If you were expecting to read about ShoreTel, Cisco, or Avaya, you’d be wrong. While these are “VoIP” systems, I’d like to draw some attention to the new world order of IP telephony. It’s no secret that the big names in VoIP (mentioned above) are suffering, and it’s all thanks for a little piece of software called Asterisk. Not to discount the contributions of Freeswitch, but Asterisk is, go here for a little background.
Many have harnessed Asterisk to create some pretty great turn key solutions. Below are my top 3 recommended Asterisk systems from years of deployments and obsessive tinkering. Behold, my shortlist.
Previously the 6100 series; this appliance based IP PBX is a light weight, small (desktop/shelf mount, and 1U rack mounted) appliance that offers a range of 30-100 concurrent calls, depending on the model. The fact that this is PoE powered, and has built-in FXS and FXO is huge. The interface is excellent, and is genuinely intuitive. This appliance demonstrates that VoIP isn’t exclusive to specialists in that field, and can be integrated into existing environments by network, and system admins alike. This has always been a huge favorite of mine, which largely has to do with the company that makes it. Grandstream is endlessly innovating, and improving their product lines. It requires very little maintenance, and is a reliable performer. I personally have never seen one have a physical component failure. For those of you who prefer to pay a one time capital expenditure, this might be a system you should strongly consider. With that said, it’s priced to sell! Check them out here.
It would be astoundingly foolish not to include FreePBX on my top 3 list. It’s probably the most recognizable name is regards to its ties to Asterisk and open source VoIP. What you may not realize is that it’s a fully matured enterprise ready PBX. It’s also one of the most versatile platforms that can be easily deployed on an appliance like VoIP Supply’s Renegade PBX, Sangoma’s own appliance, or virtualized on Hyper-V, or VMWare. FreePBX goes down in my book as the best “bang for the buck” in that there is no cost to have a fully functioning system. There are additional commercial modules that make life better, but aren’t required to make it work and there is no imposed limitations. Its integration with SIP Station also makes it an attractive solution. Filling out a short form in FreePBX’s web interface will have you calling out, and receiving calls in just a few minutes.
Digium excels at user interfaces, and also bells and whistles. The user interface is designed to be used by humans, and never really becomes overwhelming to non-VoIPers. Speaking of bells and whistles, Switchvox’s Switchboard is monumentally amazing, and useful. The Switchboard has been around for a while now, but is much improved with Switchvox version 6.X and is a feature that really sets this system apart. Seriously, check out the demo video. Generally, Switchvox makes life better in a call center environment and really hardnesses Asterisk’s potential. They should though, because they created it. Aside from the Switchboard, the biggest differentiator for Switchvox is how you build IVRs, or auto attendants. Instead of defining a destination for a keypress (as with most systems), you build sequenced actions and functions allowing you to create a very capable menu structure. Of course, Asterisk (on other platforms) gives you the ability to create infinitely configurable IVRs through scripting, but Switchvox gives you this functionality through its web interface.
Honorable Mentions: Keep an eye on these.
Ombutel is a derivative of Xorcom’s iteration of an Asterisk based platform, and it’s great. The user interface is clean, makes sense, and it supports FOP2 (flash operator panel). As with FreePBX, Ombutel is 100% free and virtualizes nicely. It is however still a little lacking in features when you compare it to FreePBX, and out of the box support for certificates is non-existent. I would like to see a self-signed certificate out of the gate at the least. Because of this, installations should be limited to on-prem. However, they are constantly adding features and fixing bugs. A major differentiator for Ombutel is their Class of Service (CoS) feature. This allows administrators to finely restrict or allow access to parts of the phone system from internal extensions. Normally, this is a features you’d have to pay for with other systems. Ombutel has a very active online community and are constantly receiving and replying to feedback. If Xorcom keeps this product alive, I expect it to do well.
Wazo, formally Xivo, is another 100% completely free system that is also feature-rich, but has a rare High Availability feature right from the get-go. High Availability is typically an expensive add-on, and that makes Wazo a really interesting product. Wazo is the most rough around the edges system in this list, but it has a lot of potential. Before it was Wazo, I found Xivo easy to install, but since they’ve gone through some changes, I haven’t been able to get Wazo to behave correctly when virtualized. I found it to be very buggy and dysfunctional. With that said, I am looking forward to the future development of Wazo. It’s very much a PBX un-plugged. If it were a car, it would be a driver’s car.
Publish Date: February 21, 2017 5:00 AM
|1.)||Call Center Studio|
Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.
PH: +1 512-872-7565
CLink for CRM and Call Center Integration
CLink by Comsys is a middleware that connects in real-time the CRM and the contact center applications. CLink enhances the CRM with interaction management capabilities from the contact center that allow agents to work more productively across all communication channels.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect Software®, and Microsoft® for the delivery of innovative interaction management and contact center optimization solutions.
Today’s call centers need their agents to work more naturally, and respond better and faster. Here, we talk about the innovations Consilium has made with the latest desktop and mobile agent releases of the UniAgent™ CRM connector. From small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies and governments across 110 countries, UniAgent™ comes into action right at the moment of reckoning, making every contact center experience engaging and personalized, powered by simplified customer identification and anticipating customer needs.
UniAgent™ provides CRM integrations between all the Cisco contact center solutions (UCCX, PCCE, UCCE and HCS-CC) and over 20 CRMs, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365...
PH: (+61) 406 501 368
IntraNext Systems develops agent efficiency tools and data security software solutions for medium-to-large contact centers. Our Event Intelligence® Platform solutions include SmartCTI™, iGuard®, and SmartSIP™. SmartSIP is based on our patented SIP layer technology and provides a DTMF masking solution for VoIP environments.
We know how important it is for a business to obtain data from its customers and to manage them effectively, so we help small to large companies by integrating their CRM with the Virtual Switchboard.
This type of integration will simplify the work of your team and improve the management performance of the contact list and its information.
PH: +34 952 667 511
NovelVox CTI Connector
NextGen Cisco Finesse, Genesys & Avaya Embedded CTI Connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Zendesk & more.
PH: (+1) 301 202 3672
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