Please Review My Proposed Setup

Hi. I’m currently in the process of setting up a small co-working space (30-40 members) and as part of this we would like to offer call handling with receptionist services.

My proposed solution is a small on-premise Free PBX server with a Sangoma/Digium D80 receptionist phone.

As far as SIP provider I am thinking of using ClearlyIP with 2 trunks to start but need the flexibility to increase this.

There will be 2-3 fixed offices where I was planning on installing D60 phones but the majority of members would require a soft phone they can answer remotely. I’m not sure on the best approach for this.

The members should be able to set their phone/softphone to unavailable/dnd and the receptionist should be able to see this status when handling calls so they can take a message/transfer to voicemail if unavailable or assisted transfer if available.

Members will have the option of using the main reception number for calls to be answered generically or a dedicated number that can be answered in their name. The receptionist will therefore need to identify incoming calls to those numbers.

Does anybody see any problems with this plan or have better solutions?

Why physical hardware on-premises? What is the benefit? For your stated scenario, there is none. This would be a much better solution in a $5 instance Vultr or Digital Ocean.

What is the fixation with the D series phones? Why not setup Switchvox then? That is what the phone line was specifically designed for. Of course it works elsewhere, but use things to their strength.

Use SangomaConnect

Standard function but…

Once you are in DND, you cannot do this.

This is going to require a well trained receptionist. You can easily have the specific DID have the presented Caller ID be prefixed with something to clue the receptionist in to how to answer the phone. I would also suggest a distinct ring for DID compared to the main number. But it will 100% be reliant upon the reception person to be paying attention to the phone display at all times when an inbound call happens.

You 100% never want a call path based trunk. It is a complete waste of your money. Call path based trunking is legacy POTS thinking and will never be the most cost effective choice for your business. Is there a rare business that call path based trunking works for? Sure. But that are the exception, not the rule. This is nothing but a simply math exercise.

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Thanks, there’s some things to consider there. We’re still in the research phase so there is no fixation on anything yet. The reason for the D80 and D65 was purely based on the touchscreen approach. I have used phones in the past where it felt like the phone was dictating the feature set available whereas a fast intuitive touchscreen appealed as a more modern approach.

I will look into Switchvox further. FreePBX appealed to me as it appears to have more scope for customization and future flexibility. The customisation is important as I am an experienced software developer so want to be able to provision extensions etc automatically when a new member joins and is onboarded via our CRM and also display call usage info etc from a central location. I see Switchvox has quite an extensive REST API though so this is something I need to look into further.

Thanks for the pointers, just when you think you are getting things figured out with VOIP you find another fork in the road :slight_smile:

Forgot to mention we’re UK based in case that alters any suggestions.

Not particularly.

Look at FOP2 for receptionist.


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