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297 posts

Ultimate Geek


Topic # 22085 16-May-2008 10:13
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Can anyone suggest any software that allows a PC to control the signalling of an IP Phone, similar to a software call attendant (ie something that gives the status of multiple lines and allows visual transferring and conferencing etc).

I'm not sure if it is possible for that kind of thing to work without specific support for it in a PBX setup, but am interested because the 2talk admins said it might be something they would have in the future, but for now there 'should be other software that supports it.'

I was working in a company that deployed an enterprise Interactive Intelligence system and that included a PC client that acted either as a SoftPhone + Call attendant or a IP Phone controller + Call attendant, but this client was specific to the II system.

Any suggestions? Am basically just looking for something simple that would ideally control an IP phone, even if it had to be a specific model, and give access to a central addressbook/directory or something similar, and ideally should ideally have an API to integrate with desktop CRM software if possible.

I'm really unsure whether i'm dreaming here or not, so all sugestions welcome.


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  Reply # 131192 16-May-2008 10:21
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I'm not quite sure if I understand exactly what you're wanting to do.

Have you looked at Hudlite? It won't do everything you want but it's application that integrates with Asterisk that runs on the desktop and allows click to call, call transfers with your mouse and visual indications of the status of all other extensions along with setting your current status, call forwarding etc.

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Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 131196 16-May-2008 10:42
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Yep thats exactly what I want it to do, except I was wondering if it was possible to do this without having your own PBX setup. Ie just control a single IP handset/ata with a visual interface, or ideally control a few phones/atas within a home or small business.

Also the other thing i'm interested in is the ability to have integration into small CRM type applications thru some form of API. Eg, Look up client details in the application, hit Call and the IP Phone sets up the call. I suppose a softphone would do much of this, but ideally it could be done using a physical IP phone with a kind of 'interactive PC remote control'.

2talk supports call setup via SMS and their online portal, but it would be nice to have an software client to show visual notifications and visual call control (eg conference, send to voicemail, forward, hold), show call state, and allow call setup from applications eg Outlook, CRM etc. VFX appear to be releasing something like that as part of their advanced features, but I assume this integrates at their end rather than the client end and from the screen shots I saw it appears to simply import the Outlook contact database, rather than actually allow call setup from Outlook.

I realise that a pbx is the best way to go for these kinds of things, but am just wondering if it is limited solely to PBX setups or provider-specific software, or whether it is possible on the client-side.

End game would be the ability for a provider to to have virtual/hosted PBXs with real-time APIs to integrate into corporate or client CRM systems I guess.

3bit and others might not like that so much though! ;)


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  Reply # 131200 16-May-2008 10:55
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I don't see any way of controlling a phone or ATA as they in effect have no interface that allows this whereas something such as HUDlite can interface directly to the Asterisk CallManager to handle these tasks.

If you do want to go down the path of having features such as this why are you scared us using Asterisk?

Everything you want to do could easily be done with something such as Asterisk but unfortunately we don't have anybody (with the exception of Commverge) who have gone down the track of a Managed/Virtual PBX solution in New Zealand. IMHO this will be the next big thing and with the costs of products such as One Office/UNS delivering guaranted bandwidth it's entirely possible to impliment.

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Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 131217 16-May-2008 12:03
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Lol I'm not scared of using Asterisk. I am just simply asking whether I am a dreamer or whether this kind of thing is possible at present. It seems the answer is that Yes, i'm a dreamer Cool

The reason I wouldn't use asterisk in some scenarios would only really be risk and/or cost of mitigating risk when deploying it to SO/HO users.

Ie: Risk of failure, Risk of Power outage, Risk of config corruption, risk of hardware failure, risk of network failure. While the probability all these things may be fairly low, in order to protect against them it is costly for the small/self-employed businesses which make up a large proportion of NZ's businesses (Eg, redundant hardware, UPS/Generator, Redundant internet connections, Paying for consultants and support to make changes/upgrades).

The impact of risks, and therefore necessity to mitigate them, would increase with reliance on a phone system. A particular example from my experience would be real estate agents, where the ability to answer a call promptly can make the difference between you or another agent making the sale. I imagine there would be many other busineses who have similar reliance upon their phone system.

For my own use, I would be quite happy to use Asterisk, but I am more thinking about for Non-geeks who want something that requires low user-configuration, and is managed en-mass by their ISP/VSP with nice pretty interfaces and easy setups.

Even in big companies, It would reduce their project risk a lot if they could say to the ISP/VSP "Give me 200 extensions with DIDs, support 30 simultaneous calls, integrate it with my, and make it as reliable as doing it in-house." Only reason I wouldn't outsource the PBX would be for resilience or security reasons (eg a govt agency might need something that stands up to major disasters and protects secret information).

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  Reply # 134284 29-May-2008 22:26
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This is possible ,of course it depends on the phone though. For example the snom phones will allow you to control some functions via a HTTP request, for example dial, pickup hangup etc. They can also make HTTP requests when certain events occur such as incoming call, outgoing call, DND pressed etc.

This makes them quite easy to interface with click to dial and call popup software.


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