Small and medium-sized businesses often turn to hosted IP PBX services for rich features, multi-site convenience, zero maintenance and lower phone bills. Now they’ll have help picking the right phones. Junction Networks
, makers of Hosted VoIP service OnSIP
, has begun a review site
where their engineering team will regularly post evaluations and the results of their independent, vigorous tests on SIP phones, soft phones and other user agents.
“Once customers plug in and register their phones as extensions to a SIP PBX, whether hosted or on-premise, they should have no further worries about that phone’s capabilities,” says Robert Wolpov, Junction Networks president. “We put each phone through a multi-step interoperability test of 32 basic functions, as outlined in the SIP specification: ring, go on hold, transfer, and so on. If a phone fails any one of them, we’ll let you know.” They also judge models by subjective criteria such as voice quality and ease and comfort of use.
Wolpov points out that Junction Networks, unlike most other hosted IP PBX companies, does not resell any particular vendor’s phone, allowing it to make unbiased judgments (and allowing OnSIP customers to use any SIP-compliant device they may already own). “At the same time,” he notes, “our experience with a wide range of customers allows us to fit a review to the user scenario. We’ll advise you, for example, that high-definition audio quality is a worthwhile splurge, but if you’re choosing a conference room phone that won’t be used much, it’s ok to save money with traditional audio quality.”
The site is kicking off with Linksys SPA942, Polycom 331, and Snom 320 VoIP phone reviews. Junction Networks intends to review more of the 20 phones whose configuration details are already listed on the OnSIP Knowledgebase, as well as new models as they’re released. They’ll use Twitter (www.twitter.com/onsip
) to tell followers when new results are posted. They also hope to receive the same requests for evaluation that vendors commonly send the testing labs of trade and consumer media. Readers are welcome to talk back with their own comments on reviews and phones.