Bay Area Business Phone Systems Blog

Randy Kremlacek

Find me on:

Recent Posts

What's the Difference Between Asterisk & Switchvox Phone Systems?

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Nov 18, 2014 12:11:00 PM

This is the first blog post of our 8 post series on the subject of Asterisk vs. Switchvox phone systems. Subscribe to our blog by submitting your email into the box on the right to receive an email notification for each blog post in the series.

An Overview of Asterisk & Switchvox

If you have been around business phone systems very long, you have certainly heard talk of Asterisk. It’s certainly with good reason that people are talking! Asterisk has been revolutionary for developers in the telecom industry. Inevitably, when talking about Asterisk, you have probably also heard talk of Switchvox. This also carries a reputation of dependability and ease for the user and is a product regarded very highly in the telecom world. Today, we will be talking about the differences between the two systems.

Read More

Topics: Asterisk, Switchvox

What is an Open Source PBX?

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Nov 7, 2014 8:01:00 AM

What Is Switchvox?

As we discussed in our last blog, Asterisk is an engine. In comparison, Switchvox is a complete vehicle that anyone with minimal computer experience can manage. It's built for small to mid-sized businesses that need a powerful, business-grade phone system.

Switchvox is based on Asterisk, so the user still reaps the benefits of the decade of refining by developers. The significant difference is that it is fully loaded and was specifically designed to be very easy to administer. All the programming is already done for you, therefore, you do not need to hire a programmer or pull your hair out trying to learn all of the command lines. You can take full advantage of a customizable VoIP phone system as Switchvox is a full-bodied Unified Communication (UC) system. It's built on the same open standards and protocols as Asterisk but is a commercially proven product, rather than a piece of software.

Read More

Topics: PBX, Digium

Nortel Phone System Discontinued: Support Soon Ending

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Oct 31, 2014 10:24:00 AM

Nortel Phone Systems Dying Out

In 2009, Avaya acquired Nortel. The Nortel industry exit left customers stranded regarding their business phone systems. It has become increasingly difficult for TeleDynamic to find replacement parts and qualified technicians, as most of them are now retired.  This means that all support for Nortel will soon be ending.

Here is the reality for companies that are still using this system: your old Nortel system is hanging by a thread, and Nortel has reached the end of its life. While this cannot be avoided, you can be educated and prepared.

There are many causes of PBX system failure, but here are the top three:

Read More

Topics: Premise PBX Competitors, Virtual PBX Competitors

End of Life for 3Com NBX - What's Your Next Step?

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Oct 28, 2014 11:41:00 AM

Owning and operating a business is full of important decisions. Unfortunately, sometimes the overload of decisions can tempt us to stick our heads in the sand. "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies to owners of 3Com NBX phone systems. Many businesses are still using an outdated 3Com NBX as their business phone system. The NBX has proven to be a reliable and well-engineered product, especially considering its ground-breaking nature. 

However, this technology and the company who sold it, are now part of high-tech history.

HP purchased 3Com in November 2009 and stopped offering support for the 3Com NBX in July 2012. Those still using the system rely solely on the expertise of their local NBX reseller to provide spare parts and continued support. So, organizations who continue to utilize an NBX are in a very nebulous situation.  

Read More

Topics: PBX, Virtual PBX Competitors

Shoretel - The Final Act After 16 Years of Losing Money

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Oct 23, 2014 9:11:00 AM

On Monday, October 20th, 2014 Mitel made public an offer to buy phone systems maker Shoretel at $8.10 per share, a 24% premium over Shoretel’s stock price. This followed several attempts to engage with the Shoretel Board of Directors earlier to discuss a buyout, but was met with a firm refusal from Shoretel. Mitel’s offer has a deadline of November 20th, 2014.

Read More

Topics: Premise PBX Competitors

Hero or Playing Catch Up? Comments on AT&T and Verizon's Investments

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Sep 26, 2014 10:30:00 AM

I recently read an article talking about how AT&T and Verizon had topped U.S. companies in annual investments in equipment. The article praised these companies for their investment and the stimulus they have provided the economy. The cited report even went so far as to call them “heroes”.

Read the original article here.

Read More

Topics: SIP Trunking

Who is the Best SIP Trunk Provider?

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Sep 12, 2014 3:00:00 PM

This is the final installation of 12 blogs on the subject of SIP Trunks. Subscribe in the box to the right to receive an email notification for each one in the series.

Click here to read the previous blog in this series.

Like most things in life, what appears to be simple on the surface is, in fact, complicated underneath. Yes, there is a lot of technology involved in SIP Trunking, but that's no different than any other current technology. Your provider's job is to create a smooth transition. 

Read More

Topics: SIP Trunking

How do You Implement SIP Trunking: Porting Numbers & Changing Networks

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Sep 10, 2014 3:00:00 PM

This is our 11th of 12 blogs on the subject of SIP Trunks. In this installment we will be taking a look at a variety of elements, including porting your numbers and changing networks. Subscribe in the box to the right to receive an email notification for each one in the series.

Local Number Porting (LNP)

Most customers wish to retain some or all of their telephone numbers as they move to SIP Trunking implementation. This process is called "porting." Your new provider contacts the old provider and they work with a neutral third party (NPAC) to coordinate the change. 

Telephone Numbers

You must submit all of the telephone numbers you wish to port to your new carrier. You will only want to port numbers that are published. Unused DID's or numbers that are part of a hunt group do not need to be ported. Remember, you are paying for every number you port.

Read More

Topics: SIP Trunking

SIP Trunking Pricing: Set Up Fees and Ongoing Costs

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Sep 6, 2014 2:00:00 PM

This is our 10th of 12 blogs on the subject of SIP Trunks. Subscribe in the box to the right to receive an email notification for each one in the series. In this post, we will be taking a look at SIP Trunking pricing -- including set up fees and ongoing costs.

Set Up Fees of SIP Trunking

This can vary by SIP Trunking provider. Some providers charge a set-up fee while others recover their set-up costs over time by charging higher monthly fees. If the provider charges a set-up fee, expect fees in the range of $50 to $250

411 Directory Listing

When you set up your phone numbers, you're required by law to notify all the phone directory services of the change. This is so that your white and yellow page information is accurate. Your provider should charge between $10 and $50. 

Read More

Topics: SIP Trunking

SIP Trunking: What About My Other Analog Devices?

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Sep 3, 2014 1:30:00 PM

This is our 9th of 12 blogs on the subject of SIP trunks. Subscribe in the box to the right to receive an email notification for each one in the series.

SIP Trunking cannot be used to replace analog lines that are being used for your fax machine, alarm company connection and credit card machine. Fortunately, the Internet provides alternative solutions for these devices also


You have two options:

  1. You can replace your fax by using your computers to make and receive faxes. This is called eFax.
  2. You can install an Ethernet adaptor which converts your faxes into Internet transmissions. You would retain your existing fax machine.
Read More

Topics: SIP Trunking