Thanks for all of the replies.
Greg, we looked into updating our NEC 2400 PBX to VOIP but at least with the vendor we are using their solution left a lot to be desired. They were mainly wanting to go to VOIP between locations and use standard PBX to the desktop. The expense of putting a 2000 PBX in a new location along with upgrading my current switch to handle the extra phones is very close to the same price as a Cisco Call Manager solution. We did not factor in all of the cost of upgrading our network since it will have dull functions, data and voice. If we open another site its cost we be greatly reduced since we will already have the backbone structure in place and will only need to purchase phones.
One of the main driving factors in our decision to look into VOIP is the ease of moving phones from one location to another. We have some departments that move their people around periodically for various reasons. VOIP would make this a much simpler task. We also have some employees that are constantly moving from one location to another making it impossible for them to keep their same extension number with the current system. Another driving factor is the amount of bandwidth that is wasted being allocated for voice when it is not being used. I currently have T1s going to my remote locations, spilt half data and half voice, and normally there are no more than four or five calls being made at one time. I might could change the number of lines that are dedicated to voice but if I need it it will not be available. I am currently in the process of leasing fiber optic lines to several of my locations which will only handle data. This would cause me to either lease a point to point ISDN line or keep my point to point T1s for voice. I probably would not be pursuing VOIP if I was staying on a T1 circuit. I do have a couple of sites that will have to stay on T1s and I am going to try some VOIP phones at these locations.
I called and talked to a man at Menlo College that is currently running a Cisco Call Manager with about 500 phones on the network and he has no complaints. The college was mentioned in the March edition of “Computer Telephony”.
We are also interested in several other things that Cisco can provide after we get VOIP deployed, video etc.
I have one more system to look into but from my brief discussion with their salesman and his over zealous bashing of Cisco products on things that I know are not facts I doubt this will be the way we go. If I know he doesn’t know what he is talking about when he is bashing other companies how can I trust him when he is talking about how good his product is.
Thanks again for all of the replies and I will be sure to post my findings and our final decision along with how things are going if we continue to pursue VOIP.