3Com Launches Enterprise IP Telephony Softswitch

As previously reported in CRN, 3Com is adapting a softswitch from CommWorks, the service provider business unit it sold to telecom gear maker UTStarcom in March.

The new softswitch, dubbed VCX (Voice Core eXchange) V7000, brings carrier-class technology to enterprise customers, scaling to support up to 50,000 users, said Douglas Adams, director of marketing for enterprise voice solutions at 3Com, Santa Clara, Calif.

3Com will continue to offer its NBX IP-PBX line for small and midsize customers, which tops out at about 1,000 users, he said.

The softswitch runs on standard Sun servers and is based on open standards, such as the emerging Session Initiation Protocol call-control standard, and therefore, it supports third-party gateways, phones, voice-mail and contact centers, said Himanshu Sahu, senior manager of enterprise solutions at 3Com.

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Sahu said 3Com is working with an unnamed application partner to develop a high-end contact center offering for the VCX product line, which the company expects to announce in about two weeks.

3Com is still developing an authorization program for the VCX line, Adams said. The company expects to 20 to 50 solution providers, including some new recruits, to join the program, he said.

"We have some current partners that just won't be in the enterprise space," Adams said.

The company is also still working out its distribution strategy for the product line, he said.

For 1,000 users, the VCX V7000, available now, is priced at $695 per seat, including the server, phones and voice mail.

LARRY HOOPER contributed to this story.