Lucent Launches Communications System For Small Business

Lucent Technologies Inc. Tuesday debuted a communications system it says will give small to midsize companies something that larger enterprises have had for years--the ability to access the Internet and Public Switched Telephone Network on a single platform.

With the Merlin Magix Integrated System, small-business owners will no longer have to deal with multiple hardware, software, or other service providers for their communication needs, says George Humphrey, strategic product development manager. Its Integrated Network Access circuit module component lets users send local and long distance calls to the PSTN, and get ISP services from a LAN, via a converged T1 connection at a 25% to 70% savings on communications costs, he says.

"Traditionally, SMBs have had to purchase their Data Service Units, Channel Service Units, and IP data routers from different vendors, which can be very costly," says Humphrey. "We have integrated all of that and more into one card that can be installed easily to reduce those costs dramatically." The Integrated Network Access circuit module also includes a firewall.

The Merlin Magix PBX can handle up to 80 telephone lines and up to 200 telephones. It works with the Merlin Messaging Voice System, which offers voice 200 mailboxes, 100 hours of storage, and four automated attendants, and with new digital telephones including Lucent's 4400-Series Digital Telephones with menu-driven displays. Michelle English, an analyst at Gartner Group subsidiary Data-Pro, says that Merlin Magix's significant features include new metal cabinets that offer EMI protection. "The metal cabinets also allow Lucent to set up the phone system prior to installation, thereby providing users with better support," says English.

Due Oct. 25, Merlin Magix Integrated System module costs $3,294 for a 4 line, 12-station configuration, while Merlin Magix Integrated Network Access Circuit module is $4,995.

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