Best practise for operator

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Hi,

My question in short: what is the best practise for a small company (30-50
users) with one operator that answers each call?

I am a developer and now working on the implementation of Asterisk in our
company. With the definitive guide next to me, the scripting of extensions
and configuring trunks isn’t that hard from what I have read until now.
What worries me is what the best way would be to get our operator to work
nicely / efficiently. On one location we have a receptionist who takes the
calls to our main number. She would transfer when needed. We also have
about 7 other locations (retail stores) which we are going to connect to
the same Asterisk box.

We will switch to voip completely using a voip provider, so everything will
be SIP.

First of all: to have seperate “lines”, would one usually use seperate SIP
accounts? I have seen enterprise SIP phones who say they support 6 lines,
and then also support 6 SIP accounts. Does this mean a line equals a SIP
account?

Are there people here who have Asterisk running in their company already
with an operator? What software or phone do you use? What is the setup
(extension config) in Asterisk? I have read about the Shared Line stuff
(SLA right?), but this would only be needed if several people need to see a
light when a line is busy, and able to exchange this line. Why would one do
that if you have the ability to transfer calls, use queues, and park calls?

Would the best setup be to create a “receptionist” queue, with only one
member/agent in it? Or could I better use several lines on one SIP account
(although I still haven’t figured out how to do that). Or maybe six SIP
accounts on the enterprise device and connect them so an extension using
Dial(sip1&sip2&sip3&etc…)?

Any recommendations are more than welcome! I am interested in how other
companies solved this.

I have checked out FOP2 (by installing it), but by the looks of it now I’d
have to change the buttons config each time extensions and/or users change.
Would be better if this came straight out of Asterisk. Any other software
operator/switch boards that really work. Maybe there’s only a few that
really stand out?

I have also checked Voice Operator Panel on the website. Any reviews on
that?

I hope somebody would like to share their setup.

Thanks in advance!