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Phone Software Solution


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I am looking for a program (Or series of programs) with the following functions

 

Voicemail System: A Voicemail system that will route a voicemail to the designated recipient’s computer.

 

Caller ID System: Caller ID system that will alert all computers of an incoming call and its information.

 

Virtual Phone System: Phone system that will allow a user to use the modem on anothercomputer to both make and receive phone calls. (Using a headset or speakers/mic setup)

 

The general idea is to have one computer with the modem connected to my landline serve other computers with a client program the voicemail, Caller ID, and Virtual Phone services.

 

What programs does NCH offer that would satisfy this? If none then is there another software solution out there?

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Instead of using the modem options, I suggest using an FXO adapter such as the Linksys (Sipura) 3102 FXO adapter. This product is essentially an adapter that converts a traditional landline into a VoIP phone line. This makes it much easier to share a phone line across a computer network and setup a "virtual phone system."

 

As for the software, once the line is VoIP (converted with the FXO adapter), IVM's Axon software can manage the call easily. Axon (Free) lets you manage your phone system easily, by providing an easy to use interface that enables you to direct and route calls between different phones and softphones (computer software phones) connected to your system. It is essentially the heart of the system.

 

IVM Answering Attendant acts as your answering machine and attendant software (e.g. Press 1 to do this, 2 to do that). It is very simple to set-up and has one of the easiest interfaces for programming answering attendant menus and data collection etc. The nice thing is NCH's software all sort of just 'clicks' together, so you can easily setup Axon to forward calls to your IVM voicemail system after the call hasn't been answered for a period of time.

 

Express Talk (available in Free and Business Edition) enables users to make (and take) phone calls from your landline (assuming you have an FXO adapter) from any computer on your network. The software can be used with a headset, or is even compatible with external phones that plug-in to the computer's USB port. The Express Talk option will automatically pop-up the Caller ID for incoming calls.

 

The other nice thing about using Axon and several computers with Express Talk is that each user with Express Talk installed can have their own virtual extension / phone line. There is absolutely no extra cost for the number of extensions you have and there is no limit to how many you can make. This allows each user to have the ability to call any other user on the phone system, as if they had their own phone line, as well as use the outside landline.

 

You can also program a more advanced system with Axon. For example you could incoming calls on the landline automatically ring only the reception phones, but if nobody answers on the reception phones for a predetermined amount of time (e.g. 10 seconds), have the system automatically start ringing another office which can take the call instead.

 

Pretty much whatever you want to accomplish with your phone system can be achieved with IVM's software.. whether it is a simple answering machine, or a complex call center with music-on-hold and interactive assistance menus.

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Thank you but I have two concerns

 

"Instead of using the modem options, I suggest using an FXO adapter such as the Linksys (Sipura) 3102 FXO adapter. This product is essentially an adapter that converts a traditional landline into a VoIP phone line. " Will that still allow my traditional phones to work without any noticable change?

 

And instead of having to go buy additional hardware couldnt software perform the same function?

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EDIT: I forgot to add that an FXO adapter will not disrupt the functionality of the other (traditional/analog) phones on the line.

 

Unfortunately there are several problems with using modems for telephone communication and call management systems (whether or not you choose to use NCH products won't make a difference):

 

1) The modem would have to be a voice-enabled modem.. the standard data/fax modems found in most computers do not have the capability of handling phone/voice applications such as answering machines. Voice-modems are also more expensive than traditional data or data/fax modems.

 

2) Voice-Modems typically provide poor and inferior quality compared to professional voice/telephony boards and FXO adapters, and also lack many basic features.

 

3) Even if the modem in question is voice-enabled, this only lets it connect to IVM (or other telephony software) through a direct hardware connection (e.g. for an answering machine), meaning most other features such as allowing remote computers to make calls through the phone line, having software to manage the flow of phone calls and route them through to different extensions would not be possible.

 

The only way to achieve the functionality you were asking for in your first post (in terms of remote computers operating the phone line, and receiving caller-id etc. etc.), is to either use a professional voice/telephony board (which is essentially just a much more advanced version of a voice-modem) or an FXO adapter (my personal preference).

 

The voice/telephony boards are also typically more expensive (Range from about $250-$800)

FXO adapters are much cheaper, but unlike most voice boards can usually only handle 1 line per device ($80-100).

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The carousel FXO adapter is only compatible with professional Telephony boards (such as those listed on NCH's website). The voice-modem option is very limited in its functionality in that it is only good for recording audio (e.g. voice mail message) and maybe an automated outbound call, but that's about it. It isn't designed to interface with PBX call management solutions or anything similar.

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  • 2 months later...

Sorry to revive this old post, but the discussion applies to my situation.

 

I'm looking to create a phone system on one of my home computers to act as an answering machine and allowing other computers to recieve calls and caller-id information. The reason I want to do this if first, my current answering machine fills up under the current demands, and second I want to designate a PC as a computer where a centralized phone book is stored as well as a calendar system for the whole family.

 

I'm not sure if the solution you've been talking about in this post applies. But I would be thankful if you could elaborate on the process and where I could get started to understand what I need and how to set it up.

 

Thanks

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@Stillife, in your situation this is what I recommend:

 

Download and install Axon ( on NCH's site http://nch.com.au )

 

This software is an advanced call management system (but still simple to use) that can distribute calls across a network to other computers, to digital SIP phones, and to traditional analog phones (using an ATA adapter). (You can still plug your analog phones into your phone jacks as normal, but they won't be connected to the Axon software which allows for much more advanced use of your telephone).

 

Then you can choose to either

A) Use your current Analog phone line from your Telecommunications provider (will require the purchase of a Linksys/Sipura 3102 FXO adapter, and is costly in terms of call charges)

B) You can move to a VoIP provider (my personal recommendation. This means all your calls will go over the internet at only a fraction of the cost of your current phone bill. You can even port your phone number over to the VoIP provider so you don't have to go tell everybody you've changed numbers).

 

The next step is to set-up either the FXO adapter or your new compatible VoIP provider with Axon (by creating a new External line in the software).

 

Once this is done you can set-up as many extensions as you wish in Axon, and each computer softphone, digital SIP phone, or ATA adapter you have can be associated/registered with an extension.

 

After setting up a dialing plan in Axon for making outbound calls, and setting up a Group/Queue with all the phone extensions you want to ring on an incoming call... you should then be able to call between extensions in your house as well as receive calls from any of these extensions. Each extension acts as its own "line" and you can have more than one call to different people at the same time (the number of simultaneous calls will be limited by your VoIP provider, and is limited to 1 if you keep your normal analogue land line).

 

The last step is to download and install IVM (you will need to purchase IVM to continue using it after the trial period has ended). IVM will set-up with Axon, and you can have your incoming calls answered by IVM if there is no Answer on any of your phones.

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