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Considering move from Avaya IP Office 500 to Switchvox

eagleeyed (IS/IT--Management) (OP)
5 Feb 13 12:46
A few years ago I purchased an Avaya IP Office 500, and since that time I've had several issues that required external support. I've also added on some licenses and expanded voicemail ports. With each change, I'm getting further committed to this platform; however, I find it unwieldy to manage and end users (part time workers) rarely take advantage of many of the features.

I'm considering switching to Switchvox for its flexibility, but would appreciate any advice from someone that has been in a similar situation. Thank you.
atcom (Vendor)
5 Feb 13 12:53
We deal in both Avaya's IPO and Asterisk systems. What exactly are you hoping Switchvox will do that IPO does not? The largest advantage of the open source system is usually that there's no additional cost to upgrade the PBX as you bring on new users (of course you still have to buy phones). But in your case you've already paid for the Avaya system so it doesn't sound like the math adds up - unless you're going to double in size in a short time!


Calgary Telephone Systems, Avaya LG Asterisk (FreePBX) VOIP & TDM

eagleeyed (IS/IT--Management) (OP)
5 Feb 13 13:34
Fair question. I think it is a mix of my desire for a system that is more easily managed by me, a casual technical user, and the want for greater flexibility and uptake by end users on features. There's also a desire to move from having voicemail emailed to having the unified communications option with smartphone connectivity. I'm open to completely switching systems if there is an advantage to doing so. I know it won't be a cheap process, but increased productivity overall is valuable.

A big piece of the issue may be the base model of Avaya that was purchased (non-ip phones 1408 models, non-pro voicemail). I'm finding that adding on module and license piece by piece is a frustrating and pricey experience.

atcom (Vendor)
5 Feb 13 16:40
Ahh, the limited phones (boo - paper labels) and non-pro voicemail are a problem - no doubt. As for the voicemail emails, your IPO should be able to do that. Also, if you have the Avaya Manager software administration shouldn't be any/much more difficult than Switchvox or FreePBX.


Calgary Telephone Systems, Avaya LG Asterisk (FreePBX) VOIP & TDM

eagleeyed (IS/IT--Management) (OP)
6 Feb 13 13:04
Thanks for responding. We currently use voicemail to email alerts and attachments for users that request it. However, the cell phone app feature of Switchvox -- to more easily check messages and respond -- is attractive.
busster (TechnicalUser)
13 Feb 13 18:58
IP Office vs Switchvox

Thought about this for a while. Switchvox has matured very nicely. The new Digium phones are very slick. Administration of both systems is relatively easy.
I guess my gut feeling is that my suggestion would be based on your applications. There are advantages to each system, but if these "advantages" are not being used, then they don't make a difference.

Both systems are reliable and flexible.

Both systems continue to evolve, i.e. software development is not stagnant.

Both systems have their "costs."

There would appear to be far more IP Office technicians than Switchvox technicians.

Migration to Switchvox could be fairly seamless since you could have working ip phones on a users desk along with the digital IPOffice phones. All user training and system testing could be complete prior to cutover. The cutover would be switching trunking facilites.

As for price, have your Avaya Business Partner check upgrade costs. They have been running some special pricing to get customers to upgrade/change to Avaya.
eagleeyed (IS/IT--Management) (OP)
20 Feb 13 13:47
Thanks for the thought, Busster. I may need to find a local Switchvox distributor to get a hands on feel between the systems.
atcom (Vendor)
20 Feb 13 14:32
Good point - try to arrange a demos of both systems.


Calgary Telephone Systems, Avaya LG Asterisk (FreePBX) VOIP & TDM

busster (TechnicalUser)
21 Feb 13 14:39
Last point, I think, other vendors may "dismiss" asterisk. While Switchvox is Asterisk based, it is a different. My experience is that Switchvox is a highly reliable, mature system.

Either phone system, IP Office, Switchvox, or for that matter most other phone systems, properly installed and maintained, will serve you well.

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