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Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

(OP)
We are looking for a new phone system. We have 15 locations and approx 250 users. I have read a number of threads about what people recommend. So far I am planning on looking at these 4 solutions: Avaya, Cisco, ShoreTel, Digium. I know every system has it's good and bad.

What system do you have and what are the Pros & Cons for it? (Ease of use, Cost, Disaster Recovery, Features, Apps, Expansion, Support, Reporting, etc.)

Thanks,
Brandon

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

I own three systems in my lab and I will talk about each of them. Be warned, the UCx is my favorite.

Avaya IP Office 500 V2 RLS 8.1:

Pros:
-Can use certain Nortel telephones and Avaya Based Telephones are sleek and full of features.
-Chock full of features such as call park, paging, intercom, CLID, etc.
-Can be expanded easily
-Avaya Support is very easy to find.
-Very reliable and engineered on years of Lucent/Avaya legacy.
-A wide array of legacy and new IP Phones are supported.
-SIP trunking is very easy to set up.
-Call voice quality is extremely clear.
-CLID information comes across all phone displays clearly and accurately.
-Internal Telephone paging is easy to setup.
-The online Manager program is fairly easy to use to setup short codes and extensions.
-Deskphone based programming is available.

Cons:
-Nortel IP Phones only work in SIP mode, not Unistim. Nortel 1100/1200 SIP phones sound extremely distorted voice quality wise.
-Not all Nortel Feature Codes function exactly as they did on the Norstar/BCM.
-Base model is inexpensive, but once you start adding key codes, a fully fledged system can get expensive when compared to Digium/E-MetroTel or even a BCM.
-Features are sometimes complicated to program. For example Call Park has to show park appearances on each phone instead of being able to just assign a general code such as 101 to be dialed at any phone.
-Too many key codes and an expensive licensing system.
-No built in Paging output, has to be "jimmy rigged" with an analog CO port.
-Having to restart the system to make a change go into effect, every time a move or change is made.


Nortel BCM 50 RLS6.0: (Not manufactured anymore but since it's in my lab, I'll list some features about it)

Pros:
-Full of legacy Nortel Norstar features
-T-Series Digital telephones are still manufactured by Avaya
-Many companies rebuilt and refurbish the Hardware and Software and come with long term service contracts.
-All parts are available on the Grey Market
-Used phones are easily available on Ebay.
-Extremely simple installation.
-An external Paging output is built in.
-Music on Hold has many options such as an audio input and an internal music player using .wav files.
-Deskphone based programming is available.

Cons:
-Product is technically discontinued
-Limited Caller ID Information on Phone Displays
-No Internal Hold Music
-Nortel Unistim BCM Software IP Phones are dumbed down version of CS1000 telephones
-No interchangeable functionality of Nortel Meridian 1 Telephones or CS1000 telephones.
-Hard Drive based with a fan
-No SIP phone capability
-Javascript and PC Based dependent for Element Manager programming.

E-MetroTel UCx50 RLS 4.5

Pros:
-Developed by Nortel Norstar/BCM/CS1000 engineers who are former Nortel employees.
-Norstar/BCM Feature Codes still work the way they did on the Nortel platform.
-Interchangeable functionality between all Nortel telephones released after 1990 including M2000, M3900, M7000, T7000, 1200/1100E/2000 Unistim IP sets.
-Support of most SIP telephones by manufacturers such as Cisco, Aastra, Polycom, Grandstream, and even Nortel SIP phones.
-Interchangeable license structure. For example: if you currently have a digital telephone and you want to upgrade it to an IP set, you do not have to purchase a new IP license. One license covers every type of telephone.
-Simple license/keycode structure. One extension/dn license covers all features on the system such as voice mail, find me/follow me, etc.
-The ability to run the system without any Nortel telephones as a pure SIP PBX.
-Familiar Nortel "Joan Kenley/Meridian Mary" voice prompts.
-24-7 no wait technical support
-Feature key or CS1000 softkey choice for Unistim IP Telephones.
-A quiet server model that can be expanded as needed.
-Server Virtualization is easy to set up.
-Web RTC/Next generation IP telephone clients availability.
-Sold by established Nortel base around the world.
-Features are easy to program via a web based GUI interface that can be used on a Mac or PC, no annoying Java script updates to deal with.
-The system doesn't need to be restarted every time a new feature or change to the system parameters is made.
-Multiple Music on Hold options such as an input, streaming or pre recorded.
-Most SIP trunking providers are already auto populated, so you just fill in the parameters and you are ready to go.
-PRI/BRI/SIP/Analog and GSM trunking are all compatible on the system.
-Call Waiting can be announced with a familiar Nortel M1 Buzz, or Norstar ringing or silence.
-Call Ringing Cadences can be changed to match either a Norstar ringing pattern or a CS1000 ringing patter.
-Call Buzz tone pitches can be adjusted.
-Paging can initiate silently or with a default Nortel page tone. An alternative page tone of your choice can be uploaded into the system.
-Held Line Notification works just like on the Norstar telephones.
-Low cost when compared to other systems out there today. An entry level system with telephones will cost less than $1600 with all features built in, including voicemail.

Cons:
-Feature 86 for background music no longer functions, but there are other ways to make it work gain.
-No external paging output, but a SNOM PA1 works perfectly with the system.
-CLID Information reads on one line on the M2000/M3900 sets instead of the Nortel 2 line style.

HINT: I obviously like the UCx product as it's the main system I use in my lab. All three systems are SIP trunked together and work together interchangeably.

If I have one good word for the UCx, its "interchangeability!"










Joseph Sus Jr. Nortel Emetrotel Consultant
www.joetheucxguy.com

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Phone system is only as good as the supporting vendor - that's the real key to success.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

All other factors are secondary

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Exactly right. Find someone who has made the investment to support it and is going to be able to support it in the future.
This may be the little guy, just because your account is a big account for him.
If he is little, but professional and honest, I would go with him over a big crowd. You'll find that when the big company have a problem with you, they can hide in the crowd of their colleagues.
Where's the little guy going to hide when you call? He needs you.

You may find that he'll need to invoice your system up front, may not be able to assist with finance and may charge the annual maintenance fee separately, but you'll keep him and two guys afloat for another year.


Now experiencing escalation fatigue.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Oh by the way, the UCx can be set up as a virtual server at many locations.

Joseph Sus Jr. Nortel Emetrotel Consultant
www.joetheucxguy.com

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Although I fought against it for a long time, the Cisco we use has been a very good investment for us. It is expensive to start out with, but cost per user go down the more you add, so if you have expansion in mind, this may be a good option. As with all IP systems no matter which manufacturer it comes from, having a solid network is the key to getting good service at the phone. Also, as noted before, having a good vendor is very important, especially if you have no specific training on the system.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

We're running ShoreTel - 4 sites, 800 odd users and a contact centre of around 150

I have to say from a "just works" point of view it does just what it says on the tin, but we run into issues around what I would call standard features - more than 16 in a pickup group/hunt group

Also, from a support point of view it's infuriating to have to leave servers exposed from a ms patch point of view as Shoretel won't support anything if you are past their release date - for example we are on a release that is now maybe a year old but can't get a decent level of support from them to look at anything if we apply ms patches that have come along since the GA date.

licensing is fairly cheap, they don't tend to do patches to fix stuff it all gets rolled up into the next release - so potential fo a bit of pain till the next GA comes along.

Supplier is key as they only deal with resellers unless you cough up major cash.. SIP trunking support can be problematic as if the SIP supplier isn't approved they will walk away and finger point.

It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

OpenScape 4000 from Unify (Siemens)

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

RLSbutton is clearly a Nortel diehard.
A IP Office is best to use with genuine Avaya phones and trow away the Nortel crap as there are no developments on those phones and as said before, features are very limited and audio quality is below acceptable.

In my opinion ANY system is good if it fits your needs, is affordable and maintainable.

I prefer Avaya IP Office but I will not especially advise you to go for that system only, get informed with real time demo's but define your needs first.
Only then you get the best fit, here you get advise of engineers who are working on a single brand or sometimes even two while there is a wide range of systems to choose from.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

(OP)
Sales reps tend to tell you what you want to hear and answer all of your questions with "Yes, our system does that", but after you purchase it turns out that it's not exactly what they said or what you expected. That's why I was asking for pro's and cons for system people currently own. We have an old Avaya PBX that has been rock solid and did what we wanted it to. The grey market offered a lot of components for cheap. The drawbacks have been that support and licensing were extremely expensive.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

It's good you want to upgrade your phone system. Last year I switched to VoIP and it's helping me lot in reducing my business expenses. Among all the various communication system, VoIP Phone system is the most flexible and affordable option. Now a days, you can have it hosted via VoIP provider. I will recommend you choose The Real PBX, the leading provider of VoIP technology and cloud communications ideal for all your business communications.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Great posts guys

Im with RLSbutton - UCX is rock solid and continues to grow and improve as technology changes. I have been installing UCX for over 3 years, and will continue to do so. Great product, & graet support.

Owner
Sideline Telephone Service Inc.
Canadian - Reseller

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

One of the most important things to keep in mind is the implementation. Every product has stronger and weaker points, but a well implemented weaker product will almost always serve you better than a poorly implemented stronger product. With 15 sites and 250 users you are probably not going to have a simple and straight forward implementation.

The IP Office is an excellent product. It can be expensive compared to some others, but with a knowledgeable installer it can do most anything you want.

I generally recommend that people avoid Cisco unless the same company installing it also handles their IT. Some customers want their Cisco system thrown in the dumpster and others will give up their first born rather than lose their Cisco system. It is one of the starkest love/hate reactions I've seen from a phone system. The difference always seems to be the implementation and you can't get a good Cisco implementation without integrating it with your network.

Not familiar enough with Shoretel, I haven't looked at it in ten years. Digium or any flavor of Asterisk based system is probably going to cost less than others. The open source nature means there are a great many low cost addon products to choose from and many of them are quite remarkable. That same open source nature means that they might not play well in the sandbox together and that again comes back to who is implementing it.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Have a look at 3CX

Been installing them for 3 years. Was mainly Nortel (then into Avaya) before that.

Nice product, all the features you would expect from the bigger vendors and usually at a fraction of the cost.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Can one of you guys explain the benefit of purchasing a 3cx or any pure IP solution for that matter versus a hosted solution?

Its the same thing but you dont have to pay for support or the server.

It served a good bridge between digital prem and hosted but thats about it

The only benefit i see is if he has nortel phones and wants to reuse, but the cost of the server and support is likely going to be somewhere in the range of what handsets would cost.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

especially multi location as he is now looking at purchasing 15 servers, a cost that would be $0 with a hosted solution

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Eggs, Basket

Any problem on the connection to the hosted platform & everything is down

There was a lot of that in the uk this week after an issue @ telecity.


Do things on the cheap & it will cost you dear

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

not true what so ever IPguru

first of all phones are sip and compatible with any solution. So if you hate the vendor its easy as possible to switch

And hosted platform everything is still up. If you lose power at your office you have nothing, with a hosted solution their clients will get an automated attendant a voicemail or cell phone. If you lose telco to your premise system you can still dial by extension? Is that it? Certain firewalls actually have the capability to allow hosted phones to still dial each other if internet was down as well.

You have so much more redundancy with a hosted solution its not even comparable.

No idea who that hosted provider is but just because one had an outage doesnt mean they all do. Most hosted providers (ourselves included) have a geo redundant high avaiability setup with multiple carriers. We have had 100% uptime on our system and have a 5 9s uptime guarantee. Is that something a premise system can do?

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

and the pure ip solution has sip trunks no? So that has even more points of failure

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

just looked up that telecity thing, that was a data center outage. Most voip vendors have failover servers in multiple other data centers for that exact reason. Although our primary DC has never had an outage, if it did our clients wouldnt even know there was an issue

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Go with NEC. No doubt. The SL1100 can be networked so that all your pbx systems can communicate. You can install a VOIP card and use SIP trunking for lower cost on your phone lines. NEC systems are easy to use and extremely reliable. www.sl1100.com

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

hosted con is you pay for the system forever, you are better off with an IP Office with a voicemail pro, it will grow as your business does and with a goon vendor it is a good investment. Say no to hosted systems

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

I agree with Joe. Do not go with hosted systems. I am a big fan of having PBX boxes on site. This way, if there is a service issue or a programming problem, you don't takedown a bunch of sites at the same time. And different sites can have calls route and be answered in a variety of ways if desired. you might consider a VOIP system made by Fortivoice. Their enterprise system are easy to troubleshoot and install. Keep the right support contracts up to date and you can get great support from the NTAC guys. Avaya is a good, reliable, long lasting system. I am not a fan as they are complicated to program. Nortels aren't made new anymore. Avaya bought up all their equipment.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

there is allot of rubbish on here about hosted systems. Normally posted by engineers who do not want to and cant move with the times. We now only install hosted and the 12000 seats and climbing cant be wrong why would i want a bit of tin that is outdated in 5 years when i can have a system that is always up to date and has a up-time and disaster recovery that is un matched

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

"Normally posted by engineers who do not want to and cant move with the times."

How did you reach that conclusion?

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

"up-time and disaster recovery that is un matched"

Never had a network outage? My premise-based system is unaffected by any external network issues.

LoPath
Maintain HiPath 4000 V5 & V6, OpenScape Xpert V4, Xpressions, Contact Center

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

madasaht1969 ... i have to say that is a rather bold and indeed rubbish unthought out statement , so how is your disaster recovery unmatched when Mr workman puts his digger through the service connection to site ? in fact in a hosted system that is the biggest weakness ... i know as my company install both .. in fact our larger enterprise customers have the physical equipment located off site in data centres , so you could call that "hosted" the difference is , you have control over your equipment with on site "outdated boxes of tin" ... another myth ... one of our largest customers have had the same duplex servers for the last 10 years with the equipment on site and have simply upgraded memory and firmware when needed

... also if Mr workman does go through said connection to site with his digger , the network provider automatically recognises this and routes all inbound to a multi channel cellular solution(x 100 ports) that is connected onsite concurrently , like wise outbound calls route over the cellular circuits .. so how is a hosted solution matching that ...... i also think to make blanket statements that people cant not move on , just because you are pushing one type of technology in your mind ... is rather .... well ... silly , i dont care if my customers use hosted or fixed premise , i just care about uptime and in my experience all 20 years of it... on premise , gives more control , uptime and service options.

Ohh in large environments can you tell me on lets say a 3000 seat campus if the digger situation occurs , how do the users contact each other with a true hosted solution , if you have the answer to that and im missing something , please let me know as i would on a technical level be interested , cell phones and smoke signals are not permitted options.

ACSS (UC/SBCE/SM/SME)

Not that they mean a thing anymore , get a brain dump pass the test crash the system.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Dear madasaht1969....or should I say hostedtelephone?
Yes sorry but nice try on the name change, still bashing people that don't fancy hosted huh?

Interesting old comment I found btw.... "How can you say you have been "in the bussiness" when you are a end user have you tryed hosted and all the features it gives you"
That was cut and pasted just as you wrote it in 2012
Am I correct Mr "madasaht1969 (TechnicalUser)" whom appears to be a vendor this time around?

Is it not better to let a client decide which way to go rather then bash one side or the other or to say that peoples options are "rubbish"?

Clients may want control of their own systems and not have to rely or be held hostage by one vendor alone.
They may also want to make their own programming changes and not have to call or wait for a vendor to do this and charge for every little little programming change.

There is so many things to say "for" or "against" both hosted and non-hosted therefore a hosted system should be treated as yet just another system.

Try and post advantages rather then calling people rubbish next time perhaps?

Cheers
cc









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RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

LOL ..... ermmmm busted , shamed and genrally made to look like a bit of a foolish twonk

ACSS (UC/SBCE/SM/SME)

Not that they mean a thing anymore , get a brain dump pass the test crash the system.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Anyone working long enough in this industry should know by know that there isn't one system that fits all customers, hosted or on-premise.

It all comes down to what's the best fit for the customer.
Sadly most of the times sales people are more focused on selling what they know than what the customer needs, which usually bites you in the ass, but then it's the technicians problem.

"Trying is the first step to failure..." - Homer

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

There is a market for both of them and it is the consultant to offer the best solution no matter what it looks like.
But, as ususal, the offer made has a lot of personal interest of the consultant:
How much do I earn on the deal?
What systems I know best?
Who are my competetors?
What is the customers preference?

I have never met a real independent consultant TBH

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

You gave up posting because of the negativity yet you come back just to be negative with your very first sentence? banghead
The only negativity I can see here was intrigrant's comment about Nortel...lol

Anyway, better to answer the question at the top and list some features like RlsButton did as I would be interested to see them myself because I do believe that the hosted systems are changing themselves but not sure how much.

A problem as a vendor is perhaps a hosted solution would shut them down?
I have been offered monthly commissions by converting my clients to hosted but the income just does not compare to Installs/Parts/Service Agreements/MAC's/Relocates and so on.

Cheers









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We take the time to try to answer your questions for free, please return the favor and take the time to answer back and include any resolution you found elsewhere, thanks.

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Toronto Canada
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RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Hello madasaht1969, Could you provide some examples of how hosted would work in a few different (typically premised based)applications:

-a large hospital currently using a Nortel CS1000 or Avaya PBX, where HIPPA privacy laws are an issues.
-a large airport that has multiple extensions and multiple public address paging zones tied into the telephone system.
-a 911 call center that typically uses Nortel M series or Avaya 6400 series sets.
-An Emergency operations center for a city like NYC or Chicago?
-A grocery store chain that has multiple locations with multiple lines and they need overhead paging.
-a large US University with over 40,000 extensions.

Thanks,

Joseph Sus Jr. Nortel Emetrotel Consultant
www.joetheucxguy.com

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Hey guys
let's take a step back and compare apples to apples
Large installations on hosted make not a lot of sense because you are relying on the Internet connection to make the phones work. Your Internet as well as the providers Internet and all between connections. If you have 10 locations with only 3-10 phones each it makes much more sense because you don't need hardware other than phones in each location. It is unlikely that all your locations lose Internet at the same time (except if the provider is the same) so you should be able to get the calls.
If you want real redundancy you have to spend a lot of money to have that on a local level.

Redundancy is a great thing and advertised by a lot of hosted providers but they also must have redundancy and not just claim that this is a feature and they usually charge more than providers without that ability.

I am old school and have my own phone system (Avaya IP Office) at home with SIP and analog trunks (yes analog smile Alexander Graham Bell is proud of me) if my phone system goes down (I have 2 backup systems that I just need to plug in and I am up and running but that is not the norm I guess) the SIP gets routed to my cell phone when not connected and the analog trunk is never used other than by telemarketers and outgoing smile

Hosted and on-prem systems have their advantages and they are not in the same ranges so I don't understand the pissing match about which one is better all the time.
Take the ruler away and say that each customer has a unique requirement and therefore each customer may or may not be best served with hosted or on-prem systems.

One thing I have to however clarify: hosted phones, even though they are SIP, may not work on ALL other hosted solutions as well as they do on the one they worked at one time. Even SIP phones have compatibility issues and sometimes to make them work it is just not worth the amount of labour to figure out which settings need to be tweaked.

Joe W.

FHandw, ACSS (SME)


"This is the end of the world, make sure to buy your T-shirt before it is too late"
Original expression of my daughter

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

yea joe your comps are not the best. Those are clearly pbx implementations. My 2 cents is that hospitals and schools and 1500+ endpoints are the bad fits for hosted. But cmon guys you have to see where the industry is headed. Avaya itself is looking to nix the IPO and do server only. We offer both hosted and prem, and 9 of 10 times hosted makes more sense. Especially anything under 50 seats, its a no brainer.

And just fyi we have a grocery chain with many locations with hosted with overhead paging. You can easily accomplish this and page zones if you know what you are doing.

And i see above alot of mention about what if the internal network goes down? With a hosted solution you are still online. Calls are automatically rerouted to cell phones, mobile apps, offsite phones, voicemail, etc. With a prem system, if you had a power failure or sip trunks + network failure you are dead in the water. This is probably the biggest selling point of a hosted solution. And to say that cell phones are the same as smoke signals is pretty far fetched. We see more and more our clients looking for mobility over anything else. You say uptime, but what premise system has 100% uptime? We guarantee that with our geo redundant switch.

And cost is another thing i see bringing up not comparing apples to apples. With a hosted platform you get constant updates and support covered for likely the same or less then the client was already paying for telco. With a prem solution you get a system that within a year is generally behind in terms of new technology especially with advancements in web rtc coming out.

As a guy that sells both and has the same metaphorical pony in both race, i rarely see situations in where prem beats hosted. Of course there are some but its getting less and less. We just started a white label reseller platform, and we inherit a lot of "old phone guys" who are looking to move their prem clients to hosted. Its where the industry is headed folks as much as we want to fight it, technology in general is moving to the cloud, and voice in 5 years is just going to be thought of as another app. Especially when the younger generation and millenials start becoming decision makers

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Hey Phoneguy, are you in Europe or the UK? I forgot.

You do have a good point, that the larger installations are meant for PBX installations.

So tell me more about this grocery store setup? I thought paging in Europe wasn't as popular? It's interesting to hear that one chain might actually use paging.

Joseph Sus Jr. Nortel Emetrotel Consultant
www.joetheucxguy.com

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

We use an ATA with a tamb2 paging adapter works like a charm. We have this in most of our implementations

I'm in US by the way not Europe so not sure how it goes across the pond

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

OH, sorry for some reason I thought you were in the UK.

The SNOM PA1 works really well too for overhead paging, as well. I am sure the tamb2 is great too. Have you heard of Meijer? I've mentioned them on here. They have gone from Avaya to using hosted Lync from their corporate office and using a Audiocodes Media gateway at each store location, tied into a SNOM PA1 for zone paging at each store.

Joseph Sus Jr. Nortel Emetrotel Consultant
www.joetheucxguy.com

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

snom looks like a cool device ill have to get one in the lab for the guys to test

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

I like the SNOM PA1 as well and all you do is call the extension and it goes beep and pages out the paging interface, no need for 2 devices as points of failure.

phoneguy, you are saying exactly what makes sense for hosted and on prem but I have had a lot of people yapping for large installations with hosted. Your hosted solution also seems to be built solid with failover solutions which is not the case a lot of times and we had customers run from those to a on prem system again.
If you have SIP trunks then the provider usually can setup cell phones for failover (we can and do) so that if the on prem system goes down the Internet goes down or whatever the reason for the failed connection may be the call completes.

I think we all know the good and bad of hosted and on prem and know when to prefer one over the other but most here are not in sales. some of us are small providers and do it all but most here are techs and we don't care about margins we care about things working as good as they possibly can.

Joe W.

FHandw, ACSS (SME)


"This is the end of the world, make sure to buy your T-shirt before it is too late"
Original expression of my daughter

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

westi agreed, and our uptime and redundancy is what makes us stand out from the local hosted vendors. One thing ive learned is to run away from providers who do not have that. if you hear "asterisk based" run because you will be down 10 times a year. But most of the bigger switch providers like broadsoft, netsapiens, and metaswitch have geo HA baked in and its really almost impossible to have downtime if setup right.

Our sip trunks also can do failover but just for the entire trunk to say one cell number. With a full hosted solution, every extension can have its own offline call routing which is real big plus, in addition to mobile apps and offsite phones.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Indeed lot or all of what you are saying makes sense....star for the positive approach posts.

Maybe test this out too 8180 Algo SIP Audio Alerter.

I have same setup Westi, POTs for Res and SIP (Broadsoft) for Biz but on a wide open (keys) BCM50 with and identical one beside it just in case.

If not Asterisk then what are/is the other platform that runs hosted?

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Toronto Canada
www.telcopc.ca

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Hey curlycord

we purchased a netsapiens switch a few years back. It has geo redundancy baked in and a ton of other cool features. It blows asterisk out of the water in both.

Broadsoft is definitely the most popular, but coming from asterisk years ago the way we priced our exisitng customers was per seat. Broadsoft charges licensing per seat, per auto attendant, per ring group etc... so it likely would have been too expensive for most of our clients. That being said they do have a very nice platform.

Ive heard great things about metaswitch as well, the one downside that i hear often though is that the management side of it is very complicated. The nice benefit to our switch or broadsoft is the management portal for end users is very easy to use. Metaswitch requires advanced skills for basic programming, which isnt always bad for the back end side of things, but simple name changes, password changes, auto attendant changes, etc should be able to be adjusted by the end user.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

Picking a phone system should start by trying to figure out what business requirements must be met and what features are mandatory versus nice to have. As silly as this question may seem, do you expect to receive dial tone when you pick up the handset? Or even better, do you expect to have a handset? What about softclients on Windows, Apple, and Android devices? Does all the equipment support SHA-2 and TLS 1.2 (DISA/FIPS/FISMA/PCI-DSSv3.2 requirements). What adjunct systems do you need (Call Accounting, Paging System, Music-on-hold)? Now let's get complicated and add Contact Center. Do you need an outbound dialer? voice response unit? How many stations will have Call Recording active? Will Screen Capture be required? What type of reports are required? What about wallboards?

The "best" system is going to be the one that fits your business requirements without breaking the bank.

RE: Which phone system do you own? Pros & Cons

@jim what system doesnt have all of those features?

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