IBM gears up for voice, bolsters networking lines

IBM gears up for voice, bolsters networking lines

IBM last week was expected to jump into emerging remote-access technologies with a new router as well as voice-over-IP capabilities.

The company's Access Integrator router will offer AS/400 thin-client support features as well as conventional dial-up capability, according to company officials. In one configuration, it will be able to cache the information that thin clients need to start up.

The announcement will be one of a series of introductions that will include Ethernet and ATM LAN switches, as well as enhancements to the company's core routing software.

IBM was also expected to announce voice/data integration support for its entire router line. It will leverage Lotus' acquisition of DataBeam to bring voice-over-IP and voice-over-frame-relay capabilities to a number of products. The company will provide voice/data integration on the Access Utility, the IBM 2210 Nways Multiprotocol Router, and the IBM 2216 Nways Multiaccess connector.

According to Steve Monti, voice/data systems manager at IBM, these solutions will allow for toll bypass of the public switched telephone network, as well as business applications, such as Web-based call centres, unified messaging, conferencing, and follow-me services.

With its Access Integrator, the company touted more efficient thin-client support. Users in a branch office will be able to access the boot images of their thin-client devices without traversing the WAN to the central AS/400.

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