VOIP in small Office - Who is best quality/dependability?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by eme jota ce, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. eme jota ce macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2005
    We have a small office (5 employees) that is converting over to Macs. While we are at it, we are looking at switching to VOIP.

    Does anyone have any positive or negative experiences with VOIP in a small office? I've spoken with Speakeasy and Vonage. Vonage doesn't seem quite powerful enough for an office with a receptionist who receives all calls on main number with a voicemail menu to direct caller to 4 others when she steps away. Speakeasy has been 2 weeks delayed in providing a few references for me to contact in the Chicago area.

    Anyone have any suggestions for us?

    eme jota ce
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You need to run your own PBX. You then connect the PBX to one or more service providers.
    The PBX supplies voice mail and email/voicemail gateways call routing and so on. It's
    the central switch the all the pnones connect to. You can buy one or build one or hire
    a consoltent to do the work. Depends on your skils and time which is best. There are
    a few Open Source PBX systems now

    Look at asterisk. I've set it up several times. It's very robust and been out for
    several years. has wide suport, uses standard parts available from many suppliers

    Documentation (PDF of a book) is here

    It uses open standards so you can hook it up to any number of providers (You will still need POTS for 911 calls even if everything else is VOIP) It's about as flexible as you could ask for and can scale to "way big" Uses almost any hardware. You can run the PBX server under Mac OS X now but I'd suggest using Linux on a powerfull PC. Ive gotton it to run on a low-end (100Mhz Pentium I) PC notebook to support two phones but I'd suggest using a server class machine with redundant power mirrors drives and so on if you bussines depends on the phones working 24x7 for years with zero down time

    Look here for more info
  3. eme jota ce thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2005
    Thanks ChrisA,

    We have an old PBX here in the office. I think they paid big bucks for it back in the day, but the whole system seems outdated and is slowly falling to pieces despite various service calls by technicians.

    I was under the (mis)impression that a VOIP service could eliminate the need for the PBX and other hardware (our VM hardware is a separate unit - also failing) in exchange for some Cisco phones and some sort of device to prioitize voice traffic over data traffic. Possible? Practical? Dependable?

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