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cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

(OP)
Hi everyone,
My company is currently struggling with this dilemma. We have 150 employees and expect to double that in a years time and open an additional office on the west coast. We do not have an opinion on IP vs. PBX and struggle to understand which is better?
Our budget is not really an issue but we do need a robust call cente and a scalable system with minimal administration.

thoughts?

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

You could and maybe should look into some kind of hybrid system. SOmething maybe with Digital phones and IP connect to the west coast. Or you could go pure IP. You may want to look into the Avaya line. Either IP Office or S class servers. it depends on how robust you need your call center. All i put in is Avaya IP Office and it is a great platform.

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

(OP)
thanks for your input. We are considering Avaya hybrid with an IP system on the west coast

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

Sounds like you fall solidly into the market that Cisco hasn't addressed in a solid fashion. Cisco offers basically 2 IPT products: Callmanager (big, expensive and feature-laden) and Callmanager Express (smaller, cheaper, difficult to manage and lacks important features).

I've also worked with Avaya IP Office and can recommend their products from a basic phone system standpoint.  I'm not sure what they offer as far as call center.

With your dual-location scenario, you are perfectly positioned to realize the benefits of IP Telephony.  Least-cost call routing, free calls between locations, ect.  I can't think of a benefit of using a hybrid system or a traditional pbx.

Zane D.
Systems Admin

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

(OP)
Zane,

thanks for the response! What do you consider the important features that Cisco lacks? Any experience with siemens hipath ip systems?

Siemens really seems to have a solid record and all the features the other guys offer but not the "big" name.

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

I have heard that Siemens has some problems with their 4000 product and IP.  That said, they have come out with a 8000 product that is a soft switch that seems to be good and easy to manage.

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

I've been in this business about 30 years. Since VOIP has come along I find that the legacy provders of voice make systems that migrate the PBX features very well. Cisco for instance doen't have a history in voice and it shows.

30 years and it's still true.....NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED!

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

May I suggest ALLWORX?

VPN to other office and make it one phone system...

Just my 2cents...

Worx Great!

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

Have you looked at Nortel as a possiblity?  Nortel is one of the best systems as far as Call Center goes.  Also there CS1000 and BCM line are award winners as far as converged solutions is concerned.  Plus you can migrate to IP at your own pace.  Nortel also has there own line of data products that can fit perfectly into your data network.  

What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

You could also look into Vertical. I have used their TeleVantage prodcut and it can support analog or VOIP or both.

www.vertical.com

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

Is it possible to use third party contact center software on the Cisco and Nortel systems? I know that it is easy to use other software with Avaya IP Office, no routing problems or other major issues. Anyone know the limitations with these other systems? I would typically be working with Cisco CME and Nortel BCM.  

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

We also use Vertical Televantage. Pretty good in terms of features, but not 100% reliable. However, they are addressing that at the moment...

Only the truly stupid believe they know everything.
Stu.. 2004

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

I would go with the Avaya IP Office it is a hybrid system that will allow you too migrate at your own pace.  The Nortel BCM has no busy lamp across the network.

RE: cisco vs. avaya vs. siemens

I work in the Com system biz.

I install Siemens, Avaya, and a IP/Sip product called Vonexus. Vonexus runs on a Windows 2003 server and works over a array of SIP based phones. The main ones are Polycom phones. You can span and scale the sytem across the country by sharing the same network connection up to 15,000 users. Vonexus has the most feature rich envirenoment allowing you to do just about anything you want.
----Unified msg, follow me, work at home client, make intelligent decisions based on caller ID, PC clients letting you see users logged in or on the phone, record your calls that go to your mail box or record all calls all the time live and store them to a database server. You can record calls based on criteria that fits an agenda, like certain extensions, or between a certain time, or calls that originate from a cetain CID. You can listen in on calls, and get detailed call detail reports in more ways that are too numerous to list. The system can do txt to voice or voice to txt. It can screen your calls when forwarded to your cell phone to announce who is calling, then decide whether you want to answer or send them to voicemail. Call center managers can have a supervisor client that gives them live istant statistics of ACD users as it happends. No more waiting to run reports to figure out what lines or users need more assitance.

The price and features of Vonexus make it extremely cost effective and a no brainer. We have installed these systems all across the US. Since it is an Indianapolis based company many state munincipalities across Indiana have installed Vonexus. The company that produces this system is called Interactive Inteligence Inc. You can check them out at www.inin.com.

As far as other systems, the smaller Avaya system, the IP Office, is also an excellent system that is a hybrid between traditional digital phones and IP based. They have PC clients that can be used also to act as a busy lamp and to record personal calls or control the phone.

Siemens 4000 is also a hybrid and is a very stable system and can do many of the basic IP features if needed.

By far Vonexus gives way more for the money.

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