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Telecoms Review

Discussion in 'Internet, Connectivity and Communications' started by AJ, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    I've been asked to look into the communications and telecoms strategy for the school I work in.

    Currently we have a Nortel Meridian Option 11 that is over 10 years old. Whilst it does its job, it is very close to running out of licences and needs a software upgrade (last checked this was in the region of £15K).

    We also have around 35 mobile phones with 12 of them being blackberries. Whilst the blackberries do the job just fine, there must be another method or email on the move that is as robust and cheaper then the blackberries.

    We will also bu upgrading our mail server to Exchange 2010 when it comes out.

    Does anyone have any advice on what I need to look for? Someone mentioned Hosted Telephony so that we can turn extensions on and off as required (ie during the holidays when there is no-one around).

    VOIP, ISDN 30 (we already use this) switch manufacturers, joining outlying offices into the telephone system, voicemail to outlook etc.

    Any help gratefully accepted.
     
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  2. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    If you want to look at VoIP solutions talk to Gradwell.net (I know Peter Gradwell personally) - truly excellent and very knowledgeable
     
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  3. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster

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    I'd say look at the Mitel phone system, worked with it for a while nice little unit, can be expensive once you start adding the software and licences. Does pretty much every but walk the dog
     
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  4. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Our place uses Mitel so another vote for them. We use mainly Mitel VOIP 3000, 6100 and FX 2000 I reckon.
     
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  5. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Are you going to be supporting the VOIP install if you go for it? If not there will be a nice support contract to go with it. :ohmy
     
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  6. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Good point, VoIP skills are highly paid these days. My employer currently has 3 or 4 vacancies for Voice Specialist/Engineers it can't fill, pushing the wage up to entice people. Best factor in some CCNA Voice training maybe. Not just saying it but Joe's course looks spot on and you even get a free CCNA course . . . .I think.
     
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  7. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yup, also worth noting that the network infrastucture might need to be upgraded as well. POE switch \ VLANs etc.

    All £££££ to be spent. :eek:
     
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  8. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    We had a mojor upgrade to the network last year, so the infrastructure is already there.

    I would guess that there will be support for the first year, but I will be maintaining the system after that :eek:

    As for a pay rise ROTFLMAO
     
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  9. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    We upgraded our telephone system from the Nortel BCM400 to the Avaya IP Office 500. It supports analogue, ditigal & IP phones, and depending on what options you go for you can have messages forwarded to your inbox (with Exchange), do mobile twinning, on the VoIP side have either a handset or use your laptop/PC at home and use your extension, etc...

    As for mobile phones, when we went thru the process of getting mobile phones for us, the iPhone came out cheaper than the blackberry as it wasn't capped (or subject to the fair use policy) for data/internet and we didn't have to pay for the blackberry licence. When it comes around to renewing our contract, I'd probably get a Windows Mobile phone for myself (not sure about for everyone else), the only thing I would have to look into is the capped fair use policy though.

    BTW, Exchange 2010 is out already, we started installing and setting it up and had to delete the server at the time (there were a couple of problems we had to sort out first, our certificate and there were errors in our Exchange environment from a previously fail upgrade a couple of years ago). We'll be install Exchange 2k10 again shortly :)

    -Ken
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
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  10. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Only point to note is that Avaya can be very expensive compared to Mitel. We had a Mitel 3300 at my previous place (and then upgraded to an Avaya platform funnily enough :p), and although we had to do all the administrative work in house, it was pretty interesting and did the job well.

    It all depends on your budget. Be wary of the 3000 as suggested by Jim as it only supports up to 52 concurrent connections and is non expandable.

    Full Mitel product range can be found here - Link

    HTH

    Qs
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
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  11. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    Thanks for the info there guys.

    From a management point of view, what utilities are available with the i-phone. Already have a BES so I know what that can do.

    Also does anyone have any experience with SIP phones. My boss was on about putting an aeriel up so that the porters, matron etc can be mobile but still contactable. I think the cost of that is just too much compared to a standard mobile phone.
     
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  12. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Was at a conference a couple of months ago where we were discussing why anyone in their right mind would roll out iphones in a corporate environment as they're so difficult to lock down.

    The verdict was - use blackberrys. :p


    As for SIP phones? Sorry matey, never used them.

    Qs
     
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  13. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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  14. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    SipX and polycom phones nuff said :D and then jack it into Gradwell for VoIP, I don't really touch anolog/digital gateways so can't recommend any of them but if you need a GSM gateway then I would suggest the 2N ones, although if you want something pritty simple then the Switchvox from Digium is pritty easy going. As a side note most Cisco phones can be converted to SIP these days but you would take a hit on features, there is also an SCCP channel driver for Asterisk to maintain the feature set on the Cisco phones.


    Shame I don't stay down your way :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
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  15. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Just watched that video - very informative. Thanks for sharing it! :thumbleft
     
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  16. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Anytime m8 - there will be a video of the October meeting when I get around to editing it :rolleyes:
     
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  17. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    How you getting on with this AJ?

    Just thought i would post a little video about Nortel SCS(which is SipXecs with a couple of minor changes), another advantage that is has is you can download the ISO and chuck it in a VM for testing/training. It runs on normal servers so you can take care of hardware failures in-house and use normal support contracts from Dell/HP, one thing I love about it is the HA support you can split the whole system across many boxes, load balance, failover etc all administered from one central location and very simple to setup.

    More info
    Recommended book
     
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  18. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    Loads of food for thought there guys, thanks a lot.

    Got various reps comming to see us soon, when we have got our own thoughts in order.

    Will keep this thread going as and when we have info to share. Enough to say that with a Citrix farm to learn how to use, Appsense and Appv to learn, my time is going to be taken up with learning this stuff :eek:
     
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