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Hello From South Florida

Chris Labonne

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My name is Chris Labonne and I work as a Telecommunications Engineer for Great Healthworks (GHW) in Hollywood FL.

I've been in this industry since it was known as "Computer Telephony" and you were required to add PC hardware in order to connect to the telephone network. The internet was just starting to gain public adoption and the web was coming online. VoIP did not yet exist but was introduced a few years after I got started. My first 14 years were focused on building IVR solutions with Parity Software's  Voice Operating System (VOS), CT Connect, and Dialogic. After that, I had the pleasure of working at Dialogic with the entire product line: media, signaling, voice, fax, and video. Dialogic absorbed many of its competitors during my time there so I got to work with an even larger set of products from Brooktrout, Excel, NMS, and Veraz Networks. While at Dialogic I started working more with open source telephony projects like OpenSER and some Asterisk. I've continued with open source using Kamailio, FreeSWITCH, and some OpenSIPS. Now I prefer working with open source telephony, even more so when you can compound the power of these projects with the ever-more capable cloud offerings and modern phone carriers who offer APIs. It has been a blast to see everything become more connected and more open. 

We use Kazoo here running several stacks; mostly AiO. But we want to make those stacks more robust. 

Learning Kazoo without a mentor was a steep hill to climb. But now I'm comfortable with the APIs and working in CouchDB to see what is really going on. Still lots to learn but I'd rather use Kazoo because I feel it can scale and run robustly. I also had previous training for Kamailio and am comfortable working with FreeSWITCH. 

I've been patiently waiting for 5.x to be released. Perhaps I'll begin posting about how we continue with 4.3 yet with the FreeSWITCH repo changes. The old repo that 4.3 is looking for is no longer available and the installation is just broke. This would not a problem if 5.x was released. But 2600hz is way beyond their self-imposed expectations. I'm tempted to start modifying the 4.3 packages so that a Kazoo administrator can add their SignalWire PAT and continue as normally as possible with installation or maintenance. If 5.x is around the corner, I can wait a little longer. But we have been waiting 2 years so ....

A former engineer got GHW running on Kazoo 4.1 using Cisco phones. I picked up where he left off. Since then, I've successfully modified Kazoo 4.3 stacks to work with Cisco 79x5 phones which are the main devices we use at the office. We are also using some Poly CCX 600/700 including some simple video use cases - successful so far. The Cisco integration might be worthy of publication here. You can get these phones for near nothing on eBay. But they are so old (manufactured ~2012), I'm looking for new devices to standardize on for the future. Side note: staying away from YeaLink - great phones - but https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2022/01/common-office-desk-phone-could-be-leaking-info-chinese-government-report-alleges/360500/ . 

Re this forum topic: My joining this forum pre-dated this introduction requirement. But I was retroactively downgraded to a limited permission profile. Seems odd, but hopefully this post will remedy that. 

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  • 2600Hz Employees

Hi @Chris Labonne and sorry about the systemic shift we did catching you in the crossfire like that, unfortunately the platform can be a little limiting at times; hopefully nothing else went awry and you're still able to navigate normally now, but let me know somehow if not. However, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to write a thorough and impressive intro! A hidden benefit of accidental retroactivity I would say maybe?! It's great to know we have folks like yourself amongst us, such a depth of experience and skill is invaluable in our community.

As far as publishing the Cisco integration, we actually started a forum for the express purpose of people sharing interesting and useful knowledge of that nature, called the TWIL Knowledge Base (found here: https://forums.2600hz.com/forums/forum/118-twil-knowledge-base/ ), and while I am working with the team to publish things we discover internally, it's designed for all to participate! So if you felt so inclined, I would encourage you to consider posting that there, as such is the kind of communal collaboration and knowledge exchange we are so excited to foster here. 

Thanks again for posting this intro!

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Thanks @DanH

I appreciate your response. Being "heard" is always a step towards comfort :)

My solution to Cisc,o, while practical and well-tested at this point, was a little unorthodox. I basically loaded a second SIP Proxy to serve as the Cisco gateway (sort of a B2BUA) so that all of the Cisco traffic was fixed up.
I'll start by posting a list of the things we had to alter to get the phones to work well. I'll try to post that really soon in the twil knowledge base. What would take longer is a more artful solution that works within the Kamailio scripts offered by Kazoo, so that a separate SIP Proxy is not needed.  

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  • 2600Hz Employees

@Chris Labonne it is of great gratification to know what I do here might constitute any steps towards a better experience for the community, thank you for that, genuinely affirming! 

Thank you as well for this note on your proposed approach to the TWIL post. Speaking of comfort here as well, I would offer that the nature of the forums is inherently an interactive discourse format, and so to simply "get the ball rolling" with your thoughts and notes as they stand now can be enough of a jumping off point to add to later or get others to start chiming in and such. I mention this because I know it can seem as though the TWIL posts tend to be these complete article-like productions, and that is mostly circumstantial as I have the luxury of having an entire team of wizardly technical support agents meeting and pontificating and codifying knowledge into concise post materials for me, but there is no requirement or expectation that posts from the community in the TWIL forum follow that same format. BTW shout out to @Eric Faulkner and the support team for TWIL materials!

I see that you've posted in TWIL and just wanted to reiterate that that's perfect, thank you for your contribution! 

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