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Published on December 9th, 2009 | by Alexis Argent

Xorcom TwinStar: An Interview with Ruth Bridger, VP Marketing, Xorcom

Recently, we interviewed Ruth Bridger, Xorcom’s VP of Marketing to learn a little more about Xorcom and their TwinStar appliance in particular.  Xorcom is a privately-held IP-PBX and Asterisk Hardware manufacturer that harnesses Asterisk® Open Source IP-PBX to design and produce leading-edge hardware telephony solutions for commercial installations.

The following is a summary of our conversation or listen to the podcast to hear the full interview.

1) [VoIPon] So, Ruth, recently we’ve interviewed a number of vendors such as Digium, Foncordiax, 3cx and Pika, and they are all offering what they consider to be the best PBX solution on the market, how does Xorcom and the TwinStar in particular, stand out from the rest of the competition?

[Ruth Bridger, Xorcom VP Marketing] First of all, Xorcom systems offer hybrid support. That is to say, they support both PSTN and VoIP traffic on a single PBX. This means that Xorcom systems can integrate into existing telephony environments to provide the added benefit of VoIP, or completely replace an existing PSTN-based system to provide all of the telephony for an organization while allowing the customer to maintain the existing infrastructure – wiring and handsets alike. Second of all, our systems are modular and scalable, so they can grow with the organization. Our IP-PBX line supports from 50 up to 1000 users. Also, because our systems are open, they integrate easily with 3rd party applications. For example, many of our partners integrate their software on our hardware platform to provide a bundled solution for contact centers and telemarketing operations. And last but not least, we have the only complete failover solution in the market for Asterisk-based PBX, including servers, telephony interfaces, and IP phones.  It’s called TwinStar, and it is unique in this aspect because it is based on our XPP architecture, in which the telephony interfaces are external to the Asterisk server, and therefore not server-dependent in case of server failure.

2)      [VoIPon] So what sort of failover events might the TwinStar catch? Is there any type of failover that it won’t catch?

[RB] TwinStar is programmed to detect any server-based issue, such as faulty power supply, hardware component, software error, disconnected cable, etc. What it will not catch is something like a complete power outage, for example. This is something that the integrator would have to protect using some other method such as a UPS or generator.

3)      [VoIPon] What type of organization do you think would be the best candidate to purchase such an appliance?

[RB] Due to the flexibility and modularity of our systems, which I just mentioned, we see a wide range of customers: from small lawyers’ offices to multi-billion dollar international corporations with dozens of remote sites.  I would say that the sweet spot is organizations with between 50 and 500 users. If we’re talking about vertical markets, we notice that hospitality is a great match. Many hotels have existing telephony infrastructure supporting hundreds of FXS lines. If they want to integrate their voice and data networks, Xorcom’s high density systems, which can support almost 700 FXS lines in a single configuration, are a great choice.

4) [VoIPon] From your perspective where do you see the future of the Open Source Telephony market going?

[RB] The Open Source telephony market is definitely growing rapidly.  Recent research by Eastern Management Group shows that it grew 30% worldwide in the first half of 2009, while the traditional PBX market more or less stagnated.  Don’t you think the Open Source telephony market share is quite large, considering the short time it’s been available? We see it growing across all industries and for all system sizes. I wouldn’t be surprised if open source starts to constitute the majority of new telephony implementations in a very short time.

5)      [VoIPon] What more might VoIPon’s listeners see out of Xorcom in the near future?
[RB] Oh – we have quite a lot going on right now! Much of our development activity centers around building reliability into open source telephony. We’ll soon present new products which optimize power management for larger implementations by using a redundant power supply feature for the telephony interfaces. We’ll also launch a high density PRI unit, improved models of our medium and high-end PBX lines, and announce integration with some hot new technologies. All of these endeavors will be discussed and demonstrated next month at the IT Expo in Miami, Florida.

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