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Digum Phones with Asterisk Question

Just curious if I use the D40 with Asterisk Now 2.0. It says the benefit of Digium phones is that they support better integration with voicemail, call queues, recording etc.

We are demoing Cisco UC500 with 79xx series IP phones. The one thing I love is that with voicemail, you can view your mailbox on the phone, change greetings, listen to messages all from the phone interface. If a caller is in the queue, the screen says "2 calls in queue" and so on.

Was wondering if anyone knew what type of integration the Digium phones had with Asterisk and what they mean by the above? I know they can easily provision with Asterisk but wondering if there's other benefits over other SIP phones with Asterisk. Like do they show calls in queue and other features like that or are they really any better than using a Snom for example?

Houston, TX

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Two points to be considered:

1. Asterisk Now or Asterisk should not be directly compared to a Cisco UC500. That's an unfair comparison. You should be looking at Switchvox. Asterisk has always been more DIY where Switchvox is a more refined implementation...much less DIY.

2. Ask a Digium dealer. They'll give you the best answer. I recommend Mike White at E4 Technologies in Michigan. He has constantly been one of the top Digium resellers in the country. Great guy, too.
Michael Graves
Houston TX



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Right good point and no I'm def not comparing them directly. It was more I like the integration the phones have with the Cisco system. That's what I was wondering if Asterisk did with Digium phones. Their live chat didn't really know but will look further. Just a lot of the demos on them are for Switchvox so it's not really clear which features work with AsteriskNow or with Switchvox only.


reply to connor79
Right, so the phones are capable of doing everything with Asterisk that you see with Switchvox - save a couple of the queues application information fields, which just aren't present in the queues application provided with Asterisk (specifics available here - »wiki.asterisk.org/wiki/display/D···lication).

The voicemail app works with Asterisk, User Presence works with Asterisk, Call Queues works with Asterisk (see above), Parking works with Asterisk, One-Touch Record works with Asterisk, Contacts works with Asterisk.

But, you can't do all of that in FreePBX (in AsteriskNOW) because there just aren't constructs for all of those things (notably User Presence, and the Recording works differently) in FreePBX.

To take full advantage of the phones, you're going to be integrating your own solution (not rolling FreePBX with AsteriskNOW), or using Switchvox (which does it all for you already), or hacking on FreePBX in ways that are beyond us.


reply to connor79
Well I mean the thing is I don't think the things that I want the phones to do is really that complicated or complex. Like I don't want them to be 100% the same as the Cisco of course.

The one thing I really liked was the visual voicemail with the Cisco, and I saw the Digium phones did that but I just wasn't sure if that was supported with AsteriskNow or just Switchvox.

The call queues is a neat feature of the Cisco but one we'd rarely use. I just liked how it showed on the screen "1 call in queue" while it was ringing everyone, but again was more of a neat to have feature.

I guess my thing was like with my previous experience, if I wanted to park a call, I'd transfer it to extension 70. She'd say "7-1." and the call was parked on 71. With the Cisco you just press Park, and the call immediately parks, and the screen says "Call parked on 250".

Again these aren't things I absolutely need, as it's not hard to transfer to extension 70. The reason for my post was because I'm looking at IP phones to get now for Asterisk, and just thought if the Digium ones had better integration and did some of the nice "extras" like the queue and call parking above, out of the box, I'd get them. Otherwise I can get normal SIP phones for much less is all I'm getting at.

I also know it's not just some GUI interface to configure all the phones as I've watched the videos from Digium so I'm fine with all that. Just not sure what you mean by I'd need to do programming outside the scope of FreePBX to have it do what I want. I'm just going by the features Digium lists themselves on their website of these phones when used with Asterisk so not sure why I'd have to do unsupported programming? These are on the Digium phones for Asterisk page, not the Switchvox page.



Yes, the voicemail app works just fine with FreePBX in AsteriskNOW - see your messages, play them back, pause them, ffwd/rwind them, forward them to other users, call people back, etc.
Yes, the call queues app works just fine with FreePBX in AsteriskNOW - see queue and member information.
Yes, the call parking app works just fine with FreePBX in AsteriskNOW - press a button to park, see where it was parked, view the parking lot.

What I meant by "it doesn't all work with FreePBX" is exactly that. I referenced user presence as an example. In FreePBX-land we don't have a convenient way for you to make call routing decisions based on the user presence. Whereas if you're rolling Asterisk proper (or using Switchvox), and you're writing your own dialplan, you can quite easily decide to route calls based on specific user presence (e.g. I route my calls to my mobile only when my deskphone's presence is set to "Away - Available on Mobile").

We also don't have a way in FreePBX for you to setup ringing rules such that specific callers or types of calls elicit a particular ringtone on the phone. Again, if you're rolling your own Asterisk (or using Switchvox), that's pretty easy to do.

So, what we provide with FreePBX, in AsteriskNOW, works pretty well - and provides all of the applications you mentioned in your posting. And, as I noted, some of the fancy things are limited when you're using FreePBX, that wouldn't be limited had you rolled your own Asterisk (or used Switchvox).