school-picFrederick Bird Primary School is a larger-than-average primary school opened in 1905 in the inner city community of Coventry, UK, serving over 720 pupils from diverse cultural backgrounds. In order to keep up with several infrastructure rebuilds and extensions over the years, Frederick Bird has been relentlessly maintaining and updating their learning environment to provide the best education and welfare to each and every child in the school.

The Challenge

Frederick Bird’s old phone system had a long history and was outdated. It became expensive to maintain and difficult to make any changes to the system (e.g. move an extension). The running costs of the old system were high with multiple ISDN line rentals and ISDN call charges and upgrading the old phone system was not cost effective. Therefore, the school determined that they needed a new system that was not only more cost effective, but also easier to administer and deploy. To accommodate the newly built extension, the Frederick Bird School needed to modernize their phone system.

The Solution

Digium The Asterisk Company LogoAfter extensive research by Danny O’Grady of Coventry City Council and Micheal Cross, IT Manager of Frederick Bird Primary School, the Digium Switchvox system was selected as providing the best value given its rich functionality. Frederick Bird chose Digium IP phones for easy deployment with existing CAT5 infrastructure. They deployed D70s for the front-office staff and D40s for the rest of the school.

“Having the ability to join the front-office pool (as an agent) simply by pressing one button”, said Tara Taylor, Business Manager, “was particularly useful, especially during school holidays when front office staff is on leave.”

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The Results

Following the rollout of the new system and initial training of front office staff by Daconi, new features have slowly been introduced. The useful functions of the new system that the school staff already benefits from include voicemail-to-text, incoming faxes are automatically emailed to staff, customizable address books/ handsets, and more.

Looking at the bigger picture, Frederick Bird School has saved the operating costs by replacing three ISDN2 rentals with one broadband rental, retaining the PSTN line for the broadband, fax, and as a voice backup. Office space was also saved by using Switchvox to terminate fax calls instead of dedicated fax equipment. Savings on call charges were also made by using an independent SIP provider.

Extending the use of the free Softphone apps for iPhone and Android phones and making use of Switchvox’s messaging capabilities to enhance communication, are the next possible steps that Frederick Bird is planning in the near future.

Download the Case Study Here

Digium Switchvox LogoWith Switchvox, it’s more than just the call, it’s about solving all your business challenges with a comprehensive UC solution. Now, Digium’s Switchvox applications are extending the power of Switchvox even further!

You don’t need to be a developer to enjoy the benefits of application integration. Plus, all the applications are FREE. Switchvox applications create a seamless, efficient communications solution for every business. Try them all today!

#1 Switchvox Softphone app for Android and iOS

Your employees can now use their mobile devices for advanced communications, enjoying the flexibility they need to work anywhere. Check out some of the enterprise-class UC features:

  • Send and receive calls, just like you’re at your desk
  • Keep your private number private; callers see only your desk phone number
  • Make extension-to-extension calls
  • Advanced Call Control – Such as 3-way calling, transfer, hold, and more
  • Real-time Status/ User Presence
  • Connect over WiFi, 4G or LTE

Learn More

#2 Switchvox for Salesforce

Take advantage of the Salesforce and Switchvox integration that allows you to be more efficient right from within the Salesforce interface. Users can click-to-dial within records, display matching records during incoming calls, log calls directly, and easily update their Switchvox status – all without leaving Salesforce. Check out the video below!

Learn More

#3 Switchvox for Outlook

If you are an outlook user, you can now connect with your Outlook contacts easily. Dial a phone number from within Outlook and receive a desktop notification for incoming calls that includes the caller’s contact information, allowing you to personalize your greeting to match your contact and build relationships that last.

Learn More

#4 Switchvox Dial for Chrome and Firefox

Want to call a number on a website without manually enter the number into your phone? Not a problem. With this application you can dial any phone number directly from their browser with the click of a button, creating more efficient workflows. Switchvox Dial works on any web page and with all popular web applications (ex: Gmail, LinkIn, Outlook/Office365). Also enjoy the following features:

Automatically Find and Highlight all phone numbers in the current web page

  • Dial any phone number with three simple steps, select the phone number, right-click and choose dial
  • Simple redial, even if you’ve already left the web page
  • Dial your Switchvox contacts without opening the Switchboard

Learn More

Are you using any of the Digium’s Switchvox applications? Which one do you find most useful?

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If you are a VoIP user (or thinking about being one), you must have heard the buzz word: Open Source PBX. But what is it? What does it do? Let’s find out.

First, let’s talk about PBX.

What is PBX?

PBX or “Private Branch Exchanges”, is a private telephone switchboard within an enterprise that allows multiple enterprise users to switch calls among them and share a certain number of external lines.

Unlike a traditional PBX that has a limited number of outside telephone lines and to a certain number of internal extensions, PBX phone system shares the lines for making calls. This kind of phone system avoids the cost of having a line for each user to the central telephone office.

Back to the topic– So what is an Open Source PBX?

guide-to-open-source-pbxWhat is an Open Source PBX?

An open source PBX system is a PBX with an underlying operating system and PBX software that is made generally available to the public for free. Because the operating system and software are free, an open source PBX system is very low in cost comparing to proprietary PBX systems. It also offers unlimited flexibility to any type of business.

Types of Open Source PBX Systems

There are basically two types of Open Source PBX systems:Digium Switchvox

  1. “Pure” open source PBX: A PBX system that has an underlying operating system and PBX software that’s made available to the public for free under GNU General Public License. Asterisk is a popular choice of open source PBX system.
  2.  Open source based: A PBX system with an underlying operating system and PBX software that’s open source at the core, but proprietary codes were built on top of it. Switchvox is an example of this type of PBX system.

Download our Open Source PBX guide or read our blog to learn more: Anatomy of an Open Source PBX

Another one bites the dust.

It wasn’t that long ago that we discovered Elastix had gone the way of the dodo and left us scratching our heads. Now, Avaya files for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. What is this world coming to?

Digium Switchvox LogoIf you’ve ever had a job in a sizeable building (especially as I.T.), you’ve probably seen some sort of Avaya equipment hanging around somewhere. They (Avaya) quickly became a household name, of sorts, in the early 2000’s and was the product of both Lucent Technologies, and AT&T. In the early years, Avaya was known for being innovative, and a front runner in the unified communications market space. As the years rolled on, the open standard SIP protocol became more prominent and began taking possession of market share slowly but surely. Companies like Avaya stuck with proprietary signaling, for the most part, and although it remained a serviceable enterprise-grade telephony solution it started losing it’s grip to the likes of platforms like Asterisk, and Freeswitch, which were built around the SIP protocol.

SIP allowed traditional telephony, and eventually, VoIP to be exponentially more affordable, drastically reducing things like ROI, and TCO. Phone systems also became smaller, and no longer occupied entire rooms. The glory days of big, loud, obtrusive PBX’s have certainly faded in favor of small rack mounted, or even shelf “mounted” appliances. Of course, you now have the option of virtualizing platforms like Asterisk, and all of its offspring.

Speaking of Asterisk’s offspring, Digium is now offering a promotion for current Avaya and Nortel customers looking to make a change. If you own one of these systems and it’s showing its age, now might be the time to consider a change and obtain special pricing when you purchase a Digium system from VoIP Supply. Don’t get left out in the cold when you need support from Avaya.

Similarly to Avaya, Digium was born in the early 2000’s, and was founded by a man named Mark Spencer. Digium competed directly with companies like Cisco, Avaya, and Nortel and quickly became a disruptive force. Unlike proprietary vendors, Digium will never lock you into a specific network equipment vendor which means you are free to choose a solution that fits your needs and budget. You can easily upgrade your phone system without a total “rip and replace”. At VoIP Supply, you’ll find everything you need to design a custom VoIP solution.

So, why Digium? Well, Digium has a system called Switchvox, which is one of my favorites. It’s one of my favorites for a few key reasons. Whether you are an IT admin or an everyday user, the interface is amazing, and literally spelled out for those who are not quite savvy when it comes to VoIP. Everything is well thought out, and settings/options are in places you’d expect them to be. Switchvox, also has a fantastic call center solution that’s included in the system. Switchvox’s Switchboard allows users to monitor and interact with call Queues, and active calls on your phone via a web-based interface. You can also chat with your co-workers, utilize click and drag call handling, change your presence status (Busy, DND, Out to Lunch..), see who is parked, initiate a monitor/shisper/barge, and even see a map of where a phone call is coming from.

Call center solutions that have a similar feature sets are few and far between, and among them, I would consider Switchvox the most feature rich and cost effective. The best part is with Switchvox, all features are included at one low price. You don’t have to worry about a complicated or expensive feature licensing model. Switchvox saves money and decreases the complexity of your phone system because you get so many products in one. You don’t need extra servers for third-party solutions for voicemail, mobility, conferencing, call recording, etc. Switchvox deployment options are flexible to meet the changing needs of your business. It’s the same great feature-rich software regardless of whether you choose a premise based appliance, virtual or cloud platform.

If it’s time to start looking at a new phone system, whether or not you are a prior Avaya customer, you should take a good look at Digium’s Switchvox. To have any questions answered, or if you just want more information, be sure to give VoIP Supply a call.

Major Update To The Digium Switchvox Softphone App Digium has big news and gift to everyone just in time for the holidays.  Available for immediate download is the new Switchvox Softphone app, version 3.0. What makes this version such big news? It’s all about CallKit, a new feature in Apple iOS 10 that resolves the limitations in previous iOS versions that all softphone vendors experienced. Digium is among the first Unified Communications vendors to release a softphone based on Apple iOS 10 CallKit. And best of all, the app is free!

In previous versions of iOS, users experienced some limitations and challenges with iOS softphone applications. For example,a softphone was considered just another application. If a cell phone call came in, your softphone application was immediately placed into the background and your softphone calls were placed on hold. Of course this was not ideal, as your softphone caller would have no indication as to why they were suddenly on hold. Likewise, if your iOS device was locked or the softphone was in the background, notifications did not always come through.

Major Update To The Digium Switchvox Softphone App With iOS 10 and CallKit, this all changes. Now, the Digium Switchvox Softphone app interacts with iOS 10, just like a regular phone call. Now, all calls utilize the same interface, allowing you to choose what happens when multiple calls occur simultaneously.

Calls to and from the softphone app are no longer interrupted by cell phone calls. Also, any incoming Switchvox call can be quickly answered even when the app is closed and your iPhone is locked.

What’s more, Switchvox Softphone 3.0 uses less battery life than any version of the past. Push technology enables better communication between the server and the app, conserving your data and battery use.

This is a revolutionary update for the Digium Switchvox Softphone app and it takes softphone usage from a nice-to-try feature to a must-have feature. Interact with your Switchvox calls with greater flexibility, call control, and confidence with Switchvox Softphone 3.0.

Small and medium sized businesses can get all of their Digium Switchvox needs from VoIP Supply.  Download the latest version of Switchvox Softphone today from the Apple Store.

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Digium pedals forward with Switchvox 6.3 release

Switchvox 6.3 is the most recent update to their Unified Communications platform. Here are some of the changes and updates to help your system run smoother.

Multicast for Digium Phones

There is now the ability to manage prioritized multicast addresses, and set up Digium phones to listen to those addresses.

“Multicast transmissions can be handled separately from Switchvox; Digium Phones will listen for those transmissions. Or, you can use a Switchvox SIP extension with a separate third-party multicast device as that extension’s end-point. In that scenario, a Switchvox user can dial that extension to speak and transmit audio to the appropriate phones.”

Multiple Parking Lots

Switchvox admins have the ability to create more than one call parking extension and also name them. You can access your settings to adjust how long the call should be parked for and then where it is sent to after that time period.

Name this Switchvox

When handling multiple on-site Switchvox systems you now have the ability to name each system. You can access this feature by going to Tools > IP Configuration > Advanced Options. The name will be displayed under the Welcome dropdown.

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Particular issues/bugs that have been resolved

Firmware for Polycom has been updated for Switchvox Phone Feature Packs.

When using the Salesforce.com plugin caller ID information will be saved and not lost when the call is ended.

The Swichboard Layouts features has an increased maximum-character limit which allows layouts with a large number of contacts within tags widgets and contacts.

The silence at the end of voicemails is no longer automatically deleted. You can adjust this by going to Tools > Voicemail settings.

The audio on multimedia chat using screen sharing has been improved.

If you’re interested in updating your system please contact our solution specialists at 1-800-398-8647 or voipexperts@voipsupply.com.

VoIP Supply Digium Asterisk Switchvox Pinnacle Award
VoIP Supply earns 3rd Digium Pinnacle Partner Award

We’re proud to announce that we’ve been awarded the 2015 Digium Pinnacle Partner award for Direct Marketing Partner of the Year.

3 Time Pinnacle Partner Award Winner

This is the third time since 2012 that we’ve been recognized with a Pinnacle Partner award from Digium, the Asterisk® Company, and developer of the most widely used open source VoIP telephony system.

Digium annually recognizes their top performing channel partners around the world and this year’s award winners were selected based on 2014 sales and a commitment to providing excellent customer satisfaction.

“We’re honored to be recognized for a third time by Digium with an award that highlights our commitment to offering our customers reliable and responsive support, education, and value-added Digium solutions,” said Ben Sayers, CEO of VoIP Supply.

As a Digium partner, VoIP Supply is certified to sell Digium’s Unified Communications (UC) and VoIP solutions, IP phones, gateways, telephony cards, Asterisk® support, and Switchvox appliances.

About Digium

Digium®, Inc., the Asterisk® Company, created and is the innovative force behind Asterisk, the most widely used open source telephony software.

Since its founding in 1999 by Mark Spencer, Digium has become the open source alternative to proprietary communication providers, with offerings that cost as much as 80 percent less. Digium offers Asterisk software free to the open source community and offers Switchvox, Digium’s Unified Communications solution to power a broad family of products for small, medium and large businesses.

The company’s product line includes a wide range of telephony hardware and software to enable re-sellers and customers to implement turnkey VoIP systems or to design their own custom communications solutions.

In these Digium interviews at ITEXPO 2015, VoIP Supply’s CFO Paula Griffo and Product Specialist Jeff Quinn explain what we offer to compliment Asterisk and Switchvox solutions.

Brian Ferguson of Digium talks about more of the Unified Communications solution highlights in his post here, Talking UC at ITEXPO: Watch Digium Live in Miami.

Watch the full video above for these other interviewees that explain their Digium and Asterisk integrations: Continue reading

Cisco UC300 and UC500

The Cisco Unified Communications Series for Small Business, specifically the UC300 and UC500 device series, have reached end-of-life (EoL) status.

Support for these platforms began phasing out on January 1, 2015.

Digium is currently offering a promotion to help you switch from Cisco to a Switchvox UC platform.

For many customers, a Switchvox solution can be purchased for less than the annual cost of a Cisco support contract.

Promotion Details

  • Must be a new Switchvox solution that replaces an existing Cisco UC300 and UC500 solution.
  • This promotion CAN be stacked with other Digium promotions.
  • Work with your VoIP Supply account rep – Devices cannot be purchased online for the same discount.

Eligible Digium Products for Cisco Replacement Promotion

Unified Communications Appliances

  • Switchvox 80
  • Switchvox 310
  • Switchvox 360

VoIP Phones

  • Digium D50
  • Digum D70

 

Digium Swithvox Mobile App Not Yet Compatible with Apple iOS 8 Software Release
Digium Swithvox Mobile App Not Yet Compatible with Apple iOS 8 Software Release

The news that Apple iOS 8 software is now publicly available is exciting, but try to resist the urge to install the update if you’re a current user of the Switchvox Mobile App.

Digium has announced that their Switchvox app does not yet support iOS 8:

We are working to determine Switchvox Mobile’s compatibility with this new version of the operating system, and cannot guarantee the app will function under iOS 8.

Switchvox Mobile is the free app that allows you to access your Switchvox VoIP network via iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices.

Switchvox iOS 8 Plan

Digium plans on having an updated mobile app available in October 2014 which “will offer much of the feature-set of a Digium desk phone, on your iPhone,” said an announcement from Gayle Magee of Digium.

A new Android Switchvox Mobile app will follow after the Apple iOS 8 version is complete.

Stay up to date with customer issues on Switchvox Today.