Zultys Fills Gap In Line With Midlevel ZIP Phones

The new Zip 2x2 family of handsets, priced from $150 to $230, fills a void in the company's product line, said Iain Milnes, president of Zultys, Sunnyvale, Calif.

"Our partners and customers were demanding a phone in-between [our current options]. Some partners were losing business because they had to recommend third-party phones," he said.

The new phones were designed to meet the needs of a large segment of the customer base, fitting in-between Zultys' low-end Zip 2 and higher-end Zip 4x4 and Zip 4x5 handsets, Milnes said.

"If you look at what most people want for the desktop, they're demanding two Ethernet ports, two call appearances and an LCD display," he said.

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The rollout includes five new phones, all built on open standards such as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and running on a realtime Linux operating system. The family incorporates support for a variety of features, including Power-over-Ethernet, integrated switching, call encryption and conferencing.

The family ranges from the full-featured flagship Zip 2x2, which includes all of the above capabilities, to the lower-end Zip 2+, which supports two call appearances, includes only one Ethernet port, and excludes PoE, encryption and speaker phone.

Zultys is also coming out with a new price list that effectively gives partners selling its Media Exchange IP-PBXes a discount on user licenses if they include Zultys phones in the sale, Milnes said.

The move comes as Zultys equipment has begun showing up for sale online at steeply discounted prices, he said. "This is the way we protect our business partners yet allow our products to be marketed on the Internet for less than list price," he said.

Greg Still, managing partner of Xiologix, a Tualatin, Ore.-based solution provider, said that while he has seen some competition from online resellers, most customers prefer to purchase through a value-added partner that can set the system up, custom-configure it and provide training.

"People do due diligence and try to shop [around], but at the end of the day, people are not willing to base their communications infrastructure on something they buy over the Internet," Still said.