Cool things you can do with an Asterisk PBX?

I am writing a proposal to replace our 20-line PBX with an Asterisk PBX. The phone system would give us more extensions and bridge two buildings at a competitve cost.

To demonstrate Asterisk is much different and more powerful than the old system, I would like to include “cool,” useful things that you can do with Asterisk.

Any suggestions? Or is everyone just using Asterisk as a plain PBX?

Let me count the ways…

  • May be used to record all calls, calls by extension, calls on demand
  • May be used as an auto-attendant
  • May be used as an IVR with database access
  • May be used for text-to-speech (Festival) and voice recognition (Sphinx)
  • May be used as a Music on Hold server
  • May be used to integrate easily with external applications (ie - SugarCRM
  • May be used with Windows TAPI applications (ie - dial from MS-Outlook)
  • May be used to integrate with Jabber/XMPP to provide a unified presence/messenging platform for the entperise (link)
  • May be used to seemlessly bridge SIP, H323, IAX2, etc
  • etc

The list could go on and on, have a look around here:

i’ve just written “Dial from a browser” and SpeedDials for a client of mine that’s just started out with Asterisk. he thinks that’s very cool (me too !!)

So your browser is connected to your hard IP phone? This would be a nice way to configure call recording.

Is Sphinx any good? I am skeptical of voice recognition in general. For example, yesterday I tried to pay a credit card bill after hours using a VR system, but I couldn’t finish the transaction.

Thanks to both for your replies. I added some to my list, and here are some I thought of (keeping in mind I haven’t used Asterisk yet)

  • Instead of punching with a paper time, staff could clock in and out by punching a few numbers on their phone.
  • View a call log for all incoming and outgoing calls.