ooMa office question

I own hub for home use and quite pleased. looking to buy ooMa office but really unclear what it can do…for instance, I want to port over my 3 business lines and get rid of phone service provider…making a psuedo VOIP setup for biz… problem is I cannot find any info if office acts like a true pbx in routing calls… I know I cannot use VOIP phones but can I buy one-line phones and still be able to use all 3 lines??
also, will/does office be backwards compatible with ooMa handsets (both ver1 & 2)??

so porting 3 lines over will take time I hear … and coat about $30/line as a onetime fee…ok .what do I do in the interim time of waiting for porting to go thru?
also, I heard faxing was a nightmare with ooMa products before… can I use a specific tel# for receiving faxes only?? that bypasses the office virtual recep but means I lose use of that line …same as now…so what is adv for office?

any deals now with free 2nd lines? if yes, can I port one of my phone numbers now as the free 2nd line?

any help would he greatly appreciated…info online/marketing/sales is not Crystal clear so trying to get right info before deciding buy path
thank you

If you call Ooma Business sales they should be able to answer all you questions 877-959-6662. There are no extra charges for porting numbers to Ooma Office. See post here

Ooma HD2 handsets will be supported, but are not right now. See post here more info

The Office has one standard phone jack.
You can add up to 4 Linx.
Each Linx adds one standard phone jack.
Thus you can have up to 5 standard phone lines.
They can be routed through standard building multi-line wiring or a cordless phone base can be connected to a line to give multiple cordless handsets or both cases can be done at the same time.

The original Ooma handset is not supported.
The HD2 handset will eventually be supported but is not supported at the present time.
There is a limit of 4 devices so the mix of Linx and HD2 handsets can’t exceed 4.

A phone line can either go to the virtual receptionist or to a specific Linx.

If you describe the setup you want to achieve there are many people on here that can tell you if the Office can handle it and maybe suggest a different configuration if it can’t.

thank you all for posts…

I will definitely look at the link about no porting charges for office…that would be great!

also, each lynx represents extension or phone line?? very different pending if this is true pbx type system…

to Murphy …
here is what I am trying to achieve

small office in NYC…about 7000 sq ft so we use wireless handsets now but they are old and need to be replaced. I am searching online to find the "correct " phones to use based on office setup…

right now we have main unit (rca) plugged in after our dmark…all other handsets are cordless to base BUT I have wiring already run to multiple locations so can do either wired or wireless.

my goal was to have office answer/route all calls for 2 lines and have fax line direct to fax and 1 line direct to special extension… for the 2 lines going thru office, to get thru a traditional pbx I only need a single line phone/run as the pbx does all routing…will I need 2 line phones for office or can I use single line phones?

I would love not to waste a phone line just for fax, but I don’t think there is a way around this…which is why I asked about free lines…

any suggestions would be appreciated.
thank you!!

The number of lines is determined by how many simultaneous phone conversations you want to have possible.
The Virtual Receptionist can route one line to any extension by speaking a menu to the caller and having the caller dial the 3 digit extension number that they want. That isn’t going to work for automatic FAX based on my current understanding.
However if the FAX caller placed the call manually and then dialed the extension of the FAX machine manually it could work.
I sent my last FAX around 1995 so I am out of touch with what is possible these days. Possibly a smart FAX could be programmed to handle the extension dialing. I’m guessing not because the Office does not present a dial tone when it is time to dial an extension.

You mentioned a PBX. Do you have a PBX and want to integrate the Office with it or do you want to use the Office in place of a PBX?

If you have more than 1 number, you can have one of them be direct inbound (all additional numbers can be direct).

Direct numbers

Additional phone numbers can be handy if you want to have numbers in multiple area codes or if some of your extensions (like a fax machine) need to have direct inbound calling capabilities to bypass the Virtual Receptionist. Each phone line you purchase includes a free direct number.

I actually want to use office instead of a pbx…but I want what a pbx offers for a small business…

I would like direct inbound faxes to be recd without virtual reception and the ability to have 1 “special line” ring at one phone only…and then the ability to make/receive 3 concurrent phone calls…

Besides that “special line”, clients only calling 1 tel # from outside…

For outbound caller id purposes, I want special line to show special tel# but all other lines to show caller id as only my main #…

So, still asking how I set this up with ooMa and can office platform operate like a pbx? Sorry, last question in my setup is I am changing my phones…so with my setup as above, a traditional pbx allows me to purchase single line phones, wire only blue pair to each faceplate and access all lines in the system as pbx routes…is this same with ooMa office?

Again, thank you!!

Although this is possible with the Office, I’d recommend to keep your dedicated fax line for now. That way you can test faxing with the Office before actually porting your fax line over. Besides, I have the fax line hooked up to my alarm so I don’t want to mess with it yet. There are a few fax/alarm bugs with Ooma’s older model. Ooma just recently improve their fax capability, but only for Premier subscribers. They’re supposed to offer this “improved” fax version with the Office, but I’m still doing tests on that to make sure.

The Office allows you to make 5 concurrent phone calls while subscribing to only ONE phone number. For receiving, you can receive more than 5 concurrent phone calls using additional 15 virtual extensions (a more advance “multi-ring” feature like the Telo), but that’s another topic.

If you don’t port the dedicated fax line, you’d only need to subscribe to only ONE LINE with the Office for clients to call inbound. You can use any extension to call and your outbound Caller ID only shows up as one number since you only subscribed one number. Even though you only subscribe to only one number, you can make up to 5 outbound phone calls. With pbx, you’d need to subscribe to 5 lines to make 5 concurrent phone calls. This is a huge saving over the pbx. I was paying 3 pbx lines and a dedicated fax line for a total of 4 for around $240/month. With Office, I’m paying $20/month for 5 lines.

The Ooma Office base is like the brain of a pbx. The base also acts as one extension. The Office comes with 2 Linx adapters that you can plug into the wall’s power outlet. Your pbx phone will NOT work with the Office, so you’d need a regular office phone to plug into the Linx adapter, which can be linked to the Office base (cordless) to make/receive calls. The Office allows additional 2 Linx adapters (purchase separately) for a total of 5 physical extensions. By the way, Ooma’s HD or HD2 handsets are not currently compatible with Office, so don’t buy it. Purchase a regular cordless phone if you want portability.

When you activate Office, Ooma assigns you a temporary number. Play with the Office for a while and set it up through the Web Portal (Ooma Office Manager) the way you like it. Once you have everything is setup, then port the main line over to the Office. Then cancel the other 2 lines with your phone company. The most important thing is NOT to cancel your main number BEFORE porting. Otherwise, you’d lose the main number.

Music-On-Hold is a little different from the pbx system. You can hook up a radio or ipod to the pbx, but you can’t do that with the Office. What the Office allows you to do is upload an mp3 file that will play when callers are on hold. That means they would be hearing the same thing over and over unless you upload a different file. This works great if you want the caller to hear an advertisement of your product played over and over.

** UPDATE **
ordered and received Ooma Office mid May
rec’d Temp Phone #… Started Porting Process … did not add any new lines at that time.

got rid of Verizon DSL and upgraded to FIOS pkg (15/5) which got me 2 free phone lines (see explanation/use down below)…

Porting was to take 4.5 wks as per session update… Porting took only 10 days! lost some calls on that final “port over” date but i was made aware in advance by OOma emails and updates… so we were able to keep our client list updated.

struggled with setup as manual states – in between Fios Modem and Router… so, put it BEHIND my router. i don’t really like this long term if we grow as i cannot control QOS well… but , i can control QOS via Router and can try to give Ooma Office IP the priority in bandwidth … not needed yet but just fyi for others thinking about Ooma Office install.

My setup is now Fios Brains, Verizon Router, Ooma Office… hosting 4 phones. 1 phone (wireless) plugged into back of Office box… 3 other phones (also all wireless 1 line phones) plugged into Lynx devices… (** i had extra Lynx not being used from my Telo Home install… so used it for the office). i installed/registered each Lynx device separately and everyone of them went thru flashing blue/amber lights to upgrade software… but after about 5-10 min, all updated and solid blue’s…

Use the 2 free POTS line verizon gave with the FIOS service as follows:
1 - another office/division phone #…ported over.
2nd line – now my FAX line…also ported over but now i don’t need that to take up an extension on my OOma Office box and do not have any issues… plus, its free.

Once all porting was done, we added 2 more lines (did not add specific Tel #'s yet though as we do not need DID) and we have basically everything working as needed…calls rolling nicely to everyone’s extensions as needed…just as we hoped it would work from ad’s !!ha

We have been using for over a week and i have got to tell you i am pretty darn happy with it. i think there are some call quality issues i still need to fine tune, but over-all the setup went okay… one Downside? Ooma cust. Srvc not the greatest tech’s… i would recommend you have someone install/manage this that knows computers/networking… as you will not get good trouble shooting from their tech staff…at least not the 5+ people i spoke to… but finally got a senior person that was able to help me finish the install/setup… she was awesome … i hope Ooma setups up Tech levels so that those with complicated matters can speak to a knowledgeable staffer instead of someone who barely knows internal ip’s setups/structures.

LOTS of options in setup… i get calls to ring… calls direct to voicemails… and even call routing to mobile phones… i love that and OOma announces the forwarding but caller does not know… super slick… and all voicemails, if setup properly, come to my email as MP3’s… again… this is a BUSINESS PHONE SYSTEM… truly works like one too…

by the way… almost forgot… don’t drive yourself crazy trying to self assign your OOma office’s ip if you are plugging behind the router… change it to DYNAMIC DHCP setting and leave the rest… works like a charm and you can still get into the management screen with their 172. address…

Will update after a month or two more of use … re: quality of calls… billing/invoicing vs what i was told initially… problems with equipment (if any)… etc… but right now this is saving us $60/month plus giving us a great professional phone system… AND faster internet … who can complain with that ???

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Congrats. Keep in mind that Ooma just deployed their trunk line limit, so my post above no longer applies.

That still leaves you with 3 lines though. You can make/receive 3 concurrent phone calls.

What is their new trunk line limit? 3, 5 ??
Pls adv.
Thank you!!

They limit one phone call per line. When I first activated the Office with one line, I was able to make up to 5 outbound calls.

Maximum is 5 physical and 5 virtual, so 10 lines (i.e. 10 telephone numbers activated) total. The terminology still confuses me, because it functions differently from a traditional PBX. AFAIK, even if you subscribe to 10 lines, you can only make only 5 outbound calls due to the limitation of the Office’s hardware. However, you should be able to receive 10 inbound calls, because Ooma is capable of having virtual extensions.

I hope I didn’t confuse you.

Ah, got it…but wait, office just came out…are you talking about making 5 calls on Office per line? Was this only for the last 30 days? Wow, that would have been great and kept me from having to buy other lines! Haha…but I guess OoMa figured that out fast…anyway, should not complain as we got all of what we needed and wanted and are still saving money…

They sure did. I think it was my fault that they found out so quickly. They deployed the trunk limit within a week after they saw my post. I’m still not using the Office as intended due to other limitations such as call log/blacklist/voicemail buttons, but I’ll post a review in another thread.

We are a 6-person architecture firm, I have successfully installed and registered the Ooma Office unit, and am trying to figure out the best configuration for our office before we begin the porting process. We currently use 3 telco lines coming into a 4-line capable Panasonic kxtg4500 system with 6 wireless handsets that can each access all three lines via buttons on their control panels. One of the phone lines automatically detects a fax tone and routes to the fax machine. This configuration allows anyone to pick up any line, place a call on hold, and have someone else pick up the same call on their handset by pressing the same line button on their own handset. In addition, the three lines are set up to hunt sequentially for each other, allowing subsequent calls to be answered by anyone not already on a call (or even by someone already on a call if they put the current call on hold). We like to have the phones answered by humans during business hours, but would love the virtual receptionist to route voice mail when we are closed (though if forced to use that configuration, we will adapt). I am trying to reproduce this basic configuration with the Ooma office, but wonder whether I am barking up the wrong tree. Any suggestions?

really depends on how you want to use it.
At first i was really not understanding why you would have gone away from a PBx with wireless handset capabilities into Ooma Office … honestly if I were upgrading from a PBX I would have only done VOIP system with wireless head/handsets instead… However, now I looked up your system and it is basically a 4-line home/office phone system with a few extra bells/whistles… Okay, makes a little more sense now.

Ooma office is a great system and we are still using it for our small NYC business…but really does not have that full-featured PBX setup… kind of mocks a PBx without the expensive price tag.

but let’s talk about OOma OFfice for now… For phone calls coming in, to my knowledge there is no way to have it set where a Human answers during day and Virtual Receptionists answers after hours. I guess you could create a sytem setup where it has no voice message and it auto-forwards to a “all extension page” … but why? What you are looking for is an inherent feature in a PBX system… called Night Attendant. If that is really that important or you think your customers don’t want to hit a ext # when calling then you might want to rethink and go another route (PBX w/ Night Attendant or VOIP setup). I had my doubts but most who call (even those who are not current clients) seem to navigate the Vmail system quite nicely and never had a complaint yet… so I change my thinking and it actually seems to avoid all those telemarketing calls we used to pickup/get…
if you can route with Virtual Receptionist as prelim answer , giving caller instructions to dial ext 1 for DAVE, 2 for BILL, etc… then this will work nicely as it can then ring to their office phone, cell phone, home phone or any/all the above…

Hunt sequence is no longer needed and should be removed as Ooma Office handles that internally now…only issue I think you have to decide/discuss is WHAT tel #'s do your clients have? based on you setting up a hunt sequence, I would assume everyone only calls Tel# A… and Tel # B and C are hidden and just part of the hunt… not a Tel # people actually call to… right? Again, Ooma Office handles that with your LINE setup… so I think only porting 1 Tel # (your Tel#A) for you would work … and add other additional “Lines” …

Calls are Transferred to internal extensions… you cannot “Park” calls as in PBX (or at least i have not seen any documentation advising this is possible)… you can either transfer without telling the extension person the call is coming or you can call the extension, tell them who it is and then transfer the call to them… I think either works well for most small business offices… again, your offices personal preference on setup.

now, since Ooma holds onto lines available when doing internal transferring, I think you need to probably have about 5 lines with OOMa. in my head that would give you 3 available lines (incoming/outgoing) and 2 lines for when transferring calls or vmail is occurring… again, easy to add lines but each line cost $… I think $19/line/month. I have 3 in my office and we have 3 lines… usually 2 of us are on the phone concurrently and we have not heard about missed calls or other issues with not being able to reach us… so for the 3 of us, 3 lines are working well.

fax – honestly I had issues when setting up fax on ext 1 (internal # 100 I believe) … even though this was not supposed to happen… so, I completely removed that and used my free line from Verizon (free when switching to FIOS) as my dedicated Fax line.

If you insist on having all phones ring when calls coming in, then I think Ooma Office is not the right product for you… Stay with your product or look at the VOIP solutions … i am hearing from those that recently installed these systems to stay with Avaya or Cisco, etc…

Sorry so long… hope this helps a little… otherwise, shoot back and let me or others on this forum try again…
Good Luck !

I too have experienced less than stellar help from tech support. Maybe someone else out there can help me. We’ve just purchased Ooma office and so far so good, but…

-we have 2 incoming phone lines that we’re working on porting now
-we have 2 employees and a conference room so there are three 2-line phones in the office
-we have 3 linx adapters
-we use Efax so not worrying about hooking up fax at all now
-we do not use the auto attendant (ext 100)
-ooma office is installed between the router and modem
-all of the extensions work - no problems there!

My dilemma… We need the ability to be able to initiate 3 way calling on each telephone.
Our current set up is:
phone 1 - line 1 hooked directly into ooma office box and line 2 hooked up to a linx (ext 101 and 102) my phone
phone 2 - line 1 hooked into a linx (ext 110) bosses office
phone 3 - line 1 hooked into a linx (ext 115) conference room

I tried to initiate a 3 way call from phone 2 today, but kept hanging up on the first caller. I assumed that you can make a 3 way call on one ooma linx line…??? I can initiate a 3 way call on phone 1. Do I need a linx adapter for each line and phone? ie: do I need to purchase 2 more linx?

When I talked numerous times with tech support, they kept suggesting I set up a conference server, but they were not understanding what I’m trying to accomplish. Maybe I’m not understanding what they’re trying to tell me…either way, if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I’m also trying to keep the phone bill down, so if we have 2 incoming lines (2 x $19.99/month) plus the 4 extensions I have set up 101, 102, 110 and 115 (4 @ $9.99/month) I’m looking at $80/month roughly? That’s not that much lower than what we’re paying now for 2 business lines. Am I missing something?

i am not an Ooma expert but had so many issues that i felt i learned a lot about this sytem… so read below if you want or wait for a Ooma office Tech to answer more…
That said, i am really not sure why you would even buy Ooma Office if not utilizing their auto-answer/receptionist feature … that is one of the key selling features for Ooma Office. Otherwise, you could have bought a Panasonic or RCA telephone system (without a PBX involved) and had internal extensions and probably have done the same as you are using now… unless I am missing something in your setup.

Anyway, you have to approach OOma office with the mindset that anytime someone picks up a call OR tries to call out, it uses a “LINE” … meaning, if YOU want to make a 3 way call, you need 3 lines for just that call… That might explain why you kept hanging up on the 1st caller as you were already using your MAX lines (2) and when hitting FLASH , the system understood you wanted to end that call and make another one… IF you had 3 lines, I believe you would not have a problem…
Well, Technically speaking you would not have a problem until someone tried to call you company or someone else from your company tried to call out while you were on that 3way call … since you would be using all 3 lines, INCOMING calls should be routed direct to Vmail … but that might not occur as no lines available to carry that new call… so they might just get a busy signal. and while you were on that 3way call (using all 3 of your lines) , no one else in your office could dial out either – as no “lines” available…

so, since each line is $20/month, you have to carefully calculate how many lines you will need … and make sure you are going to use those lines constantly each day… otherwise you are paying for lines that you do not need except for only 1-2 times per month… kind of expensive to keep that option open I think…

I’m not expert either, but have ooma office with 1 phone # using 4 handsets. (3 lynx + main router/telo) I’m too small to need auto attendant, receptionist handles incoming and transfers accordingly. I love that the 4 extensions can be used independently, phones are never busy when an extension is in use, etc., only thing, during my peak time (5 weeks annually) the system will wig out at times, an extension won’t work, or multiple extensions won’t work, or one will this time but another won’t at another time, etc. A Ooma tech said my upload speeds weren’t enough and this was causing the problems, the speed is a little over 4, he said it needs to be 8! Their home telo specs say 4 (or 3.???), I believe, or so my IT guy tells me and he uses ooma home and felt 4 should work for me, but I don’t think he’s ever setup Ooma office or troubleshot it before.

Anyway, bottom line, does anyone know about the upload speeds and/or if the ooma folks are correct in me needing 8 for this system to function properly?

thanks, Jeff

Have you given the Ooma box priority so its packets don’t get delayed by other traffic?
Delayed packets for a file upload won’t hurt anything. Delayed Ooma packets will corrupt the voice traffic.