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19.10.09 Plantronics Expands Unified Communications Product Line into the Contact Center

Plantronics Inc. continued its nearly 50-year history of developing breakthrough products with the new IP40™, a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) endpoint device for the contact center. The IP40 connects agent headsets directly to the Ethernet to unify contact center software applications with all inbound and outbound call activity.

Because the IP40 SIP endpoint device connects directly to the Ethernet, it eliminates the need for a costly desk phone while avoiding reliance on the PC to process voice, previously the only other option. It is designed specifically for the heavy traffic loads and premium voice quality requirements found in contact centers.

The IP40 is a plug-and-play standalone device controlled by the contact center routing engine. It registers with the SIP proxy upon start up, and is controlled from the contact center software application. Integrating the IP40 with contact center applications helps improve collaboration and workflow management among agents and managers so they can provide better customer service. For example, agents using the IP40 initiate all calls through the contact center software application which ensures all call actions are accurately recorded for management.

“Robust, quality audio is critical for contact centers,” said Nick Eisner, director of Contact Center Product Management at Plantronics “Customers tell us they want to simplify and drive call control to the workstation application to ensure that their quality systems capture every move an agent makes. The IP40 leverages the customer’s investment in VoIP and SIP, eliminating the telephone on the agent’s desk but without compromising the robustness of the voice path. It also reduces power consumption and optimizes audio quality for intelligibility; less is truly more.”

Analyst and Customer Reactions

“One of the early payoffs for adopting SIP-enabled IP telephony in contact centers will be the ability to dramatically lower agent terminal costs,” said Drew Kraus research vice president at Gartner. “The ability to directly connect agent headsets to the LAN, doing away with desk phones or PCs as voice path devices, should be of great interest to contact center planners and IT departments as they look to lower infrastructure costs.”

The IP40 has already been tested at INOVO Telecom, a leading global supplier of contact center solutions. “We simply love the IP40; it provides a unique value proposition for any contact center,” said Eugene Schalkwyk, chief technology officer at INOVO. “It not only significantly reduces complexity for the operator but is very easy to install and maintain. The market has been asking for a unit like this for a long time and we can finally offer a high quality and cost effective SIP device.”

Plantronics IP40

The IP40: Reliable Audio Quality with Desktop Simplicity

The IP40 features and benefits include:

  • Reliable and robust voice path independent of the PC or Deskphone
  • Call control interface via the contact center software enables all action to be captured
  • Telephone not required which reduces footprint on desktop
  • More economical and draws up to 2/3 less power than a contact center telephone
  • Dual Ethernet ports let PC share the IP40 network connection
  • Device powered using standard 802.3af Power over Ethernet
  • Compatible with Plantronics professional grade headsets
  • Simple plug-and-play installation
  • Provides control features such as transmit mute, receive volume adjust, and call answer/end button with a remotely configurable auto-answer option
  • Features presence-based automatic hold when the headset is detached using the QuickDisconnect™ feature


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