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Going with Cisco VoIP System

We currently have a iwatsu phone system with a limit of 40 digital lines (Office Phones), and 8 Analog (alarm, fax, fire alarm, etc.).  We are currently using all 40 digital ports looking to add 3-5 more phones, got a quote of $4000+, so I am looking at all options.

I am a huge cisco person, love the products and try to stick with them.  Here is a quick view of our network, we have 2 sg200-50 switches that say they have voice vlan support, not really sure what this does though.  Here is what I am looking at getting with the system.  We want easy expandablity, in house if possible, currently we have to call a company to come out for every change, I am not iwatsu certified.  We need support for extensions for every phone, support for direct numbers on 10-20 phones, and the ability to lock down certin phones (for emergancy use, public rooms) to internal use or 911 only (no other outgoing calls).

I was also looking at the option of remote sites, not sure if this would do what I would like, but we have 3 properties 2 of which have phones right now, the last one may be getting them soon, or being using cell phones (1 using iwatsu and 1 using comcast business).  Would this let us setup as 3 different campus, different main numbers for each, but allow us to have extension central, I want the ability for someone on campus 2 to call me on campus 1 just by dialing my extension.

With our current phone system, we have to pay for ISDN PRI pricing, which is expensive, and we have a certin amount of minutes, which I thought did not happen if it was VoIP.  With a Cisco VoIP system would we still have to have this charge? Or what monthy charges must be there to use this service.

Sorry for the leght, I just wanted to get all my questions out there, that way if any one has an answer to evan one of them they could answer.  Thanks in advance.

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8 REPLIES
Hall of Fame Super Gold

Going with Cisco VoIP System

Of course a Cisco CME does all that nicely, You can use SIP trrunk instead of PRI.

You can search for an ITSP online and check rates.

However the most important thing is that you locate a reputable consultant or UC certified Cisco partner, as if you try to do youswelf, result are quite sure and you can accumulate a lot of frustratation

New Member

Going with Cisco VoIP System

I am not sure about the installation, but I was going for adding new lines and relocating lines on my own.

Would we be able to do an analog line for our alarm, fire alarm, fax, and elevator? or is there an adapter to convert digital to analog?

Going with Cisco VoIP System

For alarm lines, you need to check local laws on these. They may need certain guarenteed levels of availability, etc. It may be easier to just stick with analogue lines from your telco.

GTG

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Going with Cisco VoIP System

What you want to do is more what we call "Day 2" - in other words, you want to be able to do basic administration on your own and manage the system without always having to call a partner.  This should be identified as a requirement with the partner.  We tend to account for time to do knowledge sharing and training on the system.  Granted, it's a good idea to have some level of support agreement with the partner and Cisco in case you need help but there is no reason that you shouldn't be able to perform MACD/daily operations once you're familiar with things.

You can still use analog connections for those types of scenarios - the solution will vary.  It may be an analog gateway (small or large), a module in an ISR, or an adapter (ATA) ... it just depends on the scenario.

Hailey

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Re: Going with Cisco VoIP System

Rusty,

Based on what you described, there are actually a number of options available to you from the Cisco perspective.  It could be an Express solution (such as CME), Cisco Unified Communications Manager Business Edition (CUCM-BE), or even traditional Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) with additional applications such as Unity Connection integrated for voicemail functionality, and etc.  The best solution for you really comes down to a combination of requirements and budget.  Responses to your question could really get quite lengthy so I'm going to try and stay high-level and fairly concise.  Your solution will likely have several components, considerations, and/or cost points including:

  1. Phones - generally Cisco IP phones for full functionality.
  2. Power for the phones -  purchasing a power brick for each and every phone is cumbersome.  The best bet is to use Power over Ethernet (PoE); however, your switch(es) need to support/provide PoE.
  3. IP-PBX - could be CME (runs on a Cisco IOS router) or CUCM (runs on one or more servers/appliances or can be virtualized on supported hardware configurations using VMWare).
  4. Voicemail - there are options here as well including Cisco Unity Express (CUE - runs on a router like CME) or Unity Connection (runs on a server/appliance or can be virtualized).  This is where CUCM-BE might be a good choice for you because it can offer a lot of bundle/feature options and is geared toward SMB customers that have up to 500 employees at up to 20 sites.
  5. Routers / Voice Gateways - fairly common to have at least one ISR at each site.  The ISR may provide redundancy for remote site phones (SRST), connect to a PSTN circuit(s) (could be analog or digital such as T1/PRI) or may serve as a border/connection to an IP-based PSTN connection (i.e., SIP trunk).  Depending on requirements, the ISR will need to be equipped with appropriate modules, features, etc.
  6. PSTN connectivity - you will still pay for PSTN connectivity and possibly at all of the various locations.  Depending on what you need, it may be a combination of POTS lines, T1/PRI (fractional or full), or SIP.
  7. Network / QoS - the network needs to be able to handle VoIP.

So, this is just a few of the things that start to come into play.  I would agree with Paolo here and say that the best way to handle this is by finding a Cisco partner to help you (+5 to Paolo for pointing that out as the most important thing).  There are a lot of things to consider and a solid system design needs to be put in place early to ensure that you can meet requirements and make this type of project a success.  You can use the Cisco Partner Locator to get you started:

http://tools.cisco.com/WWChannels/LOCATR/openBasicSearch.do

Hailey

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New Member

Going with Cisco VoIP System

My goal in looking is reducing the cost.  I am looking for a recommendation on what I would need to accomplish this.  I have attempted to find a cisco partner in my area, but the only one does not do phones, so I may have to learn to configure myself, or have to call one out of our area and pay extra.

We just purchased our switchs a few months ago, and in the other campus about 1 year ago (non Cisco, I was not on staff then or I would have pushed for Cisco).  We have juniper firewall in one building and sonicwall in the other. 

Could someone tell me which system I would be looking at with the follow requirements?  Also, other equipment I would need.

-50 Phones in offices with only extensions w/caller ID and Directory support.

-10 Phones in offices with extenstions and direct numbers w/ caller ID and Directory support.

-10 Phones for emergincey with no outside calling, these could be basic as possible.

-Support 2 or 3 campuses all with different main numbers, but linked together for extension dialing.

-Support in some way for analog devices

-Support for forwarding calls to a cell phone when a user leaves the office.

I would like to know what I really am looking at before calling somewhere not knowing what I should be looking at.  Thanks!

Hall of Fame Super Gold

Re: Going with Cisco VoIP System

You can look for a 2921, or UC540 or UC560.

Don't worry, when you talk to an honest and serious partner, they will know what to give you without driving you crazy.

Hall of Fame Super Gold

Going with Cisco VoIP System

Thank you David for appreciating my suggestions. I've rated your post above for all the details that it provides.

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