I have a client who liked Cisco initially but now likes Nortel IP-PBX.
I dont know much about Nortel to compare it to Cisco's CME.
Can anyone please provide me some links or information on why Cisco CME solution is better than Nortel's Hybrid solution.
If they already have Nortel expertise then perhaps the Nortel IP PBX is a good choice. If they do not have Nortel expertise, Cisco wins hands down. The Cisco product is better overall because Cisco is a better company and they have better support.
There is no reason to initiate a relationship with Nortel if one doesn't exist already.
CME is very reliable when compared to the Nortel BCM. However, the Nortel BCM is a better value. Also the implementation on a BCM is shorter.
What about applications? Is Nortel BCM Proprietary? Does it allow thir party integration for Phone applications?
Our main concerns are:
1. Management of the system.
3. Need for third party application integration.
4. What is the value of BCM vs CME?
Our company has 120 phones at the moment. But that number will increase to 180 in next 2 years. We may not reach 240 in next 5-7 years. So we are condidering call Manager express solution. Initially we were looking at Call Manager solution but got some bad feedback about the CCM. Is CCM 5.0 reliable?
What does CCM provide that CME does'nt ?
We will be adding 15 warehouse locations in the future. But each location will have 2 users. There will be 2 Analog lines for these locations and may be use Softphone through VPN tunnel. We do not have point to point T-1's for remote locations. Just a Internet T-1 for VPN tunnel to main location.
Thanks for your help
Softphone uisng VPN thru Internet is not very good solution. There is no QoS and no guarantee of service. For the same price you can have T1 MPLS full mesh service and use main site for internet. But that depends on how much internet traffic is needed at the branches.
What's the limitation of your current system that you want to change it? Did you reach the max limits or do you need features you currently don't have?
Our Current Norstar PBX is maxed out. We want a new PBX preferable IP. We have short listed 2. Nortel BCM and Cisco CME solutions. Any recommendations on which one of them is a good solution? We would like to have all the current feature support on new IP=PBX. Also the IP-PBX should be scalable and easy to manage.
I'm not familiar with Nortel but CME is NOT scalable. For ex. if you start with 3725 and when you reach its limit of 144 phones you'll have to replace it with a higher-end model.
For scalability you need Call Manager. It has tons more features and handles remote branches much better than CME. But CallManager is NOT easy to manage for people without telephony background.
Have you looked at shoretel (shoretel.com)? I'm also not familiar with it but heard it has nice features for a small-medium size office, much cheaper than Cisco, and very easy to use.
We do not need Call Manager since remote locations have their own connection to PSTN and we do not have Point to point T-1's. There are only 2 users in remote warehouse locations. So we considered Cisco CME with 3845 Router that supports 240 Phones.
We looked at Shoretel. I think Shoretel does not have good Tech support and does not support third party integration other than CRM. We have to rely on the reseller for support. On the other hand Cisco has 24x7 support and have several partners for third party applications.
We are considering CME 4.0 on 3845 Router and hang a unity bix for unified messaging.
Managment of Nortel is a little easier than the CME. Both have a Web GUI, but Nortel is a little easier to understand.
Also, if you plan on using an Auto Attendant, the CME will require someone to learn Cisco's scripting tool. I have used it, and it's not easy. Unless something has changed recently.
Nortel's Auto Attendant setup is pretty straight forward. You record using the phone, and the menus, and sub menus are built using a Web Gui. Most of the industry is like this, except for Cisco's CME.
You can grow with the Nortel, and you can grow with Cisco's Call Manager. The Call Manager is priced higher than Nortel, and does run on both Windows and Linux currently. Nortel runs on the same platforms as well.
Easy to manage is one of your concerns. I would say that Nortel is a faster learning process.
I was told that we still have to rely on the Nortel reseller ( in our case it is the Phone company) for any problems with their Hybrid PBX unit. Is that true? What is the uptime with Nortel vs CME?
I played with CME and their auto attendant scripting is a lot better than the previous one.
If we choose Nortel, then we have to rely on the Phone company for support on the other hand for Cisco we just call their TAC 24x7.
Thanks for your feedback.
I have no numbers on uptime.
We support our customers directly as well. However nothing stops you from calling Nortel directly and getting support. I will say that the Cisco support is more helpful than Nortel.
This sounds similar to another string I just replied to, but just in case I'll give you my shortened version.
Hybrid needs to be seen as a stepping stone, not an end point. If you do not think there will be any more investment in the next year or two for infrastructure then make dang sure you get as much as you can now and go Full IP.
I also agree that CM is the way to go and not CME. It is also a good time to re-evaluate the telephony business practices of your users. You will find lots of funky backwards call routing that has existed for years because it was the best and only way to get something accomplished. That will not be the case if you build those same call flows from scratch. Which is what you should do with the new system. Porting over old call flows will be a pain in the arse.