Help before taking the plunge

Hello everyone, I am new here, just joined today after digging around on your forums. I did not see all of the answers I was looking for and was hoping someone could help.

We switched from an old Key system last year to a VoIP\SIP based PBX system. We are currently using 3CX (a PBX system that runs on MS Windows.) (All of the rest of our environment is Windows, so that was why.)

Anyways. We originally purchased Grandstream GXP2020 phones for use in our small call center that answers inbound calls for multiple companys.

I tried hard, but the business manager did not want to use Queues, they demanded ring groups. (It is a customer service thing, their customer service surveys for the industry they are in found that most people will NOT wait in a queue.)

Anyways, in order to get some sort of SLA we used 3CX’s ability to have a what they call a Shared Parking Orbit (which Asterisk calls a Parking Lot.)

The Grandstreams could not handle using a BLF key to transfer calls to the Shared Parking Orbits (the GXP2020’s do not support Blind Transfer using a BLF) but the new GXP 2120’s do. So we started looking at new phones that do support the feature, and right now I am testing a Yealink T-28p. It works great with the Shared Parking, you press one button (the BLF) to park the call, the light changes to Red, and any other Yealink t-28 can press the red BLF to pick up the call.

Doing this you know which Shared Parking extension you placed the call in, as each BLF is assigned a different number, and you press that BLF to park\unpark the call.

The only problem we have left (and the reason I am here looking at a different PBX system) is that once a call is parked into any parking orbit, whether shared or not, it looses it’s caller id information and when someone picks up the call the Caller ID is simply the Parking Extension Number.

This is bad when you answer phones for 5 companies and the call in Shared Parking 1 is for Company A, the Call in Shared Parking 2 is for Company B.

We need this, because, as a small business we only have a few people answering phones. On occasion one agent may be here by themselves, and a bunch of calls come in. The agent can park the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. calls into a shared park, and then another agent or manager can come in simply sit down and start answering those calls.

Without the caller-id though the new agent doesn’t know how to answer the call (which company name to greet with.)

So, I need to know if FreePBX\Asterisk can do everything we are currently doing with 3CX, but also resolve the issue of Caller ID on the Shared Parking lines.

Here is a list of what we need:
1.) Inbound calls are routed to different ring groups based on the DID that the caller dialed. If the first ring group does not answer the call should be able to be routed elsewhere. First to the call center agents ring group, if they do not answer it is routed to a managers queue (which also includes the extensions from the initial ring group) and then if still no answer it goes to voicemail or is routed to an external number.

2.) Caller ID information of the call is updated to include the Ring Group\Queue the call is in. This way when answering the phone the Agent knows which company was called, and which company name to use in the greeting.

3.) Call recording. All calls on certain extensions must be recorded all of the time, without the agent being able to modify the recording. The recordings must then be copied to a network share for archival. (I am currently using a personally written VB Script that converts the recordings from WAV to MP4, copies them to a share that is organized by extension\year\month\day.

4.) Shared Parking. Since sometimes our agents get bogged down with a bunch of calls coming in at once, they need to be able to park the calls so that others can assist in taking the calls. This is not so much a way of transfering the calls, more a way of asking the caller to hold and them placing them somewhere where another person can pick it up and continue.

5.) Caller-ID must be maintained for the call once it is parked. (this is the only thing 3CX can not currently do.)

6.) Single Button press to place call into shared parking, single button to pick up the call. Would like to use the BLF’s for this. The Yealink’s have 10 BLF’s lights are green when the parking slot is available, red once a call is placed there.

I know this is a lot to ask in one post. I am just trying to get some answers before spending a lot of time testing and playing with this. We have until October before we have to renew our license with 3CX. I would like to have some time to set this up and play with it before moving it to production. But I wouild also like to make sure it can do what I need before I spend a bunch of time learning something that may not do what I need.

We knew before we got 3CX that the Shared Parking would not work 100% the way we wanted it to. At the time our business manager did not think it would be a big deal. They are finding that it is a feature they really must have, and it is hurting them to not have it.

I am not looking for technical answers at this point. At this point I just want to know if this stuff is possible. If so, I am willing to spend the time to play with it an figure out the technical stuff later.


  1. Yes, easy to setup in Freepbx
  2. Yes, will display the phone number
  3. Yes, Freepbx can setup the call recording for each extension as on demand or always. You would have to schedule a job in Centos to handle the file transfers.
  4. Not sure, but probably
  5. Check out
  6. This would probably be best answered depending on the phone and whether it will support the feature with Asterisk.

You would probably be better off searching for commercial Asterisk & Freepbx add-on modules designed for call center use. It would likely save a lot of time and configuration headaches.

As a warning, if you’re not used to linux (Red Hat), then this platform will take a good amount of learning to properly provide technical support for your type of business.