VOIP Phone Systems
Phone systems are still a vital component of a business, though with the proliferation of collaboration platforms like Zoom & Teams, paying $10-$20 per month per user for a desk or even softphone adds up quickly . Storage Networks can help design a phone system, either self-hosted or cloud hosted, that avoids "per user" fees.
VOIP Phone Solutions
FreePBX is an open-source (Free) phone system with a large user base. Server requirements are minimal and basic setup is quick with its built-in firewall and easy patching system.
Storage Networks can help design and deploy FreePBX systems, helping with setup of high availability (HA), backup, call queues, extensions, virtual attendants, phone provisioning, call rules, cell phone forwarding, and much more.
3CX is a Windows Server based total collaboration solution. Not only can it replace your phone system, but it can provide web conferencing comparable in functionality to Microsoft Teams.
Costs are a fraction of cloud services like RingCentral and Microsoft Teams. In fact, for very small organizations, the software cost is free!
Storage Networks can help with server setup, phone call / queue / extension routing, DIDs, reporting, website integration, and more.
If you are interested in a self-managed phone system but do not want to maintain the physical hardware required, Storage Networks can host just about any Linux / BSD / Windows based phone system in our datacenters or Amazon AWS / Azure. Contact us to learn how we can help, whether by migrating your existing self-hosted environment to an IaaS platform or building a new system from the ground up.
Phone Server vs. Cloud Service
The cost of implementing a self-hosted phone system is quite low, whether you host on your own servers or on an IaaS platform like AWS or Azure. The server requirements are minimal for a solution like Asterisk / FreePBX unless you are running a very large call center. A simple HP DL180 / ML30 server with 16GB of RAM and a 4-Core CPU is plenty powerful enough to run a virtual attendant, voicemail server, and several simultaneous inbound and outbound calls.. If you have an existing VMWare or Hyper-V virtual environment, that's even better.
Estimated Phone Capital Costs
Phones: $0-$250 Each (users may opt to use a free Softphone, or have calls forwarded to a cell phone)
Wiring and PoE Switching: These will be needed regardless if you use an "xAAS" ("as a service") or self hosted system, and vary depending on your building and employee count.
Estimated Phone Recurring Costs
We use Telnyx to host our own phone numbers and SIP Trunks. Many other providers exist, too.
DID Numbers (numbers to reach your auto attendant): <= $1.00 per month
Minutes: As low as $0.0050 per minute (that's only 30 cents per hour of talk time). For larger customers, there are other pricing models for unlimited calling per session which make sense if every employee is unlikely to be on a phone at the same time.
Compare to a service like RingCentral
Ringcentral pricing starts around $20 / user / month. That adds up fast for an office with 20 users. Consider a case where a small business has 20 users that each use their phone for an hour per day. With about 20 work days in a month, the cost is only $120.
One can argue you need to consider the maintenance and management of a self hosted phone system. Storage Networks migrated away from Ringcentral for our own phone system and has noticed that everyday management of FreePBX is no more difficult than Ringcentral. Manufactures like 3CX also offer premium support plans should you want an additional layer of help.
VOIP Phone System Support
Maintaining a phone is not as complicated as you may think, though there are a few caveats we can help with including:
Migrating (Porting) Phone Numbers
Selecting a SIP Provider
Configuring SIP Connections and DIDs (Direct inward Dial Number's)
Provisioning new phones
Caller ID Rules (inbound and outbound)