I’m trying to overcome the Nortel BCM 400’s poor conferencing abilities by using Asterisk in conjunction with the PBX. I’ve got Asterisk working properly on a box that’s configured to run various MeetMe conference scripts. What I haven’t figured out is how to hook the Asterisk box up to the PBX.
What I’d like to do is utilize our existing PRI in the most efficient manner possible to dynamically provide the maximum number of MeetMe conference channels as well as regular circuits to normal phone users as possible. I do NOT want to split up the PRI and designate exclusive channels to MeetMe services or normal PBX usage.
Here’s what I’d ideally like things to look like:
The Nortel BCM allows me to put in an additional PRI expansion unit, and the Asterisk has PRI capabilities as well. So my question now is can I make the connection between the Asterisk and the PBX via some sort of PRI interface? I assume the Asterisk would have to simulate the phone company as if it were providing the PRI services, and the PBX would think it had an additional PRI from the outside world. This would allow 24 digital channels to exist between the existing PBX and the Asterisk unit (I think!)
Interestingly, the above configuration would also require only a local connection (no external phone co PRI usage) when our own staff joins a conference. Right now, staff members eat up a PRI line when utilizing an external conference service.
I believe I can handle getting the Nortel BCM to “reroute” calls to the Asterisk via creative dialplan and auto-attendant settings but I’m concerned about both making the physical conection and setting up the Astierks PRI to “look” like a phone company PRI to the PBX. I can’t invest in this equipment unless I know this is going to work, so I’m kind of stuck…
I hope this makes sense.