Is Asterisk a good move for my business?


#1

Hey everyone,

I have been reading a lot on Asterisk, and the more I read, the more interested I become. I am currently using RingCentral for my VoIP provider. I have used Vocalocity and Aptela in the past, but every VoIP provider that I’ve used has been problematic. Vocalocity would drop phone service for hours. Aptela would drop calls and fail to transfer properly.
Now, with RingCentral, the phones just don’t ring sometimes when they should. I am losing business.

Background on my office and needs:

I currently own a small business with six full time employees. My business survives or dies by the phone; if the phone doesn’t work, my business doesn’t work. I need a reliable service. I have softphones (Bria 3) that I want to be supported, along with traditional Polycom VoIP phones.

The next important thing is call volume. In my business, all six of my employees are on the phone all day. They make upwards of 300 outbound calls each ten-hour period, and we can expect 200 or more inbound calls a day. I also run an automated dialer service that calls up to 4000 phones per day (that is an outside service that does the calling) and will connect up to 700 phone calls to my office. I need a system that can support simultaneous calls that will peak at ~20 inbound and potentially 10 outbound, but which has room to expand for when my business expands.

In regards to the volume, from what I’ve read, would I need to buy “SIP trunks” to handle more simultaneous inbound and outbound calls?

Those are the bare necessities that I need for a phone system. I’m sure that I read that Asterisk supports most conventional features like Ring Groups, call recording, automatic emails for voice-mail, et cetera.

I am also interested in good sites/services to look into. I’ve heard of rentpbx.com and broadvoice.com for pbx hosting and SIP trunks, but I’m uncertain about their quality. I’m new to the host-your-own-PBX scene, so if anyone wants to add anything else for a first-time user, please do!

Thanks for your time!

-Alonzo


#2

Asterisk is definitly a good way to go and can do everything your company needs.

In my opinion, setting up this kind of service is a bit over the head for a first time user. So I would recommend that you hire an Asterisk professional to do the Asterisk server setup.


#3

My personal experience of broadvoice has been less than satisfactory. On the other hand, I am generally quite satisfied with viatalk. As for the rest, if you have some knowledge of linux, and a bit of programming, then doing it yourself is a viable option, but your time might be better spent elsewhere in which case hire a consultant. Don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest hardware - you get what you pay for, and this is particularly true of handsets and PSTN interface cards (if you need any, Digium is the obvious choice!)

Ian.