Remember that girl that you never much noticed in high school that happened to cross your path years later and there was that instant attraction. It’s one of our favorite country songs.
What a month it has been. 30 days ago we’d never met. And then it happened. We were introduced to XiVO by a single post on the PIAF Forum. It’s difficult to choose a single adjective that describes how feature-rich XiVO is as a real-time Asterisk platform. Ten years of development coupled with some really talented Canadian developers puts XiVO in a league of its own. Pure GPL code. No gotchas. No hidden agenda. Incredible documentation. No snake oil salesmen trying to peddle add-ons for money. And, thanks to the endless patience of Sylvain Boily and Pascal Cadotte Michaud, two of the key XiVO developers, we’ve had quite a joy ride this month. Today we want to share what we’ve learned and provide everything you need step-by-step to hit the ground running with XiVO. In less than an hour, you’ll be sitting in front of your own XiVO server, and you can judge for yourself. All we can ask is “Where have you been all these years?” XiVO really is THAT GOOD!
Let’s Start with the Features. If you make frequent changes to your Asterisk platform, then you’ll really appreciate XiVO’s realtime implementation. Changes are loaded almost instantaneously. Contrast that with some other platforms with hundreds of users where simple changes require several minutes or more to reload the Asterisk dialplan. Here’s an example:
Speaking of hundreds of users, consider the time required to generate accounts and phone configurations for hundreds of users. With XiVO, a simple spreadsheet can be used to build all the user accounts in seconds. And XiVO’s Endpoint Manager supports all of the major phone manufacturers and configures your phones in seconds. With other solutions, you’ve got a fee for the Endpoint Manager add-on itself and then another annual maintenance fee to assure that the software will continue to work. Contrast that with XIVO’s GPL alternative. Choosing Configuration:Provisioning:Plugins:Update generates templates for dozens of great SIP phones in seconds with just four button clicks. Adding your own new models is a breeze.
We’ve already written about XiVO upgrades and backups, the twin-edged sword with most Asterisk implementations. Yes, you can go the proprietary route and stumble through dozens of menus and arcane commands to load upgrades and create backups. With XiVO, backups are automatic and the updates are fast and furious. Every morning a new backup arrives in /var/backups/xivo, and a new version of XiVO is released every two weeks. You can upgrade your server in under a minute with one simple command. Did we mention reported bugs are addressed in under 30 days!
One of the real failures of the other GUI offerings is their lack of tools to perform most tasks in any way other than using the GUI. For developers and those that maintain numerous phone systems from afar, this becomes a nightmare. XiVO offers a better alternative. Yes, there’s an incredible GUI. But there’s also a robust collection of APIs that provide programmatic access to manage and query virtually every piece of the XiVO puzzle. As if that weren’t enough, there’s also real documentation and samples to show you how to use each piece.
Have we got your attention yet? We haven’t even touched upon Call Centers and High Availability (HA) server deployments, but they’re included at zero cost. For today and just getting started, suffice it to say that XiVO covers all the bases with open source code. And all of these features already are incorporated into the product you’re about to install. So, if those two items have been on your Wish List and you’d prefer to avoid paying an arm and a leg for proprietary, commercial add-ons with recurring annual fees, today’s your lucky day. Break open the latest XiVO documentation, all 479 pages of it and enjoy!
We’ve barely scratched the surface of what you can do with XiVO. Simply stated, anything you can do with the other GUI offerings, you can do better, quicker, and cheaper with XiVO. And, if there are features you need that aren’t there, all you have to do is ask. We’re porting applications to XiVO at the rate of about one new application a day. You can do the math on feature sets and measure where we’ll be when the summer is over.
Getting Started with XiVO. We’ve switched gears on a deployment strategy for XiVO. Instead of the weekly article format that Nerd Vittles typically uses, we’ve decided to build a permanent repository of XiVO tutorials that walk you through the implementation process in the same way we would approach it for a commercial customer. You start by choosing a Hardware Platform for your XiVO PBX, and we’ve got six choices to choose from thus far. Three are local solutions and three are cloud-based solutions. You can read through the six tutorials and find the one that best meets your requirements. Next up is an Initial Setup Tutorial that puts all the bells-and-whistles in place once you have your basic XiVO platform and firewall installed. This includes setup of extensions and voicemail as well as many of the basic components in the Incredible PBX feature set. Once you’ve completed the general setup, we provide tutorials to install Trunks from some of our favorite providers so that you can connect XiVO to the outside world. And, finally, there are tutorials to show you how to set up Outbound and Incoming Call Routes for your XiVO PBX. There’s much, much more to come but that should be sufficient to get your XiVO server up and running with an awesome feature set. Bookmark Getting Started with XiVO and you can follow our progress in coming months. Enjoy!
For additional tips & tricks with XiVO, take a look at our previous articles:
2016, The Year of (real) VoIP Choice: Meet XiVO, a UC Solution for Any Business
The XiVO Adventure Continues: Adding Incredible PBX Goodies to Your Sandbox
2016, Celebrating The Preakness: CallerID Superfecta Rides Again with XiVO
Choosing Wisely: Mastering Asterisk IVR and AutoAttendant Design with XiVO
Choosing a XiVO Hardware Platform
- XiVO Platform Tutorial: Installing XiVO on a Dedicated PC
- XiVO Platform Tutorial: Installing XiVO VM on VirtualBox
- XiVO Platform Tutorial: Installing XiVO VM on VMware ESXi
- XiVO Platform Tutorial: Installing XiVO VM at ImpactVPS
- XiVO Platform Tutorial: Installing XiVO VM at Digital Ocean
- XiVO Platform Tutorial: Installing XiVO VM at CloudAtCost
XIVO Initial Setup Tutorial
XIVO Trunk Implementation Tutorials
- XiVO Trunks Tutorial: Installing a Vitelity SIP Trunk
- XiVO Trunks Tutorial: Installing a VoIP.ms SIP Trunk
- XiVO Trunks Tutorial: Installing a RingPlus SIP Trunk
- XiVO Trunks Tutorial: Installing a FreeVoipDeal (Betamax) SIP Trunk
- XiVO Trunks Tutorial: Installing a Google Voice-Simonics SIP Trunk
XIVO Call Routing Tutorials
- XiVO Call Routing Tutorial: Creating Inbound Routes for DIDs
- XiVO Call Routing Tutorial: Creating Outbound Routes for PSTN Calling
Taking Nerd Vittles’ XiVO IVR for a Test Drive
There’s a Demo IVR running at www.pacificnx.com on their XenServer virtualization platform. Scott McCarthy, a leading outside XiVO developer and a principal at PacificNX, tells us they soon will have a $20 a month platform specifically tailored to XiVO. And that’s what you’ll be hearing when you call the Nerd Vittles Demo IVR:
Nerd Vittles Demo IVR Options
1 – Call by Name (say “Delta Airlines” or “American Airlines” to try it out)
2 – MeetMe Conference
3 – Wolfram Alpha (Coming Soon!)
4 – Lenny (The Telemarketer’s Worst Nightmare)
5 – Today’s News Headlines
6 – Weather Forecast (enter a 5-digit ZIP code)
7 – Today in History (Coming Soon!)
8 – Speak to a Real Person (or maybe just Lenny if we’re out)
Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2016
— Ward Mundy (@NerdUno) April 22, 2016
Need help with Asterisk? Visit the PBX in a Flash Forum.
Awesome Vitelity Special. Vitelity has generously offered a terrific discount for Nerd Vittles readers. You now can get an almost half-price DID from our special Vitelity sign-up link. If you’re seeking the best flexibility in choosing an area code and phone number plus the lowest entry level pricing plus high quality calls, then Vitelity is the hands-down winner. Vitelity provides Tier A DID inbound service in over 3,000 rate centers throughout the US and Canada. When you use our special link to sign up, Nerd Vittles gets a few shekels down the road to support our open source development efforts while you get an incredible signup deal as well. The going rate for Vitelity’s DID service is $7.95 a month which includes up to 4,000 incoming minutes on two simultaneous channels with terminations priced at 1.45¢ per minute. Not any more! For our users, here’s a deal you can’t (and shouldn’t) refuse! Sign up now, and you can purchase a Tier A DID with unlimited incoming calls and four simultaneous channels for just $3.99 a month. To check availability of local numbers and tiers of service from Vitelity, click here. NOTE: You can only use the Nerd Vittles sign-up link to order your DIDs, or you won’t get the special pricing! Vitelity’s rate is just 1.44¢ per minute for outbound calls in the U.S. There is a $35 prepay when you sign up. This covers future usage. Any balance is refundable if you decide to discontinue service with Vitelity.
3CX is a software PBX that’s easy to install & manage. It includes integrated softphones, WebRTC conferencing and essential add-ons out of the box, at no additional cost. Try the free edition at www.3cx.com.
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