Hi all, I'm all a bit new to this

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by SmackBangGollop, Nov 1, 2012.

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  1. SmackBangGollop

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    Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

    This will be my first phone system I have installed. I've been in IT for a long time now, and have occasionally had to kick the odd PBX on a Saturday morning, but I have never had to program one from scratch before.

    Anyway, enough about me.

    I've been asked to think about a new phone system for one of my clients. I have been looking at 3cx for a few months now and have had a limited play using my laptop and android devices. I was a little worried about the latency I was experiencing with that set up, but put that down to no QOS and everything being on the same domestic wifi.

    Anyway

    I took the plunge and installed 3cx on my customers DC, and ordered 2 Cisco SPA504 phones to set up a test rig, and it worked great. I chose the Ciscos over Polycom's because I had a nasty experience with a polycom phone, and i like Cisco Kit. The sound is great and they feel like they can take a knock or two. The other makes I hadn't really heard of so i'd rather keep to something I half know.

    So lets get to it....

    We are looking at probably 17-18 handsets, I don't think I need anything more than a SPA504 with sidecar for the office receptionist.

    I don't know how 3CX likes being in a Virtual Machine, We are sailing a little close to the wind all ready with our Virtual Servers so I think i'll just grab a HP Micro Server to run 3CX from. Now what are the actually MINIMUM specs for 3cx? I cant see it being that much of a hog.

    I'm thinking of using two Patton SmartNode 4114's to interface with the 8 lines coming into the building. I'm choosing these firstly because 3CX list these as the preferred, plus the fact there seems to be less complaints about these in the forums.

    Now, whats the consensus about VLANing your phones, do you bother, or do you just let your switch's do what they do best?

    My next question is WIFI SIP phones.. They use a couple of DECT phones for roaming around, with a hideous mosh up of repeaters. I've just put in a new WIFI infrastructure giving epic coverage, so I'm thinking of not going DECT and going WIFI. This way their current grey and black spots will be eliminated. But what is a good phone to get? All the makes I think are good seem to have axed their product lines. I like the look of the Cisco WIP310 but that seems to have been discontinued. I need something that isn't a cheap, over featured, lightweight imported phone. Currently it seems the Polycom SpectraLink 8002 may be my number one choice, does anybody currently use WIFI phones?

    My next question is the last (for now)...

    As I said before, we have 8 lines coming in. Now this customer is a school, and their phones are provided by the council. It is a very basic service, we have 8 phone jacks, with 8 normal phones pluged in. Now these lines are actually part of a council wide system, ie, we have to dial 9 to reach a outside line, but if we want to call anybody within the council's umbrella we just dial the 5 digit number. Now we don't have a PBX here, it is all managed centrally by the council, so we would be retrofitting 3CX onto the back of it.

    So that is making me think about the dial 9 for an outside line.. Now instead of having to dial 9 to get an outside line from 3CX, then dial 9 again to get outside of the council, what are my options. The council numbers all start with the same numbers, either 34 of 35 and are 5 digits long.

    Now can I use outbound rules to add the second 9 for me to any phone numbers that are longer than 5 digits?


    Thanks for your time. I hope this is enough Detail

    Thanks again for staying awake through this

    Daniel

    ____________________
    EDIT

    Sorry, I forgot to say that we would be stepping up to a purchased product should this all work out compatible.
     
  2. craigreilly

    craigreilly Well-Known Member

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    Vm: I run 65 handsets on a Mac mini using vm ware. No issues so far.
    Patton: we use them for our pri and they have great customer service.
    Not sure how it would interface with the councils pbx - hopefully someone else can expand on this.
    Vlans: haven't had the need to do this yet with 60 users. No network issues as of yet.
    Wifi: no experience yet except for iPhone clients. Seem to work pretty good. No experience with Dect or wifi handsets.
    Dial 9: We have a remote office,using a 2 digit system, and we created a prefix to call those phones of the location Id. The outbound rules are pretty flexible so yo should be able to do what you want. Just anything starting with 34/35 with x digits would just dial but all others get a prefix appended of 9. No need to dial 9 at all really - even once.
     
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  3. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    If people using this new PBX are already used to dialling 9, then I would keep it the same. As far as having to dial 9 twice for outside numbers...that depends on the system that 3CX will be connected to.
    If, on the current system, you dial 9 and then get outside dialtone after a very short delay, then you may have to send a 9, then dial the remaining digits. 3CX connected to a gateway has no way of inserting a pause. If the system that 3CX will be connected to is able to accept 9+ numbers with no pause in dialling, then in the 3CX outbound rules you could just send all digits "as is". Someone on the 3Cx PBX could dial 90289931234, for example. There would be no need to strip any digits. This will only work if a pause is not needed after the 9 on the existing system.

    I personally like having a prefix digit, from day one, as it leaves open, the use of, access digits to other trunk groups, or used for features, in the future without having to re-train everyone.

    The outbound rules can modify digits sent out on any trunk group. You cannot add a pause.
     
  4. 3CXfoxhallsolutions

    3CXfoxhallsolutions New Member

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    Right - to go through your questions ...
    1. You'll get a good benchmark from the following regarding minimum spec' for your 3CX server machine ...
    http://www.3cx.com/downloads/3CX_Phone_System_Operating_System_Specifications.pdf

    2. Patton SmartNode's are a great gateway - but you might want to investigate the possibilities of getting your trunks via DSL (SIP Trunks), as that will cut your line costs considerably.

    3. VLAN'ing the phones is good - but bear in mind that if you want to use CTI i.e. 3CX MyPhone, you need to bridge the VLAN's to ensure that voice & data can talk at some level. Minimum requirement is for network switches that are VoIP aware and can give priority to the VoIP packets - especially if you are mixing phones & PC's on the same switches!

    4. I have a box full of WIP310 phones that just don't work (& remind me 'never again!') ... Wireless SIP phones have tended to go down the DECT base-station route, simply because the issues involved with keeping the WiFi phones connected and registered - mixed with giving them a decent battery life - just seem to be something that the manufacturers have not yet got to grips with! There are products about, but have a good cruise thru the forums (I'm not just talking about 3CX forums either!) before you think about buying. I'm currently looking at the Gigaset N300 & associated handsets.

    5. I have replaced systems that people have been used to dialing 9's for outside lines ... I set them up so that they no longer have to, but put an outbound rule in to catch those that don't remember. The outbound rule facility in 3CX is very powerful and allows you to do some very clever stuff ...
    http://www.3cx.com/blog/voip-howto/outbound-rules-a-complete-example/
    ... so it does't take much to make it easier for your users, as well as help them if they forget. In general your users will be happy if you have made life easier for them, and appreciative if you have a way to assist the transition ...

    6. Since you are describing a very concise outbound rule i.e. "The council numbers all start with the same numbers, either 34 of 35 and are 5 digits long." it is very easy to set up outbound rules to cover these scenarios. Digits can be striped and pre-pended so that you can recognise particular dialing sequences, and then even completely replace them if you want ... For what you are describing, it will be well worth getting a good understanding of the Outbound Rules part of 3CX ... Note also, there is a logic in the sequence that you need to be aware of i.e. when you position it up or down in the sequence list - ask yourself "will this rule I've just made, block another rule from happening - or be blocked by another rule happeing before it??".

    In short - yes - the Outbound rules will allow you to add the 9 for the scenario you describe.

    7. You will definitely need to purchase a 3CX license as it sounds like you will exceed the version 10 call limits [4], and definitely exceed the version 11 limits [2].

    Have fun ...
     
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  5. SmackBangGollop

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    Thanks for the replies. I'm happy now this is the product for us. My next step is to order a Gateway and check performance.

    This isn't an option at the moment as the lines are provided to us. There is talk about the schools going SIP in about 18 months or so. When that happens I'm sure we can continue to use 3CX with their provider.

    I was expecting some form of laitency being inside a VM, maybe I will need to have a look at his.

    I don't think there is a pause required, I will test this this week.

    Fair enough. Ideally I would need 5 DECT phones and all with that ability to have their own extension. I dont know much about DECT repeaters. I have seen this product, RTX 4002 Pro Link Repeater that seems to be able to have a dasiey chaining facility. I suppose I could sprinkle these about to achieve coverage. But how many dect phones can it handle? Could all 5 make calls through the repeater at once?

    Also, does the Dect base see the repeater as a handset? I mean if the base can have 5 handsets registered with it, will that mean 4 handsets and one repeater? Also, can multiple bases be registered to one repeater? Or do i go with something like a Grandstream DP710 / 715 with 5 handsets?

    The two Dect phones that 3CX have listed as supported both have the same limitations, ie displaying missed calls and unable to read the 3CX phone book, along with no easy transfer, ie push button dial number. Does anybody have a good recommendation for a Dect system?

    Another thing I was going to ask was these 8 odd lines we have, we only really use 4 of them regularly. I guess I can use 3cx to dial out on a certain line, but if that is being used fall back to a second line, or a third etc. Currently there are 3 phones in the reception office all on the same line, of if one is busy the others cant be used, I would like these extensions to always be able to get an outside line.
     
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