I got an exclusive look at Centile’s most recent turnkey solution for fixed-line, mobile operators, MVNOs, integrators, and resellers
I recently had a demo of the latest version of Centile’s UC and Fixed Mobile Convergence product offering – ISTRA. The platform is an all-in-one solution for SMB telephony. With a focus on mobile-first communications and collaboration capabilities – the Cloud PBX has 3,000 contracted users in the UK, according to UK Director at Centile, Justin Hamilton-Martin.
Centile’s largest single ISTRA platform in use today is 250,000 (ELISA in Finland).
What’s particularly strong in the latest release is ISTRA’s enhanced FMC capabilities. ISTRA’s native SIM capability is a game-changer sure to shake up the marketplace. The turnkey solution aims to end the need to reinvest in new solutions by leveraging GSM networks and enables resellers to control individual SIMs.
Centile ISTRA further permits mobile meetings, collaboration, file/data sharing, and access to call history. For warehouse workers with a ‘hot desk’ – ISTRA’s response – mobility.
One thing you should know about ISTRA is that it’s packed with app and CRM integrationslike Salesforce, Google Contacts, and Dynamics through My ISTRA. In total, there are four ways to deploy ISTRA:
Cloud Edition comes with hosting, and you’re expected to bring a carrier. ISTRA Cloud Edition is best suited for resellers who don’t want to host/manage their own platform. Under this model, Centile provides incubated platforms operated by data center experts.
ISTRA Compact Edition is a compact platform hosted by operators, which supports up to 10,000 users. All modules in the solution are redundant – running in 1+1 architecture, be it physical or virtual. Modules are allocated to users at an extension level.
ISTRA Evolutive Edition supports between 10,000 and 100,000 users. It consists of at least four servers (physical or virtual) and enables front-end scaling using 2+2N servers.
ISTRA Distributed Edition is a distributed platform that allows unlimited users. The IPS (Information Processing System) has a minimum number of virtual or physical servers and scales by adding pairs of servers on a per-role basis (2+2N+2M).
Other key ISTRA features include:
Visual Conference with screen/file sharing
Fixed mobile convergence
Short time to market
From what I saw – ISTRA is a solid platform and offers four ways for end-users to deploy telephony features:
Mobiis is a native application powered by Centile ISTRA which enables PR remote control of business communications. The platform is intuitive and simple to deploy, providing significant value for users who want to access cloud comms services from Android and iOS devices.
Among its most crucial features is one-touch access to main value-added services, push notifications, and an integrated VoIP softphone with end-to-end encryption. There is even the ability to switch to a GSM network when IP connectivity is poor.
Via Mobiis, security is not an issue, as there is SIP, TLS, and SRTP encryption. Users can record calls, redirect them, and host a group call – all from Mobiis.
ISTRA Selfcare Client is a portal for enterprise users that makes management of UC settings from mobile devices and desktops – effortless. ISTRA’s Selfcare Client softphone converts computers into a multi-function VoIP phone, which fosters calls and communications management from a computer.
ISTRA’s Selfcare Client is compatible with Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. The platform is accessible from PC, Mac or a smartphone. Manage contacts, caller ID, presence, IP phone, instant message/voicemail, call queuing, screening, and more.
ISTRA Collab is for video conferencing and collaboration for enterprise end users. Through Collab, users can organize remote video meetings with full screen and file sharing functionalities. ISTRA Collab enjoys full integration with MyISTRA and is accessible through PC, iOS, as well as Android devices.
ISTRA Collab is capable of hosting 100 participants per room, and there’s white-board technology, remote control, group, and private chat. ISTRA Collab delivers at creating a seamless collaboration experience.
UCC Connect lets users call in one click, and supports integrations to CRMs like Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, and Sage.
Centile designed ISTRA for painless integration to existing infrastructure. Because of this, ISTRA offers a short time to market. Among its countless other benefits, ISTRA supports a large range of certified terminals, which enjoy auto-provisioning, fine integration, and regular updates.
The Cloud offering achieves something that has been difficult until recently – full call recording/logging, from a mobile/GSM extension on the PBX. This feature turns mobile devices into a GSM extension on a customer’s PBX – enabling calls without an app.
ISTRA is adaptable by nature and available in a variety of modules – all optimized for Cloud PBX trunking. Modules are also optimized for unified communications, full mobile convergence, contact centers, interactive voice response, and business collaboration.
For service providers and resellers – they can create APIs as well as brand the platform with their own branding. They can even use ISTRA without exposing data, thanks to tight-grip security features. Convenience is a key distinction of ISTRA, as users can access a single voicemail for all numbers, mobile, fixed, and internal.
Centile acquired a hosting business focused on FMC, bringing hosting and Centile contracts into one place. This exemplifies a real commitment to the marketplace through infrastructure investment. Such an offering may shift the weight off service providers so they can focus on bundling FMC service plans.
For SMBs and enterprises of all sizes, ISTRA is probably one of the leading methods for telephony deployment. ISTRA offers just about everything under the sun users need to ensure stable and true unified business comms.
In the end – I found ISTRA to be a beastly platform, that lived up to my expectations features wise, APIs, and pretty much any other way you could imagine. With its latest offering, it is clear – Centile is continuing its path toward European market domination.
IAN TAYLOR :
"Four deployment options – impressive flexibility from Centile…"