OpenVBX and Twilio

What is Twilio

Anyone in the market for a web based phone solutions has most likely come across Twilio . They've been around since 2007 and offer reasonably priced cloud communication services to the masses. It works and scales well for small and large companies.

When we were looking for a phone solution, we considered multiple other similar solutions. Plivo and Tropo were on the table, and the lower prices of Plivo made it a front runner. This was all until we came across OpenVBX.

What is OpenVBX

OpenVBX is a free and open source virtual PBX. It allows users to create phone trees using Twilio. OpenVBX is developed by Twilio and offers a fairly easy to use interface. Albeit not a beautiful interface, it get's the job done. Calls can be forwarded to any number of lines or can be answered online using the interface.

Pros
  • Pre-built Phone System
  • Extensible
    • Custom Themes
    • Modules
Cons
  • Setup can be a little cumbersome as the process has a few broken linkages (specifically creating a new user). Also it is not very clear on what information from Twilio will be used/
  • Documentation is lacking in terms of explaining the full process of creating a call flow.

I strongly suggest spending time reading Twilio's documentation before use. As new user I see a lot of potential for this system and multiple ways to make it a lot more user friendly. One of the first suggestions I'd make is creating a way to set a person's extension in their profile.

Over the next few posts, I'll be exploring how to make some changes and broaden the possibilities of OpenVBX. There's a lot that Twilio can do that is not integrated in there, but we can definitely add it on.

Vanessa Coote

I'm a programmer and former lecturer with years experience working with PHP, ColdFusion, Java, Visual Basic, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.