Names to avoid - Nortel as they have gone bust, Avaya bought various chunks of them but some vendors are still selling kit from Nortel and they are not going to be carried on by Avaya in some cases so worth actualy checking and researching.
I've used the following systems - Nortel (BT BCM 400), Alcatel OmniPCX Enterprise, BT Versatility, BT Inspiron, Siemens HiPath.
All bar the Siemens were good, I wouldn't touch Siemens again, now we may have had a pants support firm and local firm doing it but everything was a chore, very expensive and not easy to deal wtih. The Alcatel was costly but certainly worth looking at in my view as it was a 3U rack appliance, so plug and go.
You said about retaining handsets, your current system probably has analogue handsets which will in a lot of cases be incompatible with the new system, you don't have to use Soft-phones with VOIP systems, you can get all physical phones like I believe @tom_newton has at Smoothwall.
Its very much worth talking to BT though, as with the new BT Phone Networks (21st century network) spending 20K or so on a phone system could be risky as technology on stuff coming in could have to be modified or even be scrapped when BT change to the new systems as some services maybe presented differently in the future, such as ISDN30.
I could be _waaaaaaaaay_ out on the pricing there - I was including software clients for users (not needed in dumb handsets) and 100 quid handsets like the ones our salesteam use, and not accounting for volume discount - so I may be being a bit mean to zultys :) but certainly it is not the cheapest system.
Originally Posted by glennda
As john said, we are 100% hardphone. Upstream we connect via ISDN30, PSTN *and* SIP :)
Incidentally Equiinet have started to do voip stuff too...
I went with Lync... surprisingly cheap for education and in my price comparison it was fractionally cheaper than building my own Asterisk system. It also integrates well with Exchange and Office.
You can use gateway devices to connect legacy devices if needed and to connect to the PSTN. Avoid Vegastream like the plague though cos I have had all kinds of hell with my BRI gateway :-(
Avoid Samsung, their gear is from the past, thats the only explaination I can come up with.
Have dealt with the Avaya stuff which is reasonable and have heard the Mitel stuff is good.
Highly recommend 3CX. Ended up having it implemented at my last workplace and worked really well. Support from 3CX was excellent!
We are getting a Panasonic system installed over the Summer. The factory is in Wales so no supply issues, all looked nice, good history, free software upgrades, expandable and we have a Panasonic system currently that has soldiered on for 15+ years so felt happy returning to them.
Not sure how far away they deal but we went with Calibre. (I'm not on commission). Yell if you want more details.
Cheers I will give them an Email as i'm west sussex - just will double check that we have funding before i start talking to to many people.
Originally Posted by TechMonkey
We are currently running 2 Avaya IPO 500 across 3 sites all coming through 20 Lines of ISDN30. Looking into 5 Lines of SIP trunking for redundancy at a remote site. Also have Voicemail Pro 7 installed with SMTP backup to remote site. Runs really well, easy to manage and licensing is also clear. Also setup Campaign Manager on the voicemail server to reduce calls for the attendance team in the morning so parents can choose to go through an automated service.
Dont know if this is of any help just a few ideas