Boxed Telephone Systems
Box IP PBXs are also known as on-premise IP PBXs. Typically, boxed telephone exchanges are placed at the facility - in the server or in the switchboard. Data from IP telephones is sent to the IP-PBX server via LAN. Calls can go both through the telephone operator, and in the form of VoIP through the SIP trunk. Gateways can be used to connect the system to traditional telephone networks.
Costs for VoIP providers and manufacturers are reduced thanks to boxed open source PBXs like Asterisk. This allows users to access the latest technology and latest features much cheaper than in the past.
Here are three stories of creating telephone networks based on a boxed PBX from the experience of very different organizations - a manufacturing company, a bank, and a university.
VoIP systems have always competed with solutions based on traditional exchanges, and therefore they have a wide range of functions. Advantages of a boxed PBX:
- Rich functionality - the set of possibilities is wider than that of traditional exchanges, and the possibilities themselves are higher.
- SIP - with the integration of the SIP trunk, packages of free calls and IP-calls become available to you, which allows you to reduce costs compared to using traditional telephone lines.
- Ownership - you get a tangible, your own system.
- No points of failure - many traditional and SIP lines are used to route calls. Thus, the failure of one of the lines will not affect the network's operability.
- Unified communications - boxed telephone exchanges are capable of serving not only phone calls. Among their capabilities are instant messaging, voice conferences and video messages.
Example 1. Fitesa Germany
Fitesa is a manufacturer of nonwovens used for hygiene, medical and industrial purposes. Ten Fitesa units are located in eight countries, headquartered in the United States. Fitesa Germany was founded in 1969 in the city of Payne, Lower Saxony.
Fitesa was not satisfied with the existing telephone system - it required a lot of investments, was inflexible and did not meet the technical and functional requirements.
The company wanted to find a modern, flexible and scalable solution for servicing 30 thousand m 2office, warehouse and industrial premises. This solution was supposed to allow self-administration of the system, reconfiguration and remotely support IP phones. What was needed was a system that could be easily integrated into an existing VMWare environment and provided with mobile coverage of all available areas. Also, the system had to support integration with Outlook and a unique number assignment scheme, in which any employee can be reached by the same extension number, regardless of location. Great importance was attached to the intuitive system and the ability to automatically configure and administer. Finally, the costs should have remained at an acceptable level.
Fitesa was pleased with its current supplier: Bel Net from Braunschweig was asked not only to integrate a modern telephone system, but also to do all the necessary electrical work.
Bel Net conducted an analysis of whether it is possible to cover all the company's facilities with a DECT network. Based on the UCware server, a flexible and high-performance IP-PBX was created with expansion modules for mobile network and Outlook. Panasonic DECT phones and 40 Snom 710 and Snom 720 IP phones were installed in offices and the production area .
In order not to interrupt work processes, the existing telephone system continued to function during testing. The final solution was launched in January after hours. A two-hour workshop was held to familiarize 40 key users with the new PBX and phones. And those, in turn, passed on the acquired knowledge to their colleagues.
The new IP-PBX not only reduced the cost of operation, but also made the telephony system flexible and scalable, it can be managed without the involvement of external specialists. Fitesa uses a system of "hot tables": if an employee logs in to any phone, he can be called by his extension number, regardless of whether he sits at a table or moves around the territory. Snom phones can be controlled via the web interface, and remote setup can be done using the Auto Provision feature.
Example 2. PSD Bank Rhein-Ruhr
PSD Bank Rhein-Ruhr is a remote banking bank with offices in Dortmund and Düsseldorf and a branch in Essen. The bank's assets for the 2008 reporting year amounted to about 3 million euros. Two hundred and twenty bank employees supported 185 thousand customers in Germany, mainly by telephone.
Due to the financial advantages of VoIP, it was decided to replace the ISDN system, which no longer met the technical requirements, with an Asterisk-based telecommunication system, and transfer all bank services to VoIP. They decided to keep the fixed communication in the form of ISDN. Then they began to look for suitable phones. The selection criteria were obvious: the device should retain the functionality of a regular office phone, while offering greater flexibility, high quality voice and ease of setup. Additional requirements - safety and ease of use.
The crucial point for PSD Bank Rhein-Ruhr was the completion of the project in a short time. To prevent system upgrades from affecting day-to-day operations, all phones in Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Essen needed to be installed in one weekend, by Monday morning.
Upon completion of careful planning and preparation, the bank commissioned the implementation of the new telephone system of the Dortmund company LocaNet. It is an open source software provider of IP communications solutions that specializes in installing and supporting secure networks, online applications, and security and communications solutions. PSD Bank Rhein-Ruhr decided to implement the Asterisk system with ISDN media gateways, so that incoming and outgoing calls went through ISDN at the same time that employees talk to each other via VoIP.
Having conducted the tender and examined the proposals, the bank settled on Snom 370, a professional office telephone using the open SIP protocol. Snom 370 offers a high level of security and a wide range of functions. Another argument in support of the Snom 370 is its excellent compatibility with Asterisk-based telephone systems, as well as its intuitive controls thanks to freely customizable XML menus.
Employees of PSD Bank Rhein-Ruhr quickly mastered the new machines - only a few of them needed consultations on one or two issues. System update has significantly reduced the load of the IT department and increased its mobility. One more pleasant moment - it was possible to keep within the allocated budget.
Example 3. University of Wurzburg
The University of Würzburg named after Julius and Maximilian was founded in 1402 and is one of the oldest in Germany. The university has produced many famous scientists, including 14 Nobel laureates. Today, the University of Wurzburg unites 10 faculties, 400 teachers and 28 thousand students.
Like many government agencies, the university operated the Siemens ISDN system for many years, which over time ceased to cope with the load. In 2005, when the service agreement expired, it became clear that a new solution was needed. The system needed to be replaced - ideally, economical and scalable. Interested in the latest in the world of telecommunications, university leaders decided to switch to VoIP. Helmut Selina, a mathematician from the computer center of the university, along with his team of six people took up the job. They had to transfer to VoIP the entire telephone system, covering 65 buildings and 3,500 numbers.
The university has set several key goals:
- personal telephone number for each employee;
- separate phone numbers for each unit;
- telephone numbers for rooms - corridors, lobbies, elevators and classrooms;
- A separate phone number for each of the campus students
- maximum growth opportunities with minimal restrictions.
It was necessary to network more than 3,500 phones that support multiple IDs and are installed in 65 buildings. The university has announced a tender for the supply of VoIP phones.
For reinsurance purposes, we decided to use ISDN and VoIP in parallel during the test period, so that possible problems and difficulties would not affect the work. Phased installed on the workplace Snom 370 phones in addition to the old. The first 500 employees began working with new devices in September 2008.
The new Snom phones have been well received by the team. Together with Asterisk, they provided all users with functions that were previously very time-consuming and accessible only to a narrow circle of employees. These features, coupled with excellent voice quality, have left faculty and other staff quickly used to using new devices. In most cases, the phones did not require special settings and quickly became the main ones for users. Snom 370 performed well in more difficult conditions. For example, some devices had to work in buildings connected by tunnels. In another case, WLAN was used in one of the network segments, and employees were extremely surprised that the phones worked without failures. As a result, the number of devices, it was decided to increase to 4,500.