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We have about 8 incoming PSTN lines that are currently on an old and antiquated Nortel Meridian ICS system. This system has been giving us some grief. We're looking for a new VOIP solution. I've been looking at a Cisco solution and it does seem pricey but I'm sure effective. Unfortunately, we probably can't afford a Cisco Unified Communications 520 which seems to be the ideal solution. We have about 15 people who need an extension and voicemail. We really don't have any need for a fancy system just an auto attendant of some sort when people call us.

It looks like we'll have to get an older router and an addon card for what we're looking for to get best value pricing. However, I don't know a a lot about Cisco voice products so I'm a bit lost as to what to get. The only thing I am sure on is the pricing on VOIP phones which we expect to be about ~$100-200. However, I'm not sure what pieces of VOIP infrastructure to get. Any advice?

I am familiar with Asterisk but right now I'm looking on pricing concerning a Cisco solution.

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closed as too localized by Mark Henderson Jan 11 '12 at 4:00

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2 Answers 2

I'm not 100% sure on the pricing but the last quote I saw for our recently-deployed Cisco VoIP solution was CDN$50,000. That included a UC560, installation, 35 handsets (3 conference sets, 8-10 7965G and the rest a basic black and white handset). The black and white handsets are about $100 each and the fancy colour ones are $300-$400 each.

That includes voicemail for everyone and a hefty support contract.

My experience with the managed Cisco solution is that it's a horrible option. The web interface to the UC560 device (and the UC520s for branch offices) is just awful. If you're already familiar with the IOS commandline you'll fare better. The tech that came to do on-site admin training admitted he had no idea how to use the web interface and did everything with the commandline. Allow several weeks to iron out the kinks and to get working firmware for your phones.

Personally, I preferred the Asterisk-based system: it was cheaper and easier to admin. The Cisco deal was political, but hey, at least the sound quality on the handsets is fantastic.

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I appreciate this isn't going to answer the question, but working as a VoIP architect, I can say that I can't recommend Cisco's VoIP solution in any way.

I'd highly recommend that for the size of deployment you're talking about that you consider either a hosted PBX-style solution that's run and maintained by a large service provider, or that you consider a more suitable IP PBX either a free one like Freeswitch (asterisk-like but rewritten from the ground up) or a commercial offering like http://www.teles.de/

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