Slick fax feature

I was just playing with a customers NEC PBX. When you call a fax extension (virtual) you get a message “fax mailbox for” (recorded user greeting name) “please press start button now”.

I think this would be a slick addition to FreePBX now that Fax is so well integrated in 2.7

If someone wants to do a level of effort calc and let me know I will fund the bounty.

do you really think this is a common situation? I know there have been home devices and such capabilities for years, typically for home situations:

“Press press start button now if this is a fax”

However, how often these days to people call to a fax machine, and wait to hear a message before pressing the start button on their fax. I can’t recall the last time I have had to do that?

In the case of FreePBX, there are typically two scenarios. The dedicated FAX DID which your post suggests, and the shared extension/FAX DID. In the first, the call goes straight to the fax, so message or no message, the fax is going to pick it up. In the second case, we try to detect if it is a fax. This is more like the situation encountered on those home black boxes that try to share a fax machine. However, they have the negative consequence of every call coming into the system having such a message played…

So … back to my question, do you really think such a feature is of value? (Maybe I am missing something).

Well since the customer thinks it is a great feature they got me excited about it.

You gave me another perspective. Nobody uses this feature the way the customer does.

They assign a second DID to each person as a virtual fax machine. If you call the number it plays that message before the fax tones start. It combines both the auto and manual way of sending.

I am probably the only guy left in the world that hits the off hook button on the fax so I can hear the progress tones.

Thanks for giving me different angle on this Philippe. Have a good weekend.



Don’t get me wrong if you think it is a cool feature then wtf. Anyhow, who says something has to be used after the sale if it gets the customer excited enough about the sale to buy!

Don’t forget that we are talking about FreePBX and there is always a way to do what you want even if it is not built into the feature (e.g. you can demo the capability):

Inbound_Route(Fax DID) -> Announcement Module(Fax mail box for…) -> Fax Destination

Not that it would be very hard to add what you wanted anyhow so if you still want it put up what it is worth and I bet someone will bite. It would be easy enough to add another check box when enabling the FAX extension to play such a message. In addition, it could easily tie into their recorded voicemail name if they have one (like the company directory does) and if they don’t, just play the extension number…

So you could have your cool feature on a per extension basis and if it sells another PBX it was well worth it, or just for those of us who like to take the fax off hook and hear what is going on:-)

I agree completely. In the interim I wrote a quick custom context to demonstrate not only that we can meet the feature request but how extensible open source is.

Within 24 hours of the call to the customer I demonstrated what Open Source can do. The potential customer was blown away, we went from “we don’t have the ability to perform that call flow” to “is this what you wanted” in 1 business day.

I am floating a proposal past them on Monday and building in some funds for the feature. I will keep you posted.