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January 31, 1989

DEC UNVEILS COMPUTER-INTEGRATED TELEPHONY SYSTEMS – FOR THE UK ONLY

By CBR Staff Writer

DEC UK yesterday finally launched its long-promised Computer Integrated Telephony – CIT – products, for use with Mitel Corp’s analogue Regent Generic 257 PABX, claiming they allow a computer application to use the features of a telephone system. The company gave news of an integrated voice-data system that ties together the Regent and the VAX at Telecom ’87 in Geneva (CI No 792). Available in the UK only, it appears the Regent was chosen primarily because of its installed base of several thousand, and the companies’ ability to connect it to VAXes relatively quickly. DEC provides the server for the Regent, which has a licence price of $2,000, and the application interface for the VAXes; the interface is a software product that provides users with a library of VMS routines, enabling them to initiate PABX features – prices range up to a maximum of $8,200. DEC envisages applications in maintenance, verification of records, and, given greater penetration of ISDN, emergency services. Large companies will be early targets, with internal telemarketing departments of particular interest. British Telecom offers rental of the Regent for UKP750 per month, while customers require a dedicated line for remote testing. Two third party software developers have announced support for the Computer Integrated Telephony programme; software house Enator Ltd has two systems using the DEC software, Telemanager – an automatic call distribution system – and Teleshell for smaller applications, while Information Builders Ltd, UK subsidiary of New York-based Information Builders Inc, has the Focus/CID Interface, a fourth generation applications development language. Third party vendors say prices will typically be between $7,000 and $8,000 per workstation. DEC will eventually be looking to promote Computer Integrated Telephony outside the UK, and is negotiating with PABX manufacturers Northern Telecom, Philips NV, GEC Plessey Telecommunications, NEC America, Siemens AG and L M Ericcson. The Regent uses Mitel’s HCI protocol, which DEC claims will evolve towards any European Computer Manufacturers Association standard for other computer integrated telephony products; the interface and server have been released in advance of any ECMA standard.

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