Portuguese vendor offers enhanced gateway product

The idea isn’t new: offering small and medium-size businesses an affordable, all-in-one box that meets nearly all their needs for managed network services. But a Portuguese startup believes its technology provides all that and more — and for less money.

Critical Software SA plans next month to offer a new version of its edgeBox multifunctional gateway technology that will offer several new features aimed at making communications easier and less costly for customers, said Joao Carreira, vice president of business development at the Lisbon-based vendor.

The gateway system, launched this year at the Cebit IT trade show in Hanover, Germany, offers a range of out-of-the box services, including voice, data, security and collaboration. It effectively replaces several pieces of equipment currently required to deliver services at the edge of the network, such as router, security and VPN (virtual private network) systems, according to Carreira.

“This plug-and-play product is designed for small companies that lack the IT expertise and money of large enterprise,” he said. “We see substantial demand for the products in emerging markets, in particular, where both know-how and money are an issue, but we also see demand in developed markets as well. SMEs are very cost conscious.”

The new 4.0 version of the product has several new features, including an IP-PBX (Internet Protocol-private branch exchange) and PSTN (public switched telephone network) gateway with interactive voice response and least-cost routing capabilities, the ability to work as a Windows primary domain control and remote authentication through LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol).

The recommended retail price is

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