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How do you do....it? Thread, Anyone have any experience with purchasing telecoms? in Technical; I have been tasked with changing our telecoms from our current BCM system, I would like to go over to ...
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    Disease's Avatar
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    Anyone have any experience with purchasing telecoms?

    I have been tasked with changing our telecoms from our current BCM system, I would like to go over to an IP based system, anyone done this exercise and know where to start?

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Ohh, sorry can't be any help but we are looking at doing the same soon so will watch with interest

    /watches

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    Heebeejeebee's Avatar
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    Also watching with interest.

    It seems that this is a popular thing at the moment. We are looking for IP phones that will work with our wireless system as well as being patched into our cabinets.

    HBJB

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    Netman's Avatar
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    Bit old now, but I did exactly this about 6 years ago. In the end I didn't go for the IP option (Avaya) as it was quite unproven at the time. The other options were Siemens HiPath and Toshiba and we ended up going with Siemens. Probably should have taken the risk and gone with Avaya... take a look at them... Business Telecommunication Company - Avaya Telecommunication Services

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    Joedetic's Avatar
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    OK I'll start with a bit of a leading question.

    VoIP or IP Telephony? I've had experience using both SIP systems and Skinny as well as a bit of a play with a standard digital PBX which has nothing to do with IPT or VoIP.

    The IP Telephony option is a lot more involved and would involve VLANs and Cisco kit (the way I've done it anyway). Sip can be a lot more flexible and cheaper to implement.

    With regards to wireless phones. I know Cisco do some (we've got some in the lab at uni), they're very nice little units indeed.

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    Ryan's Avatar
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    We installed a nice new Avaya system (IP Office) late last year and it's been regularly kicking the arse out of the old BT system we had.

    We get:

    • Full reporting down to extensions, dates, can look up numbers (dialled and incoming), generates reports based on time and expense, etc etc
    • Complete control over extensions and numbering. Previously we had to get a BT engineer out. I can do it all from here now in seconds.
    • If a phone extension dies (has happened already), we can patch a handset into a vacant network port and straight into the system.
    • The full complement of voicemail, remote access to voicemail, call waiting, call barring, call parking, DND, forwarding... - didn't have any of this before.


    BT tendered for an upgrade at the time but it was, in hindsight, utter toilet.

    More details on any of this available on request!

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    Surely VoIP is IP telephony??? I know that Skype etc are "special" versions of it but essentially you are providing a voice telephone service over IP.

    There are lots of companies out there; most of them will try and rip you off! The prices for VoIP are just stupid - IP phones start at nearly £100 and the sky is the limit. That doesn't actually buy you anything you can use - for that you need the software and its licenses which can easily be another £50 to £100 per phone. You then need a server to run the hardware - this doesn't have to be anything very much - and you really ought to have a network with layer 3 switches so you can do quality of service.

    The companies will all try and persuade you that you need every possible facility - try to find out within the school what facilities people actually want - there's no point in buying a system which has facilities you don't need and won't use.

    (Just an example of rip-offs; we asked companies for detailed breakdowns of costs. One of them quoted £3 per mains lead and £400 for a standard monitor!!)

    Depending on how many simultaneous calls you need, you may be able to use 3CX - it's Windows based (Asterisk is also free but is Linux based - that may or may not be good for you) and starts at free for the software.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    Surely VoIP is IP telephony??? I know that Skype etc are "special" versions of it but essentially you are providing a voice telephone service over IP.

    There are lots of companies out there; most of them will try and rip you off! The prices for VoIP are just stupid - IP phones start at nearly £100 and the sky is the limit. That doesn't actually buy you anything you can use - for that you need the software and its licenses which can easily be another £50 to £100 per phone. You then need a server to run the hardware - this doesn't have to be anything very much - and you really ought to have a network with layer 3 switches so you can do quality of service.

    The companies will all try and persuade you that you need every possible facility - try to find out within the school what facilities people actually want - there's no point in buying a system which has facilities you don't need and won't use.

    (Just an example of rip-offs; we asked companies for detailed breakdowns of costs. One of them quoted £3 per mains lead and £400 for a standard monitor!!)

    Depending on how many simultaneous calls you need, you may be able to use 3CX - it's Windows based (Asterisk is also free but is Linux based - that may or may not be good for you) and starts at free for the software.
    I think what joe means is VoIP as in a sip based service such as skype and on the other hand IP telephony as in an IP PBX based solution....i peronsally hate the use of these terms in such a manner it creates unnecessary confusion. All these systems are VoIP/IP telephony what distinguishes them are whether they are a p2p internet based service such as skype or a system utilising an IP PBX call server and associated media gateways such as avaya.

    The SIP protocol isn't unique to skype or similar servcies....call manager has been able to support SIP endpoints since version 4.2.

    Procruing such a system in most cases for a school will involve selecting an appropriate IP PBX and pstn gateway....a business sip trunk is a possibility as the voice trunk as an alternative to a circuit switched link, but it should be a connection used purely for voice traffic..for a small school requiring a few outbound call legs an ADSL line would be sufficient, but more research is required to find the appropriate SIP trunk provider...

    IP PBX and traditional pstn connectivity is a lot easier... appropriate numeer of isdn2e or 30 line. or analogue telephone lines for connection to the pstn are required and the appropriate connections on the pstn gateway (FXO or ISDN BRI/PRI)...

    ip pbx should support sip endpoints, Avaya IP Office or Siemens HiPath
    as mentioned are good options and the call server should be of sufficient scale for the VoIP environment being setup...

    A business voip system ofcourse exteneds beyond pbx and handsets into approprite network components so that's PoE switches/midspans, vioce VLANs
    QoS etc. A big project needs a lot of planning...the choosing of the components is the easy bit dial plan and network design, aswell as pbx config are the hard parts .

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    Disease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
    We installed a nice new Avaya system (IP Office) late last year and it's been regularly kicking the arse out of the old BT system we had.

    We get:

    • Full reporting down to extensions, dates, can look up numbers (dialled and incoming), generates reports based on time and expense, etc etc
    • Complete control over extensions and numbering. Previously we had to get a BT engineer out. I can do it all from here now in seconds.
    • If a phone extension dies (has happened already), we can patch a handset into a vacant network port and straight into the system.
    • The full complement of voicemail, remote access to voicemail, call waiting, call barring, call parking, DND, forwarding... - didn't have any of this before.


    BT tendered for an upgrade at the time but it was, in hindsight, utter toilet.

    More details on any of this available on request!
    Thanks for the replies, ryan that seems like exactly what we want .

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    Drop me a PM if you want to discuss this in more detail, dude. I can give you more info about the process, and the system, if it'll help.

    (Dunno how much use it'll be to others. If anyone expresses an interest, we can have this discussion in public, a bit like a low-rent Jerry Springer, if there is such a thing...)

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    We are doing the same thing at the moment, although on a pretty small scale. We specified that we wanted a system that will work with voip in the future, will suport upto 16 handsets / extensions, and for the moment, work over an isdn 2 line. We also wanted all of our phones to be true ip, as cabling is split over the site, with fibre links between comms cabinets, so physical cable to each phone socket wasn't an option.

    We've had 4 quotes back, the cheapest being £1460 (self install) up to £5,999 which includes install.

    The 4 different systems were:

    Quadro 2xi from Epygi - This is the cheapest, and having read up on it looks to be pretty good. My only concern being after sales support on this device, as they arent exactly well known. Aditional basic phones were only £69.

    Avaya IP office 500- This is the next cheapest, and having used and installed Avaya kit in the past, i've always been impressed with it. My only issue is feature wise, it doesn't appear to offer much more than the system above, but costs almost £2000 more (does inlcude £500 install)

    Panasonic KXTDE100 - This was the second most expensive system, and as it was over budget, I haven't researched too much into it.

    Splicecom Maximiser - This was the most expensive system, and one i'd not heard of before. Again it offered little benefits over the above systems.

    At the moment its between the Avaya and Epygi system, certainly feature wise there seems very little to seperate any of the above. Let me know if you would like a copy of any of the quotes - all are from companies I have not dealt with before, so can't rate them for their service.

    Steve

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    We moved over the a VOIP system about 5 or so years ago. We currently have a Mitel 3300 system running about 57 handsets and about 80 voicemail boxes, connected to an ISDN30.

    Admittedly the handsets do cost a fair bit compared to a standard telephone but then you do get the convenience (well not quite) of being able to move handsets as easy as unplugging from one network socket to another.

    The whole thing was installed over the summer holidays with training sessions for all key memebers of staff before they came back in September. The guys that put it in have also kept in regular contact and are great for finding out how to do something fancy when you dont know

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    We moved to a VoIP system last year, built in house using Asterisk, FreePBX, Grandstream GXP-2000 handsets, and Digium cards. It worked out at £5k for the entire system including 30 extensions, triple redundancy etc...

    Only issue was doing it in-house. I currently have the entire manual in my head, and am writing it down as I go along.

    We also looked at Cisco, Avaya and Samsung systems, costing between £45k and £18k. None of them provided anything that we couldn't do via Asterisk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    We moved to a VoIP system last year, built in house using Asterisk, FreePBX, Grandstream GXP-2000 handsets, and Digium cards. It worked out at £5k for the entire system including 30 extensions, triple redundancy etc...

    Only issue was doing it in-house. I currently have the entire manual in my head, and am writing it down as I go along.

    We also looked at Cisco, Avaya and Samsung systems, costing between £45k and £18k. None of them provided anything that we couldn't do via Asterisk.
    Our of interest how are you connecting to the pstn with that system ? All or part of an ISDN30 or multiple isdn 2's ?

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    john's Avatar
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    Digum Cards will allow the connection to the PSTN setup.



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