Novice needing Installation IVR Needed

Hello everyone, I decided for the sake of cutting to the chase I would first show you the IVR I am looking for… then explain my EXTREMELY JERRY RIGGED current arrangement.

*** Now, what I would like and what is practical may be 2 different things… :slight_smile: ***** So I was hoping I could post here and if you know anyone that could assist please do not hesitate to contact me.

  1. **** THIS ONE IS NOT A MUST BUT WANTED IF POSSIBLE *** A system that shows the caller ID on each of my reps computers along with the history of the customer BASED on the Caller ID (this is the dream if not possible completely understandable). Essentially, if the custome has an issue I would like for my team to be able to see the issue they have had and the history on the repairs… *** again I stress this is something I can work around if not feasable***

  2. A system that when the customer calls it does not interfere with the other phone lines. They are simply placed in a call que until someone picks up one of the lines they are one…

  3. While they are waiting for someone to answer OR if they are placed on hold I would like for them to hear our advertisement or music…

  4. The ability to transfer the call from one phone to the other (including the mobile phones if possible). They can connect WIFI so I know it is doable just not sure how practicle.

  5. To be able to add phone lines as neccessary.

  6. When the customer FIRST calls They can push 1 for ONE DEPARTMENT 2 FOR THE OTHER DEPARTMENT… OR 1 FOR ENGLISH 2 FOR SPANISH…


Hello everyone, it is probably best I explain my current setup in hopes that someone can assist… I am a COMPLETE Novice to all of this.

I currently run a service where I provide people with LOCAL numbers that are then routed to long distance numbers… thus saving them money… long story…

I have the following arrangement: A remote Server (SIP … PBX…) which has asterisk and a2billing installed. Which is running just fine.

However, we are getting ALOT of calls in the office… people wanting to subscribe to our service…

In the office I have 13 completely functional computers that our reps take orders on… All going through a broadband Time Warner Internet Gateway.


Now, THAT is where the problem is.

When they call, they currently call a Vonage number that I have. Vonage has a MULTIPLE CALL FORWARDING feature… So, I then have that Vonage number ring up to 5 more phones in the office… So , essentially they all ring at the same time…

When someone answers, if the phone happens to ring again you can pick up on of the OTHER phones the call is forwarded to and speak to that customer… basically 5 of us can be on the phones at the same time… without real issue…

I also have ONE of the 5 numbers routing to ANOTHER Vonage number that is then forwarded to 3 MORE phones :slight_smile: same process.

And to boot some of the phones I am routing to are MOBILE PHONES Blackberry (smartphones).

However, this — obviously – lacks professionalism.

  1. When each person calls, whomever is on one of the other lines that my Vonage lines are forwarding to recieves constant beep throughs.

  2. You can not transfer calls

  3. YOu have no REAL hold option (other than simply putting the customer on mute)

  4. When the customer calls they are not put in a que until someone can pick up…

Basically, I need to really upgrade my OFFICE phone system and was directed here.

It doesn’t take much to install freepbx and asterisk so I suggest installing it and see the interface for yourself. It is very powerful and used in businesses like you have.

These instructions should help lessen the confusion when installing freepbx & asterisk. The majority of people who have asterisk and/or freepbx have centos so also a good idea to use that operating system.

Since your peak is not as high as I was thinking, maybe you could transition just a couple that way you may not need to upgrade the internet right away and see how the call quality is.

Let us know how it goes!

Also, check out the asterisk forums. The people at the asterisk forums seem to do everything by code and don’t rely on any kind of interface so their posts may not be applicable but it can’t hurt to read about it.

Thank You for your extemely detailed help… I will look into the ITSP and the IP phones as stated here… we have 13 computers on one network… however on the phone network there is generally no more than 6 people on the phone at the same time (this is at peak).

Usually that is 2 on mobiles and 4 on landlines…

However, I see with growth how this can be an issue… again, thank you for everything this certainly provides me more info to work with.

Well I’ve only been playing and reading about asterisk for about two months but it seems like you need to do the same and read Asterisk: The Future of Telephony,

number one at the very top seems like it would be possible because freepbx allows you to track calls so you could create some database and update it with client info. I can’t go into specifics since I haven’t tried it. You could even use a speadsheet and collect phone numbers on it and track issues creating tickets.

  1. yes, very possible and creating an IVR & a q can take as little as 10 minutes.

  2. see music on hold. interjecting ads will take creativity on your part since ads are just additional music files. A lot of people would also caution you not to just rip your favorite van morrison album as the RIAA could get upset since you’re not paying royalties.

  3. call transferring is easy as long as the phone allows that. you can even setup parking lots.

  4. adding phone lines with a different number would mean another trunk. adding phone lines with the same number MAY mean another trunk, just depends on the ITSP. It is very easy to add an extension and place that extension in a q.

  5. see #2 and IVRs. you would need some kind of greeting to advise them to press 1 or 2 and then another IVR based on that decision.

The biggest issue sounds like it will be the internet speed. having 13 concurrent calls on a cable modem may be an issue. This would also depend on the hardware you use. I have a dell server which is complete overkill for my needs but you may need something pretty modern and with a decent amount of processing power. If you want to record all the calls, you would also need to think of the disk space. Have you picked an ITSP yet? Some ITSP’s change a small fee for the DID (dial in direct, the telephone number) each month.

Connecting the blackberries to the asterisk/freepbx box is possible but there may be serious packet loss. I would try to standardize things and have IP desk phones that way you could login to the phone and update settings.

2011 is the year of asterisk but I would advise not to make rash decisions and research this as much as possible and maybe transition 3-4 people to see how things are working out.

Further my advice would be to find an ITSP and see how much it would cost for at least 13 concurrent calls. I then would check out prices on higher speed internet like a t1, and finally look into IP telephones. I only know the linksys spa series but there’s plenty to choose from.

good luck