Trixbox (CE, SE, CCE, EE)…What is Best For You?

May 7, 2008 by Garrett Smith

In the realm of IP phone systems there are many flavors to choose from. You have the small petite servers for a few users, such as a small or home office, then branch out to the big monsters that can handle 1,000 concurrent calls at once. It is easy enough with some simple wit and a little money to figure out a box that has the power for your needs, but one thing that some people do not take into consideration is the software back bone that makes this happen.

In my next few paragraphs I will be talking about the much loved trixbox unit and their software bundles. We will look over the Community Edition (CE), Standard Edition (SE), and then the Call Center Editions (CCE), and Enterprise Edition (EE).

Trixbox CE is the free (open source) edition of software. By “open source” I mean this is the drive that made VoIP where it is today. The source code is open to the public, so that people like me and possibly you can look it over and improve it. This edition is fully modifiable. What is even better is that if you made something nifty then you can submit the code back to trixbox, and they may make it apart of the next release of software. How cool is that? You can contribute to an industry that is constantly growing. Now I could sit here and talk about all the features of this version, but the list would go on and on. Let’s put it this way, there are hundreds of features. So if you’re that nerd that likes to tinker and fool with settings and see what you can do, then this is the box for you.

Trixbox SE is not an open source program, but rather is hybrid-hosted. This means that Fonality/ trixbox has control over your system and makes sure that nothing breaks. Some people like the idea of having someone help out and make sure that everything is all in working order, while others do not like the idea of a possible big brother always looking over their shoulder. In any regard, this version is free as well. It will just take a little time to go here and download it. SE has even more functionality than CE, and what is even better is HUD. HUD stands for “heads up display.” This neat program installs onto a computer on the same network as the server and links an extension from a phone to your desktop. It shows you all the other extensions and people using the same HUD program. This HUD program is called HUD lite, and there is a difference with this version and the HUD pro program that is available with the other two versions of trixbox software I am about to talk about..

Now, let’s talk about the features that are not free. Those being CCE and EE. Both versions are fully monitored by Fonality. Meaning that if something fails, like your network crashed, or the Hard drive fails or your server went down as it was processing a change you made, all you have to do is call them up, report what happened, let them diagnose anything wrong with the box, and POOF your server is back up and running in a short amount of time. Now if you had the CE version this wouldn’t be happening. So for you companies that NEED your business VoIP PBX to work, and have constant monitoring and be up and running at all times, this may be the way to go. Not to mention EVEN MORE FUNCTIONALITY. I do highly recommend taking a look at that last link. Review the functionality of both CCE and EE. Some of these features you cannot find anywhere else. Oh, one more thing–both these versions have HUD as well. But this is the PRO version. Want to know more about HUD? Click here for an interactive Demo.

Now that we have reviewed the versions and what they offer, some of you are surely wondering about the price. Here is the breakdown of what CCE and EE cost.

So, after looking at that pricing matrix (some of you may have had your jaws hit the floor), I need you to think of it this way: Yes, you could buy the monthly fee, but do the math. Add the monthly fee up for two years, and you have a close price to the lifetime license. And I am pretty sure that you are going to have that box for more than two years. Also, think about the added functionality that you have that no one else does. You could be the envy of any business around you. So those two factors alone should make that pretty convincing to take a chance and ask some questions.

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