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19th April 2001 at 15:00 #20268ChesterGuest
We are switching from T1 lines that are half data and half voice to a fiber optic 10Mb line to each of our remote locations which have less than thirty phones each and a 100Mb fiber optic line to a location with about 60 phones. The use of VOIP will eliminate my needs for voice lines. We are currently using a NEC 2400 PBX as or main switch with a NEC 2000 switch in each of our other locations. I am at the point that I have to expand my current 2400 switch or look for an alternative. Is Cisco’s Media Convergence Server with Call Manger ready for the big league.
The one thing that I have been impressed with since I took over the Telecommunications position is the stability of the NEC system. Is Cisco Call Manager a stable system? I have found the 2400 switch to be expensive to upgrade and yes I know that you get what you pay for, at least most of the time.19th April 2001 at 15:34 #20269John WalterGuest
What you are planning to do is on the computing area with its own stability. It is as stable as you make it. Most of the time its not the vendors fault if there is instability in the IP PBX area.
Another stable system is the HiPath 5300-Server from Siemens – and old dragon in the PBX market. They might know what stability means. It is based on a Windows NT embedded in the Flash EPROM.
More information under:
http://www.icn.siemens.com/hipath/productsServices/hipath5000.html11th May 2001 at 22:07 #20270L LohmeierGuest
Today, the value that IP-based telephone systems brings includes: reduced infrastructure expense, better solutions for remote/branch offices, and centralized administration. Generally, it is not a solution to reduce long distance expense. These systems are typically more sophisticated and expensive than key systems.
However, this is the latest technology, it will position your company for all the new applications that will open up in the next few years. There are good, reliable, exciting products available.
The Avaya products offer high quality voice, strong feature integration, reliability, scalability and IP-based voice endpoints.
If you have a serious requirement to find a replacement to your NEC, I’d be glad to discuss and compare Avaya/Cisco solutions. Please call our offices at 1-800-246-7999, ask for L Lohmeier.11th May 2001 at 23:18 #20271K SilveiraGuest
The most important consideration is how tried the solution is. We are a Cisco reseller, a PBX reseller, and a network/LAN/WAN reseller. I will not try to sell you on anything. I will tell you that you need to be sure of the technology you need to purchase. Cisco, 3COM, and Altigen all have products that perform IP telephony bu they are all very young phone system companies. Some of the traditional featus you enjoy on your NEC PBX will take years for these companies to learn and duplicate. Meanwhile, even large companies like Avaya, NEC, Nortel, Toshiba, et. al have very young IP products that have not been tested or implemented behind multiple configurations. Between your WAN config, your IP config, and your LAN config, the most important thing you can do is find a vendor who has RELEASED and TRIED products. You also need to make sure your telecom vendor has a very proven set of CTI applications and a strong ACD solution. You will need to deal more with deliverability than marketability.
Kevin21st May 2001 at 18:02 #20272PeteGuest
The Cisco AVVID solution, utilizing the MCS7835 Server with Call Manager 3.0, can scale up to 100,000 users (and more)through the use of clustering. One MCS7835 Server can accomodate roughly 1000 users.
Add to that the Unity Messaging system (Unified Voice messaging) and you have a complete package, capable of handling Voice, Video and Data quite readily.
Having spent the last 3 months researching this, I am about to put a small VoIP “test network” in place here at my place of employment, to gather real-time statistics in preparation for a FULL-Scale deployment in Q3 of 2002.
Senior Network Engineer26th May 2001 at 23:39 #20273Greg StahlGuest
We have a relatively new (1999) NEC NEAX 2400. You’re right about the PBX, I’ve worked on them a long time and NEC makes a very good switch.
We are now a 3Com shop and are looking at replacing all our network hardware with Cisco, so I’ve been studying Cisco’s VoIP solution too.
With the very stable telecommunications network we have on campus (6550 pair cable plant to 64 buildings, 1700 analog sets and 750 Dterms), it
makes this a difficult decision. After much deliberation, we have concluded that for standard dial tone, which is what most users need, VoIP
is still too expensive. Our modern system on our campus is one of the reasons we came to this conclusion.
However, we have a few users, Admissions office, that could benefit from some of the new technologies like screen pops
and others. So we are now looking at researching what Cisco offers in this area, and possibly bringing this technology
to them. We can’t sell them on dial tone, so maybe we can sell them on these new applications that will increase their
productivity. I beleive this is where VoIP is at. VoIP(via LAN only) seems to be a pretty reliable service, but its only
as good as your network, including power backup, so for POTS, one should stick with the PBX, but its the facny new applications
that will push VoIP into deployment.
NEC has a very good VoIP solution(they are worldwide partners with Cisco) and we are also comparing NEC’s solution with Cisco’s
to see which one would beter fit us.
Hope this helps,
Communication Systems Administrator
St. Lawrence University29th May 2001 at 13:40 #20274ChesterGuest
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.