CommuniGate opens up to SIP voice platform

CommuniGate Systems recently released the newest version of its messaging platform designed to provide users with improved voice support.

The company, formerly known as Stalker Software, released CommuniGate Pro 5.0, which includes VoIP features that allow customers to cluster servers to create scalable infrastructure to support voice, along with call logging and bill-back features. The software includes conferencing, call control features, voice mail storage within in-boxes and the CommuniGate programming language for customizing voice applications.

The company says it hopes to create a voice platform using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), which is finding acceptance with messaging vendors, as well as instant messaging platforms.

“VoIP is a technology whose time has come,” says Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research. “The quality of service issues have pretty much been solved and the cost savings can potentially be pretty dramatic. This is where all messaging systems are going.” Osterman says eventually the real hook for VoIP will be integration with other network services.

CommuniGate is focusing its 5.0 release on applications as well as infrastructure improvements, including SIP clustering that lets users add nodes to a live cluster.

The server also supports call detail record logging and integration with billing systems and click-to-call from Outlook and Web mail.

CommuniGate Pro also handles network address translation traversal and includes the ability to deal with non-standard SIP soft switches and clients, including support for extensions that Microsoft has written for SIP around authentication.

The server includes multipoint conferencing capabilities that allow users to create and host online conferences, an auto-attendant and automatic call distribution that supports call queuing for call centres.

CommuniGate Pro also delivers voice mail to e-mail in-boxes. Voice mail also can be forwarded to a mobile device or notification sent via IM.

The application features require a connection to a public switched telephone network, which can be either a service or premise equipment.

“We see this as what Internet communication is and will be in the future,” says Thom O’Connor, director of product architecture for CommuniGate. “It is just another method of accessing communication ultimately.”

O’Connor says CommuniGate will be adding video mixing in a future upgrade to the server.

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