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Best VoIP PBX for a  small but growing business

Posted on 2004-10-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I'm currently considering the following for a 80 person, three office firm - offices are 50 users in office A, 20 in office B, and 10 in office C

NEC NEAX2000 IPS Platform in office A, NEC ELITE IPK for office B, and NEC ELITE IPK Basic for office C - VoIP cards in the switches.

Nortel BCM 400 in Office A, BCM 200 in B and C

Intertel - so much literature I'm not even sure what they're offering any more

Sprint Coral -


Right now I'm leaning towards the NEC system or the Sprint Coral System, but I'm looking for scalability, and most importantly - open standards - compatibility, and overall value -

Any reccomendations?
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Question by:Scudboy
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    Expert Comment

    by:talphius
    You seem to be set on one of those three, but I figured I'd throw this out there...Have you considered Asterisk?

    There's a bit of a learning curve, but the feature set is incredible.  Best of all, it's Open Source and free :)
    http://www.asterisk.org
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    by:
    How about a total outsourced solution like MCI's Advantage program:
    http://business.mci.com/small_business/local_long_distance/mci_advantage.jsp

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    Author Comment

    by:Scudboy
    The Linux option looks great, but we're a small company with only two IT staff, one of whom also manages the department and handles CAD drafting as well.  Something with a big learning curve doesn't really fit the mold, as many features and as inexpensive as it is.  

    I really need a system that has a) good support from a strong company that knows telecom (not a data company trying to act like a telecom) and b) a cost efficient system with bells and whistles like unified messaging, softphones -

    I'm looking for more of a reccomendation as far as stability, service and reputation goes with manufacturers like Nortel, Intertel, NEC, etc.

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    Expert Comment

    by:epylko
    Since you want "a strong company that knows telecom (not a data company trying to act like a telecom)" is the inverse true? I've seen lots of voice resellers try to push VoIP and they have no idea what they are getting into.

    If you're looking for strong VoIP partners, Cisco has a good product, Avaya makes VoIP PBXs and you can probably get a support contract from a company that does Asterisk. I haven't been impressed with Nortel's offering, haven't heard of Sprint Coral, and I don't know about the NEC system either.

    Furthermore, what is your definition of best? Downtime, redundancy, bandwidth usage, unified messaging (email through the phone or voicemail on your laptop), roaming users (i.e. hot desks), what features you need and want. Do you want centralized call processing or distributed? What about the voicemail?

    I would hire a consultant to walk you through the different options and features and help you figure out what you need.

    -Eric
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    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    by:Joel_Sisko
    scudboy,

    Are you still looking for advice? Have over 2,000 PBX installs, with 5 percent of them being VoIP based since 1997.

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