I guess I am showing my age as Top of the Pops is no longer on TV but this is a list of the top ten reasons to switch to an IP PBX instead of a regular PBX. The list was prduced by www.telephonyworld.com in brief the list is as follows and doing it in Tony Blackburn (who ???) countdown style:
- 10 – Better phone usability
- 9 – Allow Hot Desking and Roaming
- 8 – Twice the Phone Syem Features for Half the Price
- 7 – Better Customer Service and Productivity
- 6 – Scalable
- 5 – Eliminate Vendor Lockin
- 4 – Eliminate Phone Wiring
- 3 – Significant Cost Savings Using VoIP Providers
- 2 – Easier to Manage
- 1 – Much Easier to Install and configure
With a bit of thought this list could probably be extended into a top 40 – which proves there is really no reason to invest in a legacy TDM PBX when IP PBX systems have so much to offer.
You can see the full article here well worth a read
We are big fans of the Conterpath Eyebeam softphone – it works great with SIP and even has video support, and it runs on Windows and OS X but we are starting to see some other softphones make a penetration on to the market place that use other operating systems some good examples are :
- Loudhush - this is designed for Mac OS-X but it is limited to run on an Asterisk server and does not support SIP
- Gizmo – Versions for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux – designed to be a peer to peer service but can also support SIP
- Wengophone - again designed for peer to peer type working but can support SIP – this runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and interestingly also for Smartphone or Pocket PC
- IS-Phone this supports Lotus Notes and is a SIP phone
- Twinklephone this is a Linux only phone
- SJphone softphone for Windows, Mac, Linux and Pocket PC
This is not intended to be an exhastive list of softphones as there are plenty around – the area we are most excited about is softphones on mobile devices – there are plenty for Pocket PC (Windows CE) but we are waiting to see what happens on Symbian mobile phones (Nokia etc) – Cicero have announced a SIP client but we have not had a chance to test it yet.
Finally we cannot believe how quickly someone has ridden on the back of the iPhone lauch hype and produced a SIP softphone for the Mac called……….wait for it iSoftPhone
As we all know Skype is now well established and the purchase by ebay made a lot of the industry sit up and take notice.
From the start Skype was produced so that users could make a peer to peer PC call and could communicate with other PC users who had the Skype software installed on their PC. Since then it has developed and users can now ‘Skype Out’ and make calls to regular telephone users but of course this then loses the advantage that Skype to Skype calls have of being free.
We have recently seen that Skype have announced some attractive rates for Skype out calls and also a method that allows multiple installs of the Skype applications for companies who have many PC users.
So does all this mean we are going to see Skype make a big play in the business market – well first we have to accept that businesses come in many sizes from the single self employed person to the large multi-thousand employee corporates and of course everything in between. Right now we think Skype face many challenges before they will be accepted into the business arena as a serious VoIP player, we feel those challenges are:
- Non standards based – Skype to Skype is a closed community.
- Still a PC dominated solution – We are seeing some stand alone Skype phones but their acceptance is slow
- Everyone can break out – The break out service is the bread and butter of the VoIP telcos so no advantage for Skype.
- SIP is dominating – If a user implements Skype then he has a few devices to choose from, however with SIP the choice is far more wide ranging and products are more mature
- No PBX integration – most businesses have a PBX and SKype can only run alongside and is not part of the PBX so users have two forms of communication that makes it complicated
Having said all the above – that is where Skype is now but we are sure that they will overcome the challenges and make a push into the business sector.
Many users worry about deploying a VoIP solution in their organisation – well there really is nothing to cause sleepless nights if it is planned properly. Problems usually occur because the infrastructure has not been checked properly and upgraded or modified as required.
We have recently seen a great article on Network World that outlines ’10 things you need to know about VoIP’ which gives some great advice on the implementation and the choices you have with a modern IP PBX solution. The ten points listed are as follows:
- Buy Time
- Get Everybody on Board
- Know What You’ve Got
- Bandwidth Control
- Use The Right CODEC
- Emergency – Remember 911 (in the UK 999)
- Make Training Simple
- Gateways to Savings
- The Soft Touch
- Remote Control
The article can be found here
This is an interesting one that is a little outside our normal subject area of business based VoIP but it really does show how IP Telephony is creeping into all areas of life.
Some users have realised the Nintendo DS has a built-in microphone and a wireless Internet connection, so whats to stop it from being used as a WiFi phone, or the ‘DSphone’ ?
There seem to be some projects underway to try and open up the capabilities of the Nintendo DS and we have found some information on several:
VoiceChatClient is a home brew application that lets you freely call anyone who also has VoiceChatClient installed on their DS. This hack even adds extra value by transmitting what you write on the touch screen to the other person! VCC requires hacked firmware or some type of pass through device.
DSpeak has been developed by Nintendo themselves, but aside from a demo at E3 in 2005, nothing more has been heard about this program. DSpeak will reportedly allow in-game and out-of-game chat. And when you speak, an on-screen Mario or Wario avatar lip syncs along!
HelloDS was released some time ago as a proof-of-concept hack, along with a promise of a future version of this homebrew software. Unfortunately, the update has not been forthcoming. The initial version is still available and requires the firmware hack or pass through.
Metroid Prime: Hunters is currently the most easily accessible option for chatting with your DS buddies. All it requires is the Metroid Prime: Hunters game and a WiFi connection. You might want the NDS VoIP headset too. For this VoIP solution, you just meet the person you want to speak with in the same pre-game lobby and talk. It also works post-game, but not during.
So it seems though this handheld gaming device is certainly capable of competing with other mobile WiFi phones, the current state of Nintendo DS VoIP affairs isn’t very exciting. None of the above solutions include support for SIP or for dialing out and really are a Peer to Peer type solution. However, the demand seems to be out there, so the DS might get to see a true VoIP application yet.
You can find the origional article on The VoIP Service Blog here