If you have existing isdn or pots lines coming in providing the connectivity to the telephone network with your current setup you can utilise that with an ip pbx based setup.
Also have a look at the draytek line of ip pbx's
Hi, have just been reading this thread and am interested in the various solutions suggested. I provide IT Tech support for a small primary school which is moving to a new build site this year and we are currently looking at the new phone system. Our identifications so far are for 3 PSTN lines serving 12 extensions plus broadband access.
Telephony in schools seems to be something of a black hole - i.e. there is no support for it from our LA and we can pretty much do as we want. While this gives us a lot of freedom, it also means we have to ask the right questions. I'm keen to hear from anyone else has gone through similar experiences recently and what things you needed to take into consideration when identifying requirements for a new phone system so that we can scope it correctly.
We currently have an Avaya IP Office solution from ETS Communications (believe they were known at Nexus), it is absolutely spot on and we are just about to implement it in our office to replace the managed Cisco option we have which will let us manage it and all us to have a client on our smartphones and it all links in with that. Will feed back more once it has been installed in 2 weeks but the system is fairly cheap compared to some options, not sure on costs as I wasn't involved with the purchase.
It's interesting that the majority of new schools phone systems mentioned in this thread are using ip based systems now .... am wondering if this is the way forward for us to go as well. I worked quite a bit with phones until about 8 years ago and Ip integration was just starting to come in then, so would be interested to know how widespread it is now.
I'll have a look at Avaya IP Office. I "grew up" with an Alcatel system so am also looking at thei OmniPCX system. As with any solution though, I think it'll be about balancing our small-scale needs with something futureproof.
Our old cabs around school were presented onto two-pair telephony connection blocks next to the phone system cab, whereas our new cabs are now presented onto RJ45 patch panels directly under the phone system. Thus when someone moves office from an old area of school to a new one, tracking down and patching between the two-pair blocks and the RJ45 patch panel is a pain, especially as none of my team (including me) have been here beyond 5 years and don't know all of the old routes. Adding/moving phones in the new buildings is a 30 second job, unplug from this RJ45 panel, plug into this one, job done.
Therefore I am starting to consider the options of moving to IP based at some point in the future.
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