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Feature Tour

At the end of the setup wizard, I was a little surprised to find that the system was not completely ready to make and receive calls. I later found this was due to a minor problem in configuring the VoIP account credentials. This caused me to examine the admin menus in greater detail, going beyond the automation the wizards offered on the main web screen.

Navigating to the Internet tab on the web GUI, I found all of settings that I would expect to have on a wireless router. These will be completely obvious to anyone with any amount of networking experience. Figure 4 shows the Internet > Connectivity screen where you set up the router WAN connection. I have included screenshots of other router setup screens in the slideshow.

Advanced Menu - Internet Connectivity (WAN)
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Figure 4: Advanced Menu - Internet Connectivity (WAN)

Moving on to the Telephony tab of the web GUI reveals all of the various settings relative to the Asterisk portion of the system. Figure 5 shows the Phone configuration screen.

Advanced Menu - Phone configuration
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Figure 5: Advanced Menu - Phone configuration

As old school Asterisk users will surely point out, the convenience of the GUI is almost always paired with constraints on the end-user. It presumes that you will use the system in a manner common to a large number of users and may not readily accommodate esoteric configurations.

While this is true, Jazinga targets a user that is not likely facing exotic requirements. I was able to use the advanced menus to configure users, phones and VoIP accounts easily, and much faster than I would have on my old Astlinux server.

The PBX market has traditionally suffered a sort of “feature frenzy.” Vendors adding a bewildering array of features not because they were necessary, but because they were on someone’s marketing checklist.

Jazinga delivers the full feature set of a nicely configured small business Asterisk system, such as:

  • Blind transfer
  • Attended transfer
  • Music-on-Hold
  • Voicemail with message forwarding to e-mail
  • Call park & pickup
  • Conference rooms (2)
  • Multiple auto-attendants
  • Teams (aka ring groups)
  • User directory
  • Paging
  • Schedule-based call routing
  • Auto Callback
  • Remote SIP access
  • Remote admin access

Some of these functions may sound like IP phone tasks and not PBX functions.  But remember that Jazinga provides two analog station (FXS) interfaces. So these features also need to be exposed in the PBX dial plan and made available to extensions via * codes.

For example, *69 invokes a last number redial function, or *00 which is an “all page” causing all phones on the system to ring. The “Teams” feature lets you establish ring groups so that multiple phones ring when a call get routed to a specific department.

The music-on-hold feature (Figure 6) makes it very easy to upload music files right from the web interface. Once uploaded, the file is automatically transcoded into G.711 format for storage. This conversion takes under a minute for an average length song. Tracks listed as available for music-on-hold can be marked active, disabled or deleted as necessary.

Music On Hold
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Figure 6: Music On Hold

Jazinga claims that there is a “unified communications” angle to their voicemail implementation. When email integration is set up using IMAP, not only are messages forwarded to the user via email. But when the email is opened and/or deleted, such actions are reflected in the status and availability of the original voicemail on the Jazinga system. While very interesting, this was not something that I was able to test during my time using the system.

The onboard analog interfaces support two extensions and one trunk line. That could be enough for a very small home system but a few more extensions are often required in real-world installations. You have the option of adding a supported external ATA device to add a few more analog extensions. But the better approach is to add a few inexpensive IP phones.

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