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Is this IP phone system a good deal?

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  • #30675 Reply

    Hello all,
    I’m a Governor of my local school, and they’ve asked me to check up on this proposal for a new IP-based phone network to replace their normal phone system.
    I’ve been given some info on it by the IT guy at the school and asked to check that it is ok, so does all this sound reasonable to people?
    The network is based on a Cisco AVVID (Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data) system.


    School will save about £4000 a year on phone calls and line rental, and £15,000 on “telephony management” (cost of moving and changing phone extensions).

    Phone travels with the person even when they move office, with all their settings saved.

    Teachers can phone other teachers wherever they are.

    Parents can ring teachers directly, and leave messages.

    Important announcements can be broadcast to all phones (very Big Brother)

    Conference calling.

    What other things can this system do that maybe they haven’t realised?

    BT Skynet Quotation:

    Unity Server:
    P4 3.4GHz 80GB Sata 1GB server = £2,064

    Unity Software:
    Unity VM, 200 users (w/ 16 sessions, no additional users) = £6,110

    Call Manager Server:
    PROLIANT DL380 G4 XE-3.4 1MB 800MHz SCSI 1GB = £4,311

    Voice Gateway:
    2821 Voice Bundle, PVDM2-32, SP Serv, 64F/256D = £1,794

    IP Communicator:
    Cisco Communicator x 3 = £276

    7921G IP phone x 50 = £6,500
    7940 IP phone x 10 = 1,750


    Maintenance (1 year)

    8x5x4 maintenance (CISCO 4503) = £1,164
    8x5x4 maintenance (Call Manager Server) = £1,798
    8x5x4 maintenance (Unity Server) = £848

    TOTAL COST = £36,600

    #30676 Reply
    UK taxpayer

    Why not just keep your current phone system and deploy a gateway to enable VoIP calls?

    I mean, surely teachers can phone other teachers via their mobiles anyway? Providers such as ‘3’ offer so many free minutes now what’s the need to use VoIP? And if you want the ability for parents to phone teachers – I’m sorry but why can’t they do this with the current phone system?

    You will save 15K on phone management – maybe – but have you got the skills and hardware in place to defend your network against the Ip phone hacker? How much will that cost you in ‘management’?

    How often do people change office – and is it worth spending 40K just for a feature such as this?

    From my POV keep your current working phone system (which is not vulnerable to hackers), hang a gateway off your PBX (liase with other schools to do the same hey presto free calls between schools)

    There’s so much rubbish talked about IP PBXs, selling people features they don’t need. And those of you in the public sector seem particularly gullible….

    You have a working phone system – why do you need to replace it with another – working phone system..?

    Spend the money on books for the kids – a much better investment IMO.

    #30677 Reply
    MikeM to Stephen

    I tend to agree with UK Taxpayer. If you already have a PBX system in place that provides most of this anyway, why would you want to dump it and spend all that money for a new one. Save the money, get yourself a VoIP Gateway. Work with the other schools to do the same and you will save money on calls without spending the money on a new system. Also, as UK Taxpayer stated, you will need to have someone trained to manage the new system and this will cost money.


    #30678 Reply

    I think the school IT guy is capable enough for most of the management.

    What are the chances of the system being hacked, and what would happen if it were? There’s no information stored really, so would it just bugger up the server?

    #30679 Reply
    UK taxpayer

    VoIP hackers target IPPBX systems in order to make calls for themselves, not to access information.

    I have had a discussion before with a school IT guy in the Uk and it worries me that VoIP resellers are selling a myth – that is, you have to rip out your phone system in order to enjoy the cost savings of VoIP. You don’t. Gateways convert POTS to IP.

    I don’t understand the ROI of throwing out your PBX and desk phones to replace them with IP equipment.

    So you want to distribute a message to all users – well have you not got email…? I mean – do you really need to use the phone system to do this?

    Another thing steven is you need to be concerned that your IT manager has one eye on CV embellishment aswell. VoIP is ‘en vogue’ at the moment.

    Talk to a UK based reseller of products such as Quintum, Vegastream, Audiocodes etc. about ‘IP-enabling’ your exisiting phone system. Find out about gateways.

    Just my tuppence worth as someone who has worked with VoIP for a long time. Your school’s money (and God knows you need it) is better spent elsewhere.

    #30680 Reply
    UK taxpayer


    Oh and if BT Skynet haven’t talked to you about using VoIP gateways to IP-enable your exisitng phone system, at least in theory, then quite simply they haven’t got your best interests at heart and i would challenge them to explain why they haven’t suggested that as an alternative (because it’s much cheaper, possibly?).

    #30681 Reply

    The deal is good for the selling comapany.
    It looks like you are needing 60 lines.

    Here is another solution with call forwarding, call waiting, voice to e-mail, user portal, admin portal, conferencing, IVR< ACD. Cisco or Polycom phones ($200 to $350 each $12,000 to $18,000) Dell 2850 server $3400 Sangoma E1 card $800 signate SW GUI for asterisk $900 Installation $4500 phone config 3600 24/7 support $2500 Alot less and more functionality than the solution you are looking at.

    #30682 Reply

    does anyone know of dedicated servers for lease with fedroa 4 linux based with pri card support e1/t1 enabled? thanks.

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