General discussion



By paul.kruger ·
Our company currently has 13 offices throughout the United States. Up to now, it was the responsibility of each office to deal with their local telco issues, from purchasing a phone system, to dealing with the local telco in setting up lines ordered and setup.

Our IT group is now in the process of developing a long-term strategy to manage these systems as well as identifying one manufacturer to purchase any new phone system for future office purchases. Basically we are going to standardize on this system.

Part of our long-term strategy is whether we should be considering VoIP capabilities in future systems. Even if we were not to implement now, we need to ask ourselves, where are we going to be in the 3 to 4 years? Should we purchase systems now with this capabilities for the future? This is one of ?many? questions that we are asking at this time.

While looking at VoIP, we are looking at both a IP-PBX and a ?pure? IP solution. They both appear to have advantages and disadvantages.

I would be interested in knowing what manufacture and information others have found to date on a VoIP manufactures and their products.

Some ?basic? information on our organizations include:

-13 offices
-280 employees
-Average office size: 25-30
-Our current WAN is business grade DSL
-The only things we share over our WAN is email, and access to our intranet
-A few mobile users (15)
-We are paying $0.031 per minute long distance
-Average cost of LD for an office is $500
-Average cost for DSL lines is $150

As you see, we run a pretty lean internal data network and our voice costs are pretty low. Except for local costs. VERY HIGH.

Companies that we are currently looking at include Nortel (BCM), Avaya, Cisco & 3com.

Any feedback that anyone could supply would be helpful.

Thank you in advance.

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Two recommedations

by Oz_Media In reply to VoIP

I have removed several VoIP systems to be replaced with the Nortel BCM or NEC's NEAX 2000 IVS, you may want to also review the NEC IPK as it is a great system for gradual IP integration.

Syetems I've removed to be replaced with these PBX systems include, 3-Com (Both customers despised that purchase BIG TIME), Mitel, Cisco (features don't work as stated and are VERY limited compared to a PBX and Avaya.

I used to work FT for a telephone company and now remote network/consult for their Vancouver Island customers/prospects. NEC has some REALLY high end powetr, but you pay for it. Nortel's BCm is a nice install since they upgraded the software levels and fixed some kinks. Basically, from my experience, PBX systems are more welcome in a business environment due to better/finer latency and stutter control, they have a tonne more features and bottom line, these guys have been in business telecom for MANY years and understand what customers need. Others are new to the game and lack in MANY areas of satisfaction and operation.

Nortel has sending voice over data lines years before anyone else had even comtemplated the concept, companies like 3-Com and Cisco weren't even in existence when Nortel started the VoIP game, they just don't have the experience to be competitive.
I think Nortel's got the best idea of what's needed and they incorporate some VERY powerful features into the BCM. If you have a big pocketbook, look at NEC's NEAX 2000 IVS, it's got some pretty slick and useful office features.

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Try these tools

by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to VoIP

VoIP Vendor Selection Checklist (sample version)

VoIP Vendor Reference Questions (sample version)

VoIP Vendor Reference Questions (sample version)

As always, be wary of extra spaces wedged into the URLs by the posting software.

- Jay

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Vendor reference questions

by Oz_Media In reply to Try these tools

Rather than a way to evaluate different products, this is a way to get feedback from YOUR clients on how YOUR product is rated.

To ask a vendor about OTHER companies is to shoot yourself in the foot. No SMART salesman will offer info on his competition as opposed to simply stating what HE offers while knowing that his competitors don't. I would never buy anything from a sales rep who told me what his cometition did or did not offer or even worse tales about their company. That is for you to do based on the positive aspects of each company.

The first link is just an evaluation form based on your own footwork. I believe this member has narrowed it down to a few providers already and is simply looking for equipment feedback on specific models.

I may add though, with ANY voIP vendor, MAKE SURE (100%) that they are fully authoriced to sell and install the product. There are literally thousands of techs that say they are authorized and VERY few actually are, they won't get manufacturer support and may void any warranties. I see this first hand so often that it isn't funny, you MUST check with the manufacturer to ensure that the company is AUTHORIZED as an installer and gets full tech support. I have seen phone companies with over 15 years experience say that they are authorized NOrtel dealers, Nortel DOESN'T have that many dealers and has HUNDREDS of grey market resellers, even reputable companies that are NOT authorized to install or support Nortel's systems, NOrtel is VERY picky who installs the BCM as it is a lengthy and daunting course to pass (too expensive for most companies).

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