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Viability of Cisco IP phone solution with kit available

Hi there

I have the opportunity to purchase many Cisco 7940 IP phones and three Cisco 2911 integrated services routers at a good price. And some Cisco switches as well.

I'm interested in how getting these connected into a VOIP system would happen once I had purchased them, if I did purchase them.

Requirements are:

40 users each with a handset, 10 in a remote location (networks tunnelled together)
Ability to transfer calls between handsets regardless of site
Various geographic phone numbers diverting to specific users/groups
Means of configuring IVR if possible

Would the kit described enable the above requirements?

I've seen that the 7940 phones are end of life... so this might be a bad idea - is it?

Are the 2911 integrated services routers still useful to the VOIP solution even if the handsets aren't?

Where does the configuration for a VOIP system live?

Thanks in advance - I don't know anything about VOIP, just wondering really if the opportunity to use second hand kit is a good thing, or a nightmare waiting to happen.

3 Solutions
Jody LemoineNetwork ArchitectCommented:
The Cisco 7940 sets are end-of-life, but are still supported by the CME in the routers. The only real gotcha with respect to 7940 (as opposed to the newer 7941, 7942 and 7945 sets) is that they're SCCP-only phones. If you're planning on connecting them to a 2911 CME, that shouldn't be a problem as this supports SCCP without any trouble. Even if you decide not to bother with the 7940 phones, the 2911 CME solution is quite current and viable.

IVR can be accomplished with TCL scripting on that platform, so you're good there. The configuration for the VoIP system is entirely contained in the 2911 router's configuration.

There are only three big issues for you as I see it:

1. The CME (especially with IVR) on the 2911 is a reasonably involved system to configure and will involve a significant amount of CLI (and possibly TCL scripting) work. It's certainly not going to be a point-and-shoot GUI-based configuration for everything.
2. The CME component of the 2911 IOS software is a licensed feature. Make sure the 2911 you're getting is licensed correctly for this.
3. The VoIP system is integrated into the router, but the voicemail system requires additional hardware. If the 2911 you're getting is equipped for Unity Express, then you're good to go. Otherwise, you'll have to either spring for this piece or use an external voicemail system.
Evening, Jody is correct in all his observations but one, there is firmware available to upgrade the 7940 to a SIP package.  I use it and have about a dozen of these on SIP.  But the complexity of the 2911 CME is considerable and as pointed out most of the features require a specific license key / fee of one form or another.

Depending on the skill sets available you may want to look at an Asterisk or FreeSwitch install to start with and get your feet wet and then if for some reason you can't do something on that platform move to CME.  

Best solution is Asterisk for SIP dependent devices. Also 7940 phones performance also reach expected levels.

I have setup 480 of 7940 SIP Phones setup and running perfectly since from 2009.

Kiran Mummuluri
butterhookAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone!
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