If you are a VoIP user (or thinking about being one), you must have heard the buzz word: Open Source PBX. But what is it? What does it do? Let’s find out.
First, let’s talk about PBX.
What is PBX?
PBX or “Private Branch Exchanges”, is a private telephone switchboard within an enterprise that allows multiple enterprise users to switch calls among them and share a certain number of external lines.
Unlike a traditional PBX that has a limited number of outside telephone lines and to a certain number of internal extensions, PBX phone system shares the lines for making calls. This kind of phone system avoids the cost of having a line for each user to the central telephone office.
Back to the topic– So what is an Open Source PBX?
What is an Open Source PBX?
An open source PBX system is a PBX with an underlying operating system and PBX software that is made generally available to the public for free. Because the operating system and software are free, an open source PBX system is very low in cost comparing to proprietary PBX systems. It also offers unlimited flexibility to any type of business.
Types of Open Source PBX Systems
There are basically two types of Open Source PBX systems:
We are excited to announce the first ever VoIP Supply branded IP PBX, the RenegadePBX 1U Appliance. At VoIP Supply, we strive to put you, the customer, first. With over 13 years of perfecting your buying experience before, during and after your purchase we wanted to bring this experience to our own appliance.
The choices are all up to you!
In true VoIP Supply fashion, we didn’t want to limit you to only certain choices with your IP PBX. The RenegadePBX allows you to mold the exact appliance needed for your situation.
Choose your own open source software platform (installed on your appliance prior to shipment)
Connection to the PSTN if needed
Choose the SIP trunking provider you would like (our new CloudSpan Marketplace will assist you with choosing a provider)
Since you will have the choice of what unified communications (UC) platform to choose from the call features may very slightly. The RenegadePBX is a 1U rackmountable chassis IP PBX with a 61GB SSD hard drive, 2GB DDR3 memory and two PCI card slots. Here are a couple suggested appliances with a UC platform pre-installed for you; RenegadePBX 1U Appliance (with Elastix) and RenegadePBX 1U Appliance (with FreePBX).
Now that you have some information about our brand new RenegadePBX, please contact our VoIP Solution Specialist and quiz them with all of your questions at 800-398-VoIP or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Grandstream UCM6510 is a new IP PBX appliance with enterprise grade features that is still targeted for the SMB market.
This IP PBX appliance is similar to Grandstream’s UCM6100 series, but with a much higher user count. The Grandstream UCM6510 is the most robust and feature appliance that Grandstream has released.
The UCM6510 offers a single T1/E1/J1 along with 2 FXO and 2 FXS ports in case of a power outage. Grandstream made this IP PBX appliance come standard with dual gigabit Ethernet ports, a 1 GHz quad-core Cortex A9 application processor along with a customizable auto attendant.
Who is it for?
The UCM6510 has call center and enterprise level features and can also be scaled down and used in a small-to-medium (SMB) setting.
With that in mind, plus the ease of use and set up that Grandstream provides with their appliances makes these units attractive to a large array of businesses and users.
With call features too long list and a price point that one would think it’s a mistake, the Grandstream UCM6510 is a great product for most any type or size of business.
Grandstream UCM6510 IP PBX Appliance – MSRP $1,999
Grandstream UCM6510 IP PBX Appliance Features:
2 FXS and 2 FXO ports with lifeline capability incase of a power outage
Single T1/E1/J1 port
Ability to handle unlimited SIP accounts
Rack mount available
Call Center features accessible
Up to 2000 registered SIP endpoints and 200 concurrent calls
Auto Provision and Detection of end points
Redundant power supply
You can shop on-line for Grandstream on VoIPSupply.com or contact the VoIP Supply sales team at 800.398.8647
Thanks to Michael Taylor (pictured above) our VoIP Engineer putting in all the hard work at the Xorcom technical training class.
We’re not sure what was harder for him the three days of in-depth training to learn all the details of Xorcom PBX installation, programming, and troubleshooting or being able to avoid all the distractions of the class location, Las Vegas.
If you’re not familiar with Xorcom the company was founded in 2004 and they focus on business telephony solutions for both VoIP and traditional PSTN. Xorcom products are based on Asterisk®, the open-source communication software used worldwide, for a flexible range of PBX solutions.
Taylor’s hands-on Xorcom training provided him with real-world application knowledge which means we that we not only provide you with the best first-level technical support but we can also help you:
Determine your communication needs and suggest the best Xorcom solution based on your line usage, infrastructure, and employee habits.
Streamline your phone system implementation process.
Ensure optimal phone up-time by securing the phone system.
Improve your overall user experience by providing communication efficiency suggestions.
Xorcom CompletePBX systems are pre-configured so they’re ready to use right out-of-the-box and they’ll give your single office/home office (SOHO), small and medium-sized business (SMB), or enterprise level applications lots of flexibility based on call management, Unified Communications (UC), and strong standard features.
Xorcom Case Study
How does a Xorcom PBX work in the real world?
This Chabot Space and Science Center case study is a good example of an application where cost and licensing fees were an issue. The customer was also going to install the solution themselves so they needed an Asterisk® solution that would work right out of the box and make calls straight away:
Extensive research into IP-based systems led Mr. dosRemedios to Asterisk®-based systems and he tried a test system, using trixbox CE and two Grandstream handsets. He liked what he was able to do, and so he looked for a turnkey system using Asterisk® at its core, and came across Xorcom and the Astribank concept. Because Mr. dosRemedios is the sole support for telephony at Chabot, his greatest concern was getting help configuring the system. So he contacted a local Xorcom reseller and soon realized that he could probably do everything himself.
Mr. dosRemedios chose a Xorcom XR2074 PBX with 1 PRI port, 8 FXO ports, and 16 FXS ports; with RAID (dual hard drive for redundancy), Rapid Recovery (for backup and restore of the entire PBX), Yealink T20P handsets, and some premises cabling to fulfill the requirements. Deployment was performed in-house over a period of five weeks…The PBX installed without a hitch; Mr. dosRemedios connected four landlines to the FXO ports, and a couple of phones to the POE switch and was able to make calls the same day! He’s currently preparing to deploy the remaining 108 phones to run in parallel to the old PBX until the day he can move the PRI over to the Xorcom box.
Usually in our VoIP Q & A Blog Series, we answer questions about submitted to us through tech support tickets on VoIPSupply.com or via the “Ask The Expert” tab on our product pages.
This time we’re sharing the questions and answers from the Grandstream UCM6100 PBX webinar that was held as part of our Grandstream Learning Series.
These were real questions from the attendees that were answered by Grandstream’s tech support team. We hope that this is a comprehensive guide on how to use a UCM6100 series PBX and what they’re capable of.
Door Phone and Door Station Support
Q: Can it [UCM6100] support door phone, control, attendance systems? E.g. Helios 2N, any others?
A: Yes, it supports door stations. We have verified this against FXS/FXO devices from Viking Electronics as well as 2N.
Q: Can we use this system to open gates or use in a system gate?
A: Yes, this system can perform door station functions depending on the device being used. We’ve interoped with Viking Electronic devices.
Q: The scenario would be a system with several video-doorphones + one GXV3140 + UCM6102. While one video-call from a video-doorphone is being attended from the GXV3140, there are other video-calls being received from other doorphones and those video-calls should be put on queue. How many calls can be queued?
A: This would be handled like any other call. Since it is video, it will now have video codec being negotiated. You can configure the call queue based on your own preference.
Q: Because Asterisk is open source, does Grandstream contribute to this effort?
A: Yes, we comply with GNU/GPL and provide the source details on our FAQ page.
Q: Any recommended free video softphones for use?
A: At the moment, we do not have any free apps listed for video calls. It would be suggested to use a softphone that supports h263, h263+, h264.
Q: Standard set of security protocols to avoid hacking, security issues through IVR?
A: There are several ways of securing the UCM IVR.
Q: Are there plans to add Park BLFs or Shared Line Appearances?
A: On the latest firmware for the UCM we support BLF for parking lot. Shared line appearance has already been requested and is taken into consideration for the future release.
Q: Is there a way to install A2Billing?
A: The UCM is a locked down asterisk system so you cannot instlal any applications onto the appliance. however, a later firmware release will support API and allow users to pull caller data for billing programs.
Q: Does the endpoint manager support other vendor phones for configuration and Key defs?
A: No. The UCM can only zero-config Grandstream products at the moment.
Q: Is the UCM6102 certified to work on BroadSoft softswitch?
A: At the moment, it is stil under certifcation and has not been fully supported. Working in progress.
Voicemail to Email and Remote Voicemail Access
Q: Are we able to listen and delete voicemail directly from Outlook so the voicemail is also deleted in the UCM?
A: No. Voicemail sent to your email needs to be removed from the PBX. It does not sync up with your email. This has been requested for future consideration.
Q: How do you listen to your voice messages remotely, from a phone not registered to the UCM?
A: You can dial into the UCM via IVR, then dial an option for a dummy extension(not registered) and have that dummy extension undconditional forward to your voice mail system *98
Call Monitoring and Recording
Q: Calls Monitor Feature?
A: This has already been requested and is being implemented for a future release. However, we do have an option to record calls.
Q: Can we direct the recordings to external storage?
A: This is done automatcally when a USB/SD is connected to the UCM.
Service Providers Tested
Q: What providers have been successfully tested with this?
From now until June 30, 2014, you can enjoy hassle-free savings on select:
Sangoma A100 Series Digital Voice Cards: Sangoma A100 cards are available with up to 16 ports, 480 simultaneous calls over T1/E1/J1, Hardware Echo Cancellation, and PCI or PCI Express options.
Sangoma Vega Gateways: The popular Sangoma Vega is available in three VoIP gateway lines; the Vega 50, 400, and 5000 for a range of business sizes and calling needs.
Sangoma Vega Enterprise Session Border Controller (SBC): The Vega Enterprise SBC models offer protection from theft and calls from untrusted or unsecure networks.
Sangoma PBXcelerate: This customizable PBX-ready appliance is available with no software or it can be delivered pre-loaded with the user’s choice of PBX software from Asterisk®, FreePBX, or Elastix.
Instant – No Checks
These promotional savings are instant upon checkout at VoIPSupply.com; there are no forms to fill out and there’s no waiting for a check to arrive in the mail.
“Sangoma VoIP hardware is know for its performance and reliability so if you’re thinking about designing your VoIP system with Sangoma, this is a great time to do it with instant savings of up to $150 per device,” said Tom Costelloe, VoIP Supply Marketing Manager.
For more information about Sangoma Digital Cards, VoIP Gateways, and PBX Appliances talk to a VoIP Engineer today by calling 800-398-8647.
For the past couple of weeks we’ve been highlighting our partners who are exhibiting at ITEXPO Miami 2014 to learn what’s new at this year’s show.
ITEXPO, running from January 28th through January 31st, is a business technology event and tradeshow for VoIP, Unified Communications, Cloud services, phone apps, and more.
3 Questions with Elastix About ITEXPO
We spoke with Elvita Crespo, Channel Manager for Elastix, about what to expect at this year’s ITEXPO.
VoIP Supply: For those who aren’t familiar with your company, can you tell us a little bit about Elastix?
Elastix: Elastix is an Open Source Unified Communications solution, meaning that our software allows free use and distribution, which allows a lower budget for the company’s technology platform.
Elastix not only provides telephony, but it also integrates other communication tools, such as faxing, emails, among others, to make the organization environment more productive and efficient.
VS: What products will you be featuring at this year’s IT EXPO and will you be unveiling anything new?
Elastix: We will be featuring our latest model, the NLX4000, which has just been launched into the market, along with our star product so far, the NLX miniUCS, which is a compact-sized but powerful tool.
We shall also be announcing interesting new tools in software solutions and services.
VS: What’s your booth number and the #1 reason someone should stop by and say hello?
Elastix: Our booth number is 720, and you should stop by to get in touch with Elastix, and find out more about its powerful features, cost-convenient solutions, and look into an attractive commercial offer for your company or your customers.
With the ever changing advancements in technology, virtually anyone can be reached at any given time or location in the world. Today’s business needs require this seamless method of communication. Communication could quite possibly be the most important and most crucial aspects to any organization. Communication on an inter-departmental basis, communication with your customers, patients, or colleagues, communication that is considered mission critical, the messages that NEED to meet their destinations, such as health care personnel, IT managers in times of network emergencies, and virtually any position that requires attention immediately.
I was recently reading an article on computerworld.com pertaining to Unified Communication and how the Blackberry can take this process one step further. Imagine your personal or work-related Blackberry cellular device completely tied in to your corporate phone system (PBX), and the Blackberry inhabits all of the features and characteristics of the corporate system–now that’s Unified Communications at its best.
Now the Blackberry can’t do this on its own and according to John Cox, intermingling with the RIM’s Mobile Voice System (MVS) is needed to allow this mobility and functionality to work correctly. More information on the MVS system and how it essentially links the Blackberry with your corporate PBX can be found here.
With the ongoing need and push for a more mobile workplace, the idea for Unified Communications will become a must in almost every business out there; no more missing an important call, missing VM, or “I couldn’t get a hold of you.” In the Computer World article, David Heit, director of software product management, who focuses on MVS, server software introduced in 2007 and based on a product acquired when RIM bought Ascendant Systems, demonstrates on his own BlackBerry, selecting a five-digit corporate extension at a desk in RIM’s Waterloo, Ontario, headquarters and presses a button to connect over AT&T’s Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution network. For the first time, the BlackBerry becomes, in effect, the user’s mobile desk phone, not just his mobile e-mail device.
Ease of Installation.PBX Manager is a Webmin module and can be installed in minutes without requiring any database or web server software. PBX Manager Installation or upgrade is just a matter of pointing at a URL and clicking install button.
Ease of operation. No special knowledge of Linux or Asterisk is required for the operation, so the management functions can be performed by regular staff. PBX Manager Permission’s system can be used for limiting users’ access to the system features as required.
Extendability. PBX Manager is shipped with a set of sample configuration files and a script repository for the common PBX functions. You may extend the included script repository with your own scripts taking advantage of the full power of Asterisk.
Ease of support.Use of Webmin as a platform for PBX Manager facilitates remote technical support. This is particularly important for the system integrators deploying Asterisk and PBX Manager for geographically distributed clients.
Thirdlane PBX 6.0 unlocks additional features typically found in other Asterisk management tools such as Trixbox.