Should I Deploy FreePBX?

Hi all,

I’m looking to move our small business to VoIP. We would need about 10 desk phones for about 10 users. I’m looking at for our DID and while they can provide complete service without a server, I’m wondering what advantages there are to actually deploying our own. I am very capable for managing a FreePBX server in terms of hardware, maintenance, and upkeep. I realize the pricing for the service doesn’t change whether I use a server or not…

The biggest advantage right now that I see is if I use FreePBX to handle voicemail, attendants, recording, etc… I get to keep all of that in the event that we change providers.

We would like added features such as being able to move calls to mobile phones, visual voicemail, etc. Are those all handled by FreePBX?

That said, I’m looking for what other advantages there are to rolling my own server vs just using a VoIP provider by itself with phones on the web.

With VOIPms, if we do the Unlimited Plan, we have 2 incoming and 25 outgoing channels. With my own server, am I able to do anything with a situation where a 3rd incoming call happens? We would be porting in a local number and a toll free number (no unlimited plan). Can we set the 3rd incoming call to forward to the toll free number since that one has unlimited incoming channels?

How can we handle users working out of the office? Can users make/receive calls using the FreePBX server from home, or would they have to use the VoIP provider directly?

Also, what should we do about our fax number? We can port it also, but we get maybe a hand full per month.

So FreePBX does everything you’re asking about, but when you say ‘visual voicemail’ you are talking about the the Phone Apps suite, which means using a phone that supports the Phone Apps. Do you have phones that you need to re-use? If you are buying phones as well, the Sangoma phone coupled with Phone Apps gives a really good user experience where your users can browse their voicemail, parking lots, control call forwarding or Follow-Me directly from the phone.

The other benefit you get from FreePBX is the User Control Panel (UCP). Users can control the button programming on their phones themselves, see call history and download/playback their recorded calls, manage voicemail, control call forward and Follow-Me.

Home/remote users can register phones and/or soft clients provided they have access to the PBX. If you are using Sangoma phones you can use the built in VPN client to connect securely from remote locations directly to your PBX.

Fax is a question for your provider, ensure they support T.38 and confirm it works as expected with testing. Questions to what happens with calls that exceed your limits are also for your provider.