Compaq Continues Telephony Partnerships

At Compaq's PartnerVision conference in Chicago last month, the company announced an alliance with AltiGen Communications Inc. to sell a server-based PBX and voice-over-IP (VoIP) solution running on Windows NT.

At Compaq Computer Corp.’s PartnerVision conference in Chicago last month, the company announced an alliance with AltiGen Communications Inc. (www.altigen.com) to sell a server-based PBX and voice-over-IP (VoIP) solution running on Windows NT. The partnership is part of a busy few weeks for Compaq in this arena. The move follows an agreement with Lucent Technologies (www.lucent.com), under which Compaq and Lucent will sell a combined voice and data solution that includes equipment from both companies.

The deal with AltiGen will produce a solution that features AltiGen's AltiServ all-in-one PBX system running on Compaq's Windows NT Server-based systems, such as ProLiant and ProSignia.

"The solution ships standard with features that in the telephony world would usually have to be bought separately," says Michele Shannon, vice president of sales at AltiGen.

For instance, in addition to basic features such as phone, corporate-class voicemail, auto attendant and basic automatic call distribution, AltiServ provides advanced functionality such as VoIP gateway, extensive "follow me" features, client call control, Internet integration and unified messaging with support for Microsoft Exchange.

The partnership will take advantage of Compaq’s distribution channels.

"We’ve been working with the channel to help develop more enterprise-knowledgeable telephony resellers for about two years," says Mimi Reilly, executive manager of communications industry at Compaq.

With a limit of about 150 seats, the Compaq-AltiGen solution is only adequate for branch-office sized environments. Compaq plans to offer a solution that will be designed for use in large corporations.

"We are working on a solution that is geared toward the enterprise," says Lynn Barnett, director of the customer premise equipment solutions group at Compaq’s communications industry solutions division.

Barnett would not comment further on the enterprise solution, except to say that it will appear in Europe before it is available the United States.