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Schmooze Com's Mission Is to Simplify the Corporate Phone System

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September 09, 2014

Schmooze Com's Mission Is to Simplify the Corporate Phone System

By Tracey E. Schelmetic
TMCnet Contributor


If there’s one thing the average company could use today, it’s streamlining of the telephone system. Many companies today are stuck with a mix of old-fashioned technology and new add-ons (that may or may not work well together). The result, for many companies, is a dysfunctional Frankenstein system, which does nothing to boost productivity and efficiency.

At the recent ITEXPO held in Las Vegas in August, TMC’s Erik Linask caught up with Tony Lewis of PBX solutions provider Schmooze (News - Alert) Communications. The Neenah, Wisconsin-based company was founded in 2010 by a core group of communications architects and VoIP experts with the goal of simplifying the corporate phone system. Lewis discussed the recent happenings with the company’s flagship product, FreePBX.

“FreePBX currently has a new version out called Version 12,” said Lewis. “All prior versions were ‘two-dot-something,’ and we decided we we’re never going to have a 3.0, so forget it…we’re just going to jump all the way to 12. So 12 is a release candidate as of [August]. A lot of the things in 12 are things that the average user won’t appreciate – a lot of plumbing changes. FreePBX is now 10 years old, and a lot of that code was getting old. From a user perspective, we’re really focused on the new user control panel. End users who might go in and do things for the phone system can manage some of the settings for their phone and some of the rules for their extensions: we’ve completely rebuilt that from the ground up.”

End users are better able to check their call histories, for example, or listen to their call recordings and view their SMSs, and change their presence and follow-me settings. Version 12, says Lewis, makes this easier to do.

“So we have this new user control panel: all HTML 5-driven, very Web socket, responsive programming, designed to work phenomenal on tablets and Androids and iPhones,” he noted. “So many people are visual and they want to see [these features] on their monitor or computer that they’re on all day long. We have a new WebRTC plug-in so I will have a softphone at all times up on my screen that’s paired with my desk phone so if my desk phone rings, my new WebRTC phone can also ring. That’s part of my user control panel.”

Lewis noted that the company tried to build the new version in a very responsive manner, so users aren’t constantly waiting for pages to load. It’s also designed to be very “mobile friendly,” he said, and easy to navigate on a tablet or a smartphone. The product supports nearly 300 endpoints with the new version and Lewis says they have made the process very easy for device and endpoint makers to certify their products with Schmooze, including a full-time person dedicated to that process.

“We’re actually at the point where we can’t find enough endpoints to add anymore,” observed Lewis. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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