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What PBX to use? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Time to reevaluate what we use - an ancient ISDN based PBX that we are outgworing, too.

     

    So, the question is, for a small company that needs like 2-4 lines maximum (acutally 2 would be enough), but may have 20 or so people connected (developers - rarely even picking up the phone)...

     

    ...what is a good PBX to use with OCS?

     

    We will mostly use the chat/conferencing features within office communicator, but integration would allow us to jsut have one platform.

     

    I looked at various not too expensive PBX (3cx, asterix), but in genereal they look ignorant to CSTA (and in case of 3cx simply ignorant regarding what OCS is and what they actually are).

     

    Anyone can recommend a solution? Preferably one that does not cost 10.000 USD Wink

     

    A nice, easy to administrate PBX that is capable of integrating with OCS and scales low enough for our needs Wink

    Friday, August 10, 2007 2:02 PM

Answers

  • You may want to consider if you actually need a PBX at all.

    If all your users will use MOC and/or Tanjay/Catalina etc then you will probably be ok connecting OCS directly to the ISDN network.

    A simple and low cost solution (ok I'm biased because I work for them :-) ) would be to put a Dialogic Diva ISDN card into your Mediation server, install SIPControl software (free download for upto 8 channels)  which links the ISDN card to the Mediation server and off you go.

     

    If you have to have a PBX because you need the old style phones or a particular PBX feature not supported in OCS then it gets more complicated because I'm not aware of any small PBX that directly connect with OCS so you will need a VoIP gateway supported by OCS.

    Again, we make lots of suitable gateways at Dialogic but small PBX tend not to be very good at forwarding the called and calling numbers through to the gateways which you obviously need for OCS to work properly so you will have to do some research and then configuration on the PBX and Gateway to find a suitable solution. 

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007 8:49 AM

All replies

  • Tom,

     

    Make sure to recount your lines, unless you mean ISDN-BRI, if you have an ISDN-PRI you most probably have more than 2-4 trunks from the phone company.

     

    I will be interested to see what ideas you get from the group!

     

    Aloha,

    Matt

     

     

     

     

     

    Friday, August 10, 2007 11:04 PM
  • Though I haven't yet integrated it with OCS, I'm completely amazed with what Asterisk (www.asterisk.org) can do. I have bought a Telephony card and changing my entire office setup to use Asterisk as the PBX, ACD.


    Monday, August 13, 2007 5:26 AM
  •  

    Actually I did count correctly. We use 2 lines at the moment. And will not go higher than possibly 4 for a long time. See, we do software, and our main communication channels STILL are email, chat. Video-conferencing is coming strong, as is VOIP, but this is not going to phone systems, but picked up by customers using - the internet.

     

    There is no need to have more than 2 lines at the moment.

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007 11:45 AM
  • You may want to consider if you actually need a PBX at all.

    If all your users will use MOC and/or Tanjay/Catalina etc then you will probably be ok connecting OCS directly to the ISDN network.

    A simple and low cost solution (ok I'm biased because I work for them :-) ) would be to put a Dialogic Diva ISDN card into your Mediation server, install SIPControl software (free download for upto 8 channels)  which links the ISDN card to the Mediation server and off you go.

     

    If you have to have a PBX because you need the old style phones or a particular PBX feature not supported in OCS then it gets more complicated because I'm not aware of any small PBX that directly connect with OCS so you will need a VoIP gateway supported by OCS.

    Again, we make lots of suitable gateways at Dialogic but small PBX tend not to be very good at forwarding the called and calling numbers through to the gateways which you obviously need for OCS to work properly so you will have to do some research and then configuration on the PBX and Gateway to find a suitable solution. 

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007 8:49 AM
  • I agree with Vic.  This is a great option for small businesses.  Tanjay phones are expected to be about $500, so you can get those for the people that call outbound frequently and give your developers headsets to use for the rare occassions that they need to make a phone call.

     

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007 12:39 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello All,

     

    I am considering starting a systems integration company focused on designing, installing and supporting Microsoft UM/OCS systems.  Does anyone know any vendors who are working on ACD software that works with an OCS envirnoment only.  (Much cleaner solution than connecting to a differnt PBX/ACD through a sip gateway.  Lack of ACD native to OCS will be a problem in many situations.

    Monday, October 15, 2007 9:55 PM
  • Scott,

     

    I just joined a MS Gold services company to help grow their UCC practice.  We're working closely with Nortel.  I would be interested in speaking to you further on what your thoughts were.

    Thursday, October 18, 2007 3:17 AM
  •  

    Have a look at pbxnsip at www.pbxnsip.com.  It has the benefit, unlike Asterisk, of running under Windows (besides other OS's) and natively speaks TCP with a simple switch to permit easy Exchange UM and OCS integration.  The cost is very reasonable, it is very stable  and in terms of being a robust product that can easily integrate with UM, there is nothing really to compare it to. 

     

    We have fully integrated it with Exchange (auto attendant & voicemail) as well as OCS.  If anyone needs integrator suggestions let me know.  Regards, Fred

    Friday, October 19, 2007 9:25 PM
  • > If anyone needs integrator suggestions let me know.  Regards, Fred

     

    Fred, I would very much like to learn more about how you integrated pbxnsip. If you are still willing to lend a hand, I can be reached at afc007 AT gmail.com.

     

    many thanks,

    alec

     

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 6:25 PM
  • Here is a thought. for LCS there was a product from a company called M-networks (www.M-networks.com) that not only handled TCP/UDP tranlation but implemented a rudimentary CSTA gateway to asterisk.

    I personally have not installed it but I know some of the developers and it certainly sounds interesting.

     

    I think it should work for OCS too. Worth at least a look

     

     

    Chaz

     

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007 8:11 PM
  • Hi, I have written a new pbxnsip Wiki page with a guide for pbxnsip-OCS2007 setup. Including helpful screenshots. Please take a look, how easy it is:

     

    http://wiki.pbxnsip.com/index.php/Office_Communications_Server

     

    Best Regards

     

    Jan Boguslawski

     

    ITaCS GmbH Berlin, www.itacs.de

    Thursday, December 20, 2007 12:47 PM
  • Thanks, Jan, for a very clear and informative overview of the OCS/pbxnsip integration procedure.

    In our case, we are concerned uniquely with the Speech Server (no other OCS components on our roadmap for the moment). Do you have any idea how this might be accomplished (sip provider <> ?pbx? <> mss)?

     

    Many thanks. If you like, you can reply to me directly at a f c 0 0 7  AT  gmail dot com

     

    alec

    Thursday, December 20, 2007 5:14 PM
  • Dear Chaz,

     

    I am Ahmad Hammoud. I am working on the integration between LCS 2005 And asterisk. I did everything as described by the documentation of m-networks, but nothing worked

     

    If you know somebody who can help me, please provide his email. I have the evaluation copy of their software (UCCG)

     

    I am willing to buy a copy. please help

     

    Your assistance is highly appreciated

     

    my emails: ahammoud@gmail.com

    ahmadmhammoud@hotmail.com

     

    thanks in advance

     

    Monday, December 31, 2007 9:16 PM
  • Hi Fred,

    We have ~45-50 phones in our facility with 5 of the users being remote. I looked at Asterisk, Pingtel, and most recently pbxnsip. Like many others, we are a M$ house and wish to integrate a new phone system with OCS2007. Being unfamiliar with the details, I am very interested in your integrator suggestions that you offered. bates2835@hotmail.com

    Thanks, Mark

     

    Wednesday, January 9, 2008 8:24 PM
  • Fred,

    I'm also interested in suggestions how to integrated pbxnsip.

     

    Now, we already have an Asterix PBX with Cisco IP phones. I also want to setup a new server with OCS 2007 and use the Communicator for IM and Livemeeting for collaboration. We have 50 users (30 Internal, 20 External)

     

    1. is pbxn an alternative, is it stable? Which os Unix or Windows?

     

    2. It's possible to replace my current asterix software with pbxnsip, but does pbxnsip support:

    - cisco iphones

    - same extensions

     

    Thanks,

    Jan Bosch

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008 2:37 PM
  • The ShoreTel PBX might be a good choice. It is relatively inexpensive, easy to configure and the vendor is known for the good support.

    See http://www.shoretel.com
    Tuesday, April 29, 2008 7:24 AM
  • Hi Jan,

     

    1. it's extremly robust and easy to administrate. You will become familiar with the system in some minutes. Your amount of users - no problem. Run's on Windows XP, 2K, 2003, Vista & Server 2008 too. Smile and last but not least also on Linux Smile

     

    2. yes. It supports Cisco phones that run SIP, and I guess yours do it, because of using it with Asterisk. Same extensions? Yeah, why not. Please provide an example how an registration/extension looks like.

     

    If it's using an IP adress or DNS name (FQDN) you can give pbxnsip this IP/DNS-Name and your phone will register with the matching accounts - configured in pbxnsip.

    For the integration with OCS / Exchange you should read my guide in the pbxnsip Wiki. Includes helpful screenshots. Please take a look, how easy it is:

     

    http://wiki.pbxnsip.com/index.php/Office_Communications_Server

     

    Best Regards

     

    Jan Boguslawski

     

    ITaCS GmbH Berlin, www.itacs.de

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:12 AM