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How do you do....it? Thread, VoIP for a small school in Technical; Hi guys, We're trying to ditch our ancient phone system and get something a bit more up to date... our ...
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    VoIP for a small school

    Hi guys,

    We're trying to ditch our ancient phone system and get something a bit more up to date... our requirements are x2 PSTN lines (we're UK based), somewhere in the region of 6 - 10 IP phone extensions, a power failure phone, voicemail for these extensions, and a menu (1 to go to a voicemail box, 2 to go to reception, 3 for IT sort of thing).

    Bearing this in mind, does anyone have any ideas as to what we should go for? Ideally I want to stay away from a server-based solution like Asterisk, I want the stability of an appliance. I was thinking a Cisco router with CME and necessary modules, but I don't know where to start on the hardware side of it (config is fine) but it seems a bit overkill for our school.

    Many thanks

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    mjs_mjs's Avatar
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    I think maybe the Nortel basic stuff like BCM 50 : Nortel BCM 50 : Nortel BCM 50 Telephone System : The Nortel Specialists : 1st Communications Installation and Maintenance, even that seems way over spec for what you're looking for.

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    nicholab's Avatar
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    May be a cloud hosted solution would work.

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    IrritableTech's Avatar
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    I've recently run through an exercise like this for three schools. One with 6 handsets, one with 12 and one with 65. In every case an on site solution was the most cost effective. There are some really good little VoIP & hybrid systems available and you can reduce your ongoing costs too.

    DM me if you want some more specific info, or if you want some general tips I've picked up recently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs_mjs View Post
    I think maybe the Nortel basic stuff like BCM 50 : Nortel BCM 50 : Nortel BCM 50 Telephone System : The Nortel Specialists : 1st Communications Installation and Maintenance, even that seems way over spec for what you're looking for.
    We have the BCM 50 and I've been informed by BT it's going out of support very soon. Even now we struggle to get the standard handsets.

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    p858snake's Avatar
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    I havn't seen the admin side of it but we have a Avaya One-X system with the "executive" (iirc) handsets, It's easy to use from a end user point of view and haven't noticed any thing major from it.

    And there is a soft-console that can be used on the reception computer(/s) to make transferring even easier.

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    http://www.asterisk.org we considered this but didn't have the time to try it.

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    Another for Avaya here.

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    Avaya is good but probably costly for the small amount of phones. I am just about to move from Natterbox to Gamma's horizon i think, Works out about £10 a user a month

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    Siemens do a really cheap open scape product but if you have a stable line then sip via a provider such as Lloyd's would be much cheaper.

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    We have the 3CX system with support from Tri LAN IT. Brilliant system and is saving us a fortune. Loads of functions that are usually premium with other systems and they have just brought out the Web Conferencing facility for video conferencing. We have a dedicated BT Infinity line and have all calls going through a SIP trunk provider. Support with Tri LAN are excellent.

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    A vote for an Avaya system here - we have the IP Office 500 PBX, 6 DECT phones and about 30 phone instruments which run on the network. The DECT has been flaky since we didn't put in enough base stations, but the desktop phones just work, period. Probably over a hundred thousand calls have been made on the system since it's been installed, no issues.

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    FYI, the entire BCM range is going away as Nortel was bought by Avaya, they agreed to support them for a set period of time and its now time up nearly on the last version of the software. There is a migration package to move you to an Avaya platform but you should speak to your reseller.

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    Mitel FTW

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    Hi,

    The following are good for small setups:

    Cloud Options:

    > Software Phone + head sets and a hosted VoIP provider such Gradwell or any good hosted
    > Snom 300 Phones around (50-70 pounds) + VoIP Provider in cloud.

    Onsite Options:
    > Avaya IP Office 500 + Phones + SIP Trunks (expensive but never had one fail)
    > Asterix + Phones + Sip Trunks (cheaper, works well if hardware is good and requires more setup)


    Points to look out for:

    > Firewall SiP ALG issues, most good firewalls will try to "fix" sip, you will need to make sure that ALG options are off or you have good support with vendor.



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