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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    New phone system and offloading of old one

    Our current phone system, a Panasonic D1232 super hybrid digital is getting on a bit now - I imagine it's probably around 20yrs old and has very little functionality that you would typically expect and take for granted on a more modern system.

    Just looking for some advice really on what others have or better, would recommend? We've been recommended the Avaya IP500 v2 which looks to be a popular choice, as are the generous array of handsets on offer. We'd be wanting to look to try and offload the current phone system (which has around 25 digital handsets) however the best price we have so far is £200+VAT all in and that feels a bit tight!

    The main struggle is justifying that we need one, and whilst features such as auto attendant and network integration sound good (for the IP range), it's not going to be easy to convince the HT to part with comfortably over £5k for a system that to the average person functions as expected.. receives/makes calls! Is there any useful advice we could benefit from having or indeed arguments we could use to help the cause?

    In a nutshell, would we benefit from upgrading to a new system, should we go digital or IP (or mixed), what systems are the most popular and can we expect more for our old one?

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    On the last point, grab the £200 and run!

    We changed as the cost of physicaly moving old phone systems to new buildings was false economy. We run a vastly over spec Cisco, but we were not advised that it was overspec by our consultant.

    Rob

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Look at FreePBX and Yealink handsets, along with SIP trunks - you will recoup outlay withing a year to 18 months on savings over ISDN 30.

    EDIT: I rolled out 70 handset phone system for less than 5k
    Last edited by glennda; 22nd January 2013 at 09:31 PM.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    We currently use Cisco Call Manager. Its expensive so we are dumping it.

    We currently have in testing Asterisk with our existing Cisco IP phones. So far its working good. You don't have to pay ridiculous amounts for licenses as asterisk is free. Plus you can get commercial support. Last time i looked at Avaya it was expensive.

    All we have to pay for is for the Physical phones, the support and of course outside calls. Dont need to pay for a license to connect the phone to the system, or for voicemail etc. You can get refurbished Cisco phones with a warranty fairly cheap.
    Last edited by FN-GM; 22nd January 2013 at 09:38 PM.

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    Question is do you need a new phone system or does the one do you for you needs? Do you have a support agreement for it or not?

    If you do want to upgrade I would recommend the Avaya stuff, everyone slates it for its cost but we cannot fault it, have some 20 sites using IPO's or varying levels, we have 3 call centers running 24/7 plus varying other heavy use services such as social services, GP out of hours and it handles it all well. Maybe you do pay a little more than the other stuff but can you fault it, no.

    Why buy cheap and maybe have lots more problems and no support when you can pay a little more and get a tested and proven system with support.

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    New phone system and offloading of old one

    Really it all depends on whether you want a hosted system, whereby the one-off cost is lower but the monthly charge rises, or if you want to buy the system outright.

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    :-) Do you have any Microsoft Licencing Agreements in place at the moment? how about looking in to Microsoft Lync Server 2013 it will do what you need on the Enterprise Voice font of things and you don't need to buy phones you can give people headsets... or/ if you do then just go and grab some Polycom/Snom handets! :-)

    Simples!

    James.

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    We once had a public tender, most expensive bid was Avaya. Alcatel did the lowest one.
    I personally have a Snom 370 phone up and running for years and I like. Nowadays for education sector, Microsoft Lync is really interesting, because of its integration into the rest of Microsoft portfolio (exchange). Also pricing is great for us. If you have enough man power you can go for opensource solution.
    Last edited by snoerre; 25th January 2013 at 07:59 PM.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EduTech View Post
    :-) Do you have any Microsoft Licencing Agreements in place at the moment? how about looking in to Microsoft Lync Server 2013 it will do what you need on the Enterprise Voice font of things and you don't need to buy phones you can give people headsets... or/ if you do then just go and grab some Polycom/Snom handets! :-)

    Simples!

    James.
    EES lync cals don't cover enterprise voice so would be an extra cost.

    Ben

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    EES lync cals don't cover enterprise voice so would be an extra cost.

    Ben
    Do you not get the Enterprise Plus CAL? can't remember not looked at Edu Licencing for some time.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    We currently use Cisco Call Manager. Its expensive so we are dumping it.

    We currently have in testing Asterisk with our existing Cisco IP phones. So far its working good. You don't have to pay ridiculous amounts for licenses as asterisk is free. Plus you can get commercial support. Last time i looked at Avaya it was expensive.

    All we have to pay for is for the Physical phones, the support and of course outside calls. Dont need to pay for a license to connect the phone to the system, or for voicemail etc. You can get refurbished Cisco phones with a warranty fairly cheap.
    We're also using Cisco Call Manager, and while I don't doubt its extremely powerful it is as you say very very expensive. Everything is an extra license, and considering we now have all the phones it's very tempting to start to move over to Lync.

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    m25man's Avatar
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    In most cases it seems that the phone systems generally outlast the IT manager that selected and installed it.

    Service companies come and go, so buying something that anyone can maintain and is widely available has to be top of the shopping list.
    If the NM built it and supported it himself then leaves to run a lap dancing club on the other side of the world, who's going to pick up the pieces??
    As far as DIY IP PBX solutions go, it needs to be as cheap as chips so that you can afford to throw it away and start again if needs be.
    For those reasons alone I think I would be inclined to stick with a well known and widely supported IP PBX that didn't lock me into using its overpriced handsets.
    If you can pick up a phone and find a dozen alternate suppliers to support your chosen system within a hours radius it's probably a safe buy.

    I have a couple of clients who chose Samsung OfficeServ systems, brilliant and reliable systems but trying to find a reliable support partner has been a nightmare. Tried three companies to upgrade one, each quoted ridiculous prices to do the job and all three turned out to be using the same freelance sub contract engineer who never turned up to any of his bookings.
    Eventually they found someone who came out took twice as long as was quoted to fit an IP card and charged a mint to do it.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulfish View Post
    We're also using Cisco Call Manager, and while I don't doubt its extremely powerful it is as you say very very expensive. Everything is an extra license, and considering we now have all the phones it's very tempting to start to move over to Lync.
    There are other costs as well like the Cisco Router etc.

    We are finding we are saving money going down the asterisk route and not only that we are getting lots more features. All our users will have voice mail once its in production. The users don't notice a difference because they are using the same Cisco handsets. Asterisk is widely used and commercial support is available. Although we will be with Asterisk will we keep purchasing Cisco handsets if we need to, they are very good and are affordable because we dont need the licenses!
    Last edited by FN-GM; 25th January 2013 at 10:06 PM.

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    We have recently gone through the process of changing our telephone system, we looked at Avaya, Toshiba and Panasonic. In the end we went for a Panasonic NS1000 which we are finding really good for the money.

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