Setting up VoIP with Asterisk
Asterisk for an in house VoIP System
If you've decided to set up an in house VoIP system, there's hardly any better solution out there for you than Asterisk. It's probably the most well known and free open source solution you can find on the market. Assuming you already have the resources for all the hardware required to set up your VoIP communications infrastructure, Asterisk can provide you with a solution that is flexible, cheap, or easy to set up.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is do you have the technical skills necessary to install the real Asterisk communication server? Asterisk has many products for different types of people and organizations. If you're familiar with Linux, scripting in the dial up language, and with elements of telephony, you can directly install the core Asterisk server from where you can build a custom made solution which is uniquely suited to your business.
However, lots of firms don't have the necessary expertise or time to do this. In many cases, they're switching to an in house VoIP solution to save time and money and don't want to get in over their heads. For such businesses, Asterisk has other packages available which can get them up and running quickly.
Setting up Asterisk quickly with a GUI
If you don't want to spend a lot of time and effort configuring your VoIP PBX with scripts, you can install a version which requires much less from you. AsteriskNOW is a software package which can convert any regular server into a VoIP powerhouse. You do this by downloading an ISO which you can either burn onto a CD or a USB drive and boot up your system with it. It then guides you through the process of installation and provides you with a GUI which can set up the server to be a PBX for your business.
Of course, it doesn't have the true power and flexibility that the core engine has, but it's surprisingly effective for a lot of firms. You can even start out with this and once you get comfortable with managing it, you can move onto the more complex system as your business needs become more refined.
The other alternative to obtain scalable business VoIP services is of course to outsource it to an ITSP. It's simple switching to a hosted PBX and can be done in minutes. Choose this option if you really want to get going quickly and save a bundle of time and money without having to buy expensive hardware.