Business phone system setup in less then half an hour.

Yes, you can set up Zadarma virtual phone system for your entire company in 23 minutes while sitting in your comfortable chair. All you need is your laptop and internet connection.

Let's start with some theory.

What is virtual business phone system and how it works?

In most cases when you call someone's office, you are welcomed with a voice greeting message. Then an operator or front desk person answers your call and transfers you to someone you need. That someone can be out of office right now, in fact, he or she can be in a different city or country on a business trip and take a call on his cell or her laptop app - you won't notice, because your transfer will go through seamlessly. By the way, you don't even need a human on a front desk for that - all this can happen automatically. Nice, right?

It is pretty simple to organize a similar phone system for your business. Check out the image below that describes how virtual phone system, or virtual PBX, works.

Every single thing on that image can be virtual - besides you and your partner, of course. You can have virtual phone numbers in different countries, and your cloud PBX will rout calls, faxes and voicemails according to your settings.

To make it work, you have to do 4 simple steps:

  • Register and make your first payment;
  • Choose and order a virtual (DID) number;
  • Activate your PBX and follow setup instruction you find in your personal account;
  • Download and instal a softphone on your PC/mobile phone.

The optional fifth step includes fancy features setup, like voice menu, autoresponder, call recording, conference calls, fax, etc.

So, let's begin!

1) Registration and payment: 5 minutes

Fill out necessary fields on registration page. Choose "Standard" plan for the start with per second billing and free minutes. You can change it any time to a different one.

Now, log into your personal account. Check the call quality by making a test call, and make a payment for any amount, let's say $10.

2) Choose and order your virtual (DID) number(s): 4 minutes

First of all, check the prices. Go to the page with a full list of numbers. For example, we need one Moscow number (code 499) and one in New-York. DID number in USA are activated immediately, for Moscow number we'd have to upload a scan copy of valid ID and then choose a number. Now, our order is ready; Moscow number will be activated the next day after support receives the ID file.

3) Virtual PBX activation and setup: 5 minutes

Activate PBX in your personal account by clicking on a button on PBX settings page.

Now follow the instructions of our "Wizard":

Internal numbers setup. How many internal numbers do you need? Let's assume, in our case 3 internal numbers are enough (we can add more any time - up to 50 numbers).

SIP numbers setup. Upon registration, you get 1 SIP number (you can create more). 1 SIP number lets you create 5 lines, so for our case it is enough - no actions needed here.

Outgoing calls. If you and your team are not used to international format of phone numbers (e.g. 1-425-425-5566, not 425-425-5566) or call on local landlines on short numbers, specify your location. If your city is not in the list, choose the first one and change the code of the city on yours.

Voice menu/greeting. This function is optional, but why not to use all benefits of virtual PBX? To create a voice menu, you need an audio file with a greeting. You can either record your own voice, or choose an option «read from the text». For example, we wrote «Welcome to Tom and partner. Press 1 - to contact Tom, 2 - to contact partner, 3 - to send FAX». Typed the text, clicked «Read» and that's all — voice greeting is ready!

Voice menu items setup. In greeting text we offered 3 choices, it means that we need a menu with 3 items, or scenarios (another scenario for a case when none of options is chosen is created automatically). We create 3 scenarios, and name them correspondingly: «button 1 - Tom, button 2 - Partner, button 3 - FAX».

Incoming calls setup. So, we have now Tom's internal number - 100, Tom's partner's - 101. Now for call scenario «Button 1» we add in section «First calling to» Tom's number — 100. In case Tom doesn't answer the call, let the call to be routed to his partner, to the internal number we add in section «Second calling to». The same we make for menu item «Button 2»: in section «First calling to» add partner's – 101, if no answer, add Tom's — 100. Tom doesn't like to answer his partner's calls, so we increase a delay up to 30 seconds. Scenario with no choice made we will set the same way, as menu «Button1».

Congratulations, you set your PBX! Click «End» and connect phones to PBX.

4) Softphone download on PC and mobile: 3 minutes

Tom answers his calls on Android phone, and his partner - on notebook with Windows OS.

We will install Zadarma application for Android (on application page enter your number and get the link). Since we are connecting to PBX, we don't use a standard wizard, click «add account» and enter data of our internal number (login and password). On Android version 4.x you can use internal sip client.

For Windows we recommend PhonerLite, you can download it in section Programs in personal account. Setup instructions are available at the same page.

For iOS there are a few options, for example media5 phone. The only problem with media5 is codec G711 availability, which is inconvenient while making calls by 3G. There are more applications you can easily find on AppStore by searching for SIP.

Additional functions: 5 minutes

CallerID setup. Having new Moscow number, we want it to be displayed at called party side. Since we first ordered the number in USA, it was set as CallerID by default, but we can easily change it. In section «SIP settings» we setup external SIP line parameters, including CallerID for outgoing calls. We can use CallerID of a third party (an external number that was not ordered in Zadarma service), if we confirm we own it in our profile.

Conditional call forwarding. Our favorite function. Tom is frequently on the road, but doesn't want to miss a call. LTE and 3G do work, but not always... In internal numbers settings we check a box «Call forwarding», choose «No response or unavailable» and enter Tom's mobile phone number. In Android's SIP client settings we choose to allow app to run on WI-FI only. So, when Tom is out of home, he receives calls on his mobile, and when he returns home, he receives calls by SIP. Now he won't miss a single call.

Call receiving by a number of calling party. It's hard to teach Tom's partner mother-in-low to press 2 when calling us, and Tom doesn't want  to answer her calls and then transfer them on my partner. For that we have a solution in incoming calls setup We open scenario «Partner», put mark in check box «Trigger for calls from numbers» and enter her number. Now all her calls will be routed directly on my partner without voice menu.

Automated FAX receiving. In practice, FAX is not used often, but we'll set it up just in case - it's a free feature anyway. As we already created scenario for FAX (button 3), we need only to open this scenario and add internal number «50» in the list. All FAX messages will be delivered on email we used when registred our account.

Working hours. Tom wants to receive all calls, but during working hours only. ;)

After working hours, all callers will be transferred to autoresponder. To set the working hours in PBX incoming calls setup, specify the days, working hours and text, which will be played in non-working hours (you can check and set your time zone in profile settings). For autoresponder we have to create scenario «Autoresponder» and add another internal number 102. In internal number settings , for 102 we setup all calls forwarding to a voice mail.

Call recording. If you need to record calls, put in internal numbers settings a mark in the checkbox «Call recording». All records will be sent to an email you specify.

Music while waiting. For music lovers, you can upload any music to play while they are on hold or being transferred. You can do it in Incoming calls settings.

Conference. In our days you can hardly run your business without meetings and conferences. In Zadarma PBX conferences are made by a "room" model: you create a room, in which anyone (for example partners) can enter at any time (by dialing number and entering password), or you can call to employers you need. To start conference, go to the correspondent menu of PBX, make a room and set a password for it (or set it up with no password if you want it to be available to anyone). If your employee is out of office, he or she can call on office number and enter the conference.

Additional external line. What if you have a phone number people already know? Simply connect it as an «additional external line». If calls on old number were delivered via telephone wire, you have to connect and set SIP gate with FXO port, activate external line in personal account in mode «gate» and enter gate settings from personal account. If old number is working by SIP, then simply activate external line in mode «server» and enter number settings, PBX will connect to the server itself and receive calls on that number.

These are the basic features of our free business phone system. We are constantly working on improving it and adding new functionality, you can check it out in PBX settings in your personal account.

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