TMCnet Feature
June 23, 2011

Digium Switchvox 5.0 Adds Flexibility for Mobile Workers

By Sandra M. Gustavsen, Analyst, Business VoIP

In 2007, Digium acquired IP PBX (News - Alert) provider Switchvox to expand the company’s market position as a telecom equipment provider. Switchvox is a turnkey PBX solution based on Digium’s Asterisk (News - Alert) open source software, but with server hardware and pre-installed Switchvox software. Switchvox SMB complements Digium’s commercial business that sells and licenses Asterisk open source PBX software. Read more about Switchvox SMB 5.0 below and visit for more on IP PBX systems.

Digium, Inc. announced new features and functionality for Switchvox SMB, an IP PBX designed for small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs). Switchvox has tailored Digium’s (News - Alert) Asterisk telecommunications open source software to develop a PBX solution specifically for SMBs, offering a turnkey solution with server hardware and pre-installed Switchvox software. Release 5.0 adds new capabilities for users and administrators, but without the high cost since R5.0 is available free of charge to current Switchvox SMB customers with a software subscription. 

What’s new with Switchvox SMB 5.0?

Mobility – Switchvox SMB already supported some mobile capabilities for users, including Switchvox Mobile Apps (free) for Apple iPhone (News - Alert) and RIM BlackBerry and the Ring All feature for simultaneously ringing up to three phones. Now, users can take advantage of two new features, Converged Phones and the InCall Menu, that make it easy to manage an active call when the user is away from his/her desk or off-site. Users can define up to six Converged Phones that can be set to ring simultaneously (or not) and from which the user can answer and then transfer an active call.

For example, if a user’s mobile handset is defined as a Converged Phone (News - Alert), the user can answer a call coming into his/her office extension while off-site. Then, if the user enters the workplace, he/she can transfer the call to the desktop phone using the InCall Menu, an IVR type menu that instructs the user to hit a series of keys to transfer the call such as **#1 to transfer to the phone defined as “1”. Users can actually transfer a call to any phone number, not just to the six defined devices. The InCall Menu also provides audio instructions for recording calls and an Acknowledge feature so that users can confirm their identity before taking a call. Being able to move calls flexibly and easily is the end game for most users, and with no client to download or specific mobile device to configure, this new Switchvox capability is likely to be widely used.

Administration - R5.0 includes a completely redesigned user and administrator management interface with new real-time and historical reports, graphs and animations, including detailed queue information and a Concurrent Calls report for trend and performance analysis. A new Bulk Modify tool changes settings across groups of users (previously, these changes were made individually).

APIs – Digium’s Switchvox team has expanded the list of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that are available to partners and end users to integrate business applications with their Switchvox PBX. With R5.0, 340 APIs (up from 175) are available on the company’s Developer Central website to assist with the creation of customized applications. For example, a business may want to collect an 'abandon' call count and create a report; R5.0 has an API designed to pass queue information and filter data and return a list of abandon calls with the Caller ID and statistics.

With R5.0, hardware remains the same. Switchvox SMB comes in three appliance models. Switchvox 65 Appliance has a desktop, wall-mount or rack-mount form factor with an optional cold spare for failover and support for 1-30 users and up to 12 concurrent calls. The Switchvox 305 Appliance, with desktop or rack-mount form factor and optional cold spare failover, supports 1-150 users and up to 45 concurrent calls. A more powerful redundant rack-mount server, the Switchvox 355 Appliance, has a RAID controller with mirrored drives, redundant power supplies and optional cold spare failover; Switchvox 355 supports 1-400 users and up to 75 concurrent calls.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Sandra M. Gustavsen, business VoIP analyst, contributes her Business VoIP column to TMCnet. To read more of Sandra's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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