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Survey Results: Are Mobile Phone SIP Clients Ready for Primetime?

The results are in for the survey: Are Mobile Phone SIP Clients Ready for Primetime? It appears that overwelmingly respondents don't think that we should be trying to do voice over mobile device right now if we want a good connection.

This corresponds with my personal experience trying to make voice over 3G work. My experience is delays in the audio that are high enough to make conversation difficult at best. At other times the audio was dropped entirely. (ATT) We are located in a rural area so I'm sure in NYC this would be better. Input from others is that when you switch cell phone towers calls are dropped.

I don't think Ageet and other mobile SIP vendors want you to hear this. And I presume that 3G will continue to improve.

Having said all that a majority of respondents DO think a mobile client that provides presence and IM would be a workable solution. What vendors make such a client? Microsoft Mobile Office Communicator, Fring, and pbxnsip PAC solutions do this.

Once again everyone, Thanks for you input!

Windows Phone Systems and Mac: Making Them Co-Exist Peacefully

I have a huge confession and I'm just going to break the news and get it over with: I got a MacBook.

I just returned from Microsoft Convergence and had numerous people that saw me using my Macbook ask me: They let you in with that thing?! I'm telling everyone it is a research project--which it is. I wanted to get the Mac purchasing experience. (quite good) I wanted to see how hot this Mac stuff is. (answer=kind cool) What runs on it? (answer=lot of stuff) Do they crash? (answer=yes) Will they take over the world? (answer=no).

But what about Mac working with Windows based phone systems like 3CX, pbxnsip and Netvanta? Actually the story is pretty good. We'll look at several points:

  • dial pad SIP phone for Mac
  • contact list SIP client for Mac
  • OCS and MSN client for Mac
  • Attendent Console for Mac
  • and...gasp...Phone System for Mac!


The first thing we need is a good SIP client or SIP phone. The industry standard X-lite works like a charm (like it always does). It provides a great traditional phone form factor softphone that does voice, video, presence and SMS instant message.



Another MAC SIP client that is more of a contact centric (communicator-esque) layout is a less know product called Blink. This is an incredibly well done product that you can NOT overlook. Attention to detail is incredible on this product. It also has very good multi-party voice conference which is the best I've seen anywhere. It also has screen sharing, file sharing, SMS and session Instant Messaging. The URL to this product you must see: http://www.icanblink.com/.



What about Microsoft Office Communication Server (aka Microsoft Communication Server) and Mac? Don't worry, you are covered and, incredibly, Microsoft Messenger for Mac even has some features not found on Windows!! Astoundingly, if not maddeningly, Microsoft Messenger not only works with OCS but also works with as a Live Messenger client...at the same time...effectively making federation to MSN much less important.



Boy, does everything just work on Mac?! SURELY there won't be an Attendant Console that works on Mac? Well, kinda. The Windows based pbxnsip IP PBX has an Attendant Console that is entirely a web page so it works on Mac Safari browser just as good as IE. Ahem. Drag and drop, click to dial, join a conference, see who is in a conference, see, listen, delete voicemail, set receptionist phone to Unavailable, and user presence. Wow.



Okay, now I need to pause and see if I can bring myself to say this next item. May I talk about a Mac based IP PBX on a Windows PBX blog? ;-) Okay here it goes: there is even a IP PBX that runs on Mac. pbxnsip is a cross platform Phone system that runs on Windows, Linux, PlugComputer, and, yes, even a Mac. I'm not a Mac guru but if you want a very good pbx that runs on Mac--pbxnsip da man. Here is the link: http://www.pbxnsip.com/phone-system/why-apple-mac-ip-pbx.php You can also click on pbxnsip on the categories of my blog.



Is there anything a Mac won't do? (yes, log into MS Small Business Server Remote Web Workplace, run MS Onenote...and more... )


3cx and Mac

pbxnsip 4.0 Released Today: The Most Full-Featured & Mature Windows PBX Available?

Today pbxnsip announced that they are releasing pbxnsip version 4.0 out of Beta. pbxnsip noted that they are adding many features and 500 pages of documentation for this release. There is a 30 page pdf exploring the new features that include:

  • Web-based Attendent Console
  • New Fresh User Interface
  • Context Sensitive Help
  • Automatic IP Blacklisting (security)
  • Much Finer User Portal Security Granularity
  • Send CDR's Via Email
  • Even More PBX Event Email Notifications
  • More PBX Status Graphs & Information
  • Pin Authentication For Each Dial Plan
  • CMC Authentication Code
  • Even Better Mobile Phone Support
  • More Granular Extension Permissions
  • Real Time Call Quality Reporting/ QOS CDR
  • Standard Presence Server Added (use presence with standard SIP clients)
  • much more...

pbxnsip v4.0 builds many new features on it's already very solid feature set of version 3.4.

My experience is that version pbxnsip 3.4 is extremely solid in day to day operations. Our experience is that pbxnsip is the set-and-forget level you would expect from a enterprise level phone system--event running on Windows. pbxnsip is a professional level PBX.

To download the new version of the pbx, manual or new features pdf click here.


snom 370 to Take the Place of snom 360

Some features of the snom 370 are higher resolution screen for UC features and applications as well as built-in VPN.

Please note that snom 360 will be supported until 2012.

http://www.snom.com/products/ip-phones/snom-360-voip-phone/

Very Interesting Lecture on Voice by Clifford Nass

"Wired for Speech: Voice Interactions with People and Computers" is a talk by Prof. Clifford Nass and while not directly about phone systems is really interesting.



He talks about:
-How to appear smart
-Multi-tasking
-Our brains look for people

A comment:
"Speech creates problem and oppertunities..."

Free Windows SIP Softphone Gets Wireless Headset Support

There has been a lot of requests for wireless headset support for the free 3CXPhone v4 and 3CX has just announced that they now support Plantronics headsets. Way to go 3CX. Read more at:

http://www.3cx.com/blog/docs/3cxphone-wireless-plantronics/


I haven’t had a chance to test this integration yet so if anyone has I’d be glad for your comments below.

pbxnsip Brings Feature Rich Voice Mail to Windows Phone System World

pbxnsip is a very full featured IP phone system. The voicemail is no different. While many Windows phone systems have focused less on voicemail, letting businesses with lack luster vm features, pbxnsip has given quite a bit of attention to detail here. And considering professor Clifford Nass and others have duly noted that humans are "wired for speech" its surprising this area gets passed over. Here are a couple of often requested features:

-forward a voicemail to a colleague
-create a voice message for one or a group of phones
-have multiple greetings and easily select the one you want
-you can even control your phone system from the voicemail main menu (using star keys)
-get, delete and manage your voicemail from user web portal
-users can listen to their conversation recordings from voicemail or their own user portal
more…

pbxnsip is very feature rich and is an excellent Windows phone system that can replace traditional key systems. Pbxnsip is an excellent bridge to the future: get PC based attendant console, iPhone phone system client, integrated Instant Messaging, ability to integrate to Office Communication Server (aka Microsoft Communication Server), Exchange UM, Outlook and more.

Download the PDF version here:
http://kiwi.pbxnsip.com/index.php/Mailbox

pbxnsip Mailbox PDF Guide:

https://www.pbxnsipsupport.com/index.php_m=downloads&_a=viewdownload&downloaditemid=117


Changes You Will Notice When Moving from Openfire to Office Communication Server

A while back I had written a short article on using OpenFire as a cheap OCS alternative. Today I’ll note some things you may miss when moving from Openfire to OCS:

-Spell checker

-Easy ScreenShot capture & send

-Avatar

-Less emoticons
-Free integration of public facing Chat client (click to chat)

Of course you will gain tons of features:


-Very smooth Desktop sharing

-Easily bump up a call to audio or video conferencing

-Multi-user video

-Great integration to Outlook


And much more…I would say that Openfire served us well for the time we used it. It was never down, it was very easy to implement , very easy to federate to public IM systems and just had a lot of nice features.

If you have any features lost/gained to add to this list, please comment below.

Microsoft Shows Off ERP + UC: Wow

Microsoft blog post shows off how Dynamics GP can integrate to Microsoft Office Communication Server to make to powerful possibilities. Being both a GP and OCS (aka MS Communications Server) fan this is of a great deal of interest to me--but shows how more ubiquitous communication solutions will do to business applications moving forward.

Microsoft Blog Post:
http://blogs.msdn.com/gp/archive/2010/03/30/feature-of-the-day-unified-communications.aspx

My blog post on the same subject:
http://dynamicssmallbusiness.blogspot.com/2010/01/microsoft-dynamics-erp-gets-in-depth.html