The Phone

I have been enjoying the phone on my desk. So nice to pick up the phone or press the speaker phone button and see a list of recently dialed and received calls. So nice to have more than a one line LCD screen.

The Carriers

Working with the carriers has been the most frustrating part of the new phone system. We are using 2 carriers, one for our 3 analog lines (fax & fax modems) and another for our SIP trunks. I don't deal with the carriers directly, we have a phone agent, ARG, which works directly with the carriers. Considering the problems encountered and steps required, I am happy to be one step away from the carriers.

The first carrier sent us bill which included charges for the December and installation charges. The problem is that they didn't install the new lines yet. So we won't be paying that bill.

I complain to ARG and then the carriers sends someone to do the installation work. He can't find any free wires going from the building's 2nd floor phone closet to the basement. I am told they need to send over 2 people with a concrete drill to install new lines. Lots of $$$.

I contact ARG about the situation. They send their own engineer and he finds lots of unused wires between the 2nd floor and basement phone closets. He even finds wires that connect to our server room so we are almost all set for the SIP trunks. So I don't need more wire installed.

Late last week WindStream, our SIP trunk provider, sends over their contractor to get the new circuit pulled up from the basement phone closet to our server room. He uses the existing wiring and does the job quickly.

We are on track for going live on Feb 20, 4PM. We will have new phone training Feb 21.

Here are some events leading up to the happy day:

Tue Jan 29: Analog phone carrier will send someone again to complete the wiring of new lines to fax machines and modems.

Tue Feb 5: Switch over fax lines to new carrier

Wed Feb 6: Windstream will complete activation of  the new SIP trunk (don't you love these tech terms) and CWPS will connect the SIP trunks to the new PBX. This is a key date. It means that the new phones connect to the outside world.

Between Feb 6 and 20th I'll be working with CWPS to do final configuration of the new system. This includes assigning new extensions to everyone with a 20xx extension. I hope to be reporting on fun stuff here.

Wed Feb 20, 4pm: Switch our lines to the new circuit. We will put new phones on staff desks either earlier in the day or the day before. Once the lines are switched we will remove the old phones. We will keep the old PBX and one phone working so staff can check on old voicemail.

Thu Feb 21: Phone training.