Sunday, August 21, 2011

Panasonic Softphone

Panasonic softphone is a piece of software that runs on your PC and performs functionalities of an actual telephone. It is known as KX-NCS0350 in US or KX-NCS8100 in UK and the rest of the world.

Panasonic softphone supports KX-TDA 100 and higher, including KX-TDE and KX-NCP PBX. It is a proprietary softphone, which means it does not work with PBX of other brands, nor does it supports SIP. However, Panasonic PBX does support SIP through third party SIP phones.

The main feature of Panasonic softphone is it looks exactly like the real telephone, but sitting in your PC desktop. This provides a user-friend interface for users that are more familiar with the physical telephone. It is best to use a headphone with a microphone with the softphone.

The setup of Panasonic softphone involves more network configuration than normal 'plug-and-play' physical telephone. You have to first register the softphone to the PBX (following the steps in the manual) before you can start using it. That being said, you should purchase a license from your Panasonic dealer before registering or using the softphone.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What is Asterisk?

(It has been a while since the last article. Today we are going to fast-forward to a topic more relevant to today's PBX industry landscape: Asterisk)


Put simply, Asterisk is a software-based PBX. By running Asterisk software, your PC can perform the functions of a PBX. Asterisk can also act as a gateway to public telephone network, a VoIP server, ACD server for call centers or IVR system.

Now that we answered "What", lets take a look at the other wives and the husband :-)

Asterisk was originally written by by Mark Spencer of Digium. However, it was released into open source under GNU General Public License (GPL) and therefore, owned and supported by the open source community. Digium is the company that provides commercial support and licensing to those who wish to extend Asterisk as closed source product.

Digium Inc is located in the United States.

Asterisk was first created in 1999.
Version 1.0 was released in 2004.
Current version 1.8 was released in 2010.

Asterisk itself is a set of software building blocks where you can configure and customise. It is not a turnkey solution. However, Digium does provide out-of-the-box Asterisk package that is easy to install and use.

One important point is that with Asterisk, you would still need to interface the hardware (ie. your PC) with the telephone system. This can be done in several ways. One way is to install T1/E1 interface card on your PC and connect them to the T1/E1 interface card of the PBX or direct to the carrier.