Cost containment and profit maximization is one of the intrinsic challenges of keeping a small to medium size business in the black today. One important and potentially costly tool in any business is the telephone system, when building out this main communication bridge between a business and its clients, there should be no compromises. However, this is easier said than done for some small business on a tight budget. Most popular systems are hardware devices with propriety software that require dedicated lines to a service provider.
This in this article I will highlight a software solution that does not sacrifice function and performance, one tha has the sound and feel of a more expensive solution at a fraction of the cost.
FreePBX is a web-based open-source graphical user interface (GUI) for a voice over IP and telephony or PBX (Private Branch Exchange) server. FreePBX is built with PHP on Linux with Apache webserver and MySQL database
Asterisk is the engine that powers the PBXs, IVRs and the ACD/queueing systems. Asterisk handles all the low level details of sending and receiving data using many communication protocols. Asterisk communication applications are built out Dialplan scripts, configuration files, audio recordings, databases, web services, etc. The applications connects to communication services (VoIP or PSTN) for outbound calls. For inbound calls, a phone numbers or VoIP URIs allows a provider to route calls to the local or hosted PBX server.
FreePBX leverages and simplifies configuration for the following:
- Unlimited Voicemail boxes.
- “Follow Me” functionality.
- Ring Groups with calls confirmation.
- Unlimited number of Conferences.
- Paging and Intercom.
- Music on Hold
- Call Queues.
- And many more.
I SIP service Provider supplies the numbers and connectivity for Originating and Terminating calls. A flat monthly charge or a Pay-as-you-go cost is available. FreePBX may be hosted on a local server or a cloud server, It is easy to setup and the learning curve is not very steep.