When my own business started opening additional branches we needed the features that VoIP allowed us to have and we desperately wanted the costs savings VoIP promised in order to keep our costs down during expansion. However, the vast amount of information out there and the lack of standards made it a very long and difficult process. There are like a million settings and figuring out what I needed to adjust was super annoying. Now that I figured out everything, I have come to realize that, although it is a bit complicated, it is not nearly as bad as the wave of information out there would have you believe. I am starting this blog to take someone from the absolute beginning to a full featured phone system that can handle a single office location or a multi location operation. I will tell you what services to use, how to configure them, and what products to buy and how to get them connected to the services. I will upload tons of pictures and lead you all the way through. At the end of it you will have a phone system. No need to buy books on Amazon or wade through tons of outdated sites to figure things out. I will do my best to keep everything up to date so no matter when you see this, it will be a help. For my business it has been a tremendous system. We have been able to answer calls in an totally different office from an office who didn’t have a receptionist because of an emergency. We can call extensions that are not physically in our office. We can transfer calls to cell phones without giving out the cell phone number. We can have voicemails on any extension, have incoming calls ring on some extensions for 5 rings, and then on some other extensions for 5 rings, and then go to voicemail. The flexibility is mind blowing. All that, at a unbelievable cost. Our old phone bill on traditional phone lines was costing us almost $30k a year between all our locations. Now, it costs us about $3k! AND we have more features!
We will be doing the following:
- We will be signing up for Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) and configuring a new instance to host our PBX. Don’t worry about the lingo right now, I will explain it all as we go.
- We will be securing it using your office locations static IP and any other locations you want to have access to it.
- We will install and update all the needed software on our newly created virtual server.
- We will sign up for a VoIP supplier and get our account funded, and a temporary number set up for testing.
- We will buy SIP phones to setup on our network and configure them to connect to our server
- We will setup our server with our supplier’s information and configure our most common settings
- We will test our new system
- We will walk through getting our current numbers setup on our VoIP suppliers platform
- We will talk about common things we need to do after the transfer has taken place
- We will talk about Faxes and what we need to be aware of.
That may sound like a lot, but we will move through it pretty quickly. In actuality, if you are pretty good at computers, this will likely just take a couple hours. We won’t necessarily follow the order above, but it will be pretty close. Anyway, lets get to it!