Talkworks Pro: Soho Phone Solution
by Alan Zisman
(c) 1998. First
published in Toronto Computes,
Symantec TalkWorks Pro 2.0
$249 ($50 rebate for WinFax Pro 8.0 owners)
requires: Windows 9x/NT, 16 MB RAM (32 MB
recommended), up to 64
MB disk space, compatible voice-capable/fax modem
Phones and computers are working together more and
more every day. Digital
technology allows the phone company to offer low-cost services like
waiting to consumers. And digital PBXs allow big business features like
voice-mail and messaging.
While most of us have cursed poorly thought-out
at their best, they can provide useful and usable capabilities, at
for organizations big enough and rich enough to implement them.
Despite the 2.0 designation, Symantec?s TalkWorks Pro
2.0 is the product?s
first stand-alone version. TalkWorks 1.0 was a home answering-machine
to the company?s popular WinFax 8.0 (produced by the former Delrina, in
Toronto). In an unusual role-reversal, this one time bit-player has
to be the star of its own production. Now, in TalkWorks 2.0, WinFax
the cameo role.
As befits is origins, TalkWorks includes all the
capabilities of Symantec?s
new WinFax Pro 9.0 (available separately for $149 for users who only
its features): the ability to create, preview, and send faxes directly
from the PC. Pages can be rearranged or removed, and multiple documents
(even from different applications) can be merged into a single fax. A
fax can be easily sent to a group of recipients, and faxing can be
until long-distance rates go down, after hours.
A single fax modem can be shared between multiple
users across a small
network, for both incoming and outgoing faxes.
The fax capabilities can be used to build a
fax-on-demand , allowing
customers to call and request documents, and have them be automatically
But TalkWorks goes beyond fax. The program can be set
to answer the
phone, and receive voice messages along with incoming faxes. The
Manager logs all incoming calls, and if you have Caller ID (from your
company) will identify the caller. There?s a phone book, allowing quick
calls or faxes?it can be integrated with the listings in several
Personal Information or Contact Managers?not just Symantec?s own ACT!
phone log can be accessed from ACT!
You can set up voice mail, with different mailboxes
for individual employees,
fax-on-demand and more. The program includes a collections of pre-made
messages, or allows you to record your own. Multiple messages can be
depending on the time of day or other criteria. Messages and faxes can
be automatically forwarded to a pager or other phone number, Filtering
can be set to only forward selected messages, or to only page you at
times of day. Messages can be saved as WAV files, to become a
With the right modem, your computer can act as a full
phone. This, and several other features depend on having a compatible
at http://www.symantec.com/talkworks/ for a list of recommended modems
and a 30-day trial version.
Symantec TalkWorks Pro 2.0, aimed at business with up
to 5 users, offers
very small businesses and home offices all the power and
of a big-time phone system at its best.