PBX Question



  • Context:

    I have a good buddy that owns a small business and he wants me to redo his phone system with voip. He wants 3 phones so its a small endeavor. He then told me he wanted me to do it because he had been reading up on other people doing PBX solutions. I told him I had never done this before and he would be better off getting someone with more experience in this. He insists that i do it because I have already done a lot of general work for him including his computer system and audio/video stuff. He has always paid well so I guess I can't complain but I don't even know how involved this is going to be. I assume a hosted solution like with Vultr but I don't know for sure if that is accurate or not.

    Questions:
    Is this something I can figure out and do in a month's time?
    What all do I need to consider?
    How do I charge for this now?
    How does the monthly fees for him work in the future after he has been set up?
    Will there likely be support to do eventually when and if things break?
    Anything else I need to know from those experienced with this?



  • @jmoore said in PBX Question:

    insists that i do it because I have already done a lot of general work for him including his computer system and audio/video

    Following JB's guide here on ML you can get this up and running in under a day.



  • 3 phones? I think voip.ms has an option for this. @JaredBusch knows a bit more.

    Questions:
    Is this something I can figure out and do in a month's time?

    Yes, with 3 phones you could probably get this up in running a a week or less.

    What all do I need to consider?

    Consider getting in touch with @JaredBusch or @NTG. They each (I believe) do hosted VoIP and could easily get this done in your time frame. They also have the expertise that you might be lacking.

    How does the monthly fees for him work in the future after he has been set up?

    He would most likely have a monthly fee per DID as well as a monthly hosting fee. Outside of that he would be charged usage obviously.

    Will there likely be support to do eventually when and if things break?

    Maybe? It depends how you go. Hosting it yourself you'll have to monitor updates and manage the server itself.

    Anything else I need to know from those experienced with this?

    Don't do this on your own if you haven't done it before (and even then) it's simple to setup but can be a pain to support in the long run.



  • Don't do this on your own if you haven't done it before (and even then) it's simple to setup but can be a pain to support in the long run.

    Or take on the challenge and create a learning opportunity, but know if you go that route, it'll take longer to get setup and be a challenge to support rather than just hiring a Jared or NTG as resommended.



  • The issue I wonder about is the cost of on going maintenance.

    Typical monthly maintenance on this should be 1 hour (maintenance not add/changes/removes). 1 hour consulting time is typically $100+/hr. So before we even look at the SIP trunk costs, you're likely at $102.50 (assuming a Vultr instance of $2.50/month).

    You can setup a three phone getup from Dialpad for $60/month all call mins included.

    So unless JB comes in here and says - nah, you don't need to do maintenance but once a quarter, you'll save money going another route.



  • @eddiejennings said in PBX Question:

    Don't do this on your own if you haven't done it before (and even then) it's simple to setup but can be a pain to support in the long run.

    Or take on the challenge and create a learning opportunity, but know if you go that route, it'll take longer to get setup and be a challenge to support rather than just hiring a Jared or NTG as resommended.

    This is fine as long as the customer understands the potential issues. But from a finance side, it's really likely not worth it to the business assuming they are paying you an hourly rate to setup and manage it.



  • @dashrender said in PBX Question:

    @eddiejennings said in PBX Question:

    Don't do this on your own if you haven't done it before (and even then) it's simple to setup but can be a pain to support in the long run.

    Or take on the challenge and create a learning opportunity, but know if you go that route, it'll take longer to get setup and be a challenge to support rather than just hiring a Jared or NTG as resommended.

    This is fine as long as the customer understands the potential issues. But from a finance side, it's really likely not worth it to the business assuming they are paying you an hourly rate to setup and manage it.

    I agree. A middle ground, if his friend insists that OP be the one who's in charge of it, could be for the OP to contract out someone to design / implement, then he just manage it.



  • @eddiejennings said in PBX Question:

    @dashrender said in PBX Question:

    @eddiejennings said in PBX Question:

    Don't do this on your own if you haven't done it before (and even then) it's simple to setup but can be a pain to support in the long run.

    Or take on the challenge and create a learning opportunity, but know if you go that route, it'll take longer to get setup and be a challenge to support rather than just hiring a Jared or NTG as resommended.

    This is fine as long as the customer understands the potential issues. But from a finance side, it's really likely not worth it to the business assuming they are paying you an hourly rate to setup and manage it.

    I agree. A middle ground, if his friend insists that OP be the one who's in charge of it, could be for the OP to contract out someone to design / implement, then he just manage it.

    Yep - @JaredBusch or @NTG could probably do it for cheaper than $60/month. and that will include maintenance, since the economy scale works in the client's favor.



  • @dashrender said in PBX Question:

    @eddiejennings said in PBX Question:

    @dashrender said in PBX Question:

    @eddiejennings said in PBX Question:

    Don't do this on your own if you haven't done it before (and even then) it's simple to setup but can be a pain to support in the long run.

    Or take on the challenge and create a learning opportunity, but know if you go that route, it'll take longer to get setup and be a challenge to support rather than just hiring a Jared or NTG as resommended.

    This is fine as long as the customer understands the potential issues. But from a finance side, it's really likely not worth it to the business assuming they are paying you an hourly rate to setup and manage it.

    I agree. A middle ground, if his friend insists that OP be the one who's in charge of it, could be for the OP to contract out someone to design / implement, then he just manage it.

    Yep - @JaredBusch or @NTG could probably do it for cheaper than $60/month. and that will include maintenance, since the economy scale works in the client's favor.

    FreePBX can be setup and left unattended and still be getting updated. But only if you buy the Sysadmin pro module.

    That module runs the "firmware" update automatically if you choose. And the Firmware update process updates the OS and the modules.

    It happens much slower than module updates and OS updates but it can work.

    That said, I would never recommend that.

    FreePBX 14 now has an updater function (free) that updates the OS and Modules.

    So an instance of FreePBX can now be maintenance free from an IT perspective if you trust these processes.



  • For a 3 phone office, I would go direct to VoIP.ms and not bother with FreePBX.

    $1/month for the DID
    $1.50/month for e911
    $0.01/minute for usage.

    I mean I would be happy to set something like this up on Vultr and such, but I don't work free. It takes a couple hours to do it right and make sure all bits are done right. So he'd be paying me a minimum of $300 to $450 to set it up.

    And honestly the backend time (accounting, billing, contract, etc) to setup a new client for a once off $450 is arguably not worth it.



  • @dashrender Just got home. Ok thanks Dashrender. So at least not horrible and sounds doable after a week or 3



  • @eddiejennings I would like the learning opportunity and doing it for a buddy on a real small scale seems the best time to do that.



  • @jaredbusch Ok thanks a lot Jared for the advice.



  • @jmoore said in PBX Question:

    @eddiejennings I would like the learning opportunity and doing it for a buddy on a real small scale seems the best time to do that.

    If you want the experience, then setting up a FreePBX instance is a great choice.



  • @jaredbusch said in PBX Question:

    @jmoore said in PBX Question:

    @eddiejennings I would like the learning opportunity and doing it for a buddy on a real small scale seems the best time to do that.

    If you want the experience, then setting up a FreePBX instance is a great choice.

    Sure, this is a great choice for everyone, as long as you aren't charging the client for the time. Remember - he's a business, and as such should be making smart financial decisions. Having you do it, and him paying you to to do it doesn't seem like a smart financial decision for previously stated reasons.



  • @dashrender Yeah I agree with that. I think I will offer to do it for free this time and explain to him its a learning opportunity for me.


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