All posts by darren

Time Conditions / Calendar

These modules are included in the FreePBX distribution without any cost, These modules are used to add advanced time based call conditions to call routing.


The Time Conditions module can be configured with a business’s opening hours within a specific time zone eg. Australia/Sydney and calls within these hours are routed to employees, outside these hours routed to voicemail or another destination.


With the Calendar module we can create a calendar based on Australia/NSW public holidays and preconfigure holidays, an incoming call checks the calendar, if its a public holiday (Australia Day) the call can be sent to the after hours destination (eg. Voicemail)

With the calendar and time conditions configured together you can route calls based on public holiday and the day of the week and hours/minutes within a time zone.

This isn’t limited to a single time zone, multiple time zones can be configured to accommodate multiple offices in different locations and time zones, as well as multiple calendars.

A complex Time Conditions/Calendar configuration in FreePBX could be configured to extend support hours, begin answering support calls in the Sydney/Melbourne Office, moving to the Brisbane/Adelaide Office, then finishing in Perth Office.

If you have any question please feel free to contact us

Ring Groups / Queues

These modules are included in the FreePBX distribution without any cost, Ring Groups and Queues are used to route inbound calls to a group of phones.

Ring Groups are used when there are relatively low volume of calls and many phones (extensions) available to answer calls, ring groups can be setup to ring all phones simultaneously, or in patterns hunt or circular

Queues are used when there are large volumes of calls and fewer extensions (agents) available to answer calls, queues can answer a call, play an announcement, put a caller on hold waiting for a free agent to take the call, queues can if configured to, periodically play an announcement and tell the caller their position in the queue and estimated wait time. when an agent is available the call will be sent to the free agent. Agents can be members of a single queue or multiple queues, the agent can be prompted when receiving a call from a queue as to which queue the call originated from.

So from our IVR example “Thank you for calling ABC your call is important to us, for Accounts Dial “1”, For Sales Dial “2”, for our Address dial “3”, for our business hours dial “4”, when a caller dials 1 we can send the call to a ring group Accounts with 3 extensions all ringing simultaneously, When the caller dials 2 the call can be sent to a call queue Sales and the next available agent will handle the call

If you have any question please feel free to contact us

IVR (Interactive Voice Response)


This module is included in the FreePBX distribution without any cost, it allows callers to interact with FreePBX via their telephone key pads, IVR’s are a menu system.

We’ve all interacted with an IVR, when you call company ABC you are greeted with a recording “Thank you for calling ABC your call is important to us, for Accounts Dial “1”, For Sales Dial “2”, For our Address dial “3”, for our business hours dial “4”

In the above case options 1 and 2 could go to a group of phones associated to accounts and sales respectively, options 3 and 4 would go to a prerecorded announcement, if the caller doesnt dial a digit or dials a digit not optioned above decisions can be made how to route the call, you could also configure an option 9, that isn’t referenced in the recording to send callers who know this option to the warehouse manager.

The IVR module requires the System Recordings module to upload or record the menu greetings/messages

If you have any question please feel free to contact us

Announcements

This module is included in the FreePBX distribution without any cost, This module is used to play a prerecorded message to a caller.

For example office hours, temporary closures, office relocation information, and recently COVID related message, after the announcement is finished the caller be be sent to another routing destination or end the call.

This is different to an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) where the caller enters digits to route to call to a destination, Announcements just plays a pre recorded message, the Announcements module requires the System Recordings module to upload or record the messages

If you have any question please feel free to contact us

Backup/Restore

This module is included in the FreePBX distribution without any cost, It’s critical to have a backup procedure in place in the event of hardware failure or software corruption.


This module can be used as an on demand backup before and after FreePBX configuration changes, or as an automated backup that can be scheduled hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.


Storage locations can be locally on the FreePBX email, ftp, dropbox, ssh, Amazon S3 bucket, it also critical to keep a record of the backup locations login/password and URL’s in case a full system restore is required into a new installation

Configuration of this module is a must, as is offsite storage for the recovery of a failed FreePBX system

If you have any question please feel free to contact us

What is required for a stable implementation of FreePBX?

There are several components that make for a successful implementation of FreePBX.

Here at Clearly IT Network Consulting we have extensive knowledge of what is required for your business.

In essence all FreePBX deployments need the following components

– Security of the FreePBX deployment is first and foremost to avoid toll fraud from hackers, not only can this be expensive, it will require assurance from you VoIP provider that the system is now secure before reconnection is allowed, not to mention the down time.

– Suitable hardware, this can be physical or virtual as long as there is enough RAM, CPU and HDD space. A system that is resourced sufficiently will perform as expected.

– FreePBX installed either on premises, or hosted is dependent on each business. This final solution will fit the many different variables of the business, number of users, location of users, will users change locations, IT infrastructure, and IT expertise.

– Stable internet connection, with a public static IP address, adequate bandwidth and more importantly low latency. Routers and firewalls can play a big part in the stability of a FreePBX implementation.

–  LAN/WAN/Wifi infrastructure of the business, this helps in the successful deployment of endpoints.

– Endpoints can be either physical handsets or softphones installed on end users’ laptops and smartphones, utilising the FreePBX VPN if required.

– In some instances, FreePBX VPN services can be enabled to overcome end users home having dynamic IP address’ and home router functionality can adversely affect VoIP endpoints.

– A backup plan to recover from misconfiguration and hardware failure.

– A management plan to make sure all runs smoothly so administrators and end users can make changes to FreePBX configuration and  extension management as required.

– An experienced FreePBX administrator like Clearly IT Network Consulting to handle updates and system patches, so these are installed when required to keep the platform secure.

These are the basic components that need to checked prior to implementation, however there are many issues that need to be considered to ensure a trouble-free deployment.

If you have FreePBX installed and are having issues, don’t hesitate make sure you contact us now

If you are considering a FreePBX deployment, we have the experience to make sure it’s done right from the start so contact us now.

What is FreePBX ?

FreePBX is a asterisk based telephone system that provides a front end to the configuration of the asterisk conf files. This is what makes it simple to configure, giving way to setup complex asterisk configurations.


It is installed primarily from an ISO image file that will use a donor PC/Server and install the CentOS operating system, asterisk and the FreePBX platform. Installation can be on a old PC/Server, new PC/Server or on any Virtualization platform that supports CentOS.


FreePBX is a VoIP SIP based PBX, all that is required is a reliable internet connection and a VoIP provider. but if physical hardware is used other older technologies can be added like PSTN/ISDN, if a virtual platform is utilized additional hardware can be utilized for PSTN/ISDN, but these types of services are being phased out in Australia.


As the name suggests the cost of the basic platform is free of costs, however there are many additional modules that require a license from the platform maintainer Sangoma, and other suppliers. These Commercial modules as they are known extend the basic functionality to support solutions for most business cases.


Some of the included GPL (General Public License) modules (free) are listed below, provide most of the features business require.

We will talk about how these modules can be put together to create quite complex solutions in later blogs.

If you have a FreePBX platform that needs support or would like to know more please contact us

Clearly IT Launches

Welcome to Clearly IT Networks Solutions, we are a IT company specializing in VoIP services, with a strong focus on FreePBX as it has a wide range of features available to service a vast range of business requirements in many sectors.

We are trained in all aspects of FreePBX from deployment design, security of the system, feature programming, setup of trunks and extensions, ongoing maintenance, incident response, continuity plans, backup/restore and migrations.

We are here to help if you have any questions or want to engage our services please contact us