If you were keeping an eye on the realm of open source PBX offerings you might be lulled into thinking that there is Digium with Asterisk and Switchvox, then everyone else. Where “everyone else” was basically hobbyists and Freeswitch fanatics. Well, that’s easy to understand, but you’d be wrong. I know that I was.
TMC recently posted an interview with Tony Lewis of Schmooze Communications. I know, I know…how do you take a company with a name like that seriously? It’s just one step above Goober Networks..oh,wait…they’re a real player, too! Well, what’s in a name?
What’s that mean exactly? I find myself quite taken by the idea of their “Magic Button” feature. Any decent PBX can do IVR, or even IVR with speech recognition for caller responses. PBXact turns that around so that the speech recognition technology can be used to engage the PBX in common calling functions. Touch the Magic Button on your phone, then say “call extension 2004” and it does!
This “magical” capability extends to a lot of the systems capabilities, from simple call control to altering presence status and VM functions. They have a couple of nice recorded examples of this in action on the companies web site. This feature seems similar to Microsoft’s ill-fated Response Point system, except that it remains on an open source foundation.
Schmooze has worked to achieve close integration of the PBX, speech recognition engine and the phones themselves. They have worked closely with Aastra Telecom using the XML-based interface to their phones, including the brilliant new Aastra 6739i.
The Aastra 6739i features a large, color, touch-screen LCD display, Bluetooth and an XML interface that opens up all kinds of possibilities…which is where PBXact comes into play. PBXact leverages the strength of the Aastra XML interface, marrying it with a mature, stable and extensible PBX platform.
If XactView feels familiar that stems from the fact that the developers at Schmooze are amongst the more active ones working on FreePBX. They have taken the experience of working on FreePBX and built their XactView offering to compliment the capabilities of PBXact.
It’s funny how sometimes a contender seems to come from out of nowhere. PBXact seems like that.
Disclosure: E4 Technologies sponsors the VoIP Users Conference. In recognition of this fact, and the excellent service that I have personally received from them, I send them link traffic where they offer the devices that I am mentioning.