Quick start with Kerio Operator


Kerio Operator is an IP PBX phone system for small to medium size organizations. For a detailed product description and feature list, refer to the Kerio Website.

This guide provides general instructions for deploying Kerio Operator and its primary features. The diagram below illustrates Kerio Operator in a typical environment. Many of the sections in this guide reference the diagram as an example.

Preparing for deployment

Kerio Operator requires connectivity with a telecommunications service provider (TSP) or Internet telephony service provider (ITSP) to place calls through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Prior to installing Kerio Operator, identify the type of telephone service that meets the requirements of your budget and infrastructure. Refer to the supported phone cards and tested SIP providers on the Kerio website to determine if Kerio Operator meets the requirements of the service provider you select.

To place calls through Kerio Operator, you need a VoIP phone that communicates via SIP. Kerio Operator automatically provisions phones from manufacturers including Polycom, Cisco, Snom, Grandstream, Mitel, and Yealink. Refer to the list of phones on the Kerio website to identify the type phone model that meets your budget and feature requirements.

Installing Kerio Operator

You can install Kerio Operator as a hardware, software, or virtual appliance. All installation types use a built-in operating system that you manage through the web administration. Refer to the technical specifications on the Kerio Website for the requirements of each option. For more information refer to Installing Kerio Operator.

Accessing Kerio Operator

You can manage all of your Kerio Operator deployments using MyKerio, see Adding Kerio Operator to MyKerio. Otherwise, you can administer Kerio Operator directly on the network using a web browser by opening a secure connection to the IP address or hostname of your server.

The Kerio Operator Box uses pre-defined networking parameters. See Setting Up Kerio Operator Box 1220 and 3230 for details.

The Virtual and Software Appliance editions include a separate administration interface that the administrator can access directly from the operating system. This dialog includes essential features and is primarily useful when you are not able to access the web administration. Capabilities of this interface include:

  • Allow remote administration from untrusted networks
  • Perform a factory reset
  • Shutdown/restart
  • Configure TCP/IP parameters

Activating Kerio Operator

Kerio Operator requires the administrator to activate essential settings after the installation. When the administrator first logs in to the web administration interface, a configuration wizard opens. The wizard configures the basic parameters:

  • Account credentials for administration
  • Default language of the phone system
  • Time zone of the server
  • First extension number

For more information refer to Logging into Kerio Operator Administration.

After configuring the basic parameters and logging into the administration with the administrator account, Kerio Operator directs the administrator to Configuration > Dashboard. The dashboard provides a real-time overview of the system. For more information refer to Using Dashboard in Kerio Operator.

To complete activation, register for a trial or install a valid license from the License tile in the Dashboard. For more information refer to Licenses and registrations.

Configuring Kerio Operator on the network

To communicate on the network, you must assign networking parameters to Kerio Operator. The administrator can assign parameters in Configuration > Network.

Configurable items include:

In the example, Kerio Operator connects directly to the Internet and connects directly to the local network via a separate interface.

  1. The administrator prepares the phones on a local network.
  2. The administrator connects Kerio Operator to the Internet and assigns a public IP address to the Internet facing network interface.
  3. The administrator connects Kerio Operator to the local network and assigns a private IP address to the internally facing network interface.

Upgrading Kerio Operator

Kerio Operator automatically checks for current versions and downloads the upgrade file. You can confirm the upgrade of Kerio Operator in the web administration in Advanced Options > tab Update Checker. Additional upgrade options include:

  • Receive an email alert when a new version is available
  • Check for beta versions
  • Install a custom version by uploading the upgrade image file

For more information refer to Upgrading Kerio Operator.

Adding extensions and user accounts

You need extensions to enable phones to register with Kerio Operator. You can add extensions in Configuration > Extensions. Extension properties include:

  • The SIP username and password phones use to register with Kerio Operator
  • A user account that associates to the extension
  • The priority of codecs phones use during calls
  • Options for recording and encrypting calls and traversing networks that use NAT

For more information refer to Creating extensions.

You can add registrations to an extension to enable multiple phones to register with the same extension. For more information refer to Configuring multiple registration of an extension.

You can associate user accounts with extensions to enable people to access features such as voicemail, faxing, click to dial, and the call status of other people. You can add user accounts in Configuration > Users. User account properties include:

  • The username and password people use to login to Kerio Operator
  • The extensions that associate to the user account
  • An email address where Kerio Operator can send recorded voicemail messages

For more information refer to Creating user accounts.

In the example, each user has their own extension.

  1. The administrator adds an extension for each person.
  2. The administrator adds a user account for each person and associates an extension to the user.

Creating an automated attendant

The automated attendant enables callers to navigate through the phone system by keying digits into a menu. Kerio Operator interprets the caller’s input using dual-tone multi-frequency signaling (DTMF). You can configure automated attendants in Configuration > Auto Attendant Scripts.

Each auto attendant defines:

  • An extension
  • Announcements
  • Actions based on keyed digits
  • A timeout with a corresponding action
  • Time conditions that present specific menus based on the time or day of the week
  • An option to allow direct dialing to extensions

For more information refer to Configuring auto attendant scripts.

Other features relating to the automated attendant include:

  • Record audio service enables you to record audio by dialing the extension of the service.
  • Dial by name service allows callers to key the first 3 letters of a user’s name to dial their extension.

For more information refer to Using PBX services.

In the example, the automated attendant allows callers to dial 0 for the receptionist, or dial 1 for a dial by name directory.

  1. The administrator calls the record audio PBX service to record a greeting with instructions.
  2. The administrator creates an auto attendant script:
  • selecting the announcement to the audio file recording
  • defining key 0 to dial the extension of the receptionist
  • defining key 1 to dial the extension of the dial by name PBX service

Connecting to a telephone service provider

Kerio Operator connects to a telephone service provider through an interface. You can manage interfaces in Configuration > Call Routing. The configuration for each interface depends on the type of telephone service.

Telephone service using PRI/BRI, POTS, or Euro-ISDN requires physical infrastructure and a hardware interface with specific configuration for each type of service. For more information refer to Configuring standard phone interfaces.

Telephone service using a SIP provider requires Internet access. Kerio Operator uses a virtual SIP interface to connect to the SIP provider. You configure the virtual SIP interface with specific information from the SIP provider:

  • Domain, Proxy, or Gateway refers to the hostname of the server providing SIP service
  • Telephone numbers that you can use with your service
  • Credentials to use when registering to the SIP provider

For more information refer to Connecting to VoIP service providers.

In the example, Kerio Operator connects to the PSTN through a SIP provider.

  1. The administrator selects a SIP provider.
  2. The administrator adds a SIP Interface in Kerio Operator.
  3. The administrator configures the SIP interface with the information from the SIP provider.
  4. The administrator directs incoming calls to the extension of an automated attendant script.

Provisioning phones

Phone provisioning is the process of configuring phones to register with Kerio Operator. You can manually provision phones through a software interface, or Kerio Operator can automatically provision phones.

Automatic provisioning simplifies the configuration of phones on the network. To automatically provision phones:

Kerio Operator automatically provisions phones by default. You can customize the provisioning settings in Configuration > Provisioned Phones. Provisioning settings include:

  • The master password for remote access to each phone’s web administration
  • The extensions that associate to each phone
  • The phone’s display logo and dialing settings

For more information refer to Configuring automatic phone provisioning.

Manual provisioning is necessary when Kerio Operator cannot automatically provision the phone. Examples include softphones, remote phones, or phones that do not support automatic provisioning. To manually provision phones, you need basic information:

  • The person’s name for Caller ID
  • The IP address or hostname of Kerio Operator
  • The SIP user ID and password

Kerio Operator automatically generates a password for each extension. You can locate the SIP password by clicking the keys icon in the properties of an extension.

For more information refer to Configuring software phones on computer or mobile phone.

In the example, phones automatically provision with Kerio Operator.

  1. The administrator chooses a phone model and obtains the phones.
  2. The administrator configures the built-in DHCP server in Kerio Operator.
  3. The administrator connects the phones to the local network.
  4. After each phone provisions, the administrator associates the phone with an extension.

Calling from mobile devices and desktop operating systems

You can use Kerio Operator Softphone to place calls from a mobile device, or Kerio Phone for desktop operating systems.

Administrators can enable Kerio Operator Softphone for mobile devices for individual user accounts in Configuration > Provisioned Phones > Softphones. Users can obtain Kerio Operator Softphone for mobile devices from Google Play and Apple App Store and Kerio Phone for desktop from the Kerio website. See Configuring Kerio Operator Softphone for mobile devices and Installing Kerio Phone for Windows, Mac and Linux for details.

In the example, users place calls from mobile devices using the Kerio Operator Softphone app.

  1. The administrator adds a registration for each extension.
  2. The administrator enables Kerio Softphone for each user account.
  3. Users install Kerio Operator Softphone and setup their account.

Configuring and accessing voicemail

Voicemail allows callers to record a message when the receiving party is not available to accept the incoming call. The administrator can configure voicemail in Configuration > Voicemail and in Configuration > PBX Services. Voicemail options include:

  • Send voicemail recordings as an email attachment to a user’s email address
  • Set the maximum length of a recorded message
  • Set the maximum number of messages in each user’s voicemail box
  • Set the extension for voicemail access

For more information refer to Configuring voicemail.

Users can manage their voicemail by dialing the voicemail PBX service and following the prompts, or by logging into Kerio Phone. For more information refer to Using Kerio Phone.

In the example, users receive voicemail by email.

  1. The administrator assigns an email address to all users.
  2. The administrator configures Kerio Operator to send messages to user’s email.
  3. The administrator configures Kerio Operator to send voicemail messages via MyKerio.

Configuring automated backup

You can backup the Kerio Operator configuration for restoring to another system in case of hardware failure or other types of disasters. The administrator can configure backup to MyKerio or an FTP server in Configuration > Advanced Options > Backup and Recovery. See Saving Kerio Operator configuration to FTP or local storage and Saving Kerio Operator configuration to MyKerio for details.