Here's a summary of the many great things that have been going on with FreePBX recently!
In this issue we will cover the following topics:
OTTS Open Telephony Training Seminar, May 21st-23rd
Certified Reseller Program Certification Testing, May 24th.
What’s Happening at FreePBX
- Release of FreePBX 2.11.0 FINAL
- Communications, Documentation, Blogs, Newsletters
- SIPStation & FreePBX Acquisition, and who is Schmooze?
New Products & Solutions
Newly Release FreePBX Commercial Modules
- Park Pro
- XMPP Pro
- Voicemail Reports
- VQ Plus- Coming soon
UPCOMING EVENTS- OTTS Training & The Certified Reseller Program
If you are looking for a great training experience there’s still time left to sign up for the May 21st-23rd (or 24th) training at Digium Headquarters! This training will feature the newly released FreePBX 2.11 and provide hands on detailed training directly from the project managers and lead developers of FreePBX.
Everything you will learn is completely applicable to all recent version of FreePBX, and all FreePBX based Distros! Starting with this session we have also provided the option to purchase an OTTS Training Demo Kit. These Kits come preloaded with thousand of dollars in FreePBX commercial modules, and consist of a FreePBX Appliance and an Aastra 6731i phone for only 4704 above the current cost of the training course. The saving of the bundled software alone will probably pay for the training course, your flight and hotel! The full retail price of all of the components of the demo kit in our online store would be $5313.00, You save $3609.00 by including it with your OTTS Training Sign Up.
Certified Reseller Program
We recently launched the Certified Reseller Program. This program is designed to help recognize those of you who are in the reseller and system integrator business and will provide discounts on hardware, FreePBX & PBXact software licenses and premium support services to back up the support provided by your organization. Once certified you will be eligible for leads generated directly from the Schmooze and FreePBX marketing programs. The program is designed to help you close more PBX sales by providing additional credibility to your clients and prospects. You will also have the ability to provide certificates of “certified installations” which will allow your clients the confidence that their new PBX can be supported even if you decide to exit the business; this is something usually lacking with Open Source Solutions.
Our first certification testing will be held at this next OTTS training so this is your chance to get a jump start to improve your business and get better integrated into what we have to offer!
What’s Happening At FreePBX- Release Of FreePBX 2.11.0 FINAL
We've been working on FreePBX 2.11 for quite some time, as blogged about recently but we can finally say we will be making the 2.11 release final within the next week! With over 10,000 beta customers currently using FreePBX 2.11 its been our most popular BETA release to date. This release has, however, been a victim of "feature creep" over the last several months and as new features are added in, our conservative policies (in place to make sure we deliver stable products to you) have resulted in us extending the beta cycles to make sure the platform performs as expected. This release includes many new modules including a few awesome commercial modules discussed below and a multitude of features that we summarized in our recent blog. The best way for you to get a taste is to download it now and try! Or … for a first hand 'guided tour' there are still a few seats available for next month's OTTS Training at Digium's Headquarters in Huntsville, AL!
Communications Projects: Blogs, Documentation & Newsletters:
A gripe we've heard over the years has been about the communications sent out from the FreePBX Project... Common to most OpenSource projects the standard response from those involved has been that “developers either write code or documentation.” With the market presence that FreePBX now enjoys we understand that is no longer good enough, and are taking proactive steps to improve communications with the FreePBX user and developer community.
Since late last year we have been updating the FreePBX.org site and forums, making it easier for users to navigate and find the information they need. Whether you are just beginning with FreePBX or a FreePBX Guru the site will be an ongoing resource for the latest project announcements as well as a place to learn and communicate and support FreePBX. We have made cosmetic improvements to improve navigation and visual appeal but more importantly we have added new compelling content to keep you coming back for more. A great example is the FreePBX WIKI, which is the new home to all of the FreePBX documentation covering everything from installation and configuration guides to detailed guides and videos on each FreePBX Module.
For those “old pro’s” and developers we are also in the process of moving our development platform and feature and bug tracking away from trac to something better suited to the project, we will have some announcements on that soon.
SIPStation & FreePBX Acquisition, And Who Is Schmooze?
A couple months ago we announced that the FreePBX Trademark & SIPStation have been acquired by Schmooze Com Inc. So who is Schmooze? What is SIPStation? and why are they involved with FreePBX? Let's start by talking about who is Schmooze Com and then we'll go from there. If you are fairly active in the community, then you can probably skip ahead!
Schmooze Com, Inc has been the largest 'corporate' contributor and supporter to FreePBX for many years now. In addition Schmooze has provided thousands of man hours of donated development to the core FreePBX project and is the driving force behind the FreePBX Distro that's proven a huge success in the last few years. Schmooze continues to manage the ongoing development and updates of the FreePBX Distro, which provides the easiest installation and maintenance of any PBX Distro available today.
In addition to all that, Schmooze has been the official commercial support provider for FreePBX. Schmooze gives FreePBX customers and partners a dependable and knowledgeable organization to fall back on. This allows system integrators to build FreePBX into their business offerings while knowing they have a partner to help them through the complexities that may go beyond their abilities. Tony, Lead Developer and Project Manager of the Distro as well as CEO of Schmooze, is also the cofounder of the OTTS FreePBX Training series that has been so well received and respected in the community. OK … We’ll stop there as that should be enough information about us to let you know how involved Schmooze has been and continues to be with FreePBX! So what about this Acquisition?
SIPStation & FreePBX Acquisition
On February 22nd Schmooze 'acquired' the FreePBX project as well as the SIPStation VoIP business. With that acquisition comes the next level of what has already proven to be a great evolution of FreePBX that started with the Distro! On the SIPStation side, current users of SIPStation already know of the ease of use that has come with the built in SIPStation module that allows for very quick and easy configuration, deployment and management of their service. Since the acquisition we've spent the last couple of months both hardening the existing service and preparing it for the new features that we blogged about some weeks back! From day one we immediately improved the service by providing a proper support ticket system, plus a telephone number for support that never existed before, and response time to customers two orders of magnitude quicker than what they were previously seeing! We've been busy preparing for the next set of features that we will be introducing and/or launching as beta in the very near future! Some of these include toll free service, failover DIDs and destinations, rock solid reliable outbound FAX service, SMS messaging on your business DIDs, multiple E911 locations and much more to come! We are super excited to be providing the new features that our end users have been asking for and we will continue developing SIPStation by finding ways to integrate much of the control and capabilities directly into FreePBX! Stay tuned to the blogs and we'll keep you informed.
New FreePBX Commercial Modules Available
FreePBX Commercial Modules do two things, first they provide additional functionality to a base install of FreePBX. Second, they provide a revenue source to fund the ongoing development of FreePBX. If you haven’t tried any of the commercial modules we invite you to give them try. You can start with the Free Extension Routing Module released late last year. This Module allows you to easily and visually control which extensions are allowed to use specific outbound routes. Once you get your system registered to use commercial modules you can start exploring the many different additions available to add extra capability to the already powerful FreePBX Platform. Modules such as the PBX End Point manager, SysAdmin Pro, Web CallBack, Outbound Call Limiting, Caller ID Management, Paging Pro, VM Notify, Fax Pro, Call Recording Reports, Directory Pro, QXact Reports, Xact Dialer, IVR Pro, Appointment Reminders, Parking Pro, XMPP Pro and Voicemail Reports.
The latest modules to be released are:
- Park Pro- adds the ability to add multiple parking lots within FreePBX as well as automatic "Park and Announce" dialplan routing when coupled with, Paging Pro, useful for companies running multiple locations off the same server, or companies that need multiple parking lots or have many internal departments.
- XMPP Pro- provides configuration setting for the Instant Messaging server pre-installed with the FreePBX Distro used with any Jabber/XMPP enabled client
- Voicemail Reports- Powerful tool to review all users voicemail settings in one place as well as listen to all voicemails residing on the system from one report.
- Virtual Queues Plus- Coming Soon!
We are looking forward to seeing many of you whether at our next training, in the forums or the various other venues that we hope we can connect and thank you for all that you, the community has given in ideas, contributions, participation and adoption of FreePBX and everything else to make FreePBX the most successful and widely deployed and adopted Open Source PBX in the world! (And who knows, with the direction we are heading we may soon be able to simply say "the most widely deployed and adopted PBX in the world!")
The FreePBX and Schmooze Team!