Our company has 4 incoming POTS lines, 1 for fax, the others in what I believe is called a ‘hunt group’, so if our main number is busy, calls are routed transparently to the next number we have. These 3 are plugged into a Merlin 410 wall, er, thingy. (Sorry) The individual internal extensions are connected to the 410.
I’ve been asked if we can upgrade the phone system (mostly to remove the now intermittently dodgy Merlin phones and provide voicemail) and I found and installed Asterisk@home onto a spare machine. This would appear to give all the functionality we need very simply. [Very, very impressive job, guys - this seems to me to be a truly ‘disruptive’ breakthrough.]
OK, so I’m pretty sure my boss will freak out if I suggest going pure VOIP, particularly as it would mean changing phone numbers, so I’m thinking I can do this: Buy 3 FXO cards and install them in the Asterisk server. Setup the incoming and outgoing trunk to serve these lines. Install SIP phones (etc). Take the lines currently going into the Merlin 410 and plug those into Asterisk. Live happily ever after with massive pay rise for job well done. (Then push for pure VOIP.)
Will this work? Not knowing too much about this, I am confused about what happens with this ‘hunt group’ idea.
I’m sure I can work out the gory details of Asterisk internal settings later, but I need a “there there, it’ll all be fine” on whether we can retain our existing lines in without disruption.
[Dodgy additional question: The Merlin phones appear to have RJ45 jacks and all wires appear to be connected - does this mean that I could carry ethernet over the existing telephone wiring in our office? It would be a real coup to internally separate voice and data traffic. (For free)]
Thanks in advance.