Why isn’t the term ‘Self-Serve’ part of your business phone system?

Today’s society has become completely self-serve. How we interact with consumer products and services has opened up into a plethora of methods, empowering the consumer. The consumer can now log-in to personal online accounts, purchase and manage services without a single phone call or visit to a store front; they can now pay for products and services from their mobile device using technologies such as NFC and Apple Pay; they can transfer funds from the comfort of their electronic devices without requiring visiting the bank, and the list goes on.

This trend of empowering the consumer provides benefits to both the consumer and manufacturer. The consumer benefits from becoming more productive in their daily activities and the manufacturer benefits from selling more product and service based on this fact, as well save on support costs as the consumer have access to the same tools.

So why isn’t this trend as inclusive with the telecommunication industry? For example, in a typical office environment, an employee still requires the assistance from their IT personnel for things like conference phone call setup and management, or to adjust their extension features. Another example is an employee deciding to work from home on a given day, still require IT to setup their tools and access. Or from a consumer point of view, if a business wants to purchase a cloud based phone systems or SIP trunks there is no completely automated self-serve method to do so, without waiting for a response from the provider, or requiring assistance to configure the service.

Self-serve would benefit the telecommunication industry in the following ways:

  • Office staff become more productive as they have access to all communication mediums at their fingertips, without waiting for IT permission
  • Increase remote office work, as staff can become more mobile and thus accomplish more work
  • Businesses can purchase telephony service through online portals, when they want, and configure their services immediately, getting their own businesses running more quickly

Sangoma Technologies has been responding to this need in many of its products and services.

Productivity

Unified Control Panel (UCP)
FreePBX and PBXact phone systems offer a unique web-based dashboard for every user, empowering users to manage and control their own features. They simply log into UCP from any internet capable device and have access to things such as:

  • Voicemail: listening, delete, voicemail-to-email, and recording voicemail greetings
  • Follow-me: enable/disable and add phone numbers
  • Conference: Create unlimited conference rooms, manage live attendee, and administrator level conference room features
  • Presence: manage your presence across all your devices
  • Device management: customize the applications and features of your deskphone
  • WebRTC phone to make/receive calls and SMS with your colleagues…and the list goes on…

UCP Dashboard

Phone Apps
Sangoma IP Phones are pre-built with device applications which completely remove the need for feature-codes and allow users to have administrator level access to all the typical features they require, saving them and their business time and money. For more information on phone apps visit: sangoma.com/phoneapps

Online Sign up & Configuration

SIPStation & PBXact Cloud Service
Whether your business is looking to connect to SIP Trunks or require a complete fully-featured cloud based phone system, Sangoma’s SIPStation and PBXact Cloud offer a completely self-service online portal, allowing customers to immediately register, purchase and configure service, and manage features, without the need for email responses or service connection delay.

Visit the following pages for information and a live demo of the entire setup process.
SIPStation: sangoma.com/sipstation
PBXact Cloud: sangoma.com/pbxact-cloud

FreePBX 15: Feedback Wanted!

FreePBX Suggestion Box

As we enter 2018, we decided to take a step back and reflect on what we’ve accomplished as a community in the last year.

It’s been a long year and a rather busy one for FreePBX. Throughout the year we saw several improvements to FreePBX 13, but one of the most notable included improved directory support in User Manager. This gave users the ability to setup multiple Active Directories, LDAP, or even internal directories to control their users on the PBX and even auto-create extension from the directories their company already uses.

By now you’ve probably heard that we released FreePBX 14 on August 2, 2017, as well as our Enterprise Linux 7 based distro, which contained a slew of updates. Fast forward to December and we announced the General Availability of our 6 to 7 distro upgrade script which has been in Beta since our EL7 based distro was released.

Since the release of FreePBX 14, we’ve been digging through tickets trying to find some of the biggest pain points and we think we’ve found a couple of good ones. The first one we found was that it hasn’t always been easy to restore a previous backup to the latest version of FreePBX. In fact, if you were going between versions, FreePBX didn’t even support it. Well, you’ll be happy you know that this pain point is being addressed in FreePBX 15.

Starting in version 15+, you will now be able to take a backup and restore it to any future FreePBX version. To do this, each and every module will control its own backup and restore process, telling the system what files and data it needs to backup. This led us down the path of breaking out the ability to have different places to store your backups into its own module which we plan to further expand on in the future. Currently, this allows for backups to be stored and restored from your usual places such as Email, FTP, Local storage and on another system via SSH. By abstracting backup and restore into smaller pieces, it will allow us to be able to better test and maintain each piece while still being able to look to the future of how you are using your phone system.

The second thing we’ve heard from you is that many of you would like an easier way to configure FreePBX, from your own applications. With that we plan on bringing a GraphQL API to FreePBX, making it easier to do more with your PBX as well as help you build custom applications.

But that’s not all! While we feel we’ve found some of the biggest pain points you’ve brought up, we also want to ensure that your feedback is heard and that you have a voice as well. So, to ensure this, we want to know what other pain points you have with FreePBX and what you’d like to see in future revisions.

To tell us, head on over to our forums.