(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 concluding our 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.
Bing Software lets you create your own telephony applications. It was recommended by Paul Gorski and Michael Martin.
The $79.95 application is telephony development software that uses an icon-based scripting interface. Each one of PhonePro’s icons represents an action or function, such as picking up the phone, dialing a number, recording or playing a sound.
Users simply drag the icons from their palettes onto a workspace and arrange them in a flow chart fashion to create fully functioning telephony applications. PhonePro 3.5 ships with new prepackaged scripts that users can run out of the box or customize to their specifications. PhonePro 3.5 is also available in a Runtime version, which executes scripts developed using the full version of PhonePro 3.5. Plus, developers can use PhonePro Runtime 3.5 to create custom double-clickable applications.
“I used this program for my former Internet business,” Martin said. “Using this on a Power Mac 9500, this software managed answering the phone, creating a faxback system, answering service, paging our reps with customer calls, and even handles AppleScripts and multiple computer capabilities (as in a call comes in on one system and another computer can make the fax out simultaneously). It’s a bit tech oriented, but quite intriguing once you get it going, and Bing software can help quite a bit in building a nice phone system.”
Then there are the older products still being used — and ones yet to be released.
David Monroe still uses Apple Phone and Apple Fax, “neato programs” but restricted to Mac OS 8 and Geoport/Express modem.
As I’m away from the house on the orchards and paddocks most of the day, the answering machine function is a great help,” he said. “The integrated Address Book keeps all my supplier and personal numbers. The lack of fax and data capabilities in new Apple modems — and the iMac motherboard design — limit telephony apps severely.”
Bill Bankson would agree. He said that Apple needs to make available an internal modem that has call discrimination, as well as caller ID capabilities to make it a credible item in the SOHO (small office/home office) market.
Jonathan Goldman would also agree, but thinks it should be taken to the next level. The latest trend seems to be along the lines of controlling your voice mail from your computer, though other than First Class, he doesn’t know of anyone else doing it.
“Perhaps with Mac OS X’s strong Java support, we may get something,” Goldman said. “Using your Mac as an answering machine is neat at home, but to be able to use it to interface with your Nortel or Lucent phone system could be a real productivity boon.”
EmpowerPro is developing an Internet phone app for the Mac. In fact, you can download a beta version at the
Empower Pro Internet Phone site.
Finally, if someone wants to buy the rights to some Mac telephonic products,
Michelle Miller wants to talk with you.
“I wrote WaterMark Voice Mail (inbound and outbound voice mail for small businesses on the Mac), Fax-It-To-Me (Fax On Demand for the Mac), and Supra VoiceMail (consumer voice mail on the Mac) published by Supra (then Diamond, now SonicBlue),” she said. “All received great reviews by the press and by customers, but Supra Voice Sonic Blue (formerly Supra) is no longer selling modems and the software is for sale.”