(For those new to the column, Forward Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs — or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A forward migration kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as dentistry, accounting, etc.)
Today we’re starting a two-part series on telephony products for the Mac OS. The products mentioned were found at
Apple’s Macintosh Products Guide, an invaluable resource that you should check out, or sent to us by MacCentral readers.
Address Book from
Jim Smith Software will handle all dial duties including prefixes, suffixes, credit cards, etc., and even logs incoming calls as well as outgoing.
There’s not a lot of info about AddressBook on the Web site. However, you can download (a 2.4 MB file) copy of the US$30 application.
AltiGen is described by its creators as “the first and only computer based telephone” that works with the Mac. It’s a phone system controlled by software.
Using the AltiReach program, your browser purportedly can handle all attributes of a phone system from any Mac on the network. This system, called Computer Telephony (CT), handles voice and data messaging in a fashion similar to e-mail. Users can log in through their personal telephones, other telephones in the office, or remotely, all through extension numbers and passwords. Users of the system can also get everything they need from a Java-driven client.
It offers: PBX, with Automatic Call Distribution & Live Operator; Voice over IP (VOIP) ; customizable Auto Attendants; voice mail, e-mail, and “unified Messaging”; “one number” Find-me Messaging; LAN/WAN Internet integration; Web-Based call management; call center capabilities’ music on hold; multiple workgroups, and more. You can adjust such properties of your phone as forwarding, do not disturb, busy call handling, no answer handling, message notification, one number access, and speed dialing. The AltiReach Call view features a Caller ID display, busy lamp field, name and number, and call log. It also lets you juggle multiple calls.
First Class by
Centrinity is more of a corporate product than one targeted to individual users. However, “they’ve been faithful to the Mac over the years and deserve a great deal of recognition, not only for that, but for the unique unified messaging system they’ve built,” MacCentral reader Marvin Price said.
“I’ve used it in many environments, and it’s a great tool,” he added. “The user interface is getting a bit long in the tooth, but they are working on a whole new version of the client, and I hope to see a Mac OS X version of the client and the server in the not too distant future.”
First Class offers one mailbox for e-mail, fax and voice mail that can be managed from your browser, telephone, cell phone or Palm OS devices. Together with the groupware solution powered by FirstClass core architecture, it offers self-service communication, collaboration, conferencing, knowledge management, and calendaring.
Smith Micro Software Inc., a worldwide developer and marketer of communications software, offers HotFax MessageCenter PRO, voice messaging and fax software for the Mac. The software is targeted toward the consumer and small business marketplace.
HotFax MessageCenter PRO is a voice mail solution that turns your Mac into a communications center that helps you manage telephone calls and voice messages with multiple voice mailboxes and fax on demand capabilities. It comes complete with over 120 prerecorded greetings and the ability to customize your own.
Users of HotFax MessageCenter PRO can setup separate mailboxes for everyone in their office or home. If you’re using HotFax MessageCenter PRO at home, you can set up mailboxes for yourself, your spouse and even your children. Designed for ease-of-use, the voice mail system can be created or modified by simply clicking icons from one integrated window. To retrieve messages, you simply click on a mailbox to play voice messages or can access the system from any touch-tone telephone.
Every copy of HotFax MessageCenter PRO comes complete with Smith Micro’s FAXstf PRO. Both Smith Micro Software programs cooperate to identify incoming voice and fax calls. It can be configured to automatically send faxes to callers.
HotFax MessageCenter PRO, priced at $69.95, runs on a Power Mac with Mac OS 7.6.1 or later, a minimum 4MB of RAM, 15MB HD space, single analog telephone line and supported voice modem.
There has been no announcement about a Mac OS X version.
Bing Software was recommended by Richard Wagoner.
“I’ve used it for three years as a message center for the school where I teach, as well as using it to call in to my bank. I rarely use it as a speakerphone because I hate speakerphones, but it works better than most for me,” he said. “Unfortunately, support has always been lame for the most part since Cypress Research sold it. Additionally, and this is a problem with ANY telephony product, very few Mac modems are voice capable any more.”
MegaPhone is a $49.95 screen-based telephone. It incorporates a full-duplex speakerphone and digital answering machine. Features include: 10 voice mailboxes with remote retrieval and menu tree; the ability to make any mail box “announce only”; a built-in contact manager with import/export; automatic new contact entry; smart speed dial; and a Touch-Tone sequence recorder. It supports 040 to G4 Macs and operating systems from version 7.5 to 9x. What of Mac OS X?
A note on Bing’s Web site says: “Apple’s new OS X does not support telephony applications such as Bing Software’s MegaPhone and PhonePro. If you have installed OS X you would need to start your Mac in Classic mode in order to continue to use these applications.”
And unfortunately, Apple’s iMac/G3/G4 internal modem doesn’t support speakerphone functionality. On the other hand, voicemail and dialing and most of MegaPhone’s functionality will work.
Next week: part II.