New Phone System Recommendations

(Patricia Albin) #23

Thank you. I will do so next week.

(Norman Ho) #24

The Office 365 Cloud PBX option works very well. Very clear PSTN lines.

You would need to purchase either the E5 plan or the individual licenses to add on to your existing. Here are the pricing details:

(Add Phone System and choose either “Domestic” or “Domestic and International” Calling Plan for each user)
Phone System: $3.20/user/mth
Domestic Calling Plan: $12/user/mth
Domestic and International Calling Plan: $24/user/mth
Note: For domestic you will get 3,000 minutes added to the pool per license. You can also consider using common area phones to allow a few colleagues to share

(Other add ons)
Audio Conferencing: $1.60/user/mth
Common Area Phone: $3.20/user/mth

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(Jeff Wilson) #25

Just in case you’re wondering…we went live with the FreePBX system this week. It took some inhouse configuration but it works flawlessly. We tied 3 sites together and our monthly service is now reduced by roughly $600 to $800 a month over ATT.

While it is hosted on premesis it’s a set it and forget it type system. As long as there are no issues all works great. Total implementation cost upfront…$5K. The system will be paid for by the end of the year and we then enjoy a standard VIOP system at substantially lower costs.

(Patricia Albin) #26

Just wanted to post an update here. After looking into several cloud based options and Microsoft Office 365 licensing, Jive Communications,, was selected as our VOIP provider based on monthly fee. However, installation is contingent on Spectrum cable being installed. It’s been almost 90 days since the intent contract with Spectrum was signed and …. no Spectrum. We are currently on a city block that does not have cable. Spectrum says they are waiting for permitting. Should Spectrum not come through, the back up plan will be to upgrade our current AT&T connection to the already available AT&T fiber and we will go with AT&T VOIP service. The upgrade to Spectrum and would have added about $50 a month to our utilities. The upgrade to AT&T fiber will add $200, but we will not really have a choice. It’s all been very interesting. :slight_smile:

(Alex Conner) #27

Coax and Fiber aren’t really comparable services, especially when voice is involved. Good luck and hopefully things go smoothly, construction is a huge pain.

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(Russ Taylor) #28

If your Spectrum are being slow in providing service after you have signed the contract, especially the length of time you have indicated, I would consider them in breach of contract and seek compensation. However from a technological perspective, they should be able to provide you with service via alternative means via an alternative method as a temporary solution as realistically they should not have entered into a supply contract when they have no real control over the timings (e.g. subject to planning consents, etc.)

They should have options to link you to their network via radioLAN or FreeSpace Optics. Either of which should be sufficient to get your service up and running. Then when they finally do get the civil work complete and a wired connection in place, they can remove the wireless for redeployment elsewhere.

(Alex Conner) #29

Install times aren’t guaranteed and I’ve never seen an ISP that will contractually obligate themselves to a date. You set a target, and they miss it, because it’s complicated and all the permitting, utility work, etc. take time and they tend to over-promise – on top of unexpected delays in any of those steps or in getting a crew available.

Going with a Coax service is also going to reduce their motivation to really hurry up and get something going, the MRR is really low so unless they’ve signed half the street up there’s no reason to go out of their way to hurry.

(Nick Miller) #30

If your internet connection is DSL I would be a little careful of how much you push through it using a hosted VOIP solution. Depending on your equipment you can set QOS levels that will help, but it ultimately depends on the amount of bandwidth you have.
A different option is a hybrid VOIP/POTS solution. Use a server or an appliance that has FXS ports built in and you can plug your standard phone lines into this server. This server then converts it to a VOIP signal to all of your internal phones.
We currently use FreePBX. It works well, but you’ll need to be decently techy to configure it.
Another option that I’ve worked with is Grandstream has appliances that will stake standard POTS lines. It also works well to connect VOIP phones as long as you stick with all Grandstream products.

(Patricia Albin) #31

The rest of the story: We figured out what the black hole was with Spectrum. They paperwork and permits would go through, then the site survey tech would come out and nothing else would happen. They took one look at the building and the parking lot and where just kind of walk away. Well I was doing a walk through the building with my local IT guru and we discovered that there is an underground conduit that runs from our original AT&T installation all the way at the other end of the building out to another part of the street from where Spectrum was expecting they would need to feed from. We showed that conduit to Spectrum and now…we are almost installed! Also, I am loving

(Jonathan Dolan) #32

After a lot of investigation and discussion with eight different phone system providers (mostly VOIP), we decided to go with Jive. I would not have known they even existed without stumbling across it on this forum! Thanks for your recommendation. We are really liking the service so far. Their service came in at a much lower cost than the other hosted PBX providers we got quotes from, plus we only pay for the lines we have active in the system.

We’re taking our monthly phone bill from $1,800/mo with Windstream service and an old Avaya Merlin Magix system that needed replaced to $600 on Jive with brand new Yealink phones and only an 18 month contract.

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(Tim Nunn) #33

We are currently considering our options for a new phone system and wanted to see if anyone had any new thoughts or recommendations to add to this thread. Thanks!

(Brad Crawley) #34

+1 for @MBSnick’s hosted solution. We have been using it at our Paragould location since August and we are about to roll it out at or main campus using Yealink phones. The solution will save us roughly half over what we are paying now with our current provider in monthly costs. We do have to pay for the phones up front, but our ROI will be less than 1 year based on our anticipated savings.

I had debated between MBS’s solution or Office 365 and tested both but decided to proceed with MBS. Their support has been excellent and while Office 365 support has been good, I like the fact that if we are having issues I can pickup the phone and call and get someone immediately as opposed to opening up a ticket and waiting for a call back.

Also, during our testing between the two, MBS with EndPoint Manager gave us better provisioning control over our phones versus Office 365. Once we are fully deployed, we will have 75-80+ phones, soft phones, and mobile phones deployed and it will be very easy to bring on future campuses and all we need is an Internet connection.

(Tim Nunn) #35

Anyone work with Digium or Asterisk?

Asterisk is open source and runs on FreePBX ( and can be hosted and managed on-prem. Anyone have experience or insights? Thanks!

(Nick Miller) #36

I’ve used FreePBX in a few business and currently use it for our church phone system. Works well.

(Nick Miller) #37

If you are a smaller location one option is to go with a grandstream phone system. This is a pbx system with almost all the features of most full PBXs. It can take pots lines inbound so no need to change over phone phone system.

(Joshua Briscoe) #38

We are running Digium Switchvox as well, though we didn’t do the install on our own. It’s perfect for people who just want a phone and want it to do what they expect. Also it is silly cheap compared to our old analog lines. $400/month vs $40/month with a relatively low startup cost.

(Mike Kent) #39

You may want to check out RingCentral , it is voip but has the same feel as a PBX , lots of features

(Tim Nunn) #40

Anyone work with Crosstalk Solutions ( on any projects? We are talking with them this week about a FreePBX install.

(Jonathan Dolan) #41

We discussed a FreePBX system with them as well. They were really great to talk to and were very generous with their time in fielding every question we had. We decided to go with Jive for at least a short 18 month contract. We’ll reevaluate the field then, plus we’ll own our Yealink phones at that time. I know several people happily using FreePBX.

(Mike Hazelwood) #42

We have been using Digium for last 5 years and no issues. We use it over VPN to multiple campuses, with both desk and soft mobile phones. May pay a little more upfront for actual PBX, but renewal pricing isn’t bad. I preferred to buy the Appliance and it has worked with no issues since installing it. If you have any questions, just send me a message.