If you look at the number of new IP phones introduced over that past few months, two things become apparent. First, the deskphone market is not only not dying — as some large communications software vendors would have us believe — but appears ripe for growth. Secondly, the innovation that has gone into developing communications software is also finding its way into these IP phones, which are, in fact, much more than simple phones — they are designed to keep a bevy of information at users’ fingertips, leveraging the growth of the Unified Communications market.
When Digium released the latest version, 4.0, of its Asterisk-based IP PBX Switchvox (News - Alert) at ITEXPO East in Miami, it did so with the specific intent of delivering a more unified communications experience than ever before to the SMB market.
The idea was to create what Switchvox product line director Tristan Degenhardt called a “Web-aware” unified communications solution, meaning it integrates data from various sources, from the Web to the back office, all of which can then be delivered to the end user's device to provide a more robust communications environment. Check out the interview with Degenhardt at ITEXPO (News - Alert) below.
Of course, Digium has always fared well in the IP PBX market, being the creators and maintainers of the Asterisk program, which has garnered significant interest particularly during the current economic downturn. It also, particularly with its Switchvox IP PBX (News - Alert), become adept at leveraging Web capabilities to deliver caller data to users.
With release 4.0 of Switchvox SMB, Digium added a number of unified communications capabilities to its solution, not the least of which is integration with Microsoft OCS, which also plays well into its compatibility with IP phones from snom, which is among those vendors developing the latest generation of deskphones, designed to leverage the efforts of companies like Digium.
Digium and snom already have a proven track record of delivering communications value to the SMB space. Now, as Asterisk, in general, and the Switchvox product, in particular, have gained momentum, that relationship becomes even more powerful.
The snom line of VoIP phones, which also includes OCS integration, developed to leverage the very capabilities Digium has built into Switchvox to integrate basic calling with other unified communications and Web-based capabilities. In fact, in addition to being interoperable with snom 3xx series phones and the snom 820, Switchvox 4.0 includes auto-provisioning for the devices.
This means that not only do SMBs have a cost effective, feature-rich, turnkey IP PBX available to them, but the deployment time and complexity is significantly reduced, and the many features enabled by Switchvox can be quickly brought online to the snom VoIP phones.
“Our goal is not only to make the products interoperate, but to take full advantage of all that Switchvox has to offer,” noted Dr. Michael Knieling (News - Alert), sales and marketing director for snom.
Whether that means snom will deliver endpoints that also leverage the video communications capabilities that are part of the Switchvox SMB 4.0 release or not remains to be seen, but with the growing momentum in the video communications space — which Digium clearly recognizes — it wouldn’t be a surprise.
Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Managing Editor of TMCnet, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to nearly 3,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Erik Linask