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Zultys: A start-up to watch

Apr 21, 20033 mins

These young vendors offer fresh approaches for addressing today's enterprise network challenges, from setting up secure wireless LANs to virtualizing data center resources.

Company name: The name is derived from the word zaltys, a small green snake, which in Baltic traditions was a symbol of prosperity and wealth..

Zultys Technologies

Company name: The name is derived from the word zaltys, a small green snake, which in Baltic traditions was a symbol of prosperity and wealth.

Origin: Founded in October 2001 by Iain Milnes, former founder of Zarak Systems, a telecom testing equipment maker sold to Spirent Communications.

Funding: Zultys is privately funded; Iain Milnes is the majority shareholder.

Investors: None.

CEO: Iain Milnes.

Product: MX1200 IP PBX.

Zultys Technologies hopes to make noise in the enterprise IP telephony market with two emerging technologies at its core – the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Linux. And for good measure, the company has thrown in router, Ethernet switch and firewall functionality into its debut product, the MX1200 IP PBX.

Introduced in January and available now for businesses looking to converge voice and data over a single IP infrastructure, the MX1200 supports up to 4,800 users. This is accomplished by clustering four devices, each of which supports 1,200 users, into one system. Pricing ranges from $20,000 to $212,000, depending on the configuration and the number of users supported.

Zultys, of Sunnyvale, Calif., differs from many telephony competitors in that it will deliver voice using SIP, an emerging Internet Engineering Task Force standard for controlling the setup of voice, video and instant messaging sessions over IP. Observers say SIP could improve IP telephony equipment interoperability, while providing more advanced features than did previous standards, such as H.323, or proprietary voice-over-IP protocols used widely by vendors.

The product works with SIP-based phones from Cisco, IpDialog, Pingtel and Snom Technology, and can use a Microsoft Windows XP PC running the SIP-based Windows Messenger as a communications client. The MX1200 can also perform standard PBX functions like call forwarding, call pickup, caller ID, conferencing and intercom.

Zultys takes a different approach with its server platform, too. Using a real-time version of the open source Linux operating system addresses the concerns many have expressed regarding the danger of betting a telephony infrastructure on crash-prone and hacker-targeted Windows server technology.

While IP PBX competitors such as Alcatel, Avaya, Cisco, Nortel and Siemens have become more committed to migrating to SIP and investing in Linux, observers give Zultys the edge with a product coming out of the gate with these technologies. However, Zultys has not revealed any customers yet.

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