I am researching the components and infrastructure that I need to install a new phone system in our office. We currently have *no* existing system or PBX.
The requirements would be as follows:
* Support 20 users currently
* Expandable to 50 users (hopefully within 5 years)
* Basic voicemail, caller ID, forwarding, etc.
* Preferably some integration with our Exchange 2007 server (e-mail notification of messages, etc)
And that is really it!
Of course I am drawn to Cisco because of the strength of their brand, but I wanted to get some advice from the professionals on the message board here.
My questions are:
If I am considering the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business line of products, what would I need to make a complete system?
Obviously I would need the actual VoIP platform device, but can someone explain to me how that would interface with the PSTN?
I am currently working under the assumption that I would need something called a SIP Trunk, is this true?
Would the cable dropped by the SIP provider simply plug into the platform and then the phones connect to it?
Do I need a PoE switch sitting between the phones and the Cisco 500 series platform device?
Can someone provide a brief high level overview of what a simple system in a pristine environment would look like?
Please forgive my ignorance on VoIP related issues!
I really appreciate you taking the time to review and respond to my questions.
ISDN is still very much around for voice. PRI's are the most popular choice for voice trunks.
BRI = 2 B channels 1 D channel = 2 calls
PRI = 23 B channels 1 D channel = 23 calls
For 20 users having 2 BRI's equates to 4 active calls at any given time. If you think this is about accurate you can go with that. If you plan to grow to 50 people, you may need more. The UC520 can also have FXO ports so that you can convert any standard line from the provider into the system (very popular).
-UC520 has these features:
8 PoE ports for phones. If you need more than this, the accessory product is the CE500 switch which is plug-and-play with the UC520. I believe this has 24 ports.
-BRI/PRI/SIP Trunk/FXO/FXS ready. These are your possible PSTN connections, and all of these can be built into the box. The SIP trunk is different because it is a pure IP solution that doesn't require any hardware, and is a newer idea spreading to VoIP.
-Built in voicemail, auto attendant, voicemail-to-email with exchange, MWI, etc.
-Callmanager Express(CME) is a great product. You can configure nearly any voice configuration on it, as it is very flexible and very stable. This will run the SCCP protocol to your IP phones
Things you would need to buy:
PSTN connection (BRI/PRI/FXO) or SIP trunk
Support Contract if you would like TAC support
the 500 platform has PSTN interface, my strong recomendation is that you get ISDN BRI, like two lines, to make 4 calls.
The SIP trunk is not mandatory and I recommend you begin with PSTN first.
The 500 platform has PoE and you don't need anything else.
Most important thing engage a reputable cisco partner or consultant because there are too many things that could drive you crazy for DIY.
Watch out because UC520 and phones are not exactly cheap so if you were hoping of doing 20 users with $2,000 that is not possible.
Come back here anytime with more questions or contact me personally at the emailpresent in my profile for project guidance.