Digium Inc. announced Wednesday the availability of free mobile applications for the iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones that integrate with the companys Switchvox unified communications solution based on Digiums Asterisk open-source platform. Switchvox is available for sale through direct and indirect sales channels.
Switchvox Mobile applications are linked to an employees phone extension, so when mobile workers make a business call through Switchvox Mobile, the call appears to be from their work phone rather than their mobile phone, and billing is handled like any other call they make from the office. To place a call using the Switchvox Mobile Application, mobile workers can select a name from the company directory, dial the employees extension from the keypad, or click to call from the voice mail and call logs. Switchvox Mobile applications also support the ability to control voice mail greetings, access the full company directory, view missed calls, check voice mail and return calls all from a smartphone. Users also can set call rules while away from the office.
It gives people the flexibility to work how they want,” said Tristan Barnum, director of Switchvox product marketing. They are not tied to a desk phone or softphone.”
While admittedly not unique in the marketplace, Switchvox addressed common barriers to use, such as cost and complexity, in developing its mobile applications, Barnum said. While other phone system vendors are charging license fees as high as $15 per user, for example, Switchvox Mobile is available for download to compatible smartphones free of charge, she said.
Even if the business customer is willing to pay, many apps are difficult to set up and use, so they dont get used,” Barnum said. To address that, Switchvox Mobile is designed to be easy to deploy. Users can do it themselves with three readily available pieces of information their phone extension, their voice mail password and the URL where the Switchboard connects. An administrator can input more arcane data like the port number and protocol for all devices at one time. So this means the individual users dont need to know those details as they might be with other vendor apps, or conversely an administrator need not get involved in downloading the app to every employee phone.
Once installed, Switchvox Mobile also is designed to be easy to use, said Barnum, explaining it conforms to the native interfaces of the respective devices and/or Switchvox so that there is no relearning required by the user.
Another benefit of the application is that it enables users to easily separate billing for corporate calls from personal calls whether the phone is owned by the employee or the corporation by making all work-related calls through Switchvox mobile and personal calls through the smartphone.
Switchvox Mobile for iPhone is available through the iTunes App Store and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with OS 3.0 or later. Switchvox Mobile for the BlackBerry is available through BlackBerry App World and is compatible with the Bold, Curve, Pearl, Storm and Tour models version 4.2.1 or later. Switchvox users must have the version 4.5.2 to support Switchvox Mobile.
The Switchvox Mobile applications also can be used in demo mode, which does not require connectivity to a Switchvox phone system. Barnum said this offers users a preview of the capabilities. She said that this also will enable Digiums direct and indirect sales representatives to easily show prospects the capabilities of the Switchvox platform to support mobile workers.
Barnum said Switchvox Mobile for iPhone has been available as a beta download from the ITunes App Store for the past month. Early reviews show that the application is easy to use; users downloaded and operated the app with no instructions or support documentation, she added.