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VoIP Phone System Recommendations

I am trying to prepare recommendations for a phone system to be installed in our office. We currently have 20 seats that would all need phones and we have NO existing phone infrastructure. Each desk already has two RJ45 jacks, only one of which is currently in use.

I want recommendations for the following:

Phone System Equipment (Best Brands, Best Prices, etc)
Phone Service Providers (SIP Trunks, etc)
Configuration Options (What components do I need?)

Keep in mind that we do not need any features that I would consider outside of the norm (Voicemail, Conferencing, etc)

Also keep in mind that I do not have previous experience with VoIP phone systems.

Thank You.
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dfxdeimos
Asked:
dfxdeimos
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2 Solutions
 
API_NOCCommented:
You need a Service Provider that can handle this for you.  Check out http://www.accesspointinc.com/voicepointFLEX.htm and get a Hosted Solution.  Ask them about their free equipment promotion.
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dfxdeimosAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion, but I am not really interesting in a hosted solution.

I would like to get recommendations on the three items I outlined above.
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atrevidoCommented:
I would recommend a small Mitel 3300 CXi.
The Mitel CXi gives you 16 ports of PoE switchings + all the features you might need including embedded VM and auto attendant.
Contact your local Mitel dealer.
http://varnetwork.com/find_mitel_networks.cfm  <-- this link will help you locate any dealer for any type of equipment.  I like the Mitel because it sizes well for us, does SIP, self labelling phones, you can add an office if needed later (we can only hope the economy gets better), etc.
 
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dfxdeimosAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your suggestion atrevido.

The device you mentioned only has 16 ports, does this mean it can only support 16 phones?

I am glad you mentioned SIP, as I am still a little confused about that. I assume I need a SIP connection to interface with the PSTN, but I don't know much more beyond this. Can you give me a brief overview of how you use SIP with your VoIP setup? Do you use a combined voice & data line? Any other information that may be helpful to a VoIP n00b?
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atrevidoCommented:
The device you mentioned only has 16 ports, does this mean it can only support 16 phones?  <-- With built in PoE yes, but you can buy power bricks for any additional.  You'll have to ask a Mitel salesperson as that I am not for exact specifics.
Here are some notes on the CX and CXi

CX and CXi Controllers
The CX and CXi Controllers are shipped with an embedded Analog Main Board that supports
6 analog trunks and 4 analog extension ports. For solutions that require additional analog
capacity, you can add an embedded Analog Option Module which provides an additional 6
trunks and 4 extensions, or an Analog Service Unit II which connects via a Quad Copper
Interface Module (CIM).
The CX and CXi Controllers support:
" up to 100 IP devices, or up to 150 ONS devices, or a combination of up to 150 devices.
" the Analog Main Board (AMB) - provides 6 analog trunks, 4 analog extension ports, Music
on Hold, and Paging
" the Analog Option Board (AOB) - provides an additional 6 analog trunks and 4 analog
extension ports, Music on Hold, and Paging
3300 ICP General Information Guide
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" two externally accessible slots and one internal slot for optional modules
" one 10/100 BaseT WAN port (RJ-45 connector)
" one 10/100/1000 BaseT LAN port (RJ-45 connector)
" sixteen 10/100 BaseT LAN ports connected to an internal Ethernet Layer 2 switch (CXi
Controller only)
Optionally, you can install
" a Quad or Dual DSP module for G.729a compression in the internal module slot
" one DSP II for FAX Relay (T.38) and/or G.729 compression
" one or two T1/E1 Combo modules for digital trunking
" one or two Quad BRI Framer modules for BRI trunks
" a Quad Copper Interface Module (CIM) for connection of up to three Analog Service Unit
IIs (ASU IIs).
" an AOB for additional analog trunks and lines
" an APC-CX(i) processor in the CXi Controller to run applications (such as Teleworker,
Mobile Extension, and Live Business Gateway.)
Note: The CX and CXi Controllers do not support Network Service Units (NSUs) or
peripheral cabinets.
Regarding SIP

To manage costs within an organization, many businesses consider replacing their traditional
PSTN connections with new SIP services deployed by service providers. Mitel expects to see
a proliferation of these services in the future and SIP trunking has the ability to support these
new network services.
The 3300 ICP connects to the Service Provider using the SIP protocol over the IP network. The
SIP Trunking solution provides basic calling features, billing capability, Emergency Services
support, FAX support, and more.
 

sip.bmp
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dfxdeimosAuthor Commented:
Ok, that is all good information, but how is SIP installed in your situation?

I assume you contracted with a SIP provider (we will use XO as an example) and then how was it installed? Is there simply a CAT5 cable coming out of a wall jack that you plug into your Mitel device? Do you have a device in between them?
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mattlandisCommented:
Hi,

If you want a 2nd opinion? ;-)
What does your business do? You don't need voicemail?

If you have low feature requirement take a look at the PBXNSIP CS525 phone system.
http://pbxnsip.com/cs425
Will support 25 extensions, 4 pstn lines and however many sip trunks you want.
PHones? I would suggestion Snom 3XX series.

In answer to your last question, mitel or any ip system, you plug the phone system into a normal data switch (just like a pc) and it can acess the SIP trunk. (a little simplified)

Are you planning to do this yourself?

tx
matt
landiscomputer
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dfxdeimosAuthor Commented:
Thank you for that suggestion, that is a really interesting device!
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mattlandisCommented:

Yes, VERY interesting.
Very cost effective and VERY feature rich. It includes a lot of features not expected at a very reasonable cost. In fact, we see it fitting as a good Avaya replacement.

If you want any help with it your welcome to contact me.

tx
matt
landiscomputer
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dfxdeimosAuthor Commented:
Oh and to answer your previous question, yes I plan on doing this myself.
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mattlandisCommented:
hi,

If your doing voip for the first time it will be a journey but if you like tech it can be fun.

tx
matt
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mattlandisCommented:
Hi,

To add:
-most business class sip phones allow you to run your PC through the phone. I do not recommend this. One of many reasons is that this is a 10/100 port. Also if you reboot phone you loose PC connection, etc... So use that 2nd port you have

-Phonesystem: pbxnsip has a compelling set of features for a very reasonable price. Also it is very harden/solid platform. This system is feature rich enough to be an avaya replacement.

-Phones: I'll admit i'm biased towards SNOMS. We have used them with asterisk, 3cx & pbxnsip and the only thing that hasn't changed through all our changes is our like for SNOM. Many features and priced right. Grandstream is the cheap contender and isn't quite as stable in my opinion.

-What components might you need that you might not think about? A power over ethernet switch. This will power your phones so a power outage doesn't take out your phone system. If your rack is battery backed up (and it should be) you have no outage with a power blink.

-We use Nexvortex as a sip trunk provider. They are business class and solid. Not free though. You can get a free demo account to try them and see if you like. I know this works with pbxnsip perfectly.

A 2nd, and perhaps in some cases, better option might be to get a sip trunk from your ISP. The benefit of this is that they will do QOS on the WAN side for you.

**To give good recommendation it really is good to know more about your business and what you need to do with a phone system.

matt
landiscomputer


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dfxdeimosAuthor Commented:
All good tips, not *exactly* what I was looking for. We ended up going with a complete Avaya IP Office system and an XO 3.0 Mb Voice / Data connection.

Thanks all.
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