Compaq and Cisco want Kiwi firms to throw out their PABX phone systems and run phone services over computer data networks.
The pair have set up a computer laboratory in Compaq's Auckland offices for firms to trial various internet protocol (IP) telephony systems.
Compaq network team leader Graeme McDonald says few New Zealand firms use IP, but the two giants making it available on industry-standard platforms will encourage firms to increasingly consider it.
Compaq is training six more IP consultants, up from their current two, to deal with an expected take-up in business. The Compaq lab contains a Cisco 8600 frame, relay switches, routers and switches, and an AVVID laboratory of phones, gateways and servers. Its free trial service is aimed at any firm with a PABX that is becoming too expensive to maintain or needs replacing.
McDonald says IP telephony allows the transmission of voices of the network without a separate PABX system and associated cabling, if there is sufficient bandwith.
Since September 1999, Cisco says it has shipped 11,000 Media Convergence Servers that work at the heart of the Compaq/Cisco IP telephony system.