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Small Business Solution

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by bradyboyy88, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. bradyboyy88

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    Hi,

    I am helping a friend set up a phone system for his small chimney service business and was hoping I could get some answer to see if this is possible. First, his building is actually a house so it has its typical residentual wiring but does have ethernet wiring in every room. The current phone system is just a single landline with the current internet provider and a few desktop phones connected to their respective phone outlets. There is 8 people in the business , this includes one sales women who answers the landlines and sets appointments and then the rest of the employees that do tech support have their cell phones and handle calls that way. What we are looking to do and hoping 3CX could take care of:

    - Menu options when a customer calls the landline number (we would like to keep this number) then it takes them to a menu of options to direct their call (sales and tech support)
    - Call forwarding to other numbers since there is really only one landline yet multiple options. Basically if a customer chooses sales then they would basically go through to the phone of the sales lady or maybe some of the other in office desktop phones or if the customer selects tech support in the menu option then they will go through to the cell phone of one of the techs.
    - Utilize that single landline number but create a queue to what talkroute indicates is call stacking. If there are waiting options or estimated wait times thats a plus.

    We are willing to invest in whatever equipment to make this happen and we have a brand new i9 desktop with windows 10 which we can host this software on. I apologize if these are very straightforward questions but I am new to phone systems but would really like to figure out a solution for my buddy.
     
  2. cobaltit

    cobaltit Well-Known Member

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    Simple answer is yes 3CX can do this. I would put 3CX in AWS Lightsail for $5/month and not keep it in the office. From there you can connect physical IP phones or use the 3CX softphone/client on the PC or even on the mobile phones (when on WiFi in the office). You can of course forward out to cell phones but be aware of how many simultaneous calls you might need as a call coming in going to a IP phone would be one simulatenous call but a call that comes in and is forward to a cell phone counts as two for the duration of the call unless the provider supports call deflection. Number portability shouldn't be a problem unless you are in a very rural area. In the last 5 years there's only been one case where I couldn't port a number to our service.
     
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  3. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    For any call forwarding (through), you will have to add additional lines, PSTN huntgroup (with a gateway), or SIP. You could keep the PSTN line for incoming, the add a SIP trunk for outbound calls. If you used a SIP provider that allowed Caller ID spoofing, then the PSTN number could be sent. Calls could go to the 3CX App on mobile phones, and not use a PSTN line, but routing calls back out again to a non-3CX extension, will require more trunks.
     
  4. bradyboyy88

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    The additional lines would refer to the No. of simultaneous calls in this link right?

    https://www.3cx.com/ordering/pricing/

    So the free version would come with 4 lines? So realistically the landline would act as one line then I have 3 additional lines for forwarding?
     
  5. cobaltit

    cobaltit Well-Known Member

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    3CX is licensed by simultaneous calls but does not come with 'lines'. 3CX works with some sort of dial tone, which could be the analog line(s) you have now with a ATA or with SIP trunking
     
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  6. Lee Cramman

    Lee Cramman New Member

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    The short answer is yes, you can absolutely do the things you ask. In my opinion 3CX is the simplest PBX to install / operate yourself. If you need anything simpler to install and operate you are looking at buying your PBX from a specialist VOIP provider on a per user basis and as soon as you do this the costs shoot up.

    Why don't you spin up a free 1 year cloud hosted instance and have a play about? You could also get yourself a free / cheap SIP trunk so you can play with external calls as well. You could even get a used SIP phone from eBay for £20-40 (or just use the mobile client on Android / iOS or the desktop client on Windows / Mac). If you do get a phone make sure it is on the approved list of 3CX phones.

    You can start your depolyment here: https://www.3cx.com/voip-ip-pbx/
     
  7. YiannisH_3CX

    YiannisH_3CX Support Team
    Staff Member 3CX Support

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    Hello @bradyboyy88

    3CX can provide the functionality you seek plus much more. For your setup you can either install the PBX on premise or on the cloud depending on what you need. I would recommend using a SIP Trunk however as this will save you the extra equipment and will provide more flexibility.
    I would also recommend using the 3CX webclient for users inside the office as you lack ethernet wiring and you rely on WiFi. Finally your users can use the mobile clients and you can forward calls to their extension number instead of the their GSM number which will help keep the costs down.
     
  8. bradyboyy88

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    Thank you all for your help. I think you are right and I will install a copy of the free version to test this thing out. In regards to the SIP trunk, do you guys have a recommendation for one? Also, our current line is just your typicall analog line using RJ11 into various splitters which go to the phone outlets. So it sounds like to take advantage of the 3CX platform and keep costs lower I can use the mobile app on the tech supports cell phones. So what about inside the office, in regards to multiple calls coming in for our sales lady. Her current problem now is that she gets in one call then the call waiting line(we currently use comcast for phone and internet) and then all other calls that come in while this happens give the busy sound. With the call queue system in 3CX, would each call waiting in the queue be considered a simultaneous call such that we have up to 4 for the free version? Most likely it seems we will be moving to the non-free version once we finish getting this together.

    Last thing, how do I convert my comcast phone line to 3CX. Is there an adapter to convert my analog line into the server hosting the 3CX (we will probably move to the hosting as Lee mentioned but I would first like to see how this on premise would work). A previous post mentioned porting over the number but if that can be avoided then great but does that limit functionality rather than porting to a VOIP provider?.

    I apologize again for these beginner questions but I feel like its almost starting to click lol.
     
    #8 bradyboyy88, Jan 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  9. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    In most cases, only if the server is located on your premises,( same LAN gateway and server), or using VPN..
    You would require a PSTN Gateway.
    https://www.3cx.com/voip-gateways/

    There are also some single line unsupported options as well.
     
    #9 leejor, Jan 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  10. Saqqara

    Saqqara Well-Known Member

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    Problem you will have pstn line can only handle one call at one time, as you mentioned more than one call and the second person gets the busy sound.

    You would be better off migrating the number to a sip line, which is not restricted by the number of calls (provider dependant)
     
  11. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    You could use a single line, then have a Call Forward Busy (CFB) option added, to send calls to your SIP trunk number , if busy. You have to consider how long you planned on keeping the PSTN line given the cost of a gateway.
     
  12. Lee Cramman

    Lee Cramman New Member

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    We were all beginners at some point (and some of us still are!). You may as well not make the mistakes I made with my first install :oops:.

    Why don't you test a SIP trunk first? That will probably give you the confidence to say goodbye to anything analogue / ISDN forever. You just buy the number of channels you need and that is your number of simultaneous incoming / outgoing calls (as long as your 3CX license supports that number). A queued call takes one channel but an internal call doesn't take any. Our SIP channels cost £4 (about $5) each per month and include most calls for no additional cost. All you need is a fast enough / reliable (and, if possible, dedicated) internet connection - reckon on about 100kbps per simultaneous call and you won't go far wrong.

    For a play system just about any SIP trunk provider from your country will do - some offer a 'dev' setup with a small amount of call credit for you to play with. For a live system you'll probably want to pick one of the approved 3CX providers.

    With SIP trunking, additional / multiple numbers also become very affordable and changing things up (more channels, more numbers, etc) is usually as simple as making a call to your provider or logging into a web front end and making a few clicks.

    Once you get going it might be worth checking out the 3CX Academy which offers free online training to get you up to speed.