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pbxnsip Adds Live Graph of MOS Score / VoIP Quality Score

Ever wish you knew when call quality on your phone system was deteriorating? You may remember my earlier blog article about a free 3rd party service that will do this for free. pbxnsip has added a MOS monitoring graph directly inside their pbx product, right in the web administration panel! Wow!

Note that CPU Utilization and Call Quantity graphs have been in pbxnsip for a while.

3CX Responds to Overwelming Reseller & Administrator Demand for Call Assistant Client That Works With Terminal Server Edition

For some time 3CX has maintained that Windows Terminal Server technical limitations made it infeasible to make a 3CX client for that environment. In a move that I am sure is making many Terminal Server administrators leap for joy 3CX has reversed that position and has released a 3CX Call Assistant for MicrosoftTerminal Services.

Get the App & Read The Entire Article Here.

Nifty Calculator Tool Shows How Many $$ You Can Save By Getting the Right Phone Model

Very interesting "green" calculator by snom. Did you know that the Cisco 7970 is about the most expensive SIP phone to power? If you used 50 snom 300's instead you could save about $250 a year in electricity. ($.15kw/h) For 1000 phones this is about $5000! It adds up.

http://www.snom.com/en/why-snom/green-voip-with-snom/

Very Interesting New SIP Phone from Aastra: 6739i

I haven't had the oppertunity to look at one but it sure looks interesting. This is the first SIP phone that I know of (comment if I'm wrong) that has built in bluetooth headset connectivity. It also has a huge 5.7" full VGA screen screen.

Okay, just for some perspective: If a couple of years ago when I had a VGA screen on my DESKTOP computer you would have told me that PHONES would have vga...what would I have thought? (okay, maybe a few more than a couple of years...;-) And what is next? Dual Display phone handsets?

Tip Courtesy of Matthew Hanson of 888 Voipstore.
Video Courtesy of Aastra.

Windows Communication Software Vendors Get Behind Virtualization

Virtualization is a hot concept in the IT world and seems to be equally hot among Windows communication software vendors. Virtualization is especially compelling when the Hyper-V or VMWare infrastructure is in place.

3CX has been supporting virtualization as a way to achieve disaster recovery and a kind of "multi-tenant" functionality for a while now. In fact 3CX CEO Nick Galea says:

The production system at 3CX runs on Hyper V. We also do our bulktests on Hyper V as well as VMware ESX...

To read more 3CX VM Experience:
http://www.3cx.com/forums/running-3cx-in-a-virtualized-server-environment-11505.html

pbxnsip, while cautious about latency issue with VM's, is also behind virtualization. pbxnsip notes that because of the compact size of pbxnsip it can failover using virtualization technology in as little as a second!
See:
http://www.blogpbxnsip.com/search/label/VM
http://www.blogpbxnsip.com/2010/01/pbxnsip-reason-14-vm-support.html

Microsoft Office Communication Server 2007 R2 also now supports virtualization for some of the servers roles that do not handle realtime services such as voice, video, live meeting and desktop sharing. See the entire article at:
http://www.infoworld.com/d/virtualization/microsoft-outlines-ocs-virtualization-support-352

Backing Up Your Hyper-V Infrastructure
We have been reviewing what to recommend to backup a bunch of VM's on one Hyper-V server. Here is a good article on this subject.

Failover Without Virtualization
For the very small business (5-10 deskphones) with very little networking infrastructure implementing virtualization only for failover may very well be an overkill. In this situation a small phone appliance that is easily replaced might make the most sense. pbxnsip has an interesting fanless, noiseless and very low power consumption appliance that might be interesting option.

If you want a simple, Windows based failover solution with no single point of failure and that doesn't depend on any virtualization technology you might want to look at a heartbeat script I've developed to do simple Windows PC or server failover.

How Much Hardware for My Windows Phone System Server?




A common question I hear is: “What hardware specifications do I need for so-and-so phone server?” Because of all the variables possible in a software based phone system vendors are loathe to paint themselves into a corner. They can seem a bit coy about saying EXACTLY what you need for a certain configuration. Pbxnsip, in their Appliances Datasheet, has outlined some guidelines that may be helpful.

https://www.pbxnsipsupport.com/


PS- A day or so after this article I noticed a new article on the 3CX blog giving some call load specs using an Atom appliance. Take a look at the 3CX Blog article by clicking here.

3CX Launches 3rd Party Applications Site

Well, maybe not an App Store but...
In a move that I think is a great idea, 3CX now has a site to list 3rd party 3CX applications:

http://wiki.3cx.com/3rdparty

I had been keeping a very Unofficial list of SIP apps, addons etc that work with 3CX along with other SIP based IP PBX's.

Excellent Article on Using Sharepoint, MS Word & OCS to Make a Compelling Story

Tommy Clarke has a great article on using Word and OCS to make collaboration very easy. As a matter of fact we are testing Google Wave at our office and OCS combined with MS Word gets similar functionality.

Take a look this good article:
http://www.cinline.se/2010/02/the-magic-of-2010-aka-office-2010-sharepoint-2010-and-some-presence-in-action/

 

Free Tool That Integrates Office Communicator/OCS and Any SIP Based IP PBX Gets English Webpage & Update

Jan over at Project Scupa let me know that there is now an English webpage for the SCUPA Project and there soon will be a Business Edition of the product released.

This product is made possible by the rich API's available from Microsoft for the Microsoft Office Communicator. These developement tools make integrating OC functionality and presence into applications quite easy.

My opinion is that this continued integration of phones and software will continue to surface traditionally hard-to-find features of communcation systems.

The new English website available by clicking here.

snom Kicks In & Is Giving Away 2 snom Phone Handsets at the 3CX Book Launch on March 2, 2010 2PM EST!

snom, maker of the VoIP phone, is generously offering a snom m3 Portable, DECT SIP phone with base station, snom 300 desk phone which is ALSO OCS capable and snom Gear (mixed bag) for us to give away at the March 2, 2010 2PM EST Live Web Book Launch Event! At the live event you can comment live and submit questions-- so bring your questions! We hope to make this fun, interactive and interesting! You can buy a book right now or attend the event and see if you can get one free! ;-)

All You Need Do:
#1-Register for the Event:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2010/02/3cx-phone-system-tutorial-book-released.html

#2-Attend The Event! (you must be present to accept your prize)
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2009/12/windowspbxblogspotcom-events.html

I think snom deserves a big THANK YOU for this give away!

Bigger Picture of the snom Vision

Still no link that I know about.

OCS 2010 Will Rock the Foundation of the Voice World...

Korneel Bullens, over at UC by KB, makes some big statements about OCS 2010:

I honestly believe this wave will be a literal tidle wave in the Voice
Segment of IT. OCS 2010 will rock the foundation of the Voice world, providing
an affordable alternative to the big PBX players in the world…

See his blog and post at:
http://www.korneel.nl/?p=30

snom To Release 800 Series Expansion Module: snom Vision

I don't see any link yet but look at the flash on the main screen of www.snom.com.
If this is OCS enabled it will be the first hardware Attendent console for Office Communication Server.
 

We Have Three "3CX IP PBX Tutorial" Books To Give Away At March 2,2010 2PM EST Live Book Launch Event!

Packt Publishing is generously offering THREE 3CX Books for us to give away at the March 2,2010 2PM EST Live Book Launch Event! At the live event you can comment live and submit questions-- so bring your questions! We hope to make this fun, interactive and interesting! You can buy a book right now or attend the event and see if you can get one free! ;-)
 
All You Need Do:

#1-Register for the Event:
 http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2010/02/3cx-phone-system-tutorial-book-released.html


#2-Attend The Event! (you must be present to accept your book)
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2009/12/windowspbxblogspotcom-events.html


Note: If there are any other vendors that want to participate you can contact me directly. Please note that we do always give independent reviews—no favors! ;-)

The Most Recommend PSTN Gateway: Patton 411X

Thanks for the input on the PSTN Gateway survey. The numbers are in and it appears that the Patton 4114 / Patton 411X is the favorite SIP PSTN gateway among Windows phone system administrators by quite a margin.

Patton 411X is the favorite SIP PSTN Gateway...by quite a margin...
Several things about my experience with the Patton Smartnode series of gateways that I imagine gives it such good ratings:

-Great Tech Support: My experience with Patton technical support has been stellar. They respond in a timely and consistent fashion to support requests. They are willing to dig into tough issues like multiple subnets, faulty pstn lines and whatever. I'll also admit that each time I call them it ends up being something "kinda dumb" that I did--but they pointed it out and got me in the right direction.
-Trouble-Free: We have had very little (I should probably say No trouble) with Patton hardware up to this point. Just set-and-forget.
-Warranty: I have only been involved in one warranty incident in all the units we'ved shipped and put out in production. That one incident was a case where there was no surge supressor and the in place telephone line damaged the Patton unit. Patton replaced TWO units damaged in that way. So it looks like they have a generous warranty too. (don't count on zapping them though! ;-)

On the cons side I do get complaints they are a bear to learn the GUI--a complaint I don't disagree with. Thankfully 3CX makes a config file and for other IP PBX vendors you can usually have a template config file you edit slightly to get going.

Some resources I've made available you might have interest in:
How to Debug a Patton
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-collect-debug-information-from.html
Kerry's Garrison How to Config a Patton:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2010/02/kerry-garrison-shows-how-to-configure_08.html

Windows 7 Phone Series Announced

http://www.windowsphone7series.com

Exchange 2010 Outlook Web App Will Guess the Contact Your Start Typing

One of the reasons I tend to jump into Gmail instead of Outlook Web App when out of the office is because it had one nice feature: When you start typing an email address it guesses what your typing. It looks like Outlook Web App in Exchange 2010 has taken that reason to use Gmail away too!

Outlook Web App is a bit more “appy” than Exchange 2003 and will be more comfortable to use. Plus all your work Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Public Folders and now Presence (2) and Instant Messaging (3) can also be accessed!

A big “Way to Go!” for Exchange 2010.

Microsoft to Debut Office Communicator 2010 in March



I've been kind of wondering when Office Communicator will get refreshed like the rest of Office and according to Mary-Jo Foley:

Microsoft readies Office Communicator 2010 beta for March debut

Read More Here

Blizzard Snowstorm Closes Our Offices & Much of USA East Coast

We are snowed in! Our office is closed today, the first time in 12 years! (If I remember correctly) We had about 16" of snow last Friday/Saturday. Today we recieved another approx. 15" and the snow is still flying! We are also having high winds and there have been several building collapses due to snow weight on roofs. I take satisfaction in being impervious to the weather but this one stopped us! ;-)

Thanks to Small Business Server Remote Web Workplace, Outlook Web Access, pbxnsip IP Phone System and Microsoft Office Communication I was able to connect to my work computer to work as usual, check email, take and make work calls and even have a video call!

Landis Computer is closed Feb 10, 2010. As usual urgent service requests should be telephoned in to our normal phone number and press option for emergency.

Kerry Garrison Shows How to Configure a Patton 4114 FXO

Is snom Planning a Video Phone?

I've been playing with the snom 870 IP
phone and it's quite a phone. OCS enabled, touch screen, GB network
connectivity, WIFI enabled and I'm sure I've missed something. (and,
yes, a video review will be forthcoming ;-) But several items on the
phone lead me to believe this phone may sometime be video enabled.
First, it has a great color screen for the job. #2 it can be mounted in
an almost upright position that would position it great for a video
camera mounted on the top of the unit. Lastly, take a look at the
included photo: a look at the area where the WIFI dongle currently plugs
in looks as if it was designed to mount something much more substantial
than a tiny WIFI unit!

This is all just my speculation...;-)

Interesting Free SIP Softphone from snom: Snom 360 Softphone

snom produced this softphone a while back and (in my mind) it is a softphone with an incredible feature set. Wouldn't it be interesting if snom would make a virtual phone hardware that can run the snom 8xx OCS Edition firmware?

It is still available as a download and installed and ran successfully on my Windows7!
http://www.snom.com/download/_snom360-5.3.exe



snom softphone

How To Turn On Office Communicator "SavePassword" Option

Just open regedit, add a new key called “Communicator” under “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft”. Then under this add a new DWORD Value called “SavePassword” that equals “1”. Now you will have an option to save your Office Communicator password for instances when OCS is hosted or you are outside your network.



The substance for this post came from:
http://www.ocspedia.com/FE/How_to_Save_Password_MOC.htm
With me adding that you need to add a new key.

The WindowsPBX Blog Gets a Facelift and Better Organization

I have been a little unhappy with how the Windows PBX blog was organized for a while already and finally got a chance to do some work on it! My philosophy is: If you can't find a tool or resource--you might as well not have it! WindowsPBX has a lot of good resources but they need to be searched for. So we have made content easier to find (hopefully) by exposing them through menus.
 
A couple things I will point out: Check out the "Free Addons" and "Reports" menus. These have some very good resources. Also we plan to continue to troll through old posts and add relevant stuff to these menus.
 
Thanks for your participation in the Windows Communication Community!

FREE Simple Failover Solution for Windows & Your Windows Based PBX

I've written a windows VBScript that will make a simple failover solution for Windows and Windows based PBX's.

Basically you have 2 servers running pbxnsip with the configuration you want. When the live server goes down the backup server will take on the IP address of the live server.

On the failover server you schedule the attached vbscript to run every minute:
c:\heartbeat <live_server_ip> <live_server_mask> <live_server_gateway>

example:
c:\heartbeat 192.168.1.10 255.255.255.0 192.168.1.1

Everytime the script runs and the live server is up a windows event log will be written of success.
The instant the live server fails, the failover process will role into action:
#1-windows event log of failure will be written
#2-IP address change will be done and event log written.

Roadmap Features:
-copy data from live server to failover on ongoing basis
-automatically start the pbxnsip service

Current Requirements:
-pbxnsip running on a second server with the configuration in place
-a pbxnsip license key with MAC address of master and backup server

Warning! This is beta, sloppy code (hey, i did it in 1.5hr) and not tested very much yet so use at your own risk. So test on a test senario and give me feedback by commenting below. THANKS for your feedback.

The vbscript download is available here:
http://forum.pbxnsip.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=3151&view=findpost&p=13987

3CX Phone System Tutorial Book Released! Join the Authors on Tues Mar 2, 2010 at 2PM EST for a Live "Virtual" Signing Online Event!

The 3CX Phone System Tutorial Book is released and you can order your copy today:
http://www.packtpub.com/the-3cx-ip-pbx-tutorial

You can also read excerpt here: http://www.packtpub.com/article/call-control-using-3cx

We would also like to invite you to Join the Authors on Tues Mar 2, 2010 at 2PM EST for a Live "Virtual" Signing Online Event! The agenda will be live streaming with input allowed from the audience. We will entertain questions and have a good time.

The Authors will talk about:
-How Do You Do a "Virtual" Book Signing?
-What are your thots on writing a book after this 3CX book?
-What is the most interesting communication client you've worked with?
-What do you see in the future of windows communication solutions?
-What are some Inside the Industry (windows communications) rumblings & rumors?
-We Will Take YOUR live questions about 3CX and Windows Communications In General.

Give Aways:
-Three "3CX IP PBX Tutorial" Books will be given to attendees Read More
-1 snom m3 SIP, Dect Portable phone with base station Read More
-1 snom 300 SIP Phone with OCS Edition firmware available Read More
-Various snom gear (mixed bag)

We will try to wrap up by 3PM EST.
Register for event here:
http://www.landiscomputer.com/offer/1101_form_3cxbook.htm

Join the event on Mar 2 by clicking on the below link:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2009/12/windowspbxblogspotcom-events.html

Thanks for your interest!

pbxnsip Releases FREE iPhone Personal Attendant Console Application

pbxnsip releases FREE app for the iPhone. pbxnsip runs on Mac and now on an iPhone too!
Take a look at the new app:

pbxnsip Call Recording Configurability: I'm impressed by it!

Here are some of the pbxnsip call recording options:

-Able to record one extension, several or all
-Able to decide if recording on if incoming, outgoing, queue…Very granular
-Very flexible call recording name & location options
-Allow recording compression or not
-Have an email sent if there is a new recording
-Setup on demand recordings that can be started by a star key or snom record button!
-On demand recording show up in the user web portal and can be listened to from handset in voicemail menu

This is just one example of the breadth and depth of features and configurability in pbxnsip.

3CX Adds Automatic Service Pack Update Feature to the 3CX Phone System

3CX Phone System has just released automated Update functionality in the latest build of 3CX version 8. What used to be a somewhat time consuming uninstalling then reinstalling to get the latest version of 3CX has been dramatically streamlined according to Nick Galea.

See the entire blog post at:

http://www.3cx.com/blog/releases/new-3cx-phone-system-build/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+3CXVoIPBlog+%283CX+VOIP%2C+SIP+%26+Phone+System+blog%29

Let Http Press Buttons on Your Snom Phone! (remotely)

Ever need to press buttons on a phone to test something remotely? With snom phones you can use http to remotely press buttons!

Example: Enter http://phoneIP/command.htm?key=P1 in a browser, hit Enter and you will press programmable button number 1 on the snom phone!

For the complete list of button codes
http://kb.snom.com/kb/index.php?View=entry&CategoryID=21&EntryID=40


snom PA1 SIP Loudspeaker First Impression Video

I just had the chance to review the snom PA1 SIP Loudspeaker unit. Wow, nice unit. Easy to setup. Well made (metal!). Power over ethernet. Reasonable price: $150-$200. Uses snom's legendary firmware.



ps-A source has confirmed there will be an OCS firmware for the snom PA1. It has not quite been released yet.

pbxnsip Windows Phone System Integrates With Yet Another Microsoft Product

Pbxnsip is a Windows based Phone System that integrates to Microsoft Office Communication Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Outlook (directly if no Exchange) and now Microsoft SQL Server. Just this morning I’ve learned that a pbxnsip partner has made a simple to install tool to seamlessly send pbxnsip Call Reporting details to Microsoft SQL Server in real-time. I haven’t had a chance to test this integration tool, but if it works as advertised and is as easy to install as it appears—pbxnsip has a very valuable addition to it’s Microsoft integration line up!

With pbxnsip integrating to the 3 most popular Microsoft server tools I would say that pbxnsip is in a small class of Windows Phone Systems that can truly claim enterprise level integration to the “Microsoft stack”.

http://forum.pbxnsip.com/index.php?showtopic=3268&hl=