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3CX Phone System Releases Version 9 BETA 1

Take a look at Kerry Garrison's video of some of the new features in v9:
http://www.voipstore.com/3cx-releases-phone-system-version-9-beta-1/

Looks like some big upgrades including:
-video in 3CX phone
-Now you can attatch mobile number to an extension
-See extension status of remote locations using Call Assistant
-More advanced music on hold (which has been a big request for quite awhile)
-A kind of SLA functionality using call park implemented
-More...

Some notes:
-No price increase reported yet
-Call center features did not make it into this version 9 according to Kerry.
-This will be a backup, uninstall and reinstall senario.

Blink: Cross Platform SIP Client You Should Watch Makes Progress on Linux SIP Client

Blink is a refined, stable, cross-platform SIP client that I think Windows PBX people should keep an eye on. Currently there is a MAC version and Linux screen shots have just been released. Windows edition is "coming soon" according to www.icanblink.com .

Blink grabbed my attention because of it solid underpinnings, large amount of attention to user interface refinement and it's UC like features: HD audio, visual audio conference UI, desktop sharing, instant messaging, presence and more.

Released Screenshots of New Linux Version:
http://icanblink.com/screenshots-qt.phtml

Microsoft Response Point is Dead: Microsoft Sees Communication Server Taking It's Place in Small Business Space

Just today I got an alert from Harry Brelsford over at SMBNation that Microsoft Response Point is officially dead. The sole remaining employee in the Response Point group, John Frederickson in an article by CRN, said "To continue to support the needs of the small business community, we expect to consolidate our efforts and offerings in this space around Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS)," Frederickson said in the post.
I, of course, am very interested in hearing the technical difficiencies that caused Microsoft end of life Response Point. Frederickson was very clear (and I quote from Harry's article) "The change in telecomm technology came upon us much faster than we predicted. It's gone hosted and mobile." Frederiksen added. "These changes would have required extensive additional investments in rearchitecting Response Point when OCS is already well down that road."

"It's gone hosted and mobile." Frederiksen added

At one time I would have laughed at OCS (aka Microsoft Communication Server) taking RP's place, but after having worked with hosted OCS--I have entirely changed my mind. Yes, at the moment the configuration is very heavy for OCS, on-premise setup. But Microsoft could offer OCS in 2 flavors that would be SMB PBX changer: A simplified OCS Small Business Edition or Hosted OCS with Enterprise Voice.

Another Windows PBX player, pbxnsip, is ideally suited to fill in this gap as well. pbxnsip has been optimizing it's Windows-base PBX offering for the cloud and hosted environments for some time. The pbxnsip Phonesystem has a very mature web based admin & user portal, an entirely web-based Attendent console, has mature, multi-tenant capabilities and has been providing telco's as well as SMB's with hosted pbx for some time. pbxnsip runs on-premise or in the cloud equally well. pbxnsip can also work with re-commissioned Aastra RP phone handsets allowing the bulk of an RP deployment to be re-used.

Also you may have interest in my Windows-based PBX versus Response Point Comparison Report I did a little while ago. Click Here to get it emailed to you.

Wow, this industry sure doesn't stand still!

Harry Brelsford's Article Covering RP End:
CRN Article Covering the RP Story:

Application Perfectly Merges Deskphone and Computer: Flexor Onscreen

I don’t have a lot of time to write a lengthly article but here is the short version. What is unique about this tool is that whether you initiate a call from the deskphone or PC, the experience is the same.

Most pbx's (3cx, pbxnsip, others) do not provide a smooth way to show presence across several pbx servers. This solution solves that problem while adding other features as well.

Some of the features:

Excellent Dynamics CRM, MS Outlook & Salesforce Call Pop Integration

Multi-location presence without a server

Simple Instant Message between multiple locations

Drag and drop call transfer

Click to dial from website using SIP: embedding

This is the most natural integration of deskphone and PC I’ve ever seen to date at an affordable price without a lot of infrastructure. Approximate cost is $85 per pc.

Note: we are using snom deskphones which may have better integration than some other sip deskphones.