VoIP solution: Cisco CM vs. CME vs. Nortel, 3Com, etc.
Posted on 2006-03-21
I am looking at going with a Cisco VoIP solution for a new site for my company. The site will only have at most 15 people so a moderate 2800 series router with CME should cover it. I will be looking at wired and wireless phones over a cisco aironet wireless network. At any rate, I'm pretty confident I am going to go with a CME solution for that site.
However, there is the potential that a larger site (around 100 people) might be upgraded to a full VoIP system (right now on a digital POTS style network. I know I can get CME to work with a more beefy router, but I am looking at a fuller solution and link atleast those two sites.
From most of my research, most providers have the same features (just depends on the model you go with). My question is what is required in a CME implementation (my current understanding is that I only need a gateway router with CME loaded and the proper interfaces to take the PRI) versus going with a full CM implementation (I know you need a gateway router and a server--HP or IBM is certified--but I don't know what else). I'm looking at for a 100 user network (assume one phone per person, plus one voice mail box per person) what equipment would I be looking at needing for a CM implementation (phones can be disregarded as I can determine that) and what is the potential cost.
Also, just out of curiousity I was wondering if anyone knew about other VoIP solutions that they would recommend over CM and why? I know that CME can be upgraded to CM which is why I want to go with that. I can get something fairly cheap and fairly easily upgrade it without having to buy all new hardware. My site uses a 3Com box (NBX 100). It is fairly limited in what it can do, I think mostly because of it being one of the first to the VoIP market. The last site uses a Nortel box (don't know the model). That one does well, but they don't use L3 connectivity. (They didn't buy that license). That is another item I would like to stay away from if at all possible. I really don't like licensing every little feature.
As I said before, I'm pretty set on Cisco, but want to keep an open mind to see if anyone thinks I'm making a mistake going with them.