Switching from a traditional PBX phone system to a hosted PBX is reasonably seamless. However, a common question we’re asked by small business owners is, “Do I still get to keep my same phone number(s)?” Established businesses often have one or more phone numbers published on websites, printed materials, business cards and even vehicles. Having […]

It’s perhaps not a commonly known fact that PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange. Most small business owners are accustomed to calling their office telephone system “the PBX”. It allows for call transfers to multiple lines in their office, multiple voicemail boxes, ACD queues, ring groups, etc. A PBX is a phone system that allows […]

We talk to Canadian small businesses every week who are feeling confused about hosted PBX pricing. They’ve usually spoken with at least one of our competitors, heard their pitch, and are more confused than before they started learning about this new technology. After reading this post you’ll have a clear understanding of how Hosted PBX […]

The majority of small to medium-sized businesses that we help with their business phone system needs, are looking to get away from having old PBX phone equipment in their office, and instead move to a more streamlined phone system that is housed in the cloud. However, there are some that still have an interest in […]

In today’s world of “i” this and “e” that, the words cloud, virtual and hosted get tossed around almost interchangeably. We’re often asked by new customers “What’s the difference between a hosted PBX versus a cloud or virtual phone system for my office?”. We want to address the question here to help you out as […]

Office phone systems have been done the same way for the last few decades. A physical PBX hardware system is installed somewhere in the office and 3, 4 or more lines are connected from the local telco. It’s the PBX hardware that creates the different extensions as well as traditional office phone features such as […]

Traditions in business are changing with technology. Social media has opened up a range of marketing opportunities. The internet has brought an age of websites, online shopping, and faster communication. It’s about time for a business phone system to catch up. Virtual PBX phone systems replace the outdated multi-line phone systems offices traditionally use. A […]

Savings are the #1 reason small businesses looking to switch from their traditional phone service to a Hosted VoIP PBX service. In most cases, the monthly fee of a hosted PBX service is at least 40% less than what you currently pay to your local telco, but the benefits extend beyond just savings on your […]

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Astricon, and I don’t know why I don’t do this every year. Asterisk has a fantastic community, and Astricon has matured into an expertly-run conference, packed full of solid content, delivered by some of the best of the best, with a friendly and high-energy crowd. If […]

Asterisk, the open source PBX, turns 17 this year. Asterisk kicked off a revolution in the telecommunications industry, bringing a level playing field to the then-emerging concept of IP Telephony, and a few years later doing the same for legacy telecom technologies such as Analog and PRI. Asterisk served notice to the old guard that […]

THE INTERNET A critical piece of the VoIP puzzle is your connection to the outside world. Before VoIP, the phone company controlled how your telecom services got to your site. They owned what is commonly termed The Last Mile—all the infrastructure right to your door. If you wanted to connect to the Public Switched Telephone […]

THE INTERNAL NETWORK You probably have an internal network, but if it’s going to be used for voice, a few requirements need to be considered. Voice actually doesn’t require a lot of network bandwidth (we’ve successfully implemented VoIP phones on CAT3 cabling). A telephone call uses less than 100kbps of bandwidth, therefore a typical network […]

When evaluating the network for your IP Telephony deployment, you need to be aware of some of the differences between a hosted PBX and an onsite-PBX. In order to simplify this, we will break the network down into two separate concepts: The Local, onsite network (or LAN), and the wide-area, external network (or WAN, typically […]

At its simplest, IP Telephony is just a way to carry voice from one place to another. What makes it so revolutionary is not so much due to any technical advantages, but simply that it is based on inexpensive and popular networking standards. You can buy the hardware at your local computer store. The details […]

The technologies that run the internet were first developed in the 60s. The network could be built as a mesh of nodes, and information could be sent in more than one direction—routing. Also, connections between nodes could be shared with all the types of traffic passing through. This is analogous to the highway networks of […]

Humans love to talk. Any discussion of IP Telephony needs to always keep first and foremost the understanding that the primary purpose for telephones is to allow us to talk to each other. It seems obvious, but this simple fact sometimes gets lost in technical details. Our vocal cords, tongue, lips and teeth allow us […]

The best phone systems for small business operations are generally those systems which offer lots of configuration flexibility (i.e. lots of useful features to choose from), but can be delivered as a simple solution. Traditionally, phone systems for smaller businesses lacked the features available to larger businesses (which of course also had larger budgets). This […]

If one asks the question: What is a PBX System? One will typically get the answer: A Private Branch Exchange. What is more important of course is understanding what it does. The PBX emerged from a desire of businesses to reduce the cost of telephone services, coupled with a need for more control over how […]

In its early days, VoIP was touted for many reasons, but quality was seldom one of them. VoIP was traditionally seen as a riskier technology, with near-certain problems with quality and reliability. Land lines (especially digital circuits such as PRI) were so reliable that one could reasonably expect decades of trouble-free service from them. Carriers […]

I’ve never been much of a fan of videoconferencing. While shows like Star Trek have set the expectation in us that ‘in the future, this is how people will communicate’, I don’t see any signs that we’ll ever be replacing all phones (or travel) with video. I have noted two problems with videoconferencing in the […]

When you are looking to purchase phones for your business, you have to ask yourself one question first: Can I accept being locked into a single equipment manufacturer for the next 5-10 years? If the answer is ‘no’, then you need to ensure that the phones you purchase are standards-compliant. In the past, the model […]

Small businesses require flexible, feature-rich telephone services. In the past, this was a costly part of setting up a small business. Usually you would either have to spend thousands of dollars on a complex, proprietary PBX, or you would have to make do with a basic service from the phone company that might not cost […]

Voice over IP is a significant technology, however it’s not because it represents any sort of technical advance over traditional voice, but rather because it is disruptive, and changes the game. In the past, telecom technology was a tightly-controlled, old-boys club, monopolized by large companies able to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars required […]

Remember the old phone network? You made a call, owned that connection for as long as you wanted it. Then this thing called VoIP came along. Promises of free phone calls, and all sorts of enhanced features, and all you needed was a PhD in Network Design to make it work (or maybe not work). […]

People hate talking to Bionic Betty. The IVR has become something that is universally disliked. Still, it has a future, and here’s why. When IVR systems first came into being, the costs to implement such a thing were astronomical. In order to justify the massive capital outlay such projects required, the ROI was often calculated […]

VoIP technology makes it easy to interconnect between systems. It is likely that many VoIP enabled companies don’t even realize that all the technology already exists to route calls across internet connections using the same numbering plan the PSTN uses. Initiatives such as ENUM have already developed the protocols to handle this, and if you […]

Randy Resnick and the fine folks of the VoIP Users Conference kindly invited me to join them for a chat. We ended up having a very interesting conversation about building small, inexpensive systems that would compete on price with a traditional key system, but then also started talking about high availability. Two subjects that would […]

Those of us head-down in this business of open source and emerging telecom will sometimes lose sight of the big picture. So busy with the day-to-day routine of running our respective businesses, we need to raise our eyes from the grindstone every now and then and have a look at the landscape. A study recently […]