3Com makes NBX as easy as ABC

3Com Canada recently released its NBX Call Centre solution that aims to address the needs of smaller businesses and allow them to better compete with larger call centres, the company said.

According to 3Com, the NBX is an out-of-the-box solution that offers agent control capabilities allowing agents to access the system to queue and manage calls, and offers varied levels of access and management.

Vishnu Singh, 3Com’s network telephony specialist, said that the NBX does not require a lot of professional or consulting services. He said the solution comes with some predefined queues, allowing for customer customization.

“We are going after [a space] where there is a lot of low-lying fruit: the small and medium customer that is looking for a call centre that will give them the capability to act like one of the larger call centres,” Singh said.

3com said the NBX Call Centre works with 3Com’s SuperStack 3 NBX Network Telephony solution or the NBX 100 Communications system. Singh noted that the difference between the two is in terms of capacity, saying that the NBX 100 scales to 150 users, whereas the SuperStack NBX scales to 600 users.

“Features like unified messaging, the ability to have a universal inbox to manage voice and e-mail, are standard features on the NBX platform,” Singh said. “Integrated into the Call Centre solution is call centre software that provides the automatic call distribution component on this platform.”

Although Singh said it is not necessary for a customer to have NBX 100 or SuperStack 3 NBX in place, he did say that 3Com will build on top of an existing NBX platform, adding that part of the solution will include the NBX chassis as a bundle.

Dan McLean, director of enterprise network services research for IDC Canada in Toronto, said that small businesses have traditionally been locked out of sophisticated voice solutions because they have been cost-prohibitive and too feature-rich for them.

“An NBX is designed to be much simpler to install,” McLean said. “One of the problems with a traditional PBX system is that if you change the system, there is a whole world of complexity. It is not as simple and straightforward as a device like an NBX which is built so that you simply unplug [a user’s phone line] and plug [it] in somewhere else.”

McLean added that 3com has a strong reputation in its IP-based packetized voice/telephony systems.

“There has been pretty good feedback on their product,” he said. “I think that their product is seen as a technologically good product and one that is establishing an early strong presence in the market right now.”

Singh said a sweet spot for the NBX is in the 25-call-centre-representative range. He said the 3Com solution costs approximately 40 per cent less than a traditional PBX system, but stresses that although it cuts on cost, it will not cut on quality.

“With the NBX, we are building upon Ethernet standards and IP standards which are very much open and we can build upon an existing customer’s infrastructure,” Singh said. “We don’t require them to buy 3com’s gear for their switches. They can use any product on the market.”

The NBX Call Centre solution is available now. One eight-port, 10-agent software bundle including one supervisor, administrator and report manager, plus hardware, starts at $56,245. For details, visit www.3com.ca.