VOIP: SIP vs. proprietary Broadview Networks Silnet ??

I'm researching VOIP solutions for our company's two locations (50 users + 50 users) connected via WAN link.

1. What are the top 3 or 4 providers of cloud VOIP I should investigate and consider?

2. Broadview Networks boasts they use their " own unique technology and SilNetâ„¢, instead of SIP or open source".  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

3. Any good independent places to get up to speed on cloud VOIP?

Thanks,
Mike
mike2401Asked:
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masnrockConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Broadview claims that SilNet transports calls directly to the phones that are actually used. Very vague. Their VoIP solution was the Mitel one if I recall properly.

I would encourage you to look at 8x8, worked pretty well for the clients i worked with. Avoid Vonage Business (they will try to insist on handling your internet and network too), plus I have seen instances of their service having problems and they were blaming everything else.

Another company you could check out is Appia. I have used their SIP trunks, which have generally been solid. They do have a hosted VoIP solution, which I do not recall what it is based on.
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Aaron TomoskyConnect With a Mentor SD-WAN SimplifiedCommented:
The MSP I work for only does shoretel and the hosted option is called connect cloud. If you want to work with a partner and just have phones that work, it's a great solution.

Ive heard of 8x8,  it honestly I don't know the UC landscape that well. We are pretty happy working with shoretel.

Never heard of broadview and this non sip offering.
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ccomleyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You can host 3CX now - 3CX Linux version on a Google Cloud VM, or, some companies will host it for you. Has to be worth a look.
Yealink phones to go with it.
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nociConnect With a Mentor Software EngineerCommented:
I would go for a Standards based solution to prevent vendor lockin...  The offer might be cheap now, but what if prices rise after a year, can you swap?

SIP is a widely used standard solution. If you need confidentiality etc. you need to verify that that platform is auditable, and you probably need SRTP (Secure RTP)  as voice channel.

It is not hard to setup you in house solution based on f.e. Brekeke.  
Otherwise look at WEBRTC solutions like Spreed.ME or Appear.in , in most cases the amount of users is restricted by hardware, where an average PC can handle a few hundred of calls simultaniously, and server class systems several thousands of calls simultaniously.
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masnrockCommented:
Would it be possible to get some of your requirements?

But I do also concur about looking at in an house solution with approximately 100 users, as long as you have the capability to support it.
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mike2401Author Commented:
I'd say price and SIMPLE as the two main requirements.  Our LAN admin will be retiring so it needs to be something super-easy to support.
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nociConnect With a Mentor Software EngineerCommented:
Brekeke  = 1 PC + ~USD 1500 (estimate, you have to request a quote).
+ SIP -> provider. depending on what is available... (you can use a foreign service if you need).

fe. if you need US & EU calls use a SIP provider in EU and one in US and enjoy local cost in both countries.
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Aaron TomoskySD-WAN SimplifiedCommented:
IMO phones and email are two things that just aren't worth spending time and it resources supporting. Unless you have some special requirements requiring onsite gear, just don't do it. Have dual circuits at both locations, either mpls or an sdwan solution like Aryaka, and don't add another server to your rack.
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mike2401Author Commented:
Thanks for the comments everyone.   I will investigate the resources mentioned for UC.  Our main objective is to go with a mainstream cheap easy to support cloud VOIP.
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mike2401Author Commented:
Just learned our current PBX vendor is a shoretel reseller so Shoretel will certainly be on the short-list of consideration.  Sadly, their phones are proprietary also.  Sad because we own some cisco IP phones for HQ already.  Hate to buy $15,000 worth of phones.  However, we could "rent" them for $5,000 / year but the break even is 3 years so if we can afford it, it would make more sense to buy them outright.
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masnrockConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Some vendors will let you bring your own devices, but with certain requirements from a security aspect. 8x8 I remembered was one of the vendors who were like that. Did any have a lease to own option? I saw that you mentioned your current vendor has a lease option, but not necessarily lease to own.

One vendor I've purchased IP phones from is The Telecom Spot .. either contact them for quotes or create your own account. That's how you will see their best prices. A lot of the prices you'll see otherwise are numbers that they admit they can do better on.
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mike2401Author Commented:
Thanks again for all the input!
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