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Why a Cisco solution ?

We are currently looking to evaluate IP Telephony and have asked several manufactures to provide a possible solution. Has anyone else recently performed this type of exercise and if so, what were the reasons you chose Cisco. This would be particularly interesting if you recently chose Cisco over an Avaya, Mitel or Nortel solution.



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Re: Why a Cisco solution ?

I have been part of two Cisco IP Telephony implementations. Both implementations went from Nortel (Option 81C) PBX's to Cisco products. The first implemenation actually worked in parallel with the Nortel environment. My draw to Cisco was the overall big picture. I have always been a Cisco router and switch proponent, and I think their products and support are second to none. As voice and data networks converge, I feel you will see more and more advantages towards the Cisco methodology. They are creating the same layered approach as they did with networking. Whereas the legacy voice companies are stuck in their proprietary models, the all or nothing concepts. At this point, some of the legacy voice companies, Nortel, Avaya, have the edge on certain old legacy type features, but they can't compare with the integration and interoperability design that Cisco has developed. The Cisco solutions, for small to large environments, are easy to deploy, and easy to maintain. Whether you are looking at CallManagers, ICM, ICD, ISN, IPCC, all the solutions build off the old legacy concepts, but put a 21st century feel to it.


Re: Why a Cisco solution ?


We did a formal evaluation comparing Nortel and Cisco solutions. Our data network is all Cisco, and our voice network was all Nortel. When we started the eval Nortel proposed BCMs as the remote site solution. The BCM proved incapable of dealing with a WAN link failure, and re-routing inbound FXO calls properly. This resulted in a new proposal to use opt 11 minis at the remote sites, and larger PBXs at hub sites. This was reasonable, but would have resulted in tandeming VOIP calls through multiple PBXs, which is bad news, especially if the voice is G729. Nortel then proposed the newly released Succession product which offered full soft-switch capability, with voice streams directly between endpoints. Concerns with this were Succesion upgrade availability for our PBXs, and Call Admission Control approach. It always bothered me that the Nortel folks thought that measure based CAC (ping the end device before setting up the call) would be adequate on a network where data traffic loads could fluctuate quickly.

By this time we were way over our deadline, and Nortel had not demonstrated a viable system, while we had long since proved that the Cisco solution would do what we needed. It was a very easy decision to make and justify.

We are now well into our Cisco AVVID implementation, and are pleased with the system. We did choose an I3 call center solution over ICD, but that is another story.

Have Fun, Dave

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