The correct way to assign numbers to users

Hi, everyone.
I’m puzzled about the correct way to assign numbers to my VOIP clients. I’ve been looking through some web-tools for asterisk. Many suggest that for every user I have I should use local extension (for calls beetween users of my asterisk), extension for calling out through a particular trunk and a DID. That’s 3 in total for every user I have. Is that the correct way to do it?

Before I’ve been configuring asterisk so that every user have one number to call out, be called and call between local extensions. Now I have doubts. Please, could anyone explain what is the typical way to configure asterisk.
Thanks in advance.

I am not quite sure I understand your question. By numbers do you mean extensions or external phone numbers?

Generally each user will have a 2-4 digit internal extension, which can be quickly dialed by anybody in the office. This rings through the PBX and they are generally assigned according to some sort of pattern, ie 2xxx = sales, 3xxx=billing, etc. These are kept short so users won’t have to remember the 7digit number for everybody in the company, plus many extensions won’t need or want a DID, ie the utility phone in the elevator, the hallway phone outside the break room, etc.

Then you have the company main number. This will have simple options (push one for sales, two for billing…) type stuff, and pushing that will usually put you in a queue or ring a handful of extensions to see who picks up.
Often the company main number will allow a caller to directly dial the internal extension of whoever they want if they know it, that way a client who wants to reach their dedicated sales rep can get him quickly for example.

Lastly you have DIDs, personal phone numbers for some users that ring straight to them. Top sales guys for example might have DIDs so callers can call them directly without going through a voice menu. This is optional and many companies skip this entirely.

As for which does what, you may use some or all of the above depending on how they apply to the business. A typical configuration will include the first two, personal DIDs for employees is common but not always done due to the extra cost.
One way to somewhat simplify things- if you can keep all your DIDs inside the same prefix (ie 222-333-xxxx) then you can assign extensions that way. So the guy who’s DID is 222-333-5231 is extension 5231.

As for dialing out, generally you either have the system pattern match ‘external type numbers’ directly or have the user dial 9 first for an outside line…

Hope that helps!

Thanks very much for your reply. You really sorted out the stuff in my head :smile:
I’ve been using asterisk for a while in different cable network (because of it’s great feature set: voicemail, call forwarding, DISA … etc). So, my clients are not in the same company. They don’t know each other. People basicly want the IP-telephony we offer to behave just like the traditional one. So they will be not happy to get another 4-digit extension to remember. And this is basicly the way that some billings/web admin panels (including asteriskNOW) are making me doing it. I’ve found ways around. But now it is not clear to me if asterisk is the right solution for my situation (clients who are not working together and don’t know each other).

glad to help :smile:

I’m not sure exactly what you are doing, but I assume you are setting yourself up as some kind of ITSP for your clients. In this case there is no need to assign anybody an extension, have their ‘extension’ be their DID number and that’s it. Remember, what I said above usually applies to corporate PBX systems, NOT ITSP’s. If you are providing ‘hosted asterisk’ services there is no reason why your clients should be able to dial each other by extension, and in fact I would actively prevent them from doing so.