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Copyright © 2015 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.
The Telecom Digest for Feb 19, 2015
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|Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:05:41 +0000 (UTC) From: David Scheidt <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Planning a modern telephone key system? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> HAncock4 <email@example.com> wrote: :I'm trying to get up to speed on modern systems. :For discussion purposes, let's suppose a new office is being :established. At first, there will be four people, two partners and :two employees. The partners want four trunk lines and an intercom :between each telephone set. They want five telephone sets-one for :each employee, plus another phone for guests in the reception area. :In the old days, a standard key system* would meet their needs. But, :what kind of phone systems are available today for such an :application? What are the approximate costs of a basic system? They would buy a VOIP solution from their ISP, or someone like Vonage or Ringcentral. Cost would be between $20 and $50 a user a month, all in, including long distance and incoming calls. (I do not have current experience with any of the commerical providers, we do our phones in house.) :What features beyond what the old key systems offered are available on :modern systems that might benefit this small office? Conferencing, call follow me (forward your calls to a set of numbers, automatically), voice mail, voice mail sent to email, an automated attendent or simple IVR, lots of other similar features. Depending on the provider and the pricing plan, they may have a fixed number of channels available for calls, or may have as many as the office bandwidth supports, which means no busy signals, or waiting for a free line to make a call. There's also a lot of flexability. If you need a new phone, you just ask your provider, need one less, you send it back. With most providers, you can simply move the phone to somewhere else, so if you have someone who works from home, or an office in another city, you can get them a device that works like it's in the office. There are mobile applications for most of these, as well, so they can use their smartphone or computer as their desk phone when they're on the road. -- This is not a randomly numbered sig.|
|Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 11:35:39 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Platt) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Planning a modern telephone key system? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <email@example.com>, HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >I'm trying to get up to speed on modern systems. > >For discussion purposes, let's suppose a new office is being >established. At first, there will be four people, two partners and >two employees. The partners want four trunk lines and an intercom >between each telephone set. They want five telephone sets-one for >each employee, plus another phone for guests in the reception area. > >In the old days, a standard key system* would meet their needs. But, >what kind of phone systems are available today for such an >application? What are the approximate costs of a basic system? > >How would the phones be connected to the outside world? Standard >trunk lines, or would they use some sort of modern digital interface? >Who would typically supply local and long distance service in such >applications? These days, one would probably tend to go with a digital system... Voice-on-IP phones (often using the SIP protocol), and a digital PBX system (running something like Asterisk). Connection to the outside world might be via traditional analog lines (with some form of analog gateway), ISDN, a dedicated Internet link from a provider who can give a service quality guarantee, or a standard Internet link (e.g. DSL or fiber or ???). There are plenty of SIP phones which would support the sort of features you want... Aastra, Grandstream, and Cisco are among the vendors. Asterisk and similar packages can provide voicemail, in-house call forwarding and screening, automated voice attendant and response, and so forth. Asterisk is available as a free download and can run on almost any commodity PC. You can also buy it as part of a PBX appliance. If you like the idea of digital phones but don't want to administer your own PBX, there are "PBX in the cloud" providers out there who can provide this service for you. Approximate costs... figure a couple of hundred dollars per well-equipped multiline-capable SIP phone. Asterisk may be "free" if you happen to have spare hardware sitting around to install it on, and don't count the cost of your own learning time and administration. "PBX in a box" products are probably in the small-number-of-thousand- dollars.|
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