Case Study - A Good Call Through High Performance Peripherals
A dynamic relationship between supplier and OEM developer
means the telephony industry is guaranteed the best possible products.
As the capabilities in call management systems become more
advanced, then so the requirement for high reliability computer
Sophisticated call processing systems today can deal with
demanding telecommunications operations such as centralised service
management, voice mail, CTI, call queuing, live feeds and integrated
direct database access including online credit transaction.
To drive this need, telephony systems need to be built around
reliable components designed for flexibility, performance and
efficiency. OEM Developers would be unwise to integrate their hardware
and software solutions into cheaper peripheral systems aimed
predominantly at more commercial markets.
So, what are the main priorities telephony OEMs need to
consider? High reliability for mission critical operations, space
saving and flexibility for expansion are just some important
requirements. Reliable hardware is vital, since downtime for mission
critical operations in telephony and related industries is
unacceptable. Fast systems help maximise bandwidth occupation during
peak and off peak rates also.
Good communication between the hardware vendor and OEM
developer is vital to ensure the customer receives the most flexible
value-added hardware systems available. I-Bus has been a vendor
supplier to C3 Ltd for a number of years and has developed a good
working relationship over that time.
I-Bus is the world's leading provider of high reliability
computing solutions for a range of industries including
telecommunications, internet service providers, broadcast, and more,
with manufacturing facilities in the USA and UK. This means OEMs like
C3 Ltd, gain dedicated customer support and priority shipping.
C3 Ltd is a leading supplier of call processing and computer
systems for the telephony market. The company's latest 'Consort' voice
mail handling system, and 'Apcentia' communications platforms are based
around renowned TR4 hardware enclosures from I-Bus.
Why is this important? Well, firstly the basic structure of
the TR4 chassis means that it can be transformed rapidly from a
development system to production product, then delivered on to C3. This
guarantees an economical turnaround time for a single product.
Secondly, after deciding the memory requirement and processor speed the
next important stage is designing the hardware architecture.
While standard ATX motherboards are an economical option,
found on the majority of today's commercial desktop computers; all the
processor, memory and peripheral ports are mounted on the same board,
which leaves very little room for expansion.
In a Passive Backplane structure, utilised by I-Bus, all the
peripheral device ports for the monitor, keyboard, printer, mouse,
processor, memory and SCSI are placed on a separate Single Board
Computer. This means the passive backplane has all slots available for
expansion with cards. Up to 13 slots are available on the TR4 chassis,
compared to only 3 slots on a typical motherboard. This gives C3 the
room to integrate its own hardware and add more value to the system.
Space saving is also an important issue, particularly for
those clients who occupy shared telecommunication houses. Hardware
systems can be redesigned to provide a range of sizes.
I-Bus offers this flexible approach, providing C3 with either standard
desktop or high-availability rackmount systems, depending on the space
As well as supplying the hardware, I-Bus also has a dedicated
powder coating facility to paint the hardware in any colour and screen
print logos according the customer's corporate designs.
I-Bus is successful with OEMs like C3 because it guarantees
a continuous and reliable supply of systems whenever demand requires.
There is a flexible approach to systems design, so the client is
guaranteed the best possible product. I-Bus in particular is taking the
lead in rugged CompactPCI technology, which is becoming increasingly
prevalent in telephony applications. Hardware features, including
hot-swap power supplies for continual operation, fan assisted air
cooling for component efficiency, and many more can be integrated
according to designs required.
With competition in today's markets driving costs down, OEMs
are continually looking to reduce the number of vendor suppliers to
those that can provide a one-stop solution from concept to product
completion. I-Bus is aiming to become a single vendor by installing
peripherals such as the cabling, switches, keyboards, monitors, racks,
and additional peripherals for telephony boards. This is a much more
cost-effective approach, because OEMs can take advantage of the
manufacturing facilities at I-Bus. This removes many system build
issues from clients, so they have an entire package on delivery for
immediate sale. Such relationships benefit the telephony industry with
the most reliable and innovative products placed on the market, and
OEMs can focus entirely on developing their core business to the
benefit of all users.