Hello from France everyone! And thank you for your product, it sounds great!
But of course: I need help
A short story: a friend installed to help us a server with asterisk for 3 phones. He is not there anymore, the system is down, nothing work properly, a system update broked the internet connection… I would like to restart from scratch, to master the process. In visiting Asterisk website, I switched to FreePBX and it looks this is what I’m looking for ! A GUI for asterisk is perfectly adapted for my level.
note: I’m completely noob to communication systems, but I’m on ubuntu for a while and not affraid about code.
But before I choose my solution I would like to know some key points:
can I reuse my hardware?
server: HP slimline 260-a112nf
switch: netgear fs116p
phones: yealink SIP-T21
can I get the same options than what we had?
when you call the phone number, you have a message: “if you whant to speak to X, please press 1, to contact Y, please press 2, and for Z, please press 3” (with quite acceptable voice, not robot voice).
every phone got a personnal answering machine (but it is maybe comming from the phone)
the possibility, when your not at your office, to send your call on your mobile.
is there a live version of the distro, to try it before installing it ?
Yes. Just install from the FreePBX ISO.
That said, I would never do it. Spend a few dollars (Euros I guess) and host it on a cloud provider where you can get snapshots and reliable uptime. As an example, vultr.com has systems in Europe. I run systems with 100+ extensions and ~20 concurrent calls on their $5 instances.
Yes to all, what you described is called an IVR. If you still have root access to the failed system, you could even copy off the sound file with that message.
Voicemail is a built in function
The final thing you describe is called Find Me / Follow Me.
I agree with @sorvani that a cloud server is generally more robust and easier to admin. However, if your system has analog lines connected via a hardware interface card installed in the server, running in the cloud would require you to obtain a gateway to interface the line(s).
If your ISP is Free, possibly your system had been set up to use their SIP trunk and stopped working when that service was discontinued; see
Did the system have analog lines connected? If so, what interface hardware was used? Did it have SIP trunks connected? Who is your ISP? What city are you in?
If you decide to use an on-site server, your existing HP should be fine. If you want the option of reverting to the present Asterisk system, options include replacing the HDD, cloning it to an external USB drive, or making a backup to a cloud server or another local machine.
Options for creating IVR prompts:
FreePBX has a feature to record from your phone, similar to recording a voicemail greeting.
Have the person in your group with the best voice record it on a computer. Use an audio editor (Audacity is a good free one) to adjust levels and equalization, remove unwanted silence, etc., then upload to FreePBX.
IMO the robots have become pretty good. Test by going to https://translate.google.com/ , set it to translate French to another language. Type in a sample prompt. Ignore the translation but click on the speaker on the French side. Listen and you may find it acceptable.
Alternatively, forget the IVR and get a separate number for each user. France DIDs are very inexpensive, e.g.