This blog is dedicated to open, interoperable manufacturing software and the coolest, latest and greatest things I see every day while conducting business under the banner of Inductive Automation.

Hello, my name is Steve Hechtman and I am president of Inductive Automation. During the span of one day there is more excitement, more discovery than I can possibly keep to myself. This blog is, therefore, my outlet. WARNING: This site is highly biased in favor of the most powerful, affordable manufacturing software in the world - Ignition by Inductive Automation!

VOIP Systems

VOIP relates to telephony and stands for "Voice Over IP".  Many companies now use VOIP for their telephone systems.  While the cost and complexity of VOIP systems has been a barrier to entry in the past, now the open-source Asterisk software makes implementing and managing VOIP phone systems of any size affordable.

At Inductive Automation we run Asterisk on a modest Dell server machine and use affordable Polycom VOIP handsets.  There was a bit of a learning curve in the beginning, but we got over it and now it's a piece of cake for us to manage all of our calling features from a web page. And unlike other systems we had in the past we can keep adding extensions without limit.

There are now several inexpensive "all-in-one" VOIP systems on the market.  These have from 1 to 8 FXO ports (standard outside line) to connect to telco and don't require a PC at all.  It's just an appliance running the Asterisk software.  We've been experimenting with a couple of these.  One of these is made in Australia by Rowetel.  The one FXO line version is pictured above.  I believe it can support a good number of extensions.  A box like this would be perfect for home use.  The four or eight line version might perfect for a small business.  And nothing could be more affordable - the box above only costs $175 USD.

If you're wondering why we're experimenting with these cool little boxes, stay tuned.  You'll find out what it's all about in the first quarter of 2013.

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