Small Business IP PBX Solutions

January 25, 2007 by Arthur Miller

The Linksys VoiceSystem 9000

We’ve all read the statistics on the increased use of VoIP in 2006 and how 2007 will be a break out year. This week I will introduce the Linksys Voice System as a way to cut the expense of traditional telephone service for the average Joe, the small business. Why Linksys? Linksys is a lot more than just a great name in the industry. The value of this system is due to the system flexibility and quick convergence it offers customers.

With the Linksys LVS-9000, you can make your small business look big, with an increased ability for customer communication and efficiency for your business.

But Art, why can’t I find “LVS-9000”, “SPA-9000” or even the search term “9000” on the Linksys web site? It’s true, those are all nomenclatures associated with the Linksys voice system, and no you’re not doing anything wrong. Linksys has made the LVS-9000 product suite available to small businesses, pre-provisioned for VoIP calling service by Linksys authorized partners who have demonstrated comprehensive product knowledge and are positioned to support small businesses during the installation process . There are a variety of VoIP service options to choose from, with leading providers participating, including Inphonex.

The Linksys LVS-9000 is designed as a “hybrid” solution. You may integrate up to (4) traditional analog (POTS) lines via the Linksys SPA-400 FXO gateway. Small business users may also incorporate VoIP calling services from affiliated network service providers, with a range of available options including:

• Outbound Call Termination Services
• Local, Long Distance, and International Calling
• Inbound Call Origination Service
• DID – Direct Inward Dialing
• Toll Free Services
• Voicemail
• Provisioning Server and Firmware Upgrades
• Tier II Technical Support

The Linksys Voice System 9000 presents the small business with a wide range of telephony features once only available to big business users.

Linksys LVS 9000 Information

For some additional product details check out
Smithonvoip SPA-9000 Product Details

My Experience with the Linksys Voice System 9000

Since this system is a few quarters old, I am probably not reporting anything new to some of you. Allow me to relay a customer experience I had this past week, to illustrate some of the key features of this diminutive, yet powerful IP PBX, and how it can assist you in meeting your business needs. I’ll also offer some insight into where and why I decided to fit the LVS-9000 into my customers business, as opposed to some of the other IP PBX’s out on the market.

Last week I was on a call with Acme Technology (name withheld for customer privacy), a small business with a total of six employees. The company was looking to replace their current centrex service with a simple IP PBX solution, and to leverage inexpensive VoIP service options to reduce their growing monthly Long Distance bills. After discussing the features they were looking for (Auto Attendant, Dial by Name Directory, Voicemail and Extension Call Forwarding), I suggested the Linksys Voice System 9000, as there was a fair chance their current headcount of six employees would grow to ten within the year (the SPA9000 is expandable to 16 users). Since Acme Tech. only had one IT person in-house, with no VoIP experience, the LVS-9000 was a good fit, offering simplified administration features like automated configuration of Linksys SPA-9XX series IP Phones. Acme Tech’s primary interest in VoIP was to realize cost savings, but they soon discovered that the Linksys LVS-9000 offered them a more efficient, feature-rich communications system and the additional business benefits of increased employee productivity.

I recommended the Linksys SPA-942 which would allow Acme to leverage their existing CAT5 LAN cabling. Because the SPA-942 offers dual RJ45 ethernet ports with an integrated switch, there was no need for additional network cabling to support the addition of IP phones. For faxing, Acme utilized one of the two available FXS ports on the SPA-9000 to support their analog fax machine (fax over ip). I also recommended keeping a couple analog (POTS) lines for local outbound calls and redundancy. The SPA9000 has no onboard FXO ports, therefore to support the POTS lines we added the Linksys SPA-400 4FXO gateway. The SPA-9000 dialplan was configured to route local calls to their analog lines, and long distance calls via their VoIP service provider. The Linksys SPA-400 gateway also includes a voicemail server with USB storage media port, which allowed Acme to host their own voicemail.

Illustrating the SPA-9000

View Acme’s network diagram below, illustrating the SPA9000 implementation. (eat your heart out Monet):

Linksys LVS-9000 Solution Cost:

(6) SPA-942 IP Phones = $900
(1) SPA-9000 IP PBX = $400
(1) SPA-400 Gateway = $300
(1) Talking with Art on the phone = Priceless (Yes, corny I know – but Miller Light just stopped doing their “Man Law” commercials with Burt Reynolds. If someone knows of any good commercials currently airing out there please let me know)

Acme’s total hardware cost was $1,300.00, or $216.00 per employee. Acme expects positive ROI within 1 year of installation, due to a dramatic decrease in their monthly long distance calling charges since moving to a VoIP service provider.

Additional Comments

As VoIP technology and related services like SIP Trunking continue to evolve, I believe that the need for analog (POTS) lines will steadily decrease.

This is another example of a customer’s reaction to the Linksys 9000 Voice System.

Jason’s blog above and the customer I was assisting this week both capture very realizable and positive results when implementing this system.

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