We have just added a new product to our product portfolio the EasyRun EPICAcce IP Contact Centre – essentially this is a Unified Communications Product that will give the users a highly feature Contact Centre that can be used on any PBX either legacy or IP it does not matter.
The EPICAcce modular architecture allows users to change the functionality and structure of their contact centre easily and smoothly, and its scalability enables an organization to grow without the need for massive re-investments. The EPICAcce product family supports both legacy PBX’s and IP based PBX’s allowing customers to use the same application across either or both telephony platforms.
Key specifications offered in EasyRun products include:
- State-of-the-art mechanisms that allow routing via skills, CallerID, area, customers and statistical information or by any criteria from an external Database/application
- Easy integration with multi-vendor platforms through an open architecture
- User friendly administrative tools that provide the ability to easily customize the system
- Multi site, call center support, with full contact center redundancy
- Telephony platform independence – essentially EPIC modules can run on virtually any legacy or IP telephony platform
EasyRun has over one thousand customer installations worldwide including the Dallas Cowboys, the U.S. Coast Guard, National Pizza and Coca Cola.
We are very pleased to add this to our portfolio and look forward to talking to our customers about this exciting product.
We are old and grey enough to remember when IBM with ROLM were a major force in the PBX market but after stellar success they faded and were overtaken by the competition. It seems IBM are dipping a toe back in the PBX market by pairing up with Digium and offering a version of the popular Opensource Asterisk PBX system as an add on to their Smart Cube office in a box package.
Customers purchase the Asterisk application from IBM’s Smart Market, and then go to IBM for support. Digium support staff is on call to IBM for tier 2 support, but customers will dealy directly with IBM. The PBX software is sold in two sizes, 20 and 40 concurrent calls.
Smart Cube is sold as a hardware platform with a base set of applications on it and a second set of applications available for customers to buy via Smart Market to address their specific business needs. The Asterisk software can be configured and managed via IBM’s Smart Desk management dashboard, which gives a common look to management of all the Smart Market applications.
Lets see how successful this is and maybe IBM will produce their own flavour of Asterisk in the future.
We saw a really interesting article over on VON here about the decline of landlines in the USA, this got us thinking about some predictions we remember from the recent past.
Wth the explosion of mobile phone use and when WiFI was becoming popular it became clearly expected that all offices would become mobile and that fixed networks and PBX systems would die, to be honest we were believers in this. Mobile and WiFi has clearly had an effect on the way we do business but no where near to the extent that was predicted, desk users still prefer a PBX phone and a monitor, full size keyboard and mouse so for the majority of users not much has changed. For casual office users such as those on the road or home workers then their use of office technology has been made much easier and the growing use of FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) has meant their mobile phone can become an extension of the PBX when they are in the office.
For sure landlines re reducing as many new house owners do not bother getting a line connected and the growth and improvements in mobile broadband mean a user does not need an ADSL line, however we cannot believe that fixed land line use will die 100% as there is still a place for such technology.
We all remember watching old sci-fi films that showed the future (as in now) with us all driving flying cars and of course the reality is somewhat different !
Skype is the ‘Marmite’ of the VoIP world as most people either love them or hate them and it seems they are trying to get the VoIP sceptics to love them more by launching a Skype for SIP service, this will allow SIP based PBX systems to access Skype users and visa versa.
The service will initially be available via a beta program so Skype can support the SIP PBX setup and ultimately provide ‘Skype Certification for the PBX, we believe initial numbers will be limited. We have a vast amount of experience of SIP interoperability or should we say lack of interoperability so we wish them luck with this phase of the project. Setup is simply a matter of having a business control panel login at Skype, configuring the PBX, and getting a SIP account linked to a Skype identifier.
We find this move interesting that Skype have added SIP support to broaden their appeal to the business market, this is probably a win-win situation for users as it means that having the option of Skype will put pressure on the SIP trunk providers to be competitive.
As usual we will watch the progress of this with interest
Visit Skype for SIP Website.
Skype have been trying to push hard to penetrate the business market and especially the medium to large enterprise type market, we see that Digium and Skype now plan to work together to Skype enable Asterisk.
The Skype for Asterisk connector will enable a presence on the Skype network while getting all the functionality of a PBX. A general Skype login name could be routed into an Asterisk system for call processing and delivery to the next available person in a queue, a single Skype ID could be used for sales, technical support or other types of customer service queues. So in essence a Skype connection will be treated in the same way as a regular trunk or CO line.
While the two companies have had various discussions over the years on how they could work together, a serious effort came to a head at a June meeting at Digium’s Headquarters in Huntsville USA, since then Digium’s software engineers have worked to produce the solution, making it more robust and suitable for a formal beta, but as yet there is no firm date for release. The software is slated to run with all versions of Asterisk including trixbox.
We will watch this one with interest to see if it elevates Skype to be a serious tool for many businesses.
We see that Dell has decided to offer the Fonality software as a bundled option on their servers – this is a real catch for Fonality as there are many other Asterisk based solutions that Dell could have chosen.
This is a bold move by Dell but I guess we should not be surprised as it is just another application that will help them sell servers but for Fonality it will mean they have many more customers that they will be able to cross-sell their other products to. It certainly brings Asterisk solutions more mainstream.
See the report over on TMC NET here
Visit Fonality here and Dell here
Those of us who are long in the tooth have heared this so many times that the PBX is dead. First of all the advent of server based systems meant no one would need a PBX and then when Asterisk Open Source was produced we were told that no one would buy ‘tin’any more so what is the latest twist on this ?
According to Bill Gates Microsoft’s Office Communication Server means the death of the PBX. In a speech at the launch of OCS, Gates claimed Microsoft software marks the end of traditional legacy telephony systems. He compared PBX systems to mainframe computers – useful enough in their time, but ultimately neither as flexible or as useful as smaller software based systems. Gates did acknowledge the disappearance of the PBX won’t happen overnight, but will be a gradual process as software improves and product cycles mature.
Well lets see what happens for sure Microsoft will mix the market up and gain some traction from the data resellers but lets see how a data orientated company is going to deal with voice, Microsoft are comfortable producing the server software but where are the peripherals going to come from, what about phones whose badge will it have. The ‘traditional’ companies spend a lot of development money producing a turn key solution where everything has been designed to work together as one.
For sure those of you who have experience of SIP will know that there are nearly always some interworking problems between devices that lead to limitations so it can often be difficult to produce a strong solution from multi vendors.
Time will tell what happens in the market place but one thing is for sure a box running software with phones connected is still a PBX…..regardless of which badge it has on it