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Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

Hi all,

I’m asking for a colleague at a different organization. Do any of you have good experience with a hosted/cloud-based phone system for a single smallish site with about 60 users? They are open to moving away from desk sets, but options to get new desk sets (SIP, USB) OK too. PC or web-based attendant console for a receptionist would be nice.

Shoretel Sky looks intriguing to me. I’ve never used Shoretel but I know they have a good reputation. I know RingCentral is a thing too.


RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

Give syntel solutions a try

Shoretel sky is crazy expensive for an inferior solution
Ring central is also very expensive and designed more for a small business with less then 5 users

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

Hosted could get pricy for 60, if they're all at the same location I would look at a VOIP system with SIP Trunks.

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

60 users on a single site is not small
I would avoid hosted in such a scenario.
I would also ad some traditional telephone lines (ISDN preferably) as backup if I were going Sip.
(If going ISDN then some Sip as backup is just as valid)

there are many small to medium PBX's that would fit this reqirement perfectly

A Maintenance contract is essential, not a Luxury.
Do things on the cheap & it will cost you dear

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

The question is, other than the latested buzz word is why cloud?

What do you hope to achieve?
Are your users very mobile or desk based?
What can cloud over on-prem offer you?
What are the risks you looking at when choosing either?

Cloud can be good if you want are very mobile or you are looking at OpEx over CapEx, the BIG question is why you want to choose either option.

Robert Wilensky:
We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

Thanks for all the feedback. Just asking for a colleague that made the inquiry to me. (I'm not a broker, and don't have a stake in what they end up doing.) They specifically asked about cloud and hosted service, so I thought I'd suggest options, along with other recommendations (smaller IP-PBXs, upgrading their current on-prem system, etc.)

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

We do cloud based mitel systems from 30-500 users , but only with a mpls link to the cloud

cloud based internet connected phones would be asking for trouble if they were all at one site and you were routing their speech via the internet.

If I never did anything I'd never done before , I'd never do anything.....

and due to an endless stream of MiCollab , MiCC issues
Life would be simpler If only they tested products properly before releasing them .....

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

I am recommending the UCx from E-MetroTel, it's built on the legacy of Nortel by Nortel engineers and developers. Many customers of theirs already use this product for a hosted solution. One of the great benefits, is that you can mix so many different phone types, especially if any of your customers currently have Nortel phones, which they can continue to use and mix with new solutions. The licensing structure allows you to have 1 license per extension, which includes remote user. You do not have to purchase a remote user license. You can also initiate find me follow me with your devices.

What makes the UCx easy for a VOIP solution with multiple locations is that you can easily place remote IP clients on this system without VPN's and other extensive networking. It's quite easy to integrate an IPhone or Android smartphone app for a soft phone client as well. I currently use Media-5-fone app phone on my iPhone, and I can access system features such as paging, voicemail, transfer, conference, hold music, etc, even if I am 3,000 miles away from the host system....pending you have a good cellular or wifi connection. You can lose the desk phones if that's your preference, or have a mix of desk phones and soft clients and iPhone users, etc.

You can set up a large attendant console with a SIP phone with KEM modules and monitor the lines that way.

You can possibly attempt the same setup with a remote hosted company such as 8x8 or Ring Central, but then it's very hard to control what is going on with your own equipment, you have to be dependent on them.

I am sure the Shoretel product is reliable, it's just that they are so proprietary in everything you do.

Avaya IP Office would be another good solution, I am not sure how their remote licensing structure works, but it's built on the legacy of the Bell system.

If you only needed 3-5 SIP phones, the least expensive option would be going with buying your own SIP phones and setting up a SIP account from VOIP.MS. It's not recommending for a large SIP implementation.

Take a look at all the options first, don't just jump right in, the water might be too cold!

Joseph Sus Jr. Nortel Enthusiast

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?


If you only needed 3-5 SIP phones, the least expensive option would be going with buying your own SIP phones and setting up a SIP account from VOIP.MS. It's not recommended for a large SIP implementation.

Joseph Sus Jr. Nortel Enthusiast

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

One last Option would be to go directly with a large Telco provider such as ATT or Bell Canada. They also offer reliable SIP phone and SIP service. Has anyone tried that option yet?

Joseph Sus Jr. Nortel Enthusiast

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

We have hosted implementations of 150 phones in a site. It's all about how it's installed. Qos is important. Make sure it's not just a plug and play vendor. We even offer mpls direct to the data center. And in all honesty its usually the same price as sip trunks. Plus we roll a service contract into it so there's no Maintenace.

There's benefits both ways:

No upfront cost of PBX and license
Only equipment to purchase is phones
Future proof
Ease of management
Disaster proof

The biggest benefit I see to premise is you can more easily change your telco vendor. And the ability to have copper backup. But with hosted if you lose power or Internet your auto attendants and vm are still active and can automatically route calls to cell phones or voicemails which you then get to

It really does depend on the bandwith available to you as well.

Sorry guys im full onto the hosted bandwagon it's Where the business is headed. And a few years ago I was fully anti hosted.

If you do go premise Avaya is great Nec toshiba and mitel make a nice system. I usually recommend to stay away from the no name premise sip systems like mentioned above. It's the same as hosted minus the fact you have to pay for the server and upgrades and maintenance

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

Oh and just wanted to debunk a few myths regarding hosted that I wrongly assumed in the past also are dependent on your hosted provider (mentioned above)
Nope. Full web portal interface gives you just as much admin controls as any pbx I've ever seen, plus it's made for a normal end user not a seasoned telco veteran. (Cough looking at you bcm). Plus you can access it anywhere

2. Voice quality is poor
Nope in fact when implemwnted properly we are often told it is much much crisper.

3. Bandwith hog

Considering they are about 70k per
Phone call and the average ISp delivers 50mb in our area that's simply not true

4.its too expensive
This one always wins us business. Hosted is less up front and less over time. Some providers like shoretel are crazy expensive but that's them. Most vendors only charge a few bucks per extension plus a cheap sip trunk like call path. Plus we and many othera include all maintenance hardware replacement and upgrades in that. I've never seen us be more then a premise solution since I've been with the company

A lot of the angst I had against hosted pbx was because I had works for a smaller avaya dealer that did not have the capital to offer hosted. They then kind of bred us to have a hatred towards even though we didn't know much about it. It's clear now that management did this because they simply couldn't offer it.

Anyway hope you all have a nice weekend

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

Phoneguy 610, I do agree with you on your hosted comments. Good perspective. When are you coming to chicago? I still owe you a beer....

Joseph Sus Jr. Nortel Enthusiast

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

Chicago is too cold for my taste... We can definitely do California if you're up for it :).

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

I assume thats where you live? What city?

Joseph Sus Jr. Nortel Enthusiast

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

By the way we white label our hosted PBX if any of you guys are interested. We also allow you to sell under our brand just as you would an avaya.

RE: Opinions on smallish hosted/cloud-based PBX?

I'm actually from lovely New Jersey, company will be relocating me to Southern California soon

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