Product review: Allworx 24x
Allworx wows with a smorgasbord of flexible telephony features, but setup and administration can be dauntingFollow @infoworld
I wasn't surprised that the system's basic telephony features – listening to voice mail, forwarding messages, and changing presence – worked without a hitch from the phone; Allworx has been in this business for 10 years. Yet it was some of the new features that made Allworx a bit more polished compared to other solutions.
For instance, now you can make outbound calls through the system no matter where you are – and the person you're calling sees your business caller ID. I also liked voice mail text messages and escalation. Here you have the option of getting an SMS text message from the system each time a voice mail is received. Moreover, if the message isn't retrieved within a set time, it could be sent to your backup coworker -- valuable for on-call medical personnel or support staff serving customers paying for guaranteed response times.
Similar to PBXtra's Heads Up Display, Allworx's optional Call Assistant would be a worthwhile add-on. This PC-based attendant console's GUI lets the operator drag and drop calls from one extension to another, see the status of all lines, record calls, and view call history. Unfortunately, this 32-bit software isn’t supported on 64-bit Windows OSes (which I had on my workstation), so I couldn’t do a hands-on test.
If you have Conferencing installed, the Web portal lets users easily reserve conference bridges. The system also reserves several IDs for unscheduled conferences. Allworx Call Queuing lets you establish up to 10 simultaneous queues, with a total of 32 callers at any time. That's very good by itself, but you can also allow remote users to answer queues.
Lastly, this solution offers complete reporting – ranging from real-time status of queues to call details.
Allworx had me a bit perplexed during setup and presented one software compatibility barrier. In fairness, if you go the expected route of a VAR performing the configuration, all should be smooth sailing. But that means additional costs. Most important, Allworx has solid hardware, a nice collection of standard functions, and à la carte pricing for optional features to keep overall cost reasonable, while allowing for future upgrades.