Get VoIP for small office?
June 7, 2006 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Our small US office has four people, growing a bit over the next year to perhaps 8-10, got overequipped with an ATT (nee SBC) office phone system costing several hundred dollars a month based on a different assumption. We'd like to switch to VoIP but Vonage doesn't seem capable of working in our configuration. Is anyone using VoIP in a similar work setup?

The problem with Vonage (this is after an hour+ on the phone with people in several different departments) is:

* we're one tenant of 10 in a small office building and so can't physically disconnect from the ATT landline wiring.
* the building shares a T-1 for internet connectivity among the tenants
* so no cable/DSL modem in our office, just a wire coming out of a wall
* we use WiFi not wired ethernet for connecting the computers (use a standard Linksys router).

We need a service that offers the ability to:
* transfer calls between handsets
* allow any handset to answer an incoming call

Frankly I'm not sure this is possible without setting up Asterisk or something similar but am open to suggestions on alternatives that will whack our monthly phone charge.
posted by billsaysthis to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
check out speakeasy
posted by lannanh at 6:37 PM on June 7, 2006

To really do effective VOIP you're going to need to secure a DSL line or dedicated bandwidth for it, I wouldn't suggest using your existing shared bandwidth for it. Speakeasy has a decent offering, you certainly don't need Asterisk, you can get by if you have your own internet connectivity.
posted by iamabot at 7:15 PM on June 7, 2006

You might check out the BizFone 2000 - we are a small office (though we don't have your Internet connectivity constraints) and are using it.
posted by JpMaxMan at 7:39 PM on June 7, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks all, but neither seem to quite fit what I was asked to find. Anyone else care to chime in?
posted by billsaysthis at 10:52 AM on June 8, 2006

In the last two years, the VoIP PBX space really has opened up for small/micro businesses. There are a variety of hosted solutions, from serious enterprise solutions like M5 or Covad hosted, to more adhoc solutions like Skype for Business.
Then there are hybrid solutions that combined a hosted architecture with a premised-based router such as the Linksys One solution. This is a relatively recent release, but backed by Cisco, it's bound to have some momentum.
If you're a Microsoft shop (Exchange, MS CRM, Great Plains), check out Vonexus. It's a little pricey at ten users, but unmatchable from a feature-functionality and integration into your IT infrastructure.
Finally, look at Fonality. They have an Asterisk-based solution that has gotten a lot of buzz. Prices very well with all kinds of features. Gives you the option of PSTN or SIP trunking for external lines.
Hope this helps.
posted by Juggermatt at 12:11 PM on June 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

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