TMCnet Feature
March 06, 2012

Digium Unveils First SIP Phones

By Sandra M. Gustavsen, Analyst, Business VoIP

Digium has developed its first desktop phones specifically designed for the Asterisk open source PBX (News - Alert) software and the company’s Switchvox IP-PBX for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). Up until now, Asterisk and Switchvox systems relied on third party SIP phones, and this option will continue, but Digium (News - Alert) can now offer its customers a package that includes the system and the phones. This single vendor approach suits many smaller companies that prefer to purchase a PBX and phones from the same vendor, but also means improved functionality since the phones are tightly integrated with the Digium system.

The new Digium phones were two years in development and represent a big market opportunity within the Digium Asterisk (News - Alert) community that spans 170 plus countries and which has an estimated two million Asterisk downloads each year.

Perhaps the biggest advantage is the tight integration between the IP-PBX and the phones. Users will have direct access to Asterisk or Switchvox features from the phone for functions like call recording and call parking without the need for extra key inputs or the Phone (News - Alert) Feature Packs that have been required for third party Polycom and snom phones. Access to visual voicemail, custom phonebooks, searchable directories and click-to-dial functionality will be available natively from the Digium phone.

Further, Switchvox customers will benefit from tight integration with the company’s Switchboard Web-based call control application. Users will be able to view some of the Switchboard information on their phone display such as caller profile information (name, number, e-mail, title, location, etc.), visual voicemail and call queuing information, without the need for the Phone Feature Pack software. Digium will also support custom application integration (the Digium Application Engine) for developers and integrators to create custom Java-based applications that will make even more information accessible via the Digium phone display; a stock ticker, emergency notifications or call center scripts are a few examples.

New Digium phone models include:

  • D40, an entry-level model with two lines and four feature keys ($129 MSRP)
  • D50, a mid-range model with four lines, six feature keys, 10 Rapid Dial/BLF keys ($179 MSRP)
  • D70 for executives and administrators with six lines, 10 Rapid Dial/BLF keys, additional LCD for real-time status information ($279 MSRP)

Availability: The Digium D SIP Phones are generally available in April 2012 and will work with Switchvox 5.5, a new release expected soon. For the Asterisk community, Digium will release updated versions of the Asterisk Open Source (News - Alert) communications engine (AsteriskNow, Asterisk 1.8 and Asterisk 10) that incorporates the Digium Phone Module for Asterisk, a gateway needed to connect the new phones. AsteriskNow 2.0 and any future releases of Asterisk (Asterisk 11 and beyond) will include native support for the new phones.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin
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