Thanks Trolleybus, quite a full list of advice.
At the moment, we're thinking along these lines :
Hosted on Enta's Enrich system, with two lines. Fibre is already installed, 40 MB connection, on a Draytek 2850. Note there can be heavy internet use already during the working day.
Calls will generally be to/from UK, but also some international.
In the office will be two wired handsets, each able to access both lines. Also a third handset, but wireless, DECT.
On top of that another three occasional users, for home use, etc. They might use headset type things, from their home laptops, or maybe handsets, or maybe want the option of both - handset for both lines at home, and the laptop/headset for travelling.
All these users will presumably have their own extension number for transferring calls, and inter colleague calls.
Budget will be important, as in all decisions. It's a good business, but not made of gold.
I do want to have some good support, because I'll be the one installing and taking care of this system, and then taking whatever flak might come. I'm hoping Enta have a good track record on this side.
Any further advice or comments will be most welcome, thanks.
Since we are heavily into using something very similar to your desires, and also unable to draw upon unlimited funds, I thought you might like to read on.
What you will find from an original conceptual idea of usage of VoIP will develop a strong sense of why the hell you had not had the system installed much earlier because every day you will discover the strengths, and the few weaknesses, of using VoIP and discover just how much better VoIP is over traditional small office systems.
You have two good building blocks already to give you a perfect service, FTTC and Draytek. Now get your head around terminology and forget about "two lines" and learn about identities. VoIP uses your local area network and therefore each desktop phone needs a dedicated circuit back to the switch/router. Snom phones do have an inbuilt mini hub to aid installation but it is best to ignore that feature.
I don't know anything about Enta but assume it provides similar features and facilities available from our hosted VoIP service. If you have an established business, then I guess you have a phone number you wish to retain and while there are no issues in moving that number over to VoIP, you may be in contract with your existing supplier which could invoke early termination charges. In general each VoIP phone has an identity linked to POTS numbers, in our case it is the published number for the company and its own DDI number.
Outgoing calls from any one of our five VoIP phones has the presentation number of the company. Incoming calls to that number ring all five phones in the office with the ability to transfer an answered call to another VoIP phone. We also have teleworkers, some where the phones are setup in a similar manner allowing incoming calls to be answered whenever the office is unstaffed.
Forget about softphones, there is no substitute for a dedicated handset and for the home environment the Gigaset IP phones are ideal. These phones have the ability to connect the existing home telephone line to the control unit and also an internet connection for the VoIP service. Use of one service continues to allow the other service to be available for use, perhaps from another handset.
The travelling user can have a call received in the office transferred to him either to the mobile number or in some cases to VoIP identity in the phone. If there is no one in the office the process can be automated.
Setup costs are high but running costs are low but ROI in under six months is achievable. You need to buy the VoIP hardware, and maybe beef up your LAN,
but that's it because everything is self install including configuring the phones in a manner required by your hosting provider. Unpacking the phone often takes longer than the physical install!
Whereas previously we had six BT landlines we now only have one and that provides the broadband service, supports RedCare, the fax machine and a backup POTS service.
We have a credit account for calls made and get a monthly bill for the entire running costs irrespective of where the phone happens to be. Saves teleworkers the need to claim for the calls they make and makes the recovery of VAT easier.
So your budget might look like this:
VoIP desktop phones; 2 snom 370s at £175 each
VoIP wireless phones. 3 Gigaset twin sets at £100 each
LAN infrastructure upgrade and cabling, say £100
Setup costs, £0 although you have to factor in some costs for your time.
You should be able to get it all up and running in a day using new POTS numbers but the transfer of an existing number could take a week or more to move across.
Thereafter an identity cost of £5-£10 each per month, say 5 * £10 in your case, with 01/02/03 numbers costing for a call anything for 0.7ppm to 2ppm with no call set up charges. Non UK calls not a lot more to many countries.
VoIP is not for everyone, but we are well pleased that we use it. I have run out of time to wax lyrical in the many ways we have found it most beneficial but any specifics you want to know, just ask.