Hello all, I am pretty new to VOIP. My boss has requested that I do some digging and find out what would be the most cost effective solution. Asterisk is an awesome piece of software, however as I am new to VOIP I am unsure of a lot of things.
WARNING***TYPICAL N00B QUESTIONS APPROACHING
How would one go about finding a decent VOIP service for a medium sized business with multiple locations. I have found many inexpensive services; however they only allow one active call at a time. We have a collections department that will be making calls constantly. We will need to be able to have at least 30 active calls simultaneously and need an inbound number that anyone can call from a standard phone. Preferably an 800 number. Also, since we have 4 locations would it be possible to make 4 Asterisk boxes that work together on that network? So say some one at location A can pick up the phone and dial an extension to get someone at another location.
EDIT: I guess it might help if I state where our locations are. All 4 are in Central and Northern Indiana (USA).
Thanks in advance for any info that is given.
You could consider investing in a server in a datacentre with an PRI ISDN line (E1 in Europe - more feeble T1 in US?). That way you’ll get all your call origin / local termination with all the channels you need (no problem sourcing unlimited termination voip companies out there - no so for call origin).
this is the way I’d probably go but perhaps its not the cheapest option of all.
Mind you I’m writing from Ireland which may be a little different but maybe not
it would be useful to state some of the goals you are trying to achieve. (not to say you haven’t stated some of them already). For instance, are you looking to move the majority of your outbound calls to VoiP to save costs? What about inbound calls, do you want those over VoiP or from the PSTN? - etc. Do you have leased data lines between your offices or do you want to just use internet access at each office for connectivity? etc.
As far as answering your question directly, you can interconnect 4 asterisk boxes at 4 locations and then design your dialplan such that everyone can have extension dialing amongst the locations, you can transfer amongst the locations, you could take advantage of least cost routing if you have PSTN lines running into each location (or aggregrate your PSTN lines at one location, which might provide cost savings), etc.
So … lots of possibilities:) - if you haven’t done so allready, go download the free O’Reilly book “The Future of Telephony” - google it, you should be able to find it. It is a very good overall introduction which might help.
sounds like a good project, I’m sure you’ll be an expert by the end.
Thanks all. I apologize for not clearly stating some of the goals of the project. What i am attempting to do is have all inbound and outbound calls done over voip. As for connectivity to the other sites, I would like to use our current T1 connections. We dont have dedicated lines to each office persay, but indirectly connected via s2svpn. We are franchise of a larger company and the coporate hq provides s2svpn from them to each location. Each location has seperate T1 connections, I am unsure as wto wether these t1s are shared for voice and data however. I cant seem to get a straight answer from anyone who was around when this was created. I will do some more research and see what I uncover. Either way, once we make the move to voip these t1s will be data only as voip in sence is data. (am i correct in this assumption?)