New Elastix Deployment, first timer, need phones.?

Mathiau
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Hello everyone!

Well after a lot of research and checking on various PBX systems, someone mentioned Elastix and kind of got me hooked on it.

Now, we have decided to go the Elastix route for a new office location, to start we are going to need:

23 wired phones
2 conference room systems
2 cordless phones
1 Secretary phone, with some kind of add-on base for easily transferring calls. (something like the Polycom IP670)


So my question was what phones should i be ordering, i would prefer something that just works really, i was looking at polycom, but some people say they have issues with 330's, 320's and 501's... is this still a current issue? The person who showed me Elastix's said they were using Polycom cause they aren't as expensive as other companies.

I really don't want to order phones that could give me troubles and i have to manually edit config files to get them to pick up?

So any help for this new person to make his life easier would be very very appreciated!

Also, i assume the phones i order all need to be SIP based?
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Chorded phones
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I would stay away from the Grandstream phones. We have the GXP2000 and the build and design quality (long term reliability) on them is not too good.
The Aastra 480i that we use now are very good.

Conference room
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How big is the room?
The 480i we have has an excelent speakerphone which for our conference room is ample (desk is big enough for 8 people) but if you have a large room then Polycom do a dedicated conference phone.

Chordless phones
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There are many wireless models available but you can run into call quality issues if the signa becomes poor. As you only want a couple then I would stick with DECT wireless technology (standard type of chordless phone you would use at home).
Aastra have the 480iCT which is the 480i phone combined with an additional chordless handset.
If you want just a chordless phone and not the desk phone which comes with it then I have the Siemens Gigaset C475IP (the non 'IP# version is a completely different phone) which is excelent.

For the secretary phone you might want to have a look at http://www.asternic.org/ instead.

Author

Commented:
Great info grblades!

we will only need 2 cordless phones total, one would be used more then the other, but not alot of traffic.

Aastra's look nice! i saw some of them before, but since this is all new to me i wasnt sure how good each company was...
Yes the Aastra are a lot more professional. You can program the buttons by the screen to be shortcuts for particular number or extensions or even launch other menus or lists of extensions.
On my phone I have a button which brings up a directory of my suppliers (it works by loading a xml file from a web server) and the rest being shortcuts for other internal extensions and these have an icon which indicates if the phone is free, busy or ringing.
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Author

Commented:
Ahhh, that could be useful for some departments,

i assume there should be no issue mixing ip phones on the network, or is it usually best to stick to one company if you can?

Author

Commented:
doesnt look like the one place i am looking has the 480iCT but they do have the 57i model, which i think would work better then buying the seperate kit for cordless and such.
There are no issues mixing phones but if you stick to one make you can make use of provisioning features to automatically configure each phone.
I havent done it for the Aastra's because we only have 3 of them but I have done it for the grandstream and it is fairly easy.
I believe for the Aastra you can either create a config file for each phone (you could have a database of phone MAC addresses, peoples names, extension and password and have a php script generate the files automatically) or I think there is some form of auto config where the phone asks for the username and password and then saves its configuration.
If you have the config in the database then you can use that same information to automatically create a company phonebook which the phones can load automatically.

Just do a google search for "aastra provisioning" to find out more information and I think there is a guide on the aastra website aswell.

Author

Commented:
Sounds good, i havent dug very deep into Elastix, the backend we will be using, i know it does run from a MySQL database so accessing the data shouldnt be hard.

i like Elastix cause it has the auto scan feature to find phones and program them, set extensions and so on from with in  the GUI.

So far i am looking at, perhaps

14 Polycom IP321 (320's dont have the headset jack)
5 Astra 57i, as the cordless part is needed
2 Polycom 6000 PoE for conference rooms...


still need3 more phones, but trying to decided how much usage the depertments would have with them.

Any one have better ideas, let me know!

Author

Commented:
I do notice not all phones state if they are PoE or not on voipsupply.com, should i assume they are PoE (Polycom 321, Aastra 57i) or is it cause some are PoE some are using old fashioned power adapters?
Isnt the 57i just a desk phone?

The polycom 321 is still quite a basic phone with a small display. Any reason you are going for that rather than a aastra 480i atart from the price?

What are you doing about power?
The aastra and polycom normally take power off the network but power adapters can be bought for them. Given your number of phones I would recomend a Powerdsine Midspan device (http://www.microsemi.com/PowerDsine/Products/Midspan/PD_3500.asp) which will sit between your switch and the phones and provide them all with power. The advantage of this is that you can have a central UPS to power the powedsine and the pbx so if you get a power cut the phones carry on working for a while.
Have a look at http://www.voiptalk.org/products/voip-hardware.php for more info on some of the phones.

I think polycom and aastra are poe only and you need to buy a power adapter if you are not going to use it.
Some grandstreams are both and come with the adapter.
Its only really the basic budgetone phones which might not be poe.

Author

Commented:
yes, with the Polycom i was thinking of price to keep it down where possible, we are doing PoE, we have the 2 switches already (2x Dell PowerConnect 3524P PoE) the polycoms are going tobe for our support people, some people in marketing and out coders.

Our suport departemnt only gets about 15-20 calls in an 8 hour shiftt currently, most support is done via email or live chat, so i thought, or could be wrong? they should be able to handle the load...

our office has been wired already for 2 seperate networks, the phone on one and internet on the other.


thanks for the link, heading over there now to do some reading!


The phones will certenly handle the load. The 480i would just give you more screen area for custom menu's and separate phone lists etc... but if you dont need that then there is no real point paying the extra.

Having two separate networks is fine. The normal way of doing it is to have the switch configured to use VLANs. The phone can then be configured with a VLAN tag so its traffic goes over one VLAN while untagged traffic (the computer) goes over the default one. The main reason why this is the more common apporach is because it reduces the cabling needed in the office walls and you only need one cable from the wall to the desk since the pc cable goes to the back of the phone.

Author

Commented:
Ahh, interesting, i had seen that some phones had dual jacks for that purpose!

luckily for me since the cabling is being done by someone else, they are going to 2 port method, one for phone one for computers :)

Author

Commented:
All answers by grblade were very useful!

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