We are currently looking into replacing all the phone systems at our health centers. Over the past few weeks i have been in talks and have seen demonstrations by the different vendors, but now i would like some input from the community here.
Suppliers in the running: Avaya, Cisco, Shoretel, NEC, Toshiba
Situation: Health Centers that provide out-patient care. Has fiber WAN with 10Mbs connections to each site(180Mbs WAN metro-e circuit), 15 locations, 400 handsets.
Wants: Move to one phone system for all the centers, use the fiber SIP trunks offered by the telco at main location and then pipe all calls through main location. Have 911 services local to each location via analog lines( up to 4 lines ). Have failover via the WAN, if the local phone system dies/blows up/whatever, the IP phones at the site connect to another box and continue to function. If the WAN connection dies, we need the local system to use the analog lines for outbound temporarily. If the Main site SIP lines go down, the ability to use another SIP or PRI at another location for the entire system would be great. We are looking for easy provisioning, good reporting and the ability of staff to make changes to their extension options as well as supervisors to their site extensions.
All the suppliers above want to provide us with a solution and from what i can tell, Cisco, NEC and Shoretel can provide it. Avaya seems slightly behind in features/fail-over and i havent seen the toshiba system yet, but i can say we have 2 toshiba phone systems that are 20+ years old that are still running. Cisco looks very expensive but seems very serious about delivering. NEC seems to have everything we need and more after i install 5+ servers. Shoretel seems to be the easiest to setup and has the reliability out of the box we want at a much lower cost than cisco.
Any thoughts or experiences with each one ( use, call quality, setup, maintenance, costs, etc)? If you are going to bash some.. please provide real world examples of failures and whether or not you think it was the installer and/or the manufacturer at fault. I am looking for as much detail as possible and if you want to vent.. thats fine... examples make it more legitimate for me though.