That's unheard of in the PBX world, where even small add-on features usually carry steep price tags. In fact, the entire TalkSwitch unit costs less than many PBX add-ons, so it can be placed behind a legacy PBX to add numerous new features to the entrenched PBX for much less than the cost of an equivalent set of upgrades.
TalkSwitch was founded in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1990 by entrepreneurs Jan Scheeren and Glen Collie. The men recognized that traditional telephone system manufacturers had been largely ignoring the small business market, forcing those companies to settle for scaled down versions of their big business systems. FortiFone Softclient. FortiFone Softclient lets you stay connected anywhere, anytime, without missing any important call. Compatible with bring-your-own-device or company-issued smartphones and desktops, Fortinet’s business communications solution enables you to seamlessly make/receive calls, check voicemail messages and do more.Version 2.39 of the TalkSwitch firmware adds voice-mail boxes that don't need to be tied to an extension, which is handy for contract workers and other staff that don't have a physical extension in the company's office. Calls also can now be queued into ring groups to locate at least one person in a department.
In addition, the new firmware adds support for telephone company transfer-and-clear services, which frees up a line when a remote extension is used. Message recording time also has been increased to four minutes.
Although the TalkSwitch is targeted at small to midsize businesses, the product,even without the firmware upgrade,has sophisticated features that rival many large-scale private phone systems. What's more, several units can be linked, enabling the system to grow with a business or service large and small customers with a single SKU.
- TalkSwitch Click-to-Dial software enables TalkSwitch users to make calls using their Microsoft Outlook Contacts list. This software is compatible with TalkSwitch phone systems running TalkSwitch version 6.50 or higher software. A window will appear to collect essential information to enable Outlook to use the TalkSwitch phone system.
A single TalkSwitch unit handles up to four inbound lines and eight physical extensions. Each unit supports a distinctive ring. So a business can have 12 phone numbers per device, and calls can be routed intelligently based on their ring signal. Calls also can be bridged to remote extensions automatically, manually or via a menu as desired. Naturally, calls can be placed on hold, parked, transferred or conferenced. Faxes also can be automatically detected.
In deploying the TalkSwitch in a multiextension phone network, the CRN Test Center was amazed at the flexibility built into the product's call-routing and auto-attendant features. To show how extensive they are, take a look at the following example of a call navigating one of the most circuitous routes that a solution provider could establish.
A call comes in and it is answered by an auto attendant that announces which buttons to push in order to reach a particular person. The user then makes a selection, and the call is routed to the requested local extension. After a preset number of rings without an answer, the call is routed to another auto attendant, which requests the caller's name. The caller gives his or her name, and then the call is bridged to a remote extension,in this case, someone's cell phone. When that person answers, the PBX plays back the caller's name and then lets the listener accept the incoming call, route it to another extension (either remote, local or a hunt group) or send the caller to voice-mail.
> NAME: TalkSwitch 48-NLS
> PRICE: $1,395
> AUTHORIZATION REQUIREMENTS: None
> DISTRIBUTORS/INTEGRATORS: Direct to solution providers
> COMPANY: Centrepoint Technologies
Almost all of the TalkSwitch's settings can be saved as part of a 'mode,' and the system supports enough modes to exhibit different sets of routing and auto-attendant behaviors based on the time and day of the week.
To work seamlessly with legacy PBXes, the TalkSwitch supports double-flashing to place calls on hold. The legacy PBX must have an analog jack to support the TalkSwitch. The unit also can be connected to a company's PA system for paging, broadcasting message playback or monitoring voice-mail as it's recorded.
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Settings can be made using a computer, software and either a serial, network or USB cable. A computer doesn't have to remain connected directly to the TalkSwitch after setup, but having the unit connected to the network for remote management provides a service revenue opportunity.
The unit also allows password-protected remote control of all its settings from any phone, regardless of location. Making configuration changes to the unit from an extension, as opposed to just managing voice-mail, requires the manual and is least preferred for setup.
The software makes navigating the TalkSwitch's enormous feature set as easy as possible. Deploying the product requires a little study in order to precisely map out
the behaviors that a customer requires. But after that, configuration of the unit is straightforward.
Links between TalkSwitch units are digital, use standard CAT-5 cabling and can be routed through any network switch. Care should be taken when connecting units over a network to minimize their bandwidth use,for example, by supporting extensions that regularly transfer calls back and forth from one unit. That way, the transfer isn't occurring over the network.
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TalkSwitch works with analog phones, but special handsets featuring caller ID, programmable keys, voice-mail indicators and speaker-phone capability are available. For extra voice-mail storage, memory cards of various capacities are available as well.