Managed.IT - Issue 63

24 01732 759725 COMMUNICATIONS equipment that is secure. Conclusion When it comes to IP telephony, the playing field is no longer divided between those who use professional solutions and devices and those who don’t. It’s not even between early adopters of the technology and those who delay adoption. Instead, it is between those who see this technology as just another way to carry on as normal and those who use these technologies to completely reconfigure their company processes. also adhere to data protection guidelines applicable in the EU and other countries ‘by design’. This makes it much harder for cybercriminals to record conversations via IP phones than, for example, via smartphones or conventional in-house phones. Premium manufacturers of IP devices and accessories, such as Snom Technology, offer regular free firmware updates, which on one level provide additional features for the phone’s functions and on another close potential security vulnerabilities or exploits. In this way, companies can be confident that they are using 3. Secure communication Communication and efficiency go hand in hand. During the pandemic, it became apparent just how important the availability of suitable communication terminals is for maintaining productivity. One of the most important features of the latest generation of IP phones is their built-in security mechanisms. These include restricting access to the switchboard to specific devices (and vice versa), randomising the port via which phone calls are made and introducing encryption mechanisms for all voice traffic. European manufacturers ...continued KNX control Snom Technology has long argued that IP terminals are more than mere communication solutions – a point reinforced at the end of last year when the IP phone manufacturer was granted a European patent for a KNX URL gateway for home and building automation that allows KNXcapable devices to be controlled using non-KNXcapable IP devices, such as VoIP terminals. KNX is an open standard for home and building automation that has become one of the most popular bus systems for buildings automation in Europe and Asia. The development of the KNX URL gateway, which supports communication between sensors and KNX actuators, allows a Snom IP deskphone to be used as a KNX control unit without the need for KNX integrators to personalise its function keys or the need to purchase (usually expensive) KNX sensors. By configuring its function keys, a Snom D735 desk phone with integrated brightness sensors can continually regulate light in a workplace by controlling a KNX dimming actuator. The phone’s function keys can also be used to raise or lower a blind or open a window. With the addition of extra components, such as a USB temperature sensor, a Snom D735 could also control KNX heating actuators. Snom Software Developer and KNX integrator Golpe Varela, who invented Snom’s patented process, said: “The right control and visualisation device for all application areas is already available with our telephones, whether it’s a static device in our desk phones or a mobile device with our DECT solutions. Lighting and heating control are just the latest functionalities, with many others on the horizon. This means our end devices also significantly contribute to energy savings.” By transmitting temperature or air quality values to the telephone or directly installing dedicated sensors on the terminal, KNX heating, air conditioning and ventilation actuators can be controlled. The use of the IP telephone as a KNX control unit also significantly increases the flexibility of these systems. For example, the end device can be operated at any time in another room, controlling a different circuit in the building without someone having to be present on site. Varela added: “The patented process means the Snom KNX gateway only needs to be integrated once into the KNX system and acts as independently as possible from the parameterisation in ETS (KNX configuration software). This means the user of the IP end device can determine themselves which button on the telephone should control which circuit at any time.” Snom is now looking at other possibilities including the integration of Snom's beacon and DECT technologies with business automation scenarios. Varela said: “Basically, there are no limits to creativity and imagination when it comes to a smart building. Over the long term, sustainably constructed buildings will continue to be networked and digitised. The only limiting factor will always be the internal structure of the companies and their equipment. But almost everyone already has an IP telephone and therefore a potential control unit on their desk.” Golpe Varela