Shared Phone System & Receptionist

Can anyone tell me if Asterisk can work with our current situation and what I would need to make it happen?

There are three businesses in our building and we share a receptionist. The three businesses are not related to each other. We currently share an analog telephone system. The system is programmed so we can’t pickup another companies lines or dial their extensions, but the receptionist has access to all of them. Our company has two remote workers that work from home. We would like to be able to have a VOIP system that allows them to have a phone and be connected to our system so that calls can be transferred to them and they can dial out from our lines.

Will Asterisk work in our situation? Will it let three companies share a system and have two remote workers? If so, what equipment do we need? Between all 3 companies, there are a total of 8 lines and 19 extensions. We have business class cable from Time Warner (8mb) and DSL from Ma Bell (1mb). Our remote workers have Time Warner Cable (5mb). We have two Linksys RV016 managed switches in our building for our network.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Yes, Asterisk should work for you. You use contexts to define who can call where. You will need either an FXO or T1 card to get it working.

Do you or anyone else on this forum offer services where we can send a server to you and have it configured to do what we need it to do? If so, what do you charge to do this?

Also, we currently have pots lines and one Vonage line. I know Vonage would have to be treated as a pots line since they don’t allow access to their box. What VOIP companies do I need to be looking at to switch our lines to?

I also read in these forums that you can receive and place multiple calls on a single VOIP line. Did I understand that correctly? If I had one VOIP line, could I operate the same as having 3 lines?

Thanks for your help!