Tag Archives: IP

Phone System Recommendations for Small to Medium Sized Businesses

From time to time we get questions from customers asking “we just need a basic phone system, what would you recommend?”  Many of the phone systems we carry are great for small to medium sized companies just starting out, so you really can’t go wrong with any of them.  We’ve organized a quick overview on some of the popular phone systems here as a starting point for your search.

Aksys Konnect

Aksys Konnect

Highlights:

  • No PBX, server, or hosted service required.  As simple as it gets with no need for an installer
  • Good for small businesses who just need a simple phone with basic features
  • Budget friendly

Things to consider:

  • If you need anything beyond basic phone features or need to grow past 30 users, this is not the phone system for you
  • Only supports up to 30 users and up to 14 concurrent calls

Epygi Quadro

Epygi Quadro

Highlights:

  • Cross-certified with wide range of IP phones and has auto-configuration options so phone setup is easy
  • Packs lots of powerful phone features into an unit about the size of a router –help your company appear possibly bigger than it is
  • Robust dial plan so you can enable Least Cost Routing (LCR) via multiple VoIP providers
  • Built in STUN server solves NAT transversal issues with remote phones
  • Quality product and made in the USA

Things to consider:

  • Configuration menus may be a bit complex, but that could be easily solved by hiring an installer for initial system setup
  • Auto attendant menu options are configured thru XML file, so it’s not as convenient for users who need to make frequent changes
  • No built-in overhead paging, but you could possibly add it with additional hardware

 

3CX Software IP PBX

3CX Software PBX

 

Highlights: 

  • It is software based, easy to manage, allow you to use any SIP based phones
  • Easily scalable to grow with your business – most phone features available for any sized packages, just pay for # of simultaneous calls needed – all editions support an unlimited  number of extensions
  • Support Unified Communication
  • Has free “lite” version you can try out before purchase

Things to consider:

  • It’s currently only available for Windows
  • It’s software based so you’ll need to load it onto your own hardware / server appliance
  • If you let the upgrade insurance expire, you will need to purchase it again at near full price in order to meet the next upgrade
 

 

 Digium Switchvox SOHO/SMB

Digium Switchvox Phone System

 

Highlight:

  • Feature-packed “all in one” quality phone system
  • Asterisk based, support all SIP based phones including its own Digium IP phones
  • If phone features are needed, they’re more affordable than comparable proprietary phone systems
  • Simple to use and manage, possible to self-install without an installer for someone with DIY spirit
  • Integrated for Unified Communication
  • Annual subscription makes Switchvox “future-proof” – include product upgrades and technical supports for your growing business

Things to consider:

  • Requires annual subscription fee which that entitles user to Digium support and upgrades
  • Although it’s possible to self install for more tech-savy users, it may still help to have an installer

 

Xorcom

Xorcom Phone System

 

Highlight: 

  • Good budget-friendly pricing
  • Full featured Asterisk based open source IP-PBX, use any SIP VoIP phones
  • Reliable and quality hardware
  • No subscription needed

Things to consider:

  • No manufacturer programming support for the Elastix version, so if you need support make sure to ask us about the complete PBX version

These are just a few of our favorites based on quality, function and price point, but there are also other SIP based and proprietary phone systems we can recommend as well based on your business communication needs.  Contact us today to discuss how we can help.

How to Configure Panasonic IP Phone with Asterisk

The Panasonic SIP IP Phones are top-notch end points from a brand name you trust. Getting them setup and working usually isn’t very difficult if you know what info needs to go into what fields.  The following tutorial applies to the follow phones, however, some interfaces may change slightly from model to model: KX-UT113-B, KX-UT123-B, KX-UT133-B, KX-UT136-B, KX-UT248, KX-UT670, KX-TGP500, KX-TGP550.

Configure Panasonic

First you will need to setup the extension on your Asterisk System (the process can vary depending on the distribution). From this process, you will need the:

  • IP Address of the Asterisk Server: ie: 192.168.42.100
  • SIP Port of the Asterisk Server: ie: 5060
  • Extension SIP ID/Alias: ie: MAC Address of phone
  • Extension Number: ie: 7000
  • Extension Password: ie: 1234pass
  • Voicemail Access Number: ie: 8500

Next we will get started on configuring the phone itself.  Please note, this is tutorial on how to get your phone connected.  Advanced functionality is not covered:

  • Connect the phone to the network and power it on
  • Once connected to the network, you will need to turn on embedded web from the individual phone settings (turns off after a while). Press the Setup button > Select Embedded web > Select On
  • Open up a web browser of your choice and type in the IP Address of the Panasonic IP Phone into the address bar.  A login screen should appear.  The default login is L: admin P: adminpass.
  • Once logged in, you should make sure you have upgraded the firmware to the current version, the link to the admin guide and firmware files can be found here: http://www.panasonic.net/pcc/support/sipphone/download/us.html
  • Select the VoIP tab and click on Line 1 under SIP Settings.  Fill in these fields:
  • Phone Number: Extension # assigned in Asterisk. ie 7000
  • SIP URI: Extension SIP ID/Alias assigned in Asterisk. ie: MAC Address of phone
  • Registrar Server Address: IP Address of the Asterisk Server. ie: 192.168.42.100
  • Registrar Server Port: SIP Port of the Asterisk Server. ie: 5060
  • Proxy Server Address: IP Address of the Asterisk Server. ie: 192.168.42.100
  • Proxy Server Port: SIP Port of the Asterisk Server. ie: 5060
  • Presence Server Adress: IP Address of the Asterisk Server. ie: 192.168.42.100
  • Presence Server Port: SIP Port of the Asterisk Server. ie: 5060
  • Outbound Proxy Server Address: IP Address of the Asterisk Server: ie: 192.168.42.100
  • Outbound Proxy Server Port: SIP Port of the Asterisk Server: ie: 5060
  • SIP Authentication ID: Extension SIP ID/Alias on the Asterisk. ie: MAC Address of phone
  • SIP Authentication Password: Extension Password on the Asterisk. ie: 1234pass

Config Panasonic with Asterisk Graph1Click Save

Lastly, Select the Telephone tab.  Then Select Line 1 under Call Control.  Fill in these fields:  Voice Mail Access Number: Voicemail Access Number on the Asterisk: ie: 8500

Config Panasonic with Asterisk Graph2Click Save and reboot the phone.

Your Pansonic IP Phone should be configured to work on your Asterisk IP PBX.  Any question? Just leave a comment or contact us at The Telecom Spot for assistance.

How to Upgrade the Firmware on a Polycom Phone

Polycom PhoneOften the first steps to troubleshooting a Polycom IP phone is to make sure you have an up-to-date or the correct firmware loaded.  If you are trying to upgrade the firmware or factory default one or two Polycom phones, then the easiest way is to use Polycom’s provisioning server:

  1. Go to http://voipt2.polycom.com and follow their directions.

If you are working with multiple phones or need more control over the config files, the easiest  to  way upgrade is through a local TFTP server:

  1. First off you need a TFTP server, also known as, Trivial FTP server. You can find many programs on the internet but the one that we use in house PumKIN (PumpKIN Can be downloaded at: http://kin.klever.net/pumpkin/ )pumpkin-1
  2. The next step would be to gather all of the files you need to update your Polycom device.  You can check the compatibility of the firmware to your device and also download most releases at the Polycom SIP Software Compatibility Matrix.  Some of the latest firmware will only be available through us directly.  Please email [email protected] with your order number to receive the instructions for downloads.
  3. Create a folder called TFTP and place it on your C: Drive.  Unzip the downloaded files into this directory making sure the bootrom and sip files are listed in root of the C:\TFTP directory
  4. Open PumpKIN up and click on Options.  Under the Server tab, change the TFTP file-system root to C:\TFTP and Read Request Behavior to Give all Files.  Press OK and make sure all software firewalls are turned off or configured to allow access to PumpKIN on the host computer.pumpkin-2

Now that your TFTP server is running, we need to make sure the Polycom Unit is set up to search for TFTP updates.  On the unit itself (This process might be slightly different depending on the phone):

  1. Make sure the phone is connected to the same network as the TFTP server.
  2. Power on the phone and press the SETUP button when prompted.
  3. Enter the password of 456
  4. Scroll down to Server Menu and select
  5. Change the server type to Trivial FTP
  6. Change server address to the IP Address of TFTP Server you created (the IP Address of the PC running PumpKIN)
  7. Exit the menu, and the phone will prompt you to Save and Reboot, select OK.

Upon reboot, the phone will go through the boot process and display Uploading Bootrom on the screen.  It will reboot a couple of times after updating the rest of the files.  When the phone completes the process, it will display a welcome screen, which shows the current firmware version loaded.

New Line of Digium Phones (D40, D50, D70) are Now Available to Ship!

These new phones from Digium designed exclusively for Asterisk are in high-demand, so get yours before they’re sold out!

Digium Phones

Highlights: 

  •              Easy to Install, Integrate, and Provision
  •              Fully Compatiable with Asterisk & Switchvox
  •              Built-In & Custom Applications
  •              Crystal Clear HDVoice
  •              And Great Value!

Digium D40 – Entry-level HD IP Phone with 2-line keys – Digium’s best value phone designed for any employee.
Digium D50 – Mid-level HD IP phone with 4-line keys and 10 rapid dial buttons with busy lamp field indicators for most important contacts. Perfect for heavy users.
Digium D70 – Executive-level HD IP PHone with 6-line keys, 10 digital rapid dial buttons with real-time status information and busy lamp field indicators for 100 contacts. Top-of-line features ideal for administrators and/or executives.