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SwitchVox 4.0: A Lesson in How Voice 2.0 Can Transform the SMB

Digium introduced a new version of it's Asterisk-based, IP PBX, SwitchVox  today. The new release is a great example of the kinds of features that Voice 2.
Written by Dave Greenfield, Contributor

Digium introduced a new version of it's Asterisk-based, IP PBX, SwitchVox  today. The new release is a great example of the kinds of features that Voice 2.0 makes avaqilable to even the smallest organizations. Through mashups and application integrations, SMBs gain screen pops with mapping and weather infomration, presence status, the abiliyt to IM and call from a single system and more. For some examples of what I'm speaking about see this gallery of screen shots.

According to the release features include (My additions are in square brackets.):

.Fax integration-Users can send and receive faxes quickly and easily via Switchvox.

.Video calling-Switchvox supports video phones that use the codec standards H.263 and H.264.

.Instant messaging-Switchvox includes a private chat server that uses the widely adopted, open XMPP protocol. The Switchvox Switchboard offers a Chat Panel, or users can select their favorite XMPP-based client[, such as GoogleTalk.]

.Centralized presence-Presence and status details for call and chat activity are visible across multiple peered Switchvox PBXs.

.Web-aware interactive voice response (IVR) tools-Switchvox includes many new IVR functions for building custom applications. These sophisticated tools include exchanging sound files with web applications, setting system-wide variables and more.

.Unified messaging enhancements-IMAP integration provides a standards-based solution for voicemail and faxes. Also, users can customize multiple greetings and e-mail notifications optimized for display on a wide range of devices.

.Organized phonebooks-Employees can organize their contacts into groups and keep multiple phone numbers for each contact. Also, a company directory panel uses type-to-find to help users find extensions quickly for any of their coworkers.

.Call queue improvements-Small businesses and call centers alike will benefit from the ability to log into, log out of and pause a member's status on each queue with a single click, and even add comments that are displayed to supervisors or other queue members.

.Switchvox Notifier-A Windows desktop client provides interaction with MS Office applications. Pop-up notifications show incoming caller details and call history, and one-click options let users quickly add Outlook contacts and dial phone numbers.

.Switchvox Extend-An XML-based API lets administrators create new extensions and access call logs, reports and extension lists.

.Auto-provisioning snom IP phones-Switchvox offers automatic configuration of VoIP phones manufactured by snom. [Previously, SwitchVox supported auto-config on Polycom phones.] SwitchVox supports [SIP end-points and trunks and IAX trunks. There is no support for IAX end-points.]

More call options-Switchvox supports BRI-an important step toward expanded international sales, and HD Voice-high-quality wideband audio delivered via the G.722 protocol.

Pricing for the Switchvox SMB remains unchanged and begins at U.S. $3,390 for a 10 user system, including hardware, software, a one-year subscription and warranty. The largest SwitchVox scales to 400 users. SwitchVoxes still can't be managed as a single system, limiting their scalability. But for a PBX targeting the SMB that may not be such a bad thing.

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