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Topic # 92955 9-Nov-2011 22:44 Send private message

Hi all,

We're looking to purchase a Cisco UC560 and associated Cisco phones, for about 25 staff, 2 of whom are in another city.

I've read on various forums that the gear works well and the phones have good sound quality.  Does anyone have opinions on this?  In particular, 15 of our staff will be needing headsets to be used in a busy office environment (software support office, not telemarketing!!!) so can anyone say whether the volume goes up "loud enough" without needing an amplifier?

I'd love to hear any tips anyone has about configuring the system, as it'll be my first IP phone system setup with SIP trunks.

For an additional 10 points (completely fictional, of course) the boss doesn't want me to just go out and buy, he wants me to pay a visit somewhere that already has one installed, just to take a look and maybe make a call to "check the quality."

If anyone (preferably in Christchurch, but any offers considered - the boss has given me permission to travel, woo hoo) could spare a couple of minutes to show me their system working, and let me make a call to our office's 0800 number, I'd really appreciate a forum post or PM with your details.

Thanks,

Bob

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  Reply # 543414 10-Nov-2011 00:23 Send private message

I'd imagine the Cisco solution would be rather pricey unless you purchase a LOT of gear from them.

For our office SIP phones (Cisco SPA942s) we use an AS5400 + very custom HA Asterisk setup which works really will with SIP trunks from WxC, however it's being replaced shortly with something a bit more simple.

Have you thought of using something like a Trixbox instead? I know the guys at http://hitechsolutions.co.nz/ are selling a lot of solutions based off that.

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  Reply # 543430 10-Nov-2011 06:17 Send private message

I don't want to ruin your day but IMHO unless you are a Cisco guru and really understand VoIP I'd rate your chances of a succesful UC500 deployment as very slim. Your best bet would be the assistance of a vendor who understands them.

As to whether the "phones" are good, what phones in particular are you looking to use? There are a large range of phones you can use, incl softphones.








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  Reply # 543437 10-Nov-2011 07:23 Send private message

Thanks for the replies.

We're buying the gear wholesale from a reputable importer, which will get it at about half the cost of other solutions we've looked at (which admittedly would have included installation).

I have a good business relationship with a company who have installed a few of them. They seem to be of the opinion that it won't be too much of a problem for me to install (I've got a good brain if I say so myself - IT manager with MCE, set up our domains, Exchange, SQL, Hyper-V and Lync servers with redundancy and off-site backups etc) and they have offered to help over the phone if needed - they're in Auckland, of course.

Since we use MS Lync for IM & presence, I was initially looking at expanding the licensing on that to include voice, but it gets pretty pricey since we do still want desk phones as well. Also since it still runs on computer hardware (albeit proper servers) there's the worry that server failure would take down the whole system. That and the fact that we want the system to integrate into Lync are the main reasons I'm steering away from software-based solutions like Trixbox and 3cx.


sbiddle -
For the phones, we're looking at the SPA504G with the SPA500S 32 button expansion sidecar, and a few SPA509G's for those that don't need as many buttons. We may also install their softphones on some computers at home in case they're needed in an emergency, but they won't be the main usage ones.

Cheers,

Bob

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  Reply # 543461 10-Nov-2011 08:51 Send private message

There are a couple of ways to configure these units, for a GUI based approach you can use CCA (Cisco Configuration Assistant): http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps7287/index.html - this could certainly speed up your deployment and is a bit more user friendly.

Personally I tend to go for a command line effort, that way I know what has been entered into my configuration and where to find it.  However you can still use CCA to monitor and manage the device after setup.  

As sbiddle points out there are a lot of Cisco centric things to be aware of when setting up a UC500 device, but if you have the assistance of another company that has deployed a few of these, hopefully they should be able to assist.

Another option, but I think is probably outside (in terms of size/scalability) the scope of your organization is the Cisco UC320, very simple in terms of setup/management, you could have a SIP trunk and phones up and running in under 60 minutes.

Cheers

Josh 






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  Reply # 543589 10-Nov-2011 11:49 Send private message

Hi Josh,

Yeah, I looked at the UC320, but we're borderline with the number of users at the moment, and the company's not looking to get any smaller. Don't know if I'd want to try joining 2 together with dialling rules to get more extensions. Plus when I was investigating options earlier in the year it didn't look like they had any integration into Lync, which would be really nice.

I thought I'd learn by starting with the GUI, and see what it does to the configuration. I've read (somewhere, a while ago) that there are some things that can "only" be configured with the gui, but things may have changed as the firmware updates go by.

Hopefully this other company will be able to send a bit of a default setup, that I can modify to suit our needs. Luckily, the systems don't need to be swapped overnight - we're on primary rate ISDN at the moment, so can get a couple of phone numbers set up on SIP, get the new system working on those, then swap it over when we're happy that everything is good.

Thanks, please keep the comments & suggestions coming!

Bob

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