Started by JeffDB, April 19, 2018, 02:51:41 PM
Quote from: SteveInWA on April 19, 2018, 04:09:23 PMThinking of the "big picture": instead of trying to keep your kludge of different telephone services, the better way to think of this is to forget about all that history, and instead, consider what you need for business, starting fresh. The goal is to set up "business-suitable", consistent and reliable phone service.
Quote from: SteveInWA on April 19, 2018, 04:09:23 PMI've been supporting Google Voice users on their forum for about a decade. Based on hundreds of thousands of discussions, we strongly recommend not using GV for business at this time. It's great for consumer use, but when you think like a businessperson, knowing the dollar impact to your business could be seriously impacted if your clients can't reach you, whatever savings you might get with GV are not worth it.
QuoteI gather that you want a telephone with two telephone numbers, and a fax line. So: do that.
QuoteBuy an OBi 2182 IP phone: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B076JKV5CL/ref=dp_olp_new_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=new
QuoteSign up for SIP VoIP telephone service with the provider of your choice. I use and recommend Callcentric, but you can put together a similar solution with voip.ms or Phonepower, for example.
QuoteI looked at your posting history, and I'm kind of baffled as to why you keep bringing up the two OBi 300-series devices you bought. Why didn't you just return them? In any case, I would not even think about trying to re-use any of your current devices at the moment; just focus on creating a clean, pure-IP phone office solution.
Quote from: SteveInWA on April 19, 2018, 08:56:32 PMI had a particular reason in framing my response, to get you thinking like a businessperson, not as a home-based DIY person. Your business is insurance, not fiddling with phone gadgets, and many small business that fail, do so because the owner is either not competent at their core business (I'm not implying that's the case with you), and/or they spend too much time on non-revenue-generating activities. This forum is mostly about consumer/hobbyist/DIY use, as opposed to business use. There has been a major shift in business telephony over the past decade, away from analog telephone tech, and away from local PBX hardware, to more reliable and flexible, cloud-based solutions that are easy to manage.
QuoteThe beauty of using a cloud-based Internet Telephone Service Provider, or ITSP, like Callcentric is that there is no VoIP PBX skill needed, there is no contract, and you can add, change, upgrade/downgrade or cancel service at any time.
QuoteJust because you have sunk cost in your existing OBi and magicJack stuff, doesn't necessarily make it something on which to base your decisions.
QuoteGoogle Voice is generally reliable, however, there is no direct technical support at all, and problems do arise, that sometimes take weeks or even months to resolve. It is just not worth the business risk to save a few dollars on phone costs.
QuoteRE: fax: go look at the prices. You can have a dedicated fax DID for $1.95/month, and you can be charged only when the line is being used, per minute, at very low rates. You don't have to decide on this now; you could keep your current solution and change it later.
QuoteRE: OBi IP phones: the 1000-series are 1st generation products, and they will be supported for a few more years, but I believe they will probably go away after current stock is depleted. The current product is the 2182, and it is not going away as a result of the Polycom/Obihai merger. Obihai is now part of Polycom, and they're in the process of merging their IP phone product lines. I checked with them this afternoon, and these comments are based on their latest plans.
QuoteRE: using your OBi 300 units: yes, you can do that with a SIP VoIP ITSP, but you would need to use both of them, one for each physical phone line. You could also dedicate one of those to a fax line.
QuoteRE: Callcentric: I wouldn't put any stock in random crap on the internet about VoIP (or random crap reviews of anything, for that matter... cough-Yelp-cough). There is always some person complaining bitterly about anything, like the restaurant review where the person was outraged that the waitress brought their water with ice in it. Anyone else here on this forum can vouch for their service quality and reliability, as is also the case with voip.ms. They are far cheaper than Vonage, which seems to start out with a phony loss-leader price and then doubles it with fees and taxes. The ITSPs I mentioned don't do that.