Busy lamp, speed dial, etc….

It is always a struggle to get a balance between the features and usability in most softwares. Sometimes (or most of the times?) engineers try to cram-in all the features and totally forget about the usability or the user experience!. The snomONE PBX software also suffers from this bug every now and then. One such case is related to the busy lamp field (BLF) button functionality.

At one point, snomONE had speed dial button doing just the speed dials (as it supposed to) and the BLF doing monitoring and speed dial actions. Over the course of time the call pickup functionality was slapped on the BLF button due to popular demand. Life was good for a while and then started to hear that it really can cause undesired results, especially with a busy receptionist phone.

So, snom went back to the drawing board and made some modifications to the BLF functionality. With the new change, you have couple more options. They are –

  • Monitor only option. No speed dial, no call pickup option in this.You can just see if someone else is busy or not.
  • Monitor and speed dial. This option does not let you pickup the call. Also, when the LED is blinking, i.e., when monitored extension is in the alerting stage, you can’t speed dial to that extension.
  • Monitor, speed dial and pickup. All in one option. If you want to monitor you can do that. If you want to speed dial, go ahead. Or if you want to pickup the call while the LED is blinking, you can do that too.

This change will be available from April 2012 release. We truly hope that this will make your (and in turn our) life bit more easier when administering snomONE!

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Making the most out of snom ONE SOHO

As we all know, the snom ONE PBX comes in different sizes! That’s right, different sizes! The smallest of them all is snom ONE SOHO. The device is built to industry-standards with no mechanical parts, increasing its durability and stability. This maybe one of the smallest IP-PBXs in the world and consumes only 1/10th of the power compared to a typical computer. Pre-installed with snom ONE IP-PBX software (with a free license), the snom ONE SoHo is a convenient, purpose-built hardware solution that supports the full range of snom features. One of the cool and useful features of snom ONE is the multiple language support. But this is something that we did not encourage on SoHo, so far. It is not a feature issue on the snom ONE, but it is the space issue of the SoHo. It has only 512MB storage. The audio prompts for each language need roughly 15-20MB. That can be an issue if you want to have 5-6 different languages on this small device. But, thanks to Linux and some improvement to the snom ONE software, now you can keep these audio files on a external drive (ex: USB) and tell the snom ONE to read from this drive.

All you have to do is to create symbolic links to the audio folders under the snom ONE working directory.

Examples:
audio_en -> /mnt/usb/us_english
audio_sp -> /mnt/usb/spanish_prompts
audio_de -> /mnt/usb/audio_de

Restart the snom ONE service and you have all the language support that you wish.

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snomONE virtual appliance

In the world of IP-PBXs, snomONE has been serving many happy customers over the years. This is one of very few IP-PBXs that runs on pretty much anything – a CPU, an OS and some memory- that’s all it needs!. If you love Microsoft, then you have windows based snomONE. If you like Mac, then you have one that works on Mac OS. If you are one of the many Linux lovers, you are in luck too. It can run on several Linux operating systems, CentOS, Debian, SuSE, to name a few.

Now it gets even better. Just recently, snom has come out with a Linux based virtual appliance(to know more about the virtual appliance, please refer http://www.vmware.com/appliances/getting-started/learn/overview.html ).

With the introduction of snomONE virtual appliance, the customer does not worry about how to install the OS, how to download and run the snomONE etc. All you have to do is download the snomONE virtual appliance, add this as your new virtual machine under the VM environment either internally or on the cloud.

The download links are here –
The ZIP version snomONE virtual appliance zip .

  • Download the above zip file
  • Extract the file to virtual machines repository folder under the VM server. This generally extract to snomONE_VM folder.
  • Using the “VMWare Infrastructure Web Access”, choose the “Add virtual machine to inventory” option and select the snomONE-CentOS-appliance.vmx file. You will see snomONE_appliance added to the list of VMs.
  • Now, start the VM. Once the snomONE_appliance is started, you can login to the virtual appliance web interface using https://x.x.x.x:5480. The default user name and password is root/snomONE
  • Then you can login to the PBX using http://x.x.x.x with admin/no password

The OVA version snomONE virtual appliance – OVA .

This file is an archive of OVF file and the disks. If you already know how to deploy the virtual machine using the OVA format, please go ahead. I have not tried it due to lack of necessary infrastructure.

But nasman at http://forum.snomone.com has posted some steps. Here they are –

VSphere Client

  • File Menu -> Deploy OVF Template
  • Choose source OVA file
  • View template Details
  • Accept License
  • Name & Location of Appliance
  • Choose Host
  • Choose Disk Format – Thin or Thick Provisioned [ I have tested with Thick ]
  • Option to setup network requirements during install, but can be left blank for defaults.
  • Finish to Complete

Also, the detailed instructions on how to do it is here Deploying virtual machine using OVA file

Have fun with snomONE virtual appliance!

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