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I'm one of the sysadmin's for our business and I've been tasked with researching and deploying a new IP based telephone system. I've got a solid grasp of our feature requirements, but what I don't have a grasp on in the available products.

I've deployed a couple based systems in the past with success, but I don't want to rule out some of the more dedicated appliance based systems.

My problem is that I can't seem to find any sort of solid review site or system round-up whereby I can evaluate performance, features, and of course support.

Can anyone here help point me in the right direction in order for me to make an informed decision on the topic?

I'm not looking for product or shopping suggestions here, just looking for research direction

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closed as not constructive by larsks, Jim B, Ward, rnxrx, Michael Hampton Sep 9 '12 at 22:08

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The top two in my eyes is simply Cisco Call Manager and Avaya... –  Cold T May 30 '12 at 15:34
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We've been using Shoretel for 3+ years now. Easy system to maintain and use. –  Michael Todd May 30 '12 at 15:37
    
When researching an ip phone system, where would you start? Easy... Google –  t1nt1n May 30 '12 at 15:37
    
@ColdT as I said, not looking for product suggestions here, but thanks for the recommendation. –  Chase Florell May 30 '12 at 15:38
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Downvoters care to comment? –  Chase Florell May 30 '12 at 15:41

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

In general you need to determine what the business requirements are. Once you have that list it's simply a matter of stating conversations with Cisco, Microsoft etc, and have them set up. If you simply have no existing relationships with a company that has an offering in this space, or if you want less biased opinions you need to find a VOIP company (eg WilTel Communications etc)

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If you want 'directions', then 1st thing is to draw up top 5/10, then narrow down to your requirements/budget/implementation time. Trial out some of the services if its SAAS or get a demo item from a respected company... and go on from there... I also understand some people may go against top 5/10, cause there are plenty in the market that may be equally good or better but you want to go for a mature product ultimately with good support and updates.

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eek, register walls are a pain, but I'm at the point that I'll try anything. Thanks @ColdT. Can you explain 5/10? –  Chase Florell May 30 '12 at 15:50
    
Sorry, couldn't find anything else for download and can't upload right this moment. To clarify, i just meant top 5 or top 10, depending on your timescale. –  Cold T May 30 '12 at 15:52
    
ah, gotcha. Thanks. –  Chase Florell May 30 '12 at 15:53

google "ip phone system companies"

I can tell you that Places like Cisco, Shoretel, and ACT conferencing are all fairly well-known and respected. You're going to want to look for more than just a low cost.

Always get the following:

  • Price Quote
  • Demo run of product
  • Hardware requirements
  • Support available
  • Additional features
  • Integration information with current system(s)
  • Update schedule (and your role in said updates)
  • At least 2-3 points of contact with each company

From there, compare the information you gathered, and make your decision.

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might i ask why the downvote? –  acolyte Jun 4 '12 at 13:10

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