot of call centers. The new architecture will allow them to have agents anywhere on the network."

Siemens also plans to unveil the optiPoint 500, a new line of digital telephones designed to work with the HiPath 3000 and 4000 platforms. The HiPath platforms also work with the previously released optiPoint 400 IP phone.

The vendor also is upgrading its HiPath Xpressions unified messaging platform to support integration with both Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes. Siemens also upgraded its HiPath ProCenter customer contact applications, adding virtual multisite routing and mobile CRM features.