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Good answering system?

 10:16 pm on Jul 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Any recomendations on a good phone voice mail system?

- multiline.
- prefer a modem/computer based solution.
- multi mail boxes.
- menu tree
- line passthrus on distinctive rings. (fax..etc)



 9:02 pm on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Brett, I got to play with Asterisk in a former life on an integration project:


It's a joy. But you have to have some time on your hands, or someone with some time to configure it.


 9:22 pm on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

We use Sprint Protege. It does exactly what we wanted for a low price. If you want to have a system that lets you use outlook or other fancy stuff the price goes up a lot.


 9:46 pm on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)


I've been using Altigen phone systems for a few years. It's not a "modem" based system, but it is PC-based. NT or Windows 2000 server-driven box. It can handle individual phone lines or PRI/T1 lines. You just buy the software and the type of card(s) you need depdending on the line type you're using.

Altigen systems are full scale phone systems used by a lot of major companies, but they have a lot of cool features like the ability to do call center grouping, e-mail voice messages as attachments, etc. They're not "cheap" - I've seen them around $7,000 on eBay but that included the system, cards, software, everything. But they're very scaleable - one system can be upgraded from a one or two line system to handle a 1,000 seat call center just by buying a few cards & software upgrade.

If you're looking for an effective but less expensive solution, one thing to consider is an outsourced unified messaging service like Webley (now CommuniKate). They give you a toll free number which you can forward to your office/home/cell/whatever, screen your calls for you, set up schedules when you are willing to take calls at specific numbers, etc. I have one of those for personal use which calls my home and cell at the same time - no one (not even family) has my home or cell phone number, they all have my CommuniKate number.

Hope this helps!

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