Product Reviews

Simplifying Unified Messaging

With its reliance on standard hardware, CallXpress proves to be a comprehensive, yet cost-effective, unified messaging solution. 

Setting up a unified messaging system-voice, fax, and email-can prove a daunting task. But AVT Corporation's CallXpress simplifies this task, employing standard, non-proprietary hardware. This is a strength, as you can use a less costly, older computer system, for example, a Pentium II-based system, and still support thousands of users.

CallXpress consists of two distinct components, server and client, or three if you include the connection to a Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes system.

The server device answers your organization's phone system, plays the greeting menus, routes calls to your phone, and takes messages. Add Exchange or Notes to the mix, and you can access and reply to messages via your client applications (Outlook or Notes). The server uses an administration console that manages phone extensions and facilitates menu setup and call routing.

With CallXpress' client component, you run an application, called Message Manager for Outlook (or Notes), so that you can receive and send voice messages plus faxes. When using these features, you have full control over how the messages are played or replied to. You can listen to them on your computer or through the phone (while controlling the message from Outlook).

Another CallXpress feature is its ability to integrate with Microsoft Exchange, using the Directory Agent for Exchange component. Once this component is installed on the Exchange server an extra tab appears on the mailbox Properties page. This allows a systems administrator to create voice mailboxes and Exchange mailboxes at the same time.

AVT CallXpress
The CallXpress administration console allows management of phone extensions, plus facilitates menu setup and call routing. (Click image to view larger version.)

All in all, CallXpress is an extremely powerful and flexible unified messaging solution. It allows for incredible flexibility in voice system configuration. Because CallXpress can operate with a standard PBX switch, an organization using the system saves money by not having to purchase expensive hardware-based phone systems.

But a word of warning: CallXpress isn't the type of system that most systems administrators would want to install and configure themselves. One of AVT's partners should be called in to perform the initial system setup.

To learn more about CallXpress, see the interactive demo at www.avtc.com/ctghome/free/freedmm/freedmm.html.

About the Author

Barry Shilmover, MCSE+I, MCT, owns Shilmover Consulting Services, a Microsoft Solution Provider specializing in Windows NT/2000 and Exchange 5.5/2000 solutions. He has co-authored books that include Windows 2000 System Administrator’s Black Book and Exchange 5.5 Exam Cram, both from Coriolis Press.

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