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Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

Our company has a old Merlin PBX with 8 analog lines. Now, the company has grown up from 5 to 35 employees and opened 2 offices (main office in US and branch office in India). We are thinking to switch from analog lines to IP PBX(VOIP). I am new to this and can you please help me with the following questions:
1. What company and which model of the IP PBX is good for about 35 employees?
2. Do we need T1 line or any other kind of service for IP PBX?
3. Should we keep separate lines for voice and data?
4. What approximate numbers would be for the above scenario?
5. Is IP PBX and VOIP the same thing?

I will highly appreciate your suggestions.

RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

Since you already have a Merlin you may want to look at an Avaya IP Office. i am not sure what region you are in but maybe look at www dot carouselindustries dot com. we sell Avaya products and it sounds like you may fit well into an IP Office. They are a very reliable system and have digital and IP set ups. You could do digital phones and IP lines to your remote site. you can have remote softphones and hardphones. It sounds like you would maybe want T1 or PRI with DID service from the provider or you could look at SIP trunking. we have some customers on flex PRI's and they work nice. THey take 1 or 2 T1s comming in and use it for voice and data at the same time. When you are not using the voice it gets used as data bandwidth.

RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

Thanks kwing112000 for your reply. we are located in san francisco bay area. Our company is more looking into Cisco products. What about Cisco ISR with Call manager? Any suggestions on this.

RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

Can I make a suggestion before you leap into IP phones. Two many people make this mistake and find out the hardway.

First make sure you network is rock solid. Do you have redundant links? What SLA's are in place with your network provider? What latency is present on you links between offices? Do you plan to expand?
Many people just look at bandwidth and that's it, but there are other issues, for example, how many hops between sites? Are there firewalls in the way, as this can problematic.
Waiting 2 seconds for a connection to you mail system may be no great loss, but waiting 2 seconds for voice trafic packets to arrive can be a killer

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

RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest


You can always keep the analog lines and use the IP PBX, but if you are expanding the lines, you should go with a T1/PRI.
You can always use a VoIP providers to save the monthly costs.
An asterisk System will be the best in terms of costs and features:

check out this list of IP PBX's:



RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

Great thread, is there something online that would give you a snapshot of what it takes to set up a VOIP network?

RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

We are a college of approx. 1000 users going from a 28 year old Avaya/Lucent PBX box (Definity G3sI) to Cisco VoIP. I have heard nothing but horror stories. I am reading all I can regarding Cisco's Call Manager.

Question if applicable to those who have implemented VoIP; what are the things I will looking at 2 to 3 months down the line after installation that Cisco didn't tell me?

Thank you,
Shari W.

RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest


If i was you i will go with an Asterisk based system.

We have some customers that switched from Cisco to PBXware solution, you will probably spend at least $350,000 from Cisco.

A good setup : Vswitch pbxware + Polycom Phones should handle 3000 extenions with a lot of features.



RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

Thanks jeanben13 for the advise, but this is a done deal....just waiting for implementation now. Now I am just waiting for the horror to start.

Shari W.

RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

Well make sure that you have a good knowledge in SQL server and Windows 2003!

And make sure you get a fast support, they are slow on responding to tickets!

RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

NO SQL here....thanks for the 1st horror jeanben13. LOL

Shari W.

RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

May I suggest, an Allworx system?

And a bonded PRI from someone like XO or Telepacific?

23 up to 48 talk paths out, and you have the ability to just preconfigure the phones as an extension, and simply ship phones to India...

Typically No long distance charges...

Back to back Allworx gives you more options, call it 2700 a system and a buck 95 a phone...

Tyhe system becomes your email handler, and your gateway, and You can send voice mails to emails, and forward to your cell phone...

Just my $.02

BTW, Internet Telephony Product of the year for two  years running now...

RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

Shari, it all depends on the solution provider that is implementing the solution as they will be the make or break of the project. I work for a Cisco Partner and we have no horror stories with the VOIP installs we have completed. However,we have had to go in after other providers and fix their mistakes.

I assume they are installing version 6.0 which is based on Red Hat Linux and is usually rock solid. I don't understand where people get the misinformation or for some reason want to try to suggest that you purchase some other third rate system.

RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

Our partner is awesome. We have done other projects with them. Everything is Cisco to begin with here. Thanks for the comments everyone.

RE: Old PBX to VOIP - Please suggest

We are currently going through the VoIP implementation process and will be going live next week. After looking into several products and providers, our solution provider is setting us up with a Shoretel solution. Lots of features, easy administration, and the provider has done a great job so far. After what we've been through, I'm so glad we decided to seek out a solution provider instead of trying to implement ourselves. There has been so much more involved than I initially thought there would be. As others have pointed out, the network assessment is crucial to end-user satisfaction and so should be very thorough. The cost of the necessary tools to get a good assessment is cost prohibitive for a one-time implementation. The bottom line is, get a good solution provider, tell them what you want, and let them worry about the answer to your questions.

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