Ring Central or Elastix?

mbrown67

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Apr 6, 2010
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#1
I hope I do not get blasted for asking for some advice. I hope to elicit some advice from the experts and users alike in effort to make my decision on whether to stick with Ring Central or move to Elastix. Here is the scenario:

We are a firm with offices in 4 states. At the moment we have 6 phones and 6 phone numbers. However, we anticipate adding a few locations and phones (maybe 2 or 3) over the next 6 to 8 months. Our needs are pretty basic, such that any PBX system can handle our basic needs -- transfer calls, call internal extensions, ring groups, maybe 1 or 2 IVRs. However, we would love to have fax-to-email and email-to-fax.

We are giving Ring Central a try at the moment, but I am unhappy with the fact that each phone must be assigned a #. So, after much research on asterisk based systems, I installed Elastix on my spare P4 last night and got the phones up and going pretty quickly! The only problem was that the phones (Polycom IP 500s) were unregistered in the morning (after 8 hours of sitting idle) and only re-registered after I rebooted the server.

My questions are:
(1) is it normal that the phones unregister themselves? Or, is it caused by the server being idle for so long? I know it could be due to a cheap router (although I am using a netgear business class VPN router) or other networking equipment. If so, is the fix to have the phones re-register ever X minutes?

(2) Are there success stories with both email-to-fax and fax-to-email? This is almost a deal breaker, as it would be a huge improvement to our office to have the ability to receive and send faxes without a fax machine.

(3) How much tinkering is necessary after the initial setup? I understand setting up the server can be time intensive, but I am curious how much upkeep is necessary.

Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on the systems or just general input.

Thanks for your help.

- Matt
 

mbrown67

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#2
So, after speaking with several of my co-workers, it became apparent that I would need to go with a flexible system such as Elastix. We will roll out the system with 10 phones and about 8 or so DIDs.

I am still interested in hearing thoughts on the reliability of the system; fax capabilities; and whether it would be okay to host the system in-house (6mbx1mb or I could have the server at my house with a 10x1 that is not used during the day) or if I should use a VPS?

Thanks!
 

souxinh

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Apr 6, 2010
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#3
Hi Matt,

I'm also new in here and elastix (about 3 weeks), but base on my understanding and hand on I think elastix is the way to go. (I never try rign central)

But after reading the info; you can have only one elastix system at each location, interconnected with iax to each system. you can create as many extensions as you want in each system. Once that is done each extension of each location/system can call each other (4 locations) with no cost! just like calling within/same office.

You have 6 phones/DiD numbers, you can set up in such a way that 3 come in 3 goes out or what ever you decide with elastix. or use all 6 for incoming and get/buy account with other provider ( that offer cheaper rate) for outgoing call. the possibility is limit by your imagination.

IVR setup is quick and easy, you can even setup IVR to forward call to other extension in other location ( remember that all 4 elastixs system are interconnected )

For faxing capability, I'll be incorporate that into my biz, to offer that to my client soon. But I think this feature is the one that moved me away for openSER to elastix.

Elastix setup was 1-2 hours and maintaining the system, hmmm, I got it setup for 3 weeks and I never have any problem with my extension so far. (but I only use softphones)

Well I hope, you will give Elastix a chance!

Souxinh
 

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