A Big Leap in Open Source PBX Technology
The Digium Switchvox is the world’s most popular business communications solution based upon the Asterisk Open Source PBX. And it is overdue for a major overhaul.
Today, Digium announced that their Switchvox Cloud Virtual PBX has been upgraded to software release 6.0. As they state succinctly on their website, the Switchvox Cloud is now powered by Asterisk 13, the current version of Asterisk. Previous to this upgrade, the Switchvox was based upon some very old Asterisk software. Parts of the Switchvox code used Asterisk 1.4 that was released 2006 and Asterisk 1.6 which was released in 2008. It illustrates the technology lead that Asterisk open source software has over its commercial competitors. The Switchvox, based upon this 10-year-old software was still a heady competitor to the likes of ShoreTel, Mitel, and Avaya.
This is the biggest Digium Switchvox news since the product was first released. Yes, this once again catapults Switchvox ahead of its competition as a commercial business communications solution. Since the Switchvox is based upon open source technology, there are no costly license and software fees, which makes the Switchvox a price & performance leader. And for the tech nirvana San Francisco Bay Area, where TeleDynamic provides Switchvox support and sales, Open Source PBX software is warmly embraced.
The Key Features of Switchvox 6.0
ARI: Switchvox now has the ARI (Asterisk Rest Interface) that been part of Asterisk since release 12. This means that the Switchvox system can easily integrate with any cloud application built using REST (Representational State Transfer for you nerds). So, who uses REST that makes it so important? Google, Salesforce, Zendesk and most everyone else in the business applications space, that’s who! This makes the Switchvox an easy API extension of most cloud-based apps without expensive licenses or intense custom programming.ARI will make it simple to “voice-enable” your business applications.
New Call Queue Engine: The old Switchvox software had outgrown its call queueing technology. Using the above-described ARI, expect to see a much more robust set of call center features as Digium brings out new feature releases.
Native Salesforce Integration: Yes, Switchvox 6.0 ships with a robust Salesforce integration right out of the box. Switchvox competitors all charge license fees for their Salesforce integration.
New Switchboard: Switchboard is Switchvox’s web-based application that provides desktop call control, chat, and access to CRM, all in real time. This app has been completely re-written using HTML 5, getting rid of Flash for once and for all. It has a fresh new look and many new capabilities including WebRTC.
WebRTC: WebRTC support was introduced in Asterisk 11 and now is part of Switchvox also. WebRTC provides browser-to-browser applications for voice, video chat and file sharing with no need for external plug-ins. And you should know that Google is a founding member of the WebRTC open source community.
So, what does WebRTC do for a business? If might best be explained by a real world example: The Amazon Kindle Fire has an interactive tech support feature called Mayday, where a live Amazon operator will appear in a video chatwindow on your screen to answer all of your support questions.
Summary of Switchvox 6.0
In summary, Switchvox 6.0 is a major architectural replacement of nearly all of the underlying technology of the product. It’s not just a new engine, but it’s a whole new automobile. While the last version of Switchvox (Release 5.11) was squeezing the last bit of features that it could out of ten-year-old software, 6.0 is a brand new platform that will propel business communications in exciting new directions. Digium has always been a technology leader and with the new Switchvox 6.0 software, they have propelled themselves far ahead of the current competition.
So, will it work? Yes, it will as it’s been developed by the Asterisk community and the technology is already in use worldwide. And many of the new underlying technologies make development and troubleshooting vastly faster.Open Source PBX – it’s a beautiful world.