IP PBX Solutions for Your Business

March 16, 2007 by Arthur Miller

FINDING THE RIGHT IP PBX FOR YOUR BUISINESS

Voipsupply offers a variety of different IP PBX platforms. The platforms serve a wide array of customers and range from sophisticated enterprise solutions like Cisco CallManager Express to branded asterisk solutions for small to mid sized offices, or even small and home office do-it-yourself bundles that feature open source free pbx software like Trixbox. All platforms offered have optional provisioning and support available. Several of the platforms are also supported free of charge by the respective manufacturer.

Provisioning, “the dirty work” can be applied on a general level or detailed level depending on what features you need for your PBX. Christopher Heinrich, head of provisioning states,

“The majority of customers who wish to have their IP PBX provisioned send a document containing the desired extensions of the phones and the names associated with those extensions. We also have customers who prefer to set this up at a later date but need assistance setting up call groups prior to shipment.”

The majority of platforms available, in particular asterisk-branded solutions such as Fonality or Switchvox can be shipped at a nearly plug-and-play level, even allowing old extensions from prior phone systems to be used again for a smooth transition into your new system.

Support is also broken down into a general or granular level which usually depends on the technical level of the consumer. Support ranges from a 48 hour e-mail response time to a specific engineer dedicated to assisting you over the phone with any questions you have on usability or implementation. Pbxselect also works with local installers around the U.S. and Canada that, “connect the dots” after the systems ship for customer installation and training.

A sampling of the platforms offered:

  • Switchvox – This is a commercial IP phone system built off Asterisk, with an intuitive GUI and lots of other features built in. It comes in (2) versions, SOHO and SMB. The SMB version also has a desktop user utility, a JavaScript application, that allows users to see the presence of other extensions logged into the system, and allows you to drag and drop calls to extensions or voicemail boxes. You can also find third party applications that hook into their API. One current application uses Google maps to automatically populate an address and picture of the location calling you based on the area code and dial number of the incoming call – neat stuff!
  • Fonality – Also a commercial IP phone system built off Asterisk. It is slightly more expensive than Switchvox but the graphical user interface is a lot more depth. See below for a few links/demos:

    The HUD demo is very worth checking out, I suggest you try it!

  • Rhino Ceros / Trixbox – This is a bundled open source VoIP PBX has put together with Rhino Equipment, which runs of their server and TDM hardware, in conjunction with Trixbox. This system is by far the most flexible in our offering. It ships out of the box ready, with the Rhino PCI card and works with all SIP compliant IP Phones. If you care to spend time fine tuning the system you can get very advanced features for a very low cost.
  • Talkswitch – This is a key system replacement that includes both PSTN and VoIP capabilities. Works with analog and SIP phones, very simple to set up and administer. The best thing about Talkswitch is that you can use the system in multiple locations *without* needing to have a service provider in the mix – the PBX’s will simply connect to each other over the broadband connections at each office.
  • Cisco Callmanager Express – Pbxselect is a Cisco Authorized Premier Partner with Callmanager Express specialization. Many hundreds of successful systems have been deployed using Cisco Callmanager Express; more detail on this solution is probably not needed due to its immense popularity.

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