Today, I'm thrilled to announce the first public beta of Kerio Operator 1.2.0. It brings some quite interesting functionality, easier operation and better hardware support for, amongst other things, Digium analog cards.
Here's a sneak peek of the new features:
- Call Pickup
- Support for analog phone lines
- Support for phones with BLF
- Improved call forwarding configuration
- New Linux kernel
- Upgrade to Asterisk 1.8
One of the most demanded PBX functions is finally here! You certainly know the situation where one of your colleagues left for a business trip or vacation and forgot to forward his fixed line. As many people here in Europe don't like to use voicemail, the phone would just ring until someone picked it up or the caller gave up. At Kerio, we try to answer every phone call, so in such a case you'd have to go over to your colleague's desk and pick up the phone to answer the call.
With call pickup, things are much easier. Here's how it works in Kerio Operator: By dialing a special code, in Operator "*8" by default, I can accept a call that is ringing on my colleague's phone. Call pickup is possible within "rooms" (sometimes called "zones") defined in Kerio Operator. The size of rooms is a simple configuration setting - for example two adjacent offices, where people can hear a phone ringing in the other office, can form a single room in Kerio Operator.
Directed Call pickup allows you to take a call that rings on any extension on the same Kerio Operator server, even across rooms. You just need to know the extension number. For example, to take a call from extension 111, dial "**111".
Support for analog phone lines
This one is particularly important in markets where Internet connectivity is unreliable or showing high latency - logically, many businesses are then reluctant to buy into IP telephony. Or the SIP connectivity is not yet available in their local market or they simply prefer the plain old telephony. Whatever the reason, Kerio Operator 1.2 can be now connected to analog telephone lines using the Digium TDM410 card with FXO modules.
The FXO module basically converts the digital voice data to analog and vice versa, thus enabling the user to use all of the advanced IP PBX features of Kerio Operator internally and to connect to the outside world in the old-fashioned way - at the same time.
Support for phones with BLF
BLF is useful particularly for receptionists. BLF stands for "Busy Lamp Field" and similarly to status indications in instant messaging clients like ICQ or Jabber, it informs about the status of other extensions.
Thus, the receptionist immediately knows whether a particular extension is available, busy or there is a call ringing. Of course, the receptionist has to use an IP phone with BLF support. There are several models from different vendors available on the market.
I mentioned BLF is similar to instant messaging - in fact, BLF in Kerio Operator 1.2 uses IM extensions of the SIP protocol.
Improved call forwarding configuration
I travel a lot. When on the road, I use call forwarding to transfer calls from my desk phone to my smartphone, which is really nifty.
Call forwarding now works better in situations where a user has several extensions. Until Operator 1.2, a user's forwarding configuration was applied to all his extensions, which was, in some cases, inconvenient. Now, it is possible to use one forwarding setup for extension in the office and a different one for the home extension. In connection with this, voicemail can be enabled individually on a per-extension basis.
Call forwarding is more user-friendly on the receiving end as well, because we replaced Asterisk's "find-me" module (that has been a source of confusion for some users) with our own implementation.
New Linux kernel
We upgraded the Linux kernel in Kerio Operator to new version 2.6.38. The new kernel will significantly improve Kerio Operator's support for new hardware like new motherboards with integrated network interfaces.
Upgrade to Asterisk 1.8
And last but not least - Kerio Operator 1.2 is based on the latest stable version of Asterisk 1.8. It promises cool new features implemented in Kerio Operator in the future. I cannot be more specific at this moment, so stay tuned to find out more.
If you're eager to learn more about the new features in Kerio's business phone system, download the first public beta of Kerio Operator 1.2.0. I look forward to your feedback and questions in the comments section.
Remember that Kerio Operator 1.2 is a beta software. If you are not comfortable running beta software, use the latest official release of our IP PBX Kerio Operator 1.1, instead.
Original article available on our blog.