VoIP and OCS

Our company is interested in starting to look at VoIP to replace a legacy phone system that links 5 sites and approx. 450 users.   Internally, we utilize Microsoft OCS/Exchange and would like to use these tools with the addition of voice for unified communications.  In this scenario, do we just not buy the UC tools the VoIP vendors offer such as Shoretel’s Call Manager or Cisco Unified Personal Communicator?  If so what makes the link to the VoIP system?  Is there connector software that would be needed in its place?  Is there pros/cons to this approach?

Blink1976Asked:
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Alex BaharCommented:
I suggest you to use OCS as your primary IP PBX if the features of OCS meet your requirements. There are several OCS compatible IP Phones that does not need a PC to function.
You can evaluate OCS by installing some IP phones on 3 sites to see if they meet the requirements and iron out the possible incompatibility issues between OCS and IP Phones, and gain experience/confidence with OCS.
Running OCS as your sole UC environment/ IP PBX will save you money and you won't need to worry about integration issues between OCS and the *other* IP PBX.
If you're not satisfied with the OCS features, you can always introduce an IP PBX from another vendor and link OCS and the IP PBX using a SIP trunk.
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Reid PalmeiraTelecom EngineerCommented:
Couple other things to add it.
I've had some issues in the past OCS 2007 R2 and some SIP Trunking (to the PSTN) providers. You may need the mediation server for that.

I'm assuming one of the benefits you're looking for is to reduce voice toll calling costs between the five sites. If you've got 5 different OCS deployments, you'll want to check the network connections between the sites and see if they can support SIP trunks between the sites and see if they ca support SIP trunks. Not to the PSTN but just between the sites.
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Blink1976Author Commented:
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