Setting Up the Asterisk Phone System at Home

The Asterisk phone systems are Linux-based VOIP PBX systems. PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange, and this refers to a division of the phone line within a building, be it a business or home. PBX systems are commonly used in businesses. Several phone lines come into the building and then are distributed to several individual extensions spread throughout the company. A few lines out of the building connecting to the phone lines are also part of the system, allowing outgoing calls. You typically have to dial a number, such as 9, to get one of these outside lines. Some people find that setting up a PBX at home is convenient, but not work the thousands of dollars necessary. With Asterisk, this type of system can be set up for relatively little cost.

The Hardware

There are some pieces of hardware that you will need to set up an Asterisk phone system in your home. One is a Linux server with an extra PCI slot. While the program can run on Windows based servers, it does not run well. Linux is a must if you want everything to run efficiently, as the Asterisk system was designed to be run on Linux. Most people find that a dedicated server works best for this application, especially if they are going to use a Windows based system. The system will need 40 GB of available disk space.

Besides a server, you will also need a Digium Wildcard TDM400P. This is the card that allows you to connect your phones and your phone line to the Asterisk server and the VOIP PBX system. The card has four ports, so you will need to decide how many lines you need. The ports can be configured to be incoming or outgoing, depending on your needs. Incoming ports take the phone line coming from outside of your home and connect it to the system, allowing you to receive calls. Outgoing ports allow you to connect your regular phone to the system, so you can receive calls. If you need more than four ports, you will need to buy an extra card.

Software

Once you have the hardware, you are ready to set up your operating system and install the Asterisk phone system software. The best way to do this and avoid the need for Asterisk consulting as you install the product is to download the ISO of Asterisk@Home. This will begin to install automatically and will reformat your disk if needed, so installing it on a machine that does not have important information on it first is a good idea. There are other ways to set up the system, but they are quite confusing.

Setting up the System

After you have installed the software, you can use the new Web server to view the Asterisk Management Portal. This portal has an interface where you can set up your system. The interface is fairly straightforward and has documentation to help with any questions that you might have.

Once you have the basic setup entered, you will need to add your extensions. This is simple to do on the “Ring Group” screen. Simply add the number of extensions you intend for your home to have. This is also the page where you will configure your voicemail box. To record your voicemail messages, call the chosen extension from a phone inside your system and record the message.

The final step to completely configuring your system is configuring the rules for incoming calls. You can choose whether you want to have the calls go to the phones or an operator, where the caller can choose an extension. Once you have made these choices, you are ready to start using your new VOIP PBX system!

Once installed, Asterisk phone systems work much like a regular PBX system. You simply pick up the phone, dial the extension for an outside line, and make your call! Soon you will forget that you are using a high-tech VOIP PBX Toronto system at all as your new phone setup becomes part of your daily life.

Avaya IP Office – The Premiere Business Phone System for Small Business

Business phone systems can make or break the image that a business portrays to both their clients and competitors alike. If someone calls and repeatedly receives a busy signal or is consistently transferred to the wrong party, it’s likely that they’ll become frustrated and take their business elsewhere.

Avaya is a well-known name in the telecommunications industry. Formerly Lucent Technologies, Avaya has continued to develop state-of-the-art technology in a continuing effort to streamline the way we communicate. This includes the advancement of IP technology were voice conversations are transmitted via Internet protocol. As this technology moves forward, public switched telephone networks will become less common and less utilized.

Avaya offers many phone systems to suit the size and needs of most any business. Starting with the small IP Office system, that is suitable for small offices with 20 or less employees all the way up to the Aura Communication Manager, which is an enterprise wide solution. Most Avaya systems, offer features such as auto attendant, music on hold, conferencing ability, and IP technology. Their diverse line of products offers the business owner many choices to come up with a communication solution that offers cost savings as well as ease-of-use.

The IP Office system is a system that provides three levels of sophistication depending on the needs of your business. The base level or Essential Edition provides an economical way to have a sophisticated phone system that offers key features used by many businesses. The Preferred Edition offers greater voice messaging capacity and greater simultaneous call volume. The Advanced Edition offers even further advancements in technology and available features.

With the Advanced or Preferred Edition, you can offer your employees greater flexibility in the way they handle phone calls as well as where they work each day. The Power User has the ability to control all communications using an IP phone, a cell phone or laptop. All of their messages are received in one inbox, including voicemail, e-mail and faxes.

One of the advantages to an IP-based business phone system is the ability for the workforce to be mobile. With Avaya’s IP Office solution, employees are no longer limited to working in the office. With the new technology their cell phone simply becomes an extension of the business phone system. Because of this, clients and customers can reach employees regardless of their location. To the person calling, it appears as though the party they’re trying to reach is in the office and available to take their call. This provides the employee with a way to leave the office and meet potential clients while still being accessible to existing clients.

For those employees who must remain in the office, the Office Worker feature ensures that day-to-day tasks such as transferring calls, conferencing, and messaging are handled with ease. Although the majority of most employees are now venturing out of the office to conduct business, there are still those that must remain behind to perform clerical tasks. IP office is also designed with these users in mind with an easy-to-understand interface and reliable desktop phones.

A new reality for many businesses today is to have employees who work for the company through a home office. The Teleworker Feature allows employees to work from home virtually anywhere in the world. For someone calling from the outside, the experience is the same with the same number being used to reach employees. Unknown to the caller, the employee answers their phone which is connected to the IP Office phone system through a virtual private network. This allows the business to have Associates in diverse markets and locations without the additional cost of maintaining a brick-and-mortar presence.

Another benefit to IP office, the receptionist software allows a receptionist to route calls from their PC. This gives them the ability to point and click to control calls as well as provide status on calls are in progress. Additionally, the software has the ability to integrate with commonly used database software. From this interface, the receptionist can monitor all office extensions as well as provide coverage for multiple locations.

A benefit exclusive to the Advanced Edition, customer service supervisor is a reporting and monitoring application that allows the business owner to track call volume. This is helpful in determining the efficiency of how calls are handled as well as the level of productivity that the phone system provides.

If you’re looking for a business phone system that can give your business a professional image as well as provide a way to efficiently route calls, the IP Office system offered by Avaya has several levels to suit your needs and your budget. Designed with the small business owner in mind, the system can be implemented with a minimal number of users while keeping future growth and scalability in mind. With this flexibility, the IP Office system is perfect for the small business of today while allowing for expansion tomorrow.

The Benefits of Asterisk Phone Systems

Asterisk phone systems are an excellent, fully integrated VOIP PBX solution for businesses of all sizes. The set up eliminates the tremendous cost of setting up a traditional PBX system. This high cost often eliminates the possibility of using PBX for small businesses, but with Asterisk, even the smallest business can have all of the benefits of PBX in their office without spending money they do not have.

What Is Asterisk?

Asterisk is an open source software PBX that can be used by businesses and individuals alike. It is designed to run on Linux, but it can run on other platforms as well, including Windows. Asterisk was developed by Digium, Inc., who also sells the hardware necessary to set up Asterisk phone systems. Compared to other PBX options, Asterisk is incredibly affordable and has many features that are hard to find elsewhere.

Benefits of Asterisk in the Office

Besides the fact that it costs thousands of dollars less than a traditional PBX system, Asterisk provides its users with numerous other benefits. Since Asterisk phone systems are VOIP PBX systems, they use broadband connections to connect the telephone network to the traditional global telephony network. Calls can still be made and received in the same manner that they are with a traditional PBX system. Additionally, because the connection is made through the Internet and not the phone line, employees that work remotely can be connected directly to the office PBX through their Internet connections. When someone calls your office and chooses extension 10, that extension could actually be your home-based worker, and the customer would be none the wiser.

For large businesses that have locations in several geographical areas, using asterisk will allow the various offices to connect over the network. This can eliminate much of the expense of conference calls a company spread over several states usually faces. Additionally, employees who must travel frequently can stay connected to the office PBX system as long as they have an Internet connection.

Asterisk phone systems allow every extension to have its own voicemail box. These voicemail boxes are connected to the employee’s email accounts, so no one will ever miss a message again.

If you should ever have a problem with your Asterisk system, you can easily get help directly from Digium. They have friendly Asterisk consulting professionals that will help you get the system up and running as quickly as possible. You can call to ask questions about bugs that you find, and they are happy to help, as this type of feedback helps them improve the software for future users.

Asterisk supports a variety of VOIP protocols. Among the protocols it accepts are MGCP, H.323, and SIP. The program can connect IP phones to the traditional phone line easily. This flexibility makes the system easy to integrate into established businesses.

If needed, Asterisk phone systems can interface with traditional telephone lines. The product comes with several high-end features, such as voice recognition system integration, call data record, and text-to-speech system integration. All of these features make it one of the best PBX products available.

Benefits of Asterisk for Customers

Your employees are not the only ones who benefit from Asterisk phone systems Toronto. Your customers will benefit as well, both directly and indirectly, when you implement this system. It has features that are found in the most expensive products on the market, such as on-hold music that supports both MP3 and streaming media. Customers will have shorter wait times because the call queues allow agents to monitor the queue while they take the incoming calls, so they can shorten the calls if needed.

Asterisk phone systems offer the best of both worlds to their users. They provide a plethora of features to the business at a fraction of the cost of their traditional competition. There are other VOIP PBX options out there, but Asterisk is the oldest and most well established, making it the preferred choice among many business owners.

Consider Asterisk Phone Systems For Your Business Communications Needs

All business operations want to save money. One of the biggest office expenses can be the various aspects of telecommunication, from PBX setups to call center operations. Utilizing open source telephony, Asterisk phone systems have been under development since 1999, and can provide a wide range of services and applications. This free software can transform an ordinary computer into a communications server.

What exactly does the Asterisk system do that other systems can not? This software system is often referred to as a “development platform, ” and it can be used to run everything from small business PBX systems to huge media servers. Open source technology, besides being free, is customizable and versatile. The Asterisk system uses Linux, the freely available source code that has challenged other major systems.

Asterisk, while originally designed for Linux, now also incorporates Mac OS X, NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and Solaris. It can also provide a Microsoft Windows port called Asterisk Win32. When installed, the Asterisk software can transform an ordinary computer into a device that can function as a conference server, PBX or VoIP gateway. Asterisk PBX systems include many of the same features found in proprietary systems, including voice response for phone menus, conference calling, voice mail, and call distribution.

The original operating code was written by Mark Spencer of Digium Inc., in addition to contributions from open-source engineers worldwide. Asterisk is not a phone company in the sense that it manufactures telephone sets or physical components. Rather, it will provide the basic software building blocks for many communications systems, and can be constantly changed as conditions require.

Many call centers around the world have adopted the Asterisk system primarily because it is flexible and adaptable to existing features such as bulk dialing, remote IP agent capabilities, and advanced routing. It requires no additional hardware for use with voice over IP. It does require hardware devices and cards for certain kinds of interfaces, including standard telephony cards, and this support comes from the parent company, Digium, Inc.

Featured in telephony and PBX are VoIP and PTSN drivers for interface cards, and routing and handling inbound calls as well as outbound. There is control of media management functions such as tone generation, record and play, and call detail for billing purposes. The system can convert from one protocol or media format to another, and is capable of database integration as well as Web services integration. It is capable of single or multiple party bridging and recording and monitor functions.

Asterisk can also provide a telephony setup program called AsteriskNOW. Downloading it allows customization, and the creation of solutions by building the inner workings of a system. Much of the complexity of Asterisk and Linux is handled by the administrative GUI. This allows your system engineer to completely incorporate into an existing system such products as VoIp or Skype Gateway, IP PBX, a Call Center ACD, Conference Bridge, and much more.

The free open-source technology of Asterisk phone systems has been adopted by call centers and businesses of all sizes worldwide. If you are looking for a different solution to your PBX or call center issues, the Asterisk system can combine the time-proven features and functionality of traditional PBX with the advanced Voice over IP system for a solution that is both cost-effective and up-to-the minute.