I just completed my first FreePBX install. I did not use any of the commercial add-ins (like the telephone provisioning modules) As it was my first and somewhat experimental and for use in my own IT business I used a number of different phone models to see how things would work out. I used Polycom Soundpoint 550’s one SP 335, one Yealink, one Aastrix, and just for fun I hooked in an old Bell Telephone model 500 rotary dial phone on an old Sunrocket ATA that I had to dig around for instructions on how to break into. It’s right in the lobby and it’s a real conversation piece everyone who comes in wants to dial an extension on it. And I brought my existing POTS trunks into a voicecard in a Cisco 1700 and FreePBX is running on an ESXi 5.5 system in a virtual server.
Anyway as I intend to enter the market supplying softPBX-based phone systems what I’m going to say is from my own would-be customers POV not mine.
First - if I was selling someone a commercial FreePBX system I would definitely have them buy the Endpoint Manager. And I would use Cisco phones. Why? Simple. Users associate Cisco with higher end stuff and assume that just because it’s a Cisco phone on their desk, that it’s a Cisco PBX. Managers who are reluctant to go with an “open source” phone system that is inexpensive can be told “if this doesn’t work out then I’ll sell you a Cisco UCS and you won’t have to buy all new phones”
I did not use EM in my system even though I could have cheated by installing it then having it generate the provisioning configs during the trial period then uninstalling it because I felt as though that was cheating and because I wanted to learn the nitty gritty of what was actually happening. And I have a lot of sympathy for whatever developer works on EM because if what I’ve seen with the models I’ve used is the norm, well what a nightmare. All my phones are running the latest firmware from their manufacturers.
I love Sangoma as a company and I’d happily resell your blue box PBX hardware if the customer wanted to use a PRI but not your phones.
Second - do not assume that analog lines are dead. I have some customers who are addicted to faxing. Don’t ask me why and yeah yeah everyone says faxes are dead but they aren’t. They want to put a document into their printer scanner and key in the phone number at the printer scanner and hit send. So I need to have the analog fax line from the printer plugged into something. You need to make sure your endpoint manager has good support for ATAs.
Third you need to publish a guide or something that says what versions of OS need to be defined in ESXi for what version of FreeBBX
Forth your voicemail needs to be able to be broken out when it’s saying the message - the end user VMX Locator just doesn’t work.
last you need to fix whatever you broke in version 14 that prevents it from setting up usable VpIP connection to a Cisco with a FXO card in it.