Using Asterisk with an existing PBX?


I’ve had a look through a lot of older posts and can’t find clear answers to the questions I have, so I hope someone out there can help !!

We currently have an existing Alcaltel OmniPCX Office Digital PBX, with around 90 Alcatel Phones, with service provided via a PRI ISDN Circuit ( E1 - 30 Channels ), we currently do not use VOIP, and although it has been talked about, we have no immediate plans to use it !

Currently, we use a web based IVR system to manage our incoming calls on a variety of pointed 0845 numbers ( the numbers point to the suppliers system which routes via DDI calls to agents in our “mini” call center ), however, they charge ridiculous amounts to provide a basic ACD system, and even more to make changes, and even then, they take forever to do it, so changes are coming !!

Could we put an Asterisk Server in place, with the appropriate interface card, to accept the E1 connection, subsequently, the Asterisk box could provide the ACD/IVR we need on our incoming lines.

I think this much would be pretty straight forward, however, from here, could we then have the asterisk box ‘emulate’ the PRI connection into the existing PBX ?

‘Emulate’ is maybe not the right word, but obviously, the PBX knows that on the specified port, it expects to see the ISDN PRI line in order to make and recieve calls etc, so could Asterisk present a connection to the PBX, or is there other options to get the two systems to operate ?

The aim is to have the Asterisk box in place and doing everything we need from our current web-based IVR, and still maintain the OmniPCX Office PBX, with the current numbering plans, phones, etc as they are ?

We are about to migrate to a 100Mb Ethernet WAN connection, so it would give us the option of using VoIP in the future when we decided to cross that bridge !

Is this possible, or is Asterisk not the right product for us ?

Should be possible.

Take a look at this post:

this can be done. I have used various types of hardware to interface asterisk to various type of PBX:s as long as you can find some type of hardware match.

PRi is usually the easiest once you have one of the boxes providing timing and the other receiving, make sure you use the correct cable as well.