We are very pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with a wonderful company called Variphy that will allow us to give all our remote Voice rack renting clients free remote control access over all of the 7961 phones on our CCIE Voice racks! Variphy Insight is the product, and it is one of the most brilliant inventory control, CDR, phone broadcast and remote phone control software that I have seen in quite some time.
Six months back, we added 3 7961 IP Phones to each rack, and offered a discounted remote control software, but I think that you all will agree that "free" is a slightly more affordable and enticing way of getting you closer to passing your CCIE Voice Lab than "discounted" is.
Oh by the way, we are updating our racks again, and this time adding 2 more 7961 phones to each one. This means you will have 2 7961 phones at the CorpHQ site, 1 7961 phone at the Branch1 site, and 2 7961 phones at the Branch2 site, as well as a PSTN phone - of course.
The best thing about this, is not the fact that we are able to give it to our Voice clients at no cost to them (although we are fairly excited about that aspect as well!), but that for the first time it gives everyone a chance to work in their own native OS, and it gives folks that are not located in the US very decent speeds for controlling phones. You see, the remote control aspect of Variphy Insight is done entirely through HTML and AJAX in your browser. That's right, no client software to install, so it doesn't matter if you are on a Mac (finally!), Linux, or even the ol' standby. And being transported over HTTP and using AJAX means that it is fast. Real fast. With previous remote control software, the further geographically you were from our data centers, the longer you had to wait for the refresh to come back and update your client and thus your screen - and there wasn't much we were able do about the laws of light propagation (though we tried Feynman, we tried!), so you simply had to wait for a good bit. But since we are now updating over HTTP with AJAX - things are lightning fast!
Another great thing about being handled with HTML is the size of the phone on your screen's desktop - it can be whatever size you want it to be! Just use your browser's standard controls to Zoom In or Zoom Out the size of the HTML text, and the phone itself will grow or shrink respectively right along with the text!
Couple of screenshots:
We are still getting this software rolled out to all of our racks, but we estimate everything will be completed in a day or two at the most. As always, the always up-to-date Voice Rack Rental Access Guide will contain all of the necessary information to get you rolling and controlling your own phones, and ultimately destiny, of soon becoming a CCIE Voice.
I also have been compiling a list of every one of the features and drawbacks to using each of the different remote phone methods of remotely studying for the Voice exam, including 1) Hardware phones, 2) Variphy remote control, 3) VoIP Integration remote control, 4) IPBlue SCCP Softphone, 5) X-Lite SIP Softphone, and 6) CIPC. I will post an article here in a few days with a detailed comparison to help you make the best choice possible when studying for your exam. If there is some sort of software that any of you would like compared that I seemed to have missed in the above list, please be sure to add it in the comments section, and I will do my best to get it evaluated along with the others.