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We have a Windows computer (touch screen) to be installed in our factory but no telephone lines. Is there a simple way for the guys who are stood next to the computer to speak with IT? The computer has USB ports so they can plug in a USB phone/microphone/speaker device and the computer is networked to the ITs computers.

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I suggest the Microsoft Lync. –  Marko Oct 3 '12 at 22:15
    
Is Lync expensive? Its only going to be 2 machines in the factory. We will be upgrading the phone system in the next year or 2 when we move into a new building so it will be a good option to upgrade to a more complicated system then. –  resolver101 Oct 5 '12 at 10:34

4 Answers 4

Yes, there are many "Chat" programs that support voice. Your best option would be find one that uses a server that your company controls so the "Call" never leaves your network and you are not relying upon a 3rd party service to be up.

I do not know if it is free or it costs money but at my work we use Lync by Microsoft, but that is due to the integration with outlook and Active Directory and may be to much for what you want to do. As an alternative you can use any of the many of client/server combinations (many that are free and/or open source) that uses XMPP and supports voice communication as a extension.

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Yeah I think Lync is a little too much at this time. When we move buildings Lync is candidate. I've used Jabber before. I didnt realise the protocol supported voice. –  resolver101 Oct 5 '12 at 10:54

Agree with Scott, with products like TeamSpeak and Ventrilo, your IT folks should be able to set up a way to communicate.

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I am the IT. have you ever setup teamspeak, is it worth the time/energy to config for setting up 2 machines? –  resolver101 Oct 5 '12 at 10:57
    
No. Personally, I have not set it up. I have talked to others who have used TeamSpeak and like it. We have a VoIP phone system and use radios where we don't have phones lines. So there hasn't been a need to investigate using either of those. It was just a suggestion. –  CharlieRB Oct 5 '12 at 11:16
    
Good suggestion :-) radios might be another option to investigate –  resolver101 Oct 5 '12 at 15:29

Another choice here is Google Talk. A free, XMPP service that allows each device to have it's own phone number. You can talk right through the website if you use that. You may have to add a Microphone is necessary. Although, Scott's answer seems to give you more control and dependability.

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FYI Google talk is a XMPP Client. –  Scott Chamberlain Oct 3 '12 at 23:13
    
Your right. I was confusing it with my talkatone app which is a VOIP, but uses Google Talk. I'll go edit my answer. Thanks for correction. –  Josiah Oct 4 '12 at 0:44
    
It will be a touch screen so we would need a way to dial the IT easily. Web address would be quite difficult I would have thought. –  resolver101 Oct 5 '12 at 11:01
    
It doesn't really work that way. As long as you have the website open, there is a keypad on the website that can be pressed using touch. However, Google Talk might not be the best resource for Corporative environments, but I thought I would through it out there. Plus it's free. –  Josiah Oct 5 '12 at 12:27

Go to Radio Shack and they sell (or used to) a USB device that would allow you to plug a standard phone into the computer, and use it like a regular phone, via VOIP. Not free, but the device comes with an initial number of minutes.

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I believe its called magic jack –  Journeyman Geek Oct 4 '12 at 14:54

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