snom ONE IP Telephone System: VIDEO: What Comes In the Box

3CX Phone System Price is Lowered

On November 11 3CX announced new lowered pricing for the 3CX Phone System.

The are a lot of forces working for PBX buyers lately that are driving Windows pbx prices down. snom has released a very low cost Windows PBX solution that is extremely feature rich and stable at an astonishing $1495 USD MSRP. This is for unlimited extensions on one server (expecting that will top out at 150 extension) and presumes you will be glad to use snom handsets. FreeSwitch is working hard to produce a stable, opensource Windows PBX solution. Microsoft Lync Server 2010 has been released and because of the dramatically reduced infrastructure requirements is now well within the reach of SMB buyers.
Checkout the new pricing:

Thanksgiving Day & Windows PBX Stuff??

This is the week that we in the USA especially think about things we to be thankful for. (well, that's what the holiday says anyway) It's easy to think about what isn't soo hot so I think this is a great idea. Below is what Collins Dictionary says about Thanksgiving Day:

an annual day of holiday celebrated in thanksgiving to God on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and on the second Monday of October in Canada
What does God deserve thanks about this Thankgiving?
-Bad economy or no--most people are making a living
-I'm glad for the health and abilities that have allowed me to do a lot of interesting things this year
-In spite of rough economy our company goal of growing each year has once again been realized
-I'm glad to be able to work with an incredible group of people.
-And a lot more...

"Windows PBX" developements pale in comparison to "really important" stuff but there are some things I'm thankful for even in this area:
-Microsoft Lync Server 2010 is now a viable on premise option for small business--I've been waiting for this
-I'm glad that Windows Phone 7 is here...and it is as good as it is!
-HP Proliant Microserver will make a great little "communication" appliance (I think)
-We have more cool UC/PBX solutions than ever--what oppertunity! ;-)

I hope you have a great Thankgiving. Don't forget to make your own list of things to thank God for!

"Give thanks to God because He is good..." -- Psalm 118

snom Handset Featured With Lync Devices on Lync 2010 Launch Broadcast

snom 300 with Lync 2010 firmware shown with all the rest of the Lync 2010 devices today on the Lync 2010 launch.

Plantronics to Releases New Headset That Will Work With Your PC, Deskphone AND Mobile Phone!

Today Plantronics is introducing 3 new Lync enabled devices. The one that has me quite interested is the new Savi 730 unit above that allows one headset to work with your PC, deskphone AND mobile phone! This is a request I've heard from people for some time so they will welcome this unit. Actually, at the last D&H show I asked the Plantronics people if they have such a unit and they said they didn't. ;-) Below is the exact quote from the Plantronics press release:
The Savi family includes the new Savi 730, a wireless headset system that connects to multiple devices but allows you to manage all calls from a single headset. This system unifies communication between your PC, desk phone and now mobile phone calls.  Users can also listen to any PC-based audio including music players, streaming audio and video, webinars and podcasts with Savi 730.  The headset system features a noise-canceling microphone, wideband audio support, and DECT wireless technology, providing lifelike voice fidelity and the ability to roam up to 350 feet from the base.

The new Calisto 825 is a speakerphone that connects to mobile and PC with a wireless lapel microphone.
Plantonics has also released the Voyager Pro UC that answers calls simply by picking up the headset and placing it in your ear. All these units are compatible with Microsoft Lync 2010.

To read more about Plantronics UC stuff:

Kerry Garrison Writes the "Official" 3CX Book & It Will Be Here Shortly

If you are interested in the "unofficial" 3CX phone system book that I co-wrote with Robert Lloyd --it's available immediately and can be purchased at the link below. Some reviewers of the book have noted that especially good chapter is where we look at what needs 3CX fills great and where it doesn't shine as much. Other excellent content is work arounds and real world senarios like integrating to analogue pbx's.

Kerry Garrison is authoring an additional book on the 3CX phone system which is sponsored by 3CX, 888VoipStore and some other and will be available soon according to the I am sure this book will be excellent and I need to say I really like the cover! ;-)
Pricing Drop

The Future Desk Phone Will Be a Tablet

The software phone system is taking over the  "black box" landscape (pbxnsip, snomONE, NetVanta, 3CX and now Microsoft Lync Server in the Windows world). The question about commodity hardware running a pbx is all but over.

But what about the trusty desk phone? I predict some PC commodity hardware will ultimately be the hardware that runs your future deskphone. Don't get me wrong--I'm a big proponent of pressing buttons to do stuff. (hey, I still have a blackberry form factor phone so I have a keyboard! Actually since writing this I got a Windows Phone 7--no buttons ;-) But the writing is on the wall--

-people are getting used to touch screen dialing
-built in web cam and nice big screen for video conferencing
-choice of which softphone you use
-built in support for blue tooth headsets
-wireless and a battery is built in so you basically have a deskphone AND portable phone in one
-wired headset port is built in
-easily integrate & network tablet and desktop pc for call control senarios
-low power and high processor (for things like rtaudio?) has been worked out by the tablet guys already

Another reason is that if you notice even in more traditional form factor deskphones the screens keep getting bigger and bigger and the buttons are starting to disappear!

Currently even the latest models of exotic desk phone integration to the desktop is clunky at best. What if you could seamlessly launch music on your tablet-desktphone while not in use? (win7 ability) What if you could trigger a video call on your tablet-deskphone from your PC or mobile phone? Or use the tablet-deskphone as a home automation terminal? Truly, the best deskphones now are looking more and more like a tablet PC--just at a much higher price?

Tablet formfactor machines are getting soo cheap. Cherrypal suggested a tablet pc for $188.

So software SIP phone makers--start thinking about a soft phone application that runs nicely in full & touch screen. Pure hardware desk phone makers step up to the plate now while there is time to get mindshare: Your excellent firmware and SIP stack can be brought the tablet before it is too late.

ps-Noticed this post since I wrote this article!

iPod Touch as a Cheap, Portable, WIFI Phone? Or an Expensive Headache?

Today I want your feed back!
Would you recommend a company use WIFI iPod Touch's as a portable phones?

Some requirements:
-Approximately 50 units in the same network
-Over a 1500 x 1500 foot property, with multiple buildings, parking lots, etc.

If you would recommend it--
what iPod SIP client would you recommend?
Any ruggedizing equipment?
Roaming issues?
Have you done this before? ;-)

If you would not recommend it, what would you recommend?
Thanks for the feedback via comments! Please comment below.

Kerio Launching Phone System to Compliment It's Email Server: Kerio Operator

I just got a head's up about an interesting new phone system developement: Kerio Operator. This phone system from the company that makes the cross-platform "Microsoft Exchange Alternative" is an interesting new entrant into the SMB telephone space. At the moment it appears this is a Linux based solution and is delivered as a virtual machine but even so the requirements are quite low.

I'd be interested in hearing more about this solution. Is it Asterisk based? (considering it's using Digium boards is it safe to assume Asterisk base?) Will there be cross-platform editions? (like Kerio connect)
Below is the administration console:

It appears like the supported handsets are Cisco, Linksys and snom which is a solid lineup. Currently the product is in Beta and you can download a trial at .

Handset makers are jumping into the PBX business and now email server guys...who next? ;-)

If you know any more about Kerio Operator I'd be glad for your feedback.

Check it out yourself:

Windows Phone 7 Is Cooler Than I Expected!

My ongoing experience with Windows Phone 7. To sum up: Better than I expected.

What I Like:
-Day 1 - text-to-speech search is just plain cool
-Day 1 - The UI is soo simple I think something is missing--but I can do a ton more than my old phone!
-Day 1 - Pinning important people on my home screen makes so much sense.
-Day 1 - Merging of Live, Exchange, Google, Facebook contacts & calendars just works too smooth!
-Day 1 - Single handed adding of appointments has me very impressed.
-Day 2 - Playing podcasts over the speaker phone keeps me legal in Pennsylvania ...
-Day 2 -My iPod nano uneeded.
-Day 3 - Speech Recognition surprises me again: Just say "call" and some phone #!
-Day 4 - Hey! Samsung Focus does tether! click here or click here
-Day 4 - Speech to text is better than I thot: You can say "Call xxx-xxxx" and it will dial any number.
-Day 4 - Ah...I like that number of new emails is number since last checked. Nice
-Day 9 - Nice smooth video with Samsung Focus "no shake" feature turned on
-Day 10 - Virtual keyboard audio feedback is "just right" even in quiet room doesn't annoy others
-Day 10 - Twitter client is better than I thot: Very simple to post a picture. Still a little choppy UI though.
-Day 11 - Wifi works totally without my thinking about it--I like.
-Day 11 - You can use WindowsPhone as a USB drive click here
-Day 12 - Click on a Calendar | Meeting and press "Late": All attendees emailed automatically!
-Day 12 - OneNote integration & Syncronization to skydrive is incredible
-Day 13 - Ah! Kindle app coming! click here
-Day 18 - Your on a call on your mobile and another one comes...Wp7 handles this great!
-Day 19 - NO problem seeing if your wp7 is on Mute, Hold or speakerphone.
-Day 19 - Battery goes all day with 3G and lot of use (Samsung Focus)
-Day 22 - Pinning a OneNote page on Home Screen is cool

Samsung Focs DOES Tether.

-Day 32 - Sync Zune over Wifi is great! No fuss!
-Day 59 - Kindle for Windowsphone is Here. click here

-Day 1 - No RDP Client click here There is now. Search Remote Desktop on the Marketplace.
-Day 1 - No VPN click here
-Day 1 - Outlook Tasks Don't Sync click here There is now an app to sync Exchange tasks.
-Day 2 - Only OneNote Office App Syncs with skydrive. That is a big surprise to me. click here
-Day 2 - No simple way to sync desktop files with WP7...hmmm
-Day 3 - No Direct Outlook to Wp7 USB Sync (doesn't bother me--but others)
-Day 3 - Sometimes Samsung Focus screen doesn't respond to touch when lying on soft surface
-Day 9 - Would be nice if camera settings could be saved and screen tap would take picture.
-Day 9 - Would be nice if linkedin, twitter contacts could show in contact list. click here
-Day 23 - Would be nice if you could lock phone screen in portrait mode sometimes.

Features I would like:
-Day 3 - I wish phone could act as a Wifi Hotspot (helpful ATT lady said they will allow it ;-)
-Day 3 - Printing from phone via wifi or 3G. (option) (There is an app coming to do it click here)
-Day 18 - Bluetooth keyboard connectivity. No support for it.
-Day 93 - Folder concept to organize apps and people.
-Day 93 - Internet Explorer - folder concept to organize web shortcuts!
-Day 93 - Synchronize Zune podcasts directly over the air without going through PC

Quotes of the Day:
-Day 3 - I showed my Samsung Focus to an iPhone toting IT guy I had a meeting with today. His comments "Wow, I like the calendar view...much nicer than my iPhone. A radio is built IN? Zune?! wow! xBOX!! WOW!"

-Day 3 -  "Much lighter than my iPhone..."

-Day 24 - "Faster, easier, better UI, less screen touching to move around, better screen, better keyboard. Build quality might not be as good though..." --iPhone to Samsung Focus User

-Day 28 - "iPhone screen is much better than WindowsPhone. Much higher resolution and much brighter..." after holding iphone side by side with Samsung Focus: "[Silence...]"

Reviews I Thought Were Fair:

Also, a great place to get your beginner questions answered:
Windows Phone 7 Forum FAQ
Windows Phone 7 Forum
40 Best Apps (by Addictive Tips)

Even with all the limitations noted I need to admit it does that main things I wanted well. Perhaps not a power user phone--but then I didn't want to mess with my phone.

Date Calculator

Yealink & Yeastar: Another Windows Phone System and Handset Maker to Join?

The above left graphic was sighted prominently displayed on the Yeastar website. Are Yealink & Yeastar preparing some partnership to create a integrated PBX solution?

It seems to be somewhat of a developing trend among SIP handset vendors? Grandstream added a hardware PBX to its lineup of SIP phones and gateways to have a complete system offering. Now snom has added snom ONE to their line up. Will Yealink join up with Yeastar?

A quick look at the contact page of Yeastar and Yealink shows that they are located on the same street address 

Yeastar not only has a Windows based BizPBX product, it also has a small appliance version of it's BizPBX. It also has a line of FXO Gateways, FXS Gateways, GSM Gateway, Fax gateway and Skype Gateway. (did I miss anything? ;-) Yealink and Yeastar combined sure would make a formidable product line up from a feature list standpoint.  

I have not tested the Yeastar BizPBX but they have an interesting list of features. It doesn't appear there is an official support forum and I don't see much buzz about it. Is there anyone out there who has tested it or is using it?

I have no inside information about Yealink/Yeastar, but Yealink handsets showing up on the homepage of Yeastar makes one wonder... If you have any more information you are welcome to post a comment below.

ps- Wow! Check out the features of the Yeastar client: Instant Message, SMS (to mobile phones), faxing, call recording, email client and desktop sharing. Hmm.

VIDEO: AG Projects CEO Talks About Blink "the best SIP client in the world"

WRONG VIDEO, Here is actual link:
Some Highlights:
-AG Project shooting to make "the best sip client in the world".
-It's cross platform: mac, win, linux
-HD video on the definitely on the roadmap and being worked on already
-How about mobile? not this year. too many depencies to make it small.
-HD voice- is there demand? Yes!

Now for my commentary: My opinion is that the Blink SIP client will make waves and is already a product you should be looking at for any SIP implementation that needs a SIP soft client.
Blink would be an Excellent companion for snom ONE (it is also a free & cross platform. IP PBX: Windows, Mac & Linux) except that snom ONE Free is currently being limited to 2 non snom UA's. Too bad...

Read more of my experience with Blink SIP client Here: