Please help me choose between Telephone solutions

Hi All,

I need help with choosing between two different IP telephony solution:

We are a Microsoft shop and are also subscribed to office 365. We need a new phone system for our location around the world.

We have brought it down to 2 possible solutions:

1- Lync Server 2013
2- Avaya IP office 500

There are some pros and cons to both these solutions

Lync 2013:  Fully integrable with our environment
Lync 2013:  No need to purchase any soft phones
Lync 2013:  Out of box IM, Conferencing, Content sharing,
Lync 2013:  No need for licenses as we already have them through office 365.

Avaya:    Proven technology,
Avaya:    extra work to be done for full integration
Avaya:    Less expensive support
Avaya:    No conferencing, IM, or content sharing

My main question to you guys I guess is:

"Is lync 2013 a technology on which I could rely for my phone system"? Comparing it with Avaya, would it be wise to go with Lync 2013?

I appreciate your input, any real world experience would be even more great.

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looks like ytou are already sold on Lync 2013, you havnt listed any cons for it at all, if there are non the choice is simple
I manage an Avaya IP500 - you've accurately described its limitations. It is reliable, but there are a few things which I feel should be there but aren't. If IM, conferencing and content sharing are important to you, then I'd go with Lync 2013.
I also manage an Avaya IP500 system in a small organisation.  At the time of our migration, it was a huge step forward from the traditional telephone system and it's facilities are ideal for our use.  There is limited connectivity with MS Office but only for making calls so not a huge leap of technological brilliance.  After 4 years, the other facilities you mention with the Lync system would be 'nice to have' especially in a world where we are trying to save money where we can by cutting back on face-to-face meetings etc.

Anyway, hope this helps a little but I agree with duttcom's comments
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saarmstrongAuthor Commented:
Hi Guys,

Thank you for your responses. I am still not clear whether Lync 2013 can be a reliable PBX. All other goodies are nice to haves, but having a reliable phone system takes priority.

Please comment on reliability of Lync system if you have have any experience with it.

these may help you, first is coments from people that have tried lync or  are like you considering it. the second is more able to answer your question.
As a telecommunications consultant that has worked with over a dozen Lync installations and given a couple of speeches on Lync as a telephony solutions (at UC Expo in London last March and at the CTCA meeting in Vancouver in April) I can tell you that it is a very viable solution, but not without challenges or flaws.  Like all solutions developed on the SIP protocol, there is not a good solution for multi-line telephone sets (several sets picking up a common group of lines).  However, the solution has many of the advantages you mention above (and a few others).  My clients include a large county government that is about 1/2 through installing it for over 15,000 users, an engineering firm of over 500 people, a port authority with over 230 phones, and a few others of various sizes.  Most of these used a telephone set that was optimized for Lync, although some percentage of users opted for soft phones.  A colleague of mine helped the Indianapolis Motor Speedway implement a Lync for about 500 users and they only used soft phones.

Lync is not right for everyone, but it works well for professional firms, knowledge workers, and those that are used to using "computerized tools."  One thing it is not is "simple" or "nearly free" like some Lync enthusiasts will tell you.

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