Features

Unified Communications System

VitalPBX includes all the features that exist in the different Asterisk Distros but also adds features that, until now were only available in commercial PBX systems.

VitalPBX Features List

Auto-Redial/Camp On.
Boss/Secretary + Whitelist.
Black List.
Busy Lamp Field (BLF) Support.
Call Back.
Call Flow Control.
Call Forward (busy, no answer, unconditional).
Call Monitoring.
Call Pickup.
Call Parking.
Call Recording.
Call Screening.
Call Spy.
Call Transfer (blind, attended).
Call Waiting.
Callback Services.
Caller-ID.
Dictation.
DISA (Direct Inward System Access).
DND (Do Not Disturb).
Direct Inward Dial Numbers (DIDs).
Find Me/Follow Me.
Hunt/Ring Groups.
Music on Hold.
Outbound/Inbound Routes.
PINSets.
Pickup Groups.
Personal Assistance (IVR).
Personal Recording/Notes.
Remote Substitution.
Remote Call Pickup.
Route by Caller ID.
Speed Dials.
Three Way Calling.
Video Calling.
Voicemail.
Voicemail to Email.
Voicemail Broadcast.
Wake-up Calls.

Agent logn in/log out.
Barge.
Call monitoring.
Call queues.
Call recording.
Caller Name Lookup.
CDR (Call Details Record).
Conferencing (on-the-fly).
Customer account codes.
Hot-desking.
Hunting groups.
IVR / Auto-attendants.
Listen to agent.
Pick-up groups.
Queue priorities.
Queue VIP list.
Ring group strategies.
Reporting.
Time-based routing.
Whisper to agent.

Visual Indicator for Message Waiting.
Stutter Dial tone for Message Waiting.
Voicemail to email.
Voicemail Groups.
Web Voicemail Interface.
Direct dial to operator.

Complete Free Unlimited PBX System.
Advanced Dialing Restriction Rules.
Call limited by duration.
Least Cost Routing.
Integrate Billing System.
Real Time Supervision (SwitchBoard).
Integrate Call Recording Management.

Backup & Restore.
Disaster Recovery.
Bulk Import Utilities.
Import & Export Extensions.
Import & Export Speed Dialing.
Log File Viewer.
Call Detail Reporting.
CLI Access (via GUI).
DHCP Settings.
Email Notifications.
Email Settings.
Extensions Status Management.
Network Settings Tool.
Endpoint Manager.
System Status Dashboards.
Users.
Users Profiles.
PBX Status Reports.
System Settings (Time, Notifications, Storage).
Addons App.
Multiple Language Support.
Phone Directory.
SIP-Open Standards.
Soft-Phone Support.
Unlimited Extensions.
Unlimited IVR.
Unlimited VM.
Remote Administration.
Storage Monitoring.
User-friendly Web interface.
VMware/Hyper-V compatible.
Feature Codes Management.
Global Search.

Built-in firewall.
Call encryption (SIP TLS, sRTP).
Authorization codes.
Phone Lock.
Intrusion detection and blocking (Fail2ban).
Limiting or blocking of outbound calls.
Password strength indicator.
PIN-protected outbound calls.
User permission management.
Secure password auto-generation.
Weak password report.
HTTPS.
OpenVPN.

Simple to Use.
Low bandwidth.
Unlimited Users.
Screen Sharing.
Secure Rooms.
Chat.

Simple to Use.
Low bandwidth.
Unlimited Users.
Screen Sharing.
Secure Rooms.
Chat.

Extensions.
Hot-desking.
Conference Rooms.
Custom Application.
Custom Destination.
Custom Context.
Paging and Intercom.
Pickup Groups.
Parking.
Speed Dialing.
Voicemail Broadcast Groups.
Call Back.
DISA.
PIN List.
Class of Services.
Features Categories.
Dial Restriction Rules.
Automatic Route Selection.
Customer Account Code.
Authorization Codes.
Ring Groups.
Queues.
Queue Priorities.
Queue VIP.
Trunk.
Outbound Route.
Inbound Route.
Auto-Attendant/IVR.
Time Conditions.
Announcements.
Languages.
Night Modes.
CID Modifiers.

SIP Settings.
IAX2 Settings.
Profiles (SIP/IAX2/BRI/E1 PRI/E1 R2/FXO/FXS/T1 AS/T1 PRI/PJSIP).
Telephony Settings.
Dial Profile.
Voicemail Settings.
System Settings.
Asterisk manager Users.
Music on Hold.
Recording Management.
Log Files.

g729, g719, g722, g723.
lpc10, slin.
g711 alaw, g711 ulaw.
siren14, siren7.
g726, g726aal2.
speex/16/32.
adpcm, testlaw.
gsm, lilbx.
h261, h264, h263p, h263.


Video Conference.
Simple to Use.

Low bandwidth
Unlimited Users.
Screen Sharing.
Secure Rooms.

Chat

Audio Conferencing
Call Recordings Access.
One Number Reach.
Multiple Devices per User.
Personal Call Log.
Personal Extension Settings.
Personal IVR.
Voicemail to e-mail.
Visual Voicemail.
User Portal: Access to Voicemail, Recordings, etc.

Call Forward.
Call History.
Call Origination.
Call Waiting.
Call Recording.
Do Not Disturb.
Follow Me.
Presence.
Visual Voicemail.
Voicemail.
Voicemail Greetings Management.

AutoDetect DAHDI Interface.
Supported Interface: BRI/E1 PRI/E1 R2/FXO/FXS/T1 AS/T1 PRI.
Clock Sources.
Channel Groups.
Profile Assignment.

SIP.
IAX2.
PRI/T1/E1/R2.
Analog/FXS/FXO.
ISDN.
GSM.

Description of some Call Features

Caller ID is a standard PBX feature which enables incoming calls to be identified by their Caller ID. On incoming caller’s ID is displayed on the users phone screen.

Similarly, all PBX extensions can be set to display a certain Caller ID when making outgoing calls. This is useful if a particular phone belongs to a particular department or if an individual wishes to display his/her direct number when placing outgoing calls.

This essential phone feature allows users to transfer calls from their phone. Calls can be transferred to another user, voicemail, an external number, and other destinations.

Call transfers can be done in two distinct ways. The first method is called a Blind Transfer and it will connect two calls immediately. The second is called an Attended Transfer, and this method connects the person making the transfer with the intended recipient first. This gives the transferring user a chance to inform the recipient who is on the line before the actual transfer is made. 

Call parking enables a call to be placed in a call parking lot with an assigned number. This parked call can be picked up by any user with any phone. The caller who is placed in the call parking lot will have on-hold music played to them while they are awaiting a pick-up. Calls are assigned specific parking lot numbers upon transfer. The parking lot number is essential to this system, so it is imperative that the person transferring the call notes which parking lot number the call is placed in – the number is read to the transferring user after dialling the extension for the parking lot. Calls can be answered simply by dialling the parking lot number.

This system is extremely useful when there are phones located where there may be more than 1 user (e.g. factory floor, newsroom, meeting room, etc…). Calls can be placed in a parking lot, and the receptionist can simply contact who the intended recipient is and tell them the code to access the call (e.g. “Mary your husband is on line 701” – Mary simply dials 701 on any phone and is connected to her husband).

This feature allows calls which would usually originate at a given location to be forwarded to another. Once call forwarding is activated, all calls are redirected to the intended destination immediately. Calls can be forwarded to another extension, phone number (such as a cell phone), an IVR, and more.

An example of this feature would be if a particular user had to leave the office for a given amount of time and wanted to receive their phone calls at another location.

Call recording is a useful feature which enables a calling or called party to record a conversation using their phone. Call recording can be set to always record, never record, or record strictly on an on-demand basis.

Call recording can be useful for training and/or quality assurance. Some jurisdictions/countries do not allow a call to be recorded without prior consent, please check your local laws before recording a phone call.

CDR Reporting gives you the ability to view all phone calls in a graphical interface. VitalPBX allows you to filter by date, extension, user, duration, and more. Totals are calculated based on the filter settings, and are displayed graphically in a number of ways.

This is useful for businesses who need to keep tabs on phone calls and certain individuals/extensions who cannot be directly observed or monitored constantly.

Voicemail is perhaps one of the most known and used feature of a phone system. Voicemail allows callers to leave a voice message which can be played back at a later date/time. By default, voicemails have two separate conditions/messages which can be played.

  1. unavailable calls‘ – when calls are un-answered.
  2. busy calls‘ – when the extension is in a call or in a non-disturb mode.

When a call reaches a users voicemail, the caller is prompted to leave a message after a pre-recorded (or automated) message. Additional options can be set to route calls should they reach a users voicemail (see Personal Assistant for more information).

Your PBX is capable of supporting hundreds of separate voicemail boxes. Your PBX also have voicemail to email functionality, which allows voicemail messages to be delivered directly to a users email address where they can be listened to without the use of their desk phone.

The voicemail to email PBX feature is a subscribed feature which when enabled, sends a copy of a user’s voicemail message to their specified email address. This feature allows users to listen to their voicemail messages via email or smart-phone device without having to physically use their desk-phone.

This feature has many inherent advantages, however due to requirements which necessitate the use of an external email server, subscription to a email service may be mandatory in order for this feature to function.

This feature is controlled in the PBX User Panel.

Once enabled, the follow me feature will direct calls to alternate extensions/external destinations (such as mobile or landline) should a call persist (ring) longer than the defined number of seconds. At first, the system will ring the initial extension for the defined number of seconds (we recommend 15 seconds). Once the defined duration expires, the system directs the call to ring the extension(s) and/or external destinations listed as follow me numbers. The call can be accepted or rejected by an external device (such as a mobile phone) without the caller having knowledge of this. A rejection will ultimately send the call to the first (original) extension’s busy voicemail*.

This feature ensures that a caller will never reach an external device’s voicemail system. This is extremely beneficial because this ensures that follow me destination voicemails (such as a mobile user’s personal voicemail) is never reached. Keep in mind that once a call is answered on an external device, it cannot be transferred back into the system (e.g. to an extension, ring group, call queue, etc…).

*The phone system is capable of routing the final (unanswered) call to many different destinations (such as voicemails, other extensions, IVR’s, call queues, and more). This is an advanced feature of follow me and requires additional configuration. 

This feature is controlled in the  PBX User Panel.
The PA (Personal Assistant)  allows for advanced control of a user’s voicemail system. It is somewhat similar to the Follow Me feature; however it gives callers more control. In essence, the PA is a mini-IVR (interactive voice response) for voicemail.

When a caller reaches a user’s PA, they are presented with a recorded message. This message would indicate to them that there are options in addition to simply leaving a message. Typically, PA voicemails would give callers the option of leaving a message OR attempting to contact the intended party. PA can be configured to work with ‘unavailable’ and/or ‘busy’ voicemails.

For example, a caller reaches your voicemail, and is given the option to: press 1 to call your mobile, press 2 to reach the Florida office, press 0 to reach reception, or leave a message. This ensures that the caller is able to contact an appropriate party should they want to, or simply leave a message.

An Interactive Voice Response(IVR)/Auto-attendant feature is perhaps one of the most desirable features for a business PBX. An IVR plays an automated message to all incoming callers. This message plays to the caller, specifies the options which are available to them, and subsequently prompts them to make their selection based on the nature of the call. Once the caller chooses the appropriate option, the call can be routed to the intended party, extension, department, etc. IVR’s are very robust and efficient tools in any business environment, and work to decrease the amount of time spent needlessly on the phone with a caller. Since the entire system is fully automated, calls are routed with more efficiency, and employees are able to maximize their productivity.

The do not disturb feature allows users to set a condition on their handset phones which would automatically reject a call. This is somewhat similar to call forwarding, except that any incoming call will terminate to the users ‘busy’ voicemail (regular unanswered calls terminate to the ‘unavailable’ voicemail). This feature is useful when a user is occupied with an important task and cannot afford to take a call (e.g. important meeting, important task, eating lunch, etc…).

 

A Call Queue is a feature which places callers into a regulated on-hold system of priority such that the caller with the highest priority (usually the caller on hold the longest) is answered before a caller with a lower one. Call Queues are extremely useful when handling a large number of incoming callers at the same time. Callers can be placed in a queue to be answered by the first available representative (support representative), or placed in a queue which can be answered by a specific agent (sales rep.). While a caller is waiting in a queue, special music on hold and/or messages can be played to them. Users are also able to log in and out of certain queues. This can be useful for users who wish to take lunch and not have their phone ring, or for situations where additional agents can be of use.

The Time Condition feature makes it possible to route a call based on the time, day of the week, or month. This feature can be useful for routing calls differently after business hours, during weekends, holidays, etc. A good example of this feature in use would be to play to callers a message indicating that the business is currently closed. The message can then inform the caller of the regular business hours and prompt them to leave a message or simply call back during business hours.

The Call Screening feature, when enabled, prevents a number from calling into the phone system. This is useful to prevent unwanted calling/solicitation, prevent harassment and/or abuse, stop telemarketing companies who just won’t give up, and more.

Your PBX is capable of grouping together many extensions into a single dialled extension. For example, if there are sales agents with extensions 220, 221, 222, and 223, then it is possible to assign a ‘Sales’ ring group which when dialled, will call all of the phones simultaneously.

Additional options can be configured such as: the ring strategy (ring all, ring sequentially, ring first available, and more), max ring time, announcement (to be played to the caller prior to dialling the group), whether to ring or play music, and more.

This feature is useful for IVR’s and call queues as incoming calls can be directed to an entire department with ease. This can also be useful if you wish to contact a group of phones internally (technical support agents). It is as simple as assigning those phones to a ring group (such as 601), and dialling it from any system phone.

The conference room feature of your PBX works to create a meeting room whereby users (both internally and externally) can call in and talk to one another. Conference rooms can be moderated by an admin user, and as well can be password protected to prevent unwanted callers from accessing it. The conference room can be accessed by users internally by dialling the conference room access number. The conference room can be accessed by external users by entering a numerical code after dialling a number.

For example, your conference room can be linked to your IVR message without anyone ever knowing. A caller would dial your regular business number, and once they reached the IVR message, they would enter the access code (#XXX) followed by the password, and they would be connected to the conference room.

Conference’s can easily be setup by contacting one or more parties via extension dialling. This conference, however, has restricted functionality, and may not work with outside parties.

This is a feature which can be accessed both externally and internally. When the directory is called, the caller is prompted to enter the first three letters of a user’s first or last name. The directory will then search and match the input to the most probable user and play back that user’s name for verification.

An intercom is a great feature to have in an environment where messages need to quickly be relayed to users across distances or offices. Paging/Intercom allows users to contact each other directly and immediately through the speakerphone (intercom and paging are automatically answered).
Intercom allows one user to contact another user (or users in a ring group) instantly. All parties are able to speak and listen to each other.
Paging allows one user to contact a group of users simultaneously. This differs from the intercom feature due to the fact that it is a one-way audio signal, meaning that those being paged cannot speak back to the pager.

These two features have many advantageous uses. One such use would be efficient in a large work environment such as a warehouse or large office. If a user had an important message to relay to the entire office, they would simply dial the page code which contacted all departments/offices, and speak the message. Everyone (save for those on the phone) would instantly be notified.

Note: Intercom and paging may not work on certain phones.

Busy Lamp Field (BLF) is a lighted (green or red) indicator on your phone (or expansion module) which can be configured to indicate the status of certain conditions/features of PBX.

Examples of BLF which can indicate status are:

  • Whether an extension is in use (whether a user is on the phone or not)
  • Speed-dial when key is pressed
  • Whether or not there is a call parked (awaiting retrieval by someone)
  • Whether or not the do not disturb option is activated.
  • Whether or not a call diversion is active.

A good example of the ‘extension in use’ BLF would be if someone calls in and wishes to reach Jim at extension 220. The receptionist would take a look at the BLF panel on their phone and see that Jim is on his phone (the light next to Jim’s name is RED), the receptionist can then ask the caller whether or not they would like to leave a message, or try back later. If the caller wants to leave a message, the receptionist simply transfers the call directly to Jim’s voicemail (*95*220).

The Call Spy feature enables certain privileged users to listen in on any phone call. This feature does not allow the user using call spy to interact with any member of the call being spied on. This feature also does not alert the party being spied on that someone else is listening.

This feature can be useful if an executive wishes to listen to an active call live without the call party knowing.

Direct Inward System Access (DISA) is a system feature which allows a user to access the phone system from external sources. This feature allows users (for example, on a mobile device) to connect into the phone system in order to check voicemail, place calls, dial extensions, and more. This feature works by prompting users to first dial an applicable number (this can be your regular business number or a special number specifically for this purpose), then (this is strongly recommended) dial a special feature code which will then prompt the user to enter a special PIN code. After entering the credentials, the user has access to your system almost as if they were at their desk.

An example of this would be if an employee needed to contact a client when they are not currently in the office. The employee could dial the special number, enter the feature code (#XXXXX), enter the PIN (XXXXX), and proceed to place a call. This is beneficial if the employee (or employer) only wanted clients to see the work caller ID number, and not the employee’s personal or work mobile caller ID. Another unique benefit to this feature is that the caller can use the phone system’s long distance service without worrying about paying ridiculous mobile long distance per-minute fees. In effect, DISA can work to be a calling card for employees.

Dictation is a useful feature which allows a user to record audio from their phone. The recording can then be sent to any email address specified to be listened to later.
This can be useful for many scenarios such as:

  • Meetings
  • Legal Proceedings
  • Dictation to be typed out at a later date
  • And more

Your PBX support the ability to add Remote Users. A Remote User is a phone system user who is not located in the office, yet still connects and has the same functionality of an office user. The Remote User must have their remote phone configured to connect to the PBX located at the central office.

Remote Users allow an individual to work from anywhere in the world, and calls can be placed and received just as if they were sitting at a desk in the office. This is an extremely useful feature which can be taken advantage of in a multitude of situations and scenarios (e.g. employees working from home, employees who are often travelling, employees in another city, country, and more).

Music on hold is a feature which plays music to callers who have been placed on hold or are currently in a call queue. The music can be customized to play music pertaining to the demographic base of the callers, or simply present the callers with a number of custom recorded messages relating to the potential nature of the call.

An example of this would be to record a message which can then play every X seconds indicating that the call is “important to us and will be answered in priority sequence”.

Another option is to record a message which can be played to callers to inform them of a potential issue which has been made aware (e.g. “we are currently aware of the escaped monkeys and are working to apprehend them. If this call is not concerning the ravenous monkeys, then please continue holding”).

Description of some Security Features

In today’s cyber environment anyone running a telephony system should be aware of security hazards and avoid them.  VitalPBX offers various levels of protection against cyber threats in the VoIP world.

With the integrated firewall you can block or authorize certain services or ports, as well as authorize or block certain IP addresses.

Fail2ban scans log files of ssh, asterisk, etc and bans IPs that show the malicious signs — too many password failures, seeking for exploits, etc. Generally Fail2Ban is then used to update firewall rules to reject the IP addresses for a specified amount of time, although any arbitrary other action (e.g. sending an email) could also be configured.

Fail2Ban is able to reduce the rate of incorrect authentications attempts however it cannot eliminate the risk that weak authentication presents. Configure services to use only two factor or public/private authentication mechanisms if you really want to protect services.

You can add a whitelist to avoid blocking your internal network

In VoIP network with Asterisk being the server or SIP proxy the secure calling can be achieved by enabling TLS to encrypt the signalling and enabling SRTP or ZRTP to encrypt the media or data/voice. Once implemented SIP UA, softphone or IP phone, can be set to use TLS instead of UDP or TCP as it’s transport. The advantage of choosing TLS is that the SIP traffic exchanged between SIP UA and Asterisk will be encrypted, it means it will take a considerable amount of time and effort for the Man in The Middle to decrypt it without the encryption key, if not possible.

The ideal password is between 12 to 14 characters long, with a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. But many users tend to use weak passwords since they’re easier to remember. The problem is, weak passwords are an open invitation for hackers to exploit user accounts and gain access to the corporate network.

VitalPBX comes with a tool to detect Weak Password which will help you to detect this type of password.

Authorization codes are used to ensure that no one else can make external calls from my phone, these codes also allow us to make calls from any telephone using the privileges of access to the dial plan that owns the code. In the CDR will appear this code and it is possible to obtain reports by authorization codes.

It is possible to lock the phone with a password which is related to the extension, if the phone is locked every time a call is made you will be asked for this password. The blocking is done by invoking a Features code.

PIN Set is a module that allows you to create groups of passwords for easier setup. One of these groups of PINs can be selected for example on an Outbound Route, thus limiting their use only to people who have a PIN.

This function is very important to avoid malicious calls.

VitalPBX incorporates dial restriction rules with which you can limit access to certain calls by code, you can also limit the duration of calls.

Addons Module and Applications

Sonata SwitchBoard is an interface with which you can monitor and manage the different activities of your PBX. The different modules that this application has are: My Extension, Trunk, My Queues, Extensions, Queues, Conferences, Parking Lots, Queues Stats Summary, Queues Members Summary, Queue Calls, Queue Overview, Queues Calls Counter.

VitalPBX integrates a complete Call Accounting System through which you can generate a wide variety of reports manually and automatically.

Sonata Recording Management is a software through which you can manage the recordings of your PBX. With Sonata RM you can management Flag, Notes and Reference associate to the recordings.

The IVR statistics module can obtain summarized reports of the option pressed by the clients, these reports are very important since they allow us to determine which option is not necessary or is very little used in the IVR.

The Domotic module allows us to integrate automation controllers into the PBX (it currently works with Vera Smart Home Control). the integration is done by means of BLF that can be associated to any telephone that has this option. It is also possible to integrate it with virtual extensions.

Custom Context allows integrated third-party applications and contexts to the dialplan.

Unified Communications

With VitalPBX you can have multiple devices connected to a single extension number, for example John Smith has the extension 2000 which has connected several devices like Desktop Phone, Mobile Phone and a Sofphone installed in his computer, all these devices have the same extension number and when someone calls John, he will have the possibility to answer the call in any of the three devices. You can also manage from any of the devices call diversions, DND, follow me, voice mail, etc.

We incorporate a robust Video Conferencing solution that will allow you to communicate with your collaborators, customers, suppliers or family easily and efficiently. Not only is video conferencing, you can also transfer files and share screen and more.

Nowadays, maintaining the instant communication between your office staff is very important, that’s why we have incorporated a chat server based on XMPP protocol with which all your staff will always be communicated.

This feature is controlled in the  PBX User Panel.
The PA (Personal Assistant)  allows for advanced control of a user’s voicemail system. It is somewhat similar to the Follow Me feature; however it gives callers more control. In essence, the PA is a mini-IVR (interactive voice response) for voicemail.

When a caller reaches a user’s PA, they are presented with a recorded message. This message would indicate to them that there are options in addition to simply leaving a message. Typically, PA voicemails would give callers the option of leaving a message OR attempting to contact the intended party. PA can be configured to work with ‘unavailable’ and/or ‘busy’ voicemails.

For example, a caller reaches your voicemail, and is given the option to: press 1 to call your mobile, press 2 to reach the Florida office, press 0 to reach reception, or leave a message. This ensures that the caller is able to contact an appropriate party should they want to, or simply leave a message.

The user will have the possibility to enter the User Portal where you can manage the following options:

Call Forward
Call History
Call Waiting
Call Recording
Do Not Disturb
Follow me
Presence
Visual Voicemail
Voicemail
Voicemail Greetings Management
etc…

As part of our telephony solution we incorporate a powerful softphone based on the popular Jitsi project, with this softphone our users can get on the same platform the following options:
a. Voice Calls.
b. Video Calls.
c. Audio / Video Conference.
d. Presence.
e. Chat.

This Softphone is completely free and is available in Windows, Linux and Mac platforms.