Light blogging this week during Cairo trip...
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Hmmm... VoIP News' "Hacking PBX: 20 Tips" is really "15 Tips and 5 Advertisements"

First, let me state that I like the VoIP News website.  They've been producing a lot of great articles that we pretty regularly talk about over on Blue Box.  Their "50 Most Influential People in VoIP" was a great catalog of the people really moving VOIP forward. Heck, one of their writers even interviewed me and I was quite pleased with the resulting article (something that definitely is not always true).

However, I was rather annoyed to read their "Hacking PBX: 20 Tips and Tricks to Optimize your Business Phone System" article that came out yesterday.  Not because of the content, which was (mostly) actually quite good, but more because the title didn't at all line up with the reality.  Here's the reality:

It's not 20 tips and tricks... it's 15 tips/tricks and 5 advertisements.

Which is too bad, really.  I was really enjoying reading down through the article because these are all good things to have as part of a PBX system (and pretty much all are available through solutions from my employer, Mitel, although we haven't integrated GPS as mentioned in #9 :-).  Everything was cool and useful up through #15...

... and then suddenly with #16 it switched from "tips and tricks to optimize your business phone system" to "here are 5 PBX solutions that you might want to use".  Three of them being open source, of course, (although they might be interested to note that the lead FreeSWITCH developer doesn't view the system as a PBX but more as a core soft-switch) and then two other commercial PBXs being Evolution and Switchvox.  Now I have no real issue with Evolution or Switchvox... in fact, I don't really know much at all about them.  But I guess it comes down to... why them?  There are a ton of companies entering the low-end IP PBX space these days... why these two?  Did they pay for placement?  Were they just the favorites of whomever was writing the article?  What about all the others in the space... both new entrants and existing companies who provide PBX solutions as well?  And for those two, are the $895 and $995 prices truly representative of a system price?  It reads like it's just the server... what about phones?  Licenses for things like voicemail?  What's the real cost?

My annoyance came really at that...  if they had stopped it at 15, I would be writing here about what a great article it was and how these are definitely all things that you should look for in an IP PBX.   Instead, I'm trashing the article for having an inaccurate headline.

I would still suggest you read the article... at least up to #15.  And I'd suggest to VoIP News that they might want to be sure their headlines do in fact reflect the reality of what they are covering.

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