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VOIP - Is skype a business option for sales calls? Best hardware for VOIP? - 1 to 3 max phones required

Posted on 2008-10-07
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
An office has asked me to suggest a VOIP for them.  Requirement initially 1 but could go to three phones at a max I think,

Ive heard that SKYPE is a bit hit and miss quality wise.  Am I better off steering clear if them?

Is skype easy to configure on linksys kit? I see they have phones.
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Question by:worded
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michofreiha earned 125 total points
ID: 22658647
As I know you cannot configure a skype account on a Linksys device...You can download their Softphone on your PC and use it...You can use  headphone to make calls or a hard phone that should be connected to your PC...

In order to configure a Linksys I, you should use a Vonage account...But Vonage sell the device and the account is embedded inside it...

Regards
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by:denisdsr20
denisdsr20 earned 125 total points
ID: 22659671
Take care of misunderstandings :on one SIde VOIP is used as generic term to say voice is routed via an IP network, in this way Skype, Cisco, asterisk, linksys phones are VOIP.

On the other side, VOIP should implement a telco protocol, for now state of art protocol for VOIP is SIP + RTP. But there is many other way to design protocols to routed Voice over IP networks, for instance Skype uses its own protocol totally incompatible with standards SIP devices.

So, if you're looking for an open VOIP environement, this one should rely on SIP and SIP devices (linksys, Cisco, ...) and SIP PBX (asterisk, or hosted SIP PBX), if interop is not a requirement then you can switch to skype.

hope this help

Denis / SR20
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by:icanhelp
icanhelp earned 125 total points
ID: 22675700
for 3 phones (max), why use VoIP at all?  VoIP is a transition from circuit based networks to IP based networks and has the benefits of being able to converge telco and data networks which drives its return on investment, however....there is a steep cost in getting this type of solution setup for a true business class VoIP (if you want reliability) and the break-even point is hard to justify.

With only 3 telephones max, you're never going to get there.  But if you must, look into Cisco CME (call manager express) and Unity express.  Both of those telephony services run on an Integrated Services Router (ISR) and have the slots for telco interface cards as well as Power over Ethernet Switch modules allowing the network router to power your IP based phones.  Another nice feature is that you can program advanced call handling procedures such as hunting, transferring, auto-attendants...etc.  You will spend around $8,000 for an entry model but will more than do the job.

You can find cheaper solutions out there, but cheaper is the operative word....look into Linksys if you must go down the hard road.

rc
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by:API_NOC
API_NOC earned 125 total points
ID: 22678257
Business VoIP for 1 location is not recommended unless you subscribe to a carrier that offers really great rates. Also it would be beneficial if the main corp office was on the same platform. This would allow you to cut calling cost in the long run for a more expensive system.

With that being said you should look at an Edgewater Edgemarc 4500 or 200 device and a carrier that supports them. This will handle outbound QoS and provide security to your network. They run around $200 - $500 but some carriers give them with the service. Also for an IP phone solution to go behind the ALG device any of the Polycom models are recommended. They update the firmware regularly and sound 100 times better than most of the phones on the market. Again they are pricey but most hosted VoIP providers include the phones free in the pricing, if you sign a 2 - 3 year deal like a cell phone company.
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