Sangoma FreePBXIn the past year, the Sangoma team has implemented hundreds of new features for FreePBX 13 while continuing to grow their UC product lines. After months of waiting, FreePBX 14 STABLE has finally been released with better user experiences and a more secure setup! Let’s find out what it is all about!

FreePBX 14 highlights four major improvements: Auto-Update Security Releases, Upgrading System in the GUI, New Calendar Module and Upgraded User Control Panel (UCP).

Auto-Update Security Releases

FreePBX 14 is designed to let systems automatically update modules that have security vulnerabilities. When Sangoma releases updates to modules that have security issues, your systems will be updated to prevent those issues in less than 24 hours!

Upgrading System in the GUI

With FreePBX 14, you don’ thave to run distro upgrade scripts or deal with stuck upgrades. All system upgrades are done right through the Graphical User Interface (GUI), in the same place you would normally go to update modules.

freepbx-14-gui

New Calendar Module

Tired of tracking different dates every year? You would love this – FreePBX 14 includes a calendar module that allows you to add any web-based iCal, CalDav, Google or Exchange Web Services calendar. You can also add local calendars with custom events and link the calendars to Time Conditions, Paging Pro groups, Find Me/Follow Me enabled/disable events and more!

freepbx14-new-calendar

To learn more about the new Calendar Module, see:

Upgraded User Control Panel (UCP)

FreePBX has long had the need for a User Control Panel where your end users can change settings related to their accounts, listen to voicemails, or call recordings. After improving the HTML5 in FreePBX 12, now FreePBX 14 gives your users complete control over how your Control Panel looks and feels.

In addition to the dashboards and widgets users can add, remove, resize and organize how they want and users can also have multiple dashboards that have different configurations of widgets. Learn more about UCP here.

freepbx14-ucp

To learn more about the changes and features in FreePBX 14, Click Here.

Download FreePBX 14 STABLE Today!

Will There be FreePBX 15 STABLE?

Yes, it’s in the pipeline! Sangoma is planning to release FreePBX 15 STABLE on January 12th, 2018. This version is going to focus on a redesigned backup module that will no longer be required to restore from the same version you are backing up to. Excited? We are too! Learn more here!

Download FreePBX 14 STABLE

learningWhen we first learn that Elastix had suffered an untimely demise, we were a little surprised. The good folks at Palo Santo had built a well-known and loved the platform that seemed to do all its capabilities. Elastix’s popularity was widespread across the globe, which now causes a problem for those still using a platform that’s no longer commercially supported.

While you can still download, install, and use Elastix, you won’t be receiving any updates or security patches, and for businesses that rely on VoIP technology as a critical service, that’s a big problem. Thankfully, our friends at Sangoma created a script to move your Elastix configuration to a new installation of FreePBX, for those of you considering it as an alternative. This is possible because FreePBX is embedded into the background inter-workings of Elastix which enabled its phone system functionality. We read through Sangoma’s conversion documentation and decided to give it a try.

Because we are traversing two very different versions of FreePBX, not everything will make it over on a conversion.

What won’t make it over:

  • Call History (CDR)
  • Fax Configuration
  • Custom Configuration Files
  • Call Queue Metrics
  • Anything not a core FreePBX module
  • Operating system and network settings

What will transfer:

  • Extensions
  • Routes
  • Trunks
  • MOH
  • IVRs
  • Ring Groups
  • Queues
  • Custom music on hold
  • Voicemails
  • Voicemail Greetings
  • System Recordings

To test, we set up an Elastix 2.5 installation with some extensions, a call queue, some routes, a trunk, and ring groups.

The official instructions from Sangoma can be found here.

Pre-requisites:

  • You’ll need an installation of FreePBX version 10.33.66 x64, that’s activated
  • Run the FreePBX Firewall wizard and use all of the default options
  • Your Elastix system must be at a minimum based on FreePBX version 2.9
  • Both systems must have full network access to each other (check your firewalls)

The Procedure:

  • Console into your new FreePBX install and run the command

image1-new

  • Leave the field blank and press enter, FreePBX will indicate “Waiting for Donor”

image11

  • Cody the generated slot identifier, then run the same command on Elatix.

image3

  • Enter in the slot identifier where it asks for the “Conversion ID”

image4

  • Type “Y” when prompted “Do you want to copy/tftpboot to the new machine” if you have provisioned phones in Elastix, otherwise type “N”
  • Watch the maigc happen! (Elastix Left, FreePBX Right)

image5

Once complete, you will need to disable your trunks in Elastix, or shut the system down, and then enable them in FreePBX. They will be disabled by default to avoid registration issues.

You’ll find your extensions retain the same passwords so your phones will register without any modifications to their internal settings. However, if you experience issues with phone registrations, check your firewall on FreePBX and make sure you are allowing SIP from the correct interface.

Enjoy your newly converted phone system!

Happy VoIPing!

WEBINAR: Disaster Recovery Planning for FreePBX & PBXact from Sangoma on Vimeo.

Let’s face it. We are all afraid of catastrophic failure of our communications system. What if I told you, to fear or not to fear, you are in control? Take the appropriate precautions, you can turn a full business shut down to just a minimal impact to your daily operation.

Check out this Sangoma Webinar to learn the best practices for protecting your business against a catastrophic disaster that will minimize impact to your business during a failure event. You will also learn the Sangoma products available for Disaster Recovery, focusing on the FreePBX/ PBXact phone systems.

Don’t want to start protecting your business communications system!

Learn more about FreePBX and PBXact UC phone systems.

Recently, I’ve had a couple conversations with some customers about the Sangoma PBXact phone system. They were interested in learning what this system is and how they can benefit from it. If you are a small to medium-sized business like a lot of my customers are, you will want to learn this quick, easy-to-use business phone system too! Let’s check it out.

What Is Sangoma PBXact?

The PBXact is a cloud-based, Unified Communications business phone system that’s completely managed in Sangoma’s data centers. The software it uses is no different from your typical on-premise appliances, except it’s in the cloud.

Powered by the leading open source PBX system, FreePBX, the PBXact comes with numerous user-friendly features and is one of the easiest systems to get users up and running within minutes with little or no training (now you know why it’s so popular for small to medium business!)

I found this video below useful to learn about what exactly PBXact is. Take a look:

3 Reasons to Choose Sangoma PBXact

I can go on and on talking the entire day about the benefits you can enjoy from the PBXact phone system (don’t worry, I am not going to), but, let me just share with you the top 3 reasons why my customers chose the PBXact phone system.

Reason #1: Easy-to-Use and Simple to Set Up

Like I mentioned before, the PBXact phone system is very simple to set up and quick to use. It saves my clients a lot of hassle and time with its Quick-start installation Wizard and simplified dashboard GUI. Its Zero-touch provisioning even allows you to deploy phones within seconds!

Reason #2: Feature-Rich

Sangoma PBXact is definitely one of the top feature-loaded phone system solutions on the market. If you are familiar with FreePBX, you will know what I am talking about. Conference Pro, Extension Routing, Installation Wizard, are just some of the features you can benefit from. It also offers you options of up to 1000 users and 300 simultaneous calls; a truly scalable and feature-rich solution!

Reason #3: Compatibility and Integration

The PBXact is highly compatible with more than 300 different models of IP phones and 20 manufacturers, so you don’t need to worry about switching from your old phone system to the PBXact.

Visit our site to learn more about Sangoma PBXact! In the next blog, we will discuss about the PBXact UC applications and how you choose the right solution for your business. Meanwhile, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me, Brian Hyrek, at 716-531–4318.

If you haven’t heard, Elastix, which was once considered a permanent and trusted fixture in open source VoIP, is no longer a thing.

At least, not in the way it traditionally existed. It is now a product of 3CX, which is a good serviceable platform, but it is not the Elastix we all knew and loved. It now joins Trixbox, as the dearly departed.

 

What’s going on with Elastix?

Elastix Asterisk-based open source PBX platformElastix was one of the first platforms I tinkered with when I first discovered the strangely interesting world of VoIP, and I really liked what it offered. It has a built-in mail server, instant messaging, calendar, CRM, fax server, and of course an Asterisk phone system. It was built on top of FreePBX, which had been a supporter of Elastix for many years. With that said, it never really stood on its own legs. It sported its own user interface, but under the hood sat a somewhat dated version of FreePBX, and of course Asterisk.

Elastix entered a rapid decline after FreePBX version 13 was released almost a year ago, which was a true re-definition of FreePBX and raised the bar for open source telephony. The lack of updated to Elastix (other than cosmetic), left those interested in deploying an open source phone system seeking alternative solutions. While the Elastix software remained functional, Sangoma proved its ability to commercially support its software, and release timely updates and patches.

Before going any further, I’d like to address any confusion on IP PBX appliances since some of my posts encourage cloud based hosting versus on-premise appliances. There are several factors that some use to dictate whether or not you should host your phone system in the cloud or use an appliance. The usual two are CapX and OpX, and which best fits with organizations.  The dirty truth about modern IP phone systems is that they are incredibly inexpensive when compared to systems 10 to 15 years ago. With that said, it’s fairly cheap to use an appliance on-premise which saves you recurring costs and also Internet bandwidth, which might be a game changer for those with limited options when connecting to the Internet (assuming using SIP trunking). There is, of course, another device to maintain, power, and keep cool, but since the CapX is very low, it may be worth it for you.

Conversely, the advantages of a cloud hosted system are apparent, with convenience being a top benefit, but you will always have that monthly expense. You can, of course, migrate from one platform to another (with software like FreePBX) if you find that a particular solution works better for you. Truthfully, I like both solutions for different situations, but for this posting, we’ll be talking about appliances.

 

Renegade PBX Mini and FreePBX

RenegadePBX mini Appliance (with FreePBX)For those of you looking to migrate from Elastix, or even start fresh, I’d like to introduce to you the Renegade PBX Mini from VoIP Supply. The Renegade Mini is a purpose-built appliance with the small to medium size businesses in mind. It can support up to 100 SIP extensions and 75 concurrent calls. It’s also paired well with Sangoma’s FreePBX, which can ship on the Renegade Mini directly from VoIP Supply.

Inside the Renegade Mini, there’s a dual-core Atom processor, 2 Gigs of memory and SSD storage. It also includes one Gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI out, VGA out, and four USB ports, and one PCI-E port fo telephony cards. Another thing worth mentioning is that the Renegade Mini is made in the U.S.A.

The Renegade Mini can be ordered with various telephony cards with FXS, FXO, and T1 interfaces, so it can use your existing telco connection (FXO, T1) while also fully supporting SIP trunking. A major benefit to the Renegade Mini is that there is a very low total cost of ownership. Essentially, the software is free (utilizing FreePBX), which does not require any licensing, and does not impose any limitations on things like the number of extensions that can exist, or concurrent calls. The only limitations are hardware resource based. FreePBX does offer commercial modules, which you pay for, but none of them are required to have a fully functional system.

As of last week, Sangoma has released a Conversion Tool to help with migration from Elastix (with FreePBX 2.9 or newer) which can save you a lot of time and effort, especially if you were not the one who originally configured the system.

VoIP Supply can also help you migrate from one system to another (even if you are not coming from Elastix), or even provision a brand new deployment for you for an additional charge. If you’re new to VoIP and want to hit the ground running with an appliance-based solution, reach out to VoIP Supply and they’ll be happy to take care of you.