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Topic # 66210 14-Aug-2010 15:43
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Hi there


The school where I'm a board member is looking at ways of reducing their phone bill which is
currently around $600+ a month.  Much of this is generated from the
office calling parents (landlines and mobiles), and general office
admin.  Mostly local but some national.  The school does very few
international call.


Currently the school has an analogue PBX system with Telecom.  At
present they have 7 or 8 extensions around the school.  The largest
number of extensions they would require in the future would be up to 20



I would appreciate if any one has advice or options.

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  Reply # 367589 14-Aug-2010 16:09

If you have a good internet connection I recommend Xnet VFX. With one line rental from only $12/month and free local calls plus cellphones @30c/min it is a definite cash saver.

I understand that there are good virtual/digital PABX systems which would replace your existing PABX.

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  Reply # 367592 14-Aug-2010 16:23
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The first question would be whether you want to replace the entire PBX or just look at options to reduce calling costs. By replacing your existing Telecom lines with VoIP lines and simply buying adapters which connect to your existing PBX you could significantly reduce your costs without having to replace the entire system.

Replacing the entire system isn't going to deliver any more cost savings but it will give you enhanced functionality that may not be available with the current PBX.




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  Reply # 367600 14-Aug-2010 16:41
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sbiddle: The first question would be whether you want to replace the entire PBX or just look at options to reduce calling costs. By replacing your existing Telecom lines with VoIP lines and simply buying adapters which connect to your existing PBX you could significantly reduce your costs without having to replace the entire system.

Replacing the entire system isn't going to deliver any more cost savings but it will give you enhanced functionality that may not be available with the current PBX.



Thanks for getting back to me everyone.

The point of the exercise isn't really to get more functionality.  it's to cut costs generally, but calling costs in particular.  The school wouldn't mind shelling out the cash to update the system if long term costs would be reduced.

So what would you suggest sbiddle?

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  Reply # 367603 14-Aug-2010 16:47
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From what I've seen over the past year with companies going VOIP to save calls cost the results have not been nice especially if they put a analog or ISDN to VOIP interface box in.. You need to have a good look around and talk to people who have done it..




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Old3eyes


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  Reply # 367612 14-Aug-2010 17:18
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There are a number of pretty good smaller IPBX systems out there,
We work with a number of dealers who work with Schools, 3bit and Coffee baron in Auckland here do good work and have options.... But there are costs involved with installing a good LAN VOIP network, please don't get sucked in with cheap options.

The biggest questions you would need to think about and ask to see how it would fit would be.

What is your location ? (this helps decide what type of Access to supply and the costs of delivery, closer to main areas cheaper and more access options)

How many concurrent calls do you need (Also dictates what Access products to look at)

Is your school already wired with Cat 5 / 6 cabling (Costs here if not already cabled)

Do you have a good LAN network with Switches that are capable of VLAN's and QOS, (separates type of traffic VOIP and Data and helps prioritise VOIP traffic, also costs involved)

For commercial uses I always recommend commercial grade access products, fibre , HSNS etc, yes DSL is cheap but it is not a commercial grade product as contention ratios can and will effect your quality at times, especially if you require a number of concurrent calls so you can't expect commercial quality for your Voice if DSL is used, DSL could be okay but the question would be would you be happy if it you had quality issues occasionally.




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  Reply # 367614 14-Aug-2010 17:21
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old3eyes: From what I've seen over the past year with companies going VOIP to save calls cost the results have not been nice especially if they put a analog or ISDN to VOIP interface box in.. You need to have a good look around and talk to people who have done it..


Actually there are some really good ISDN to VOIP interfaces out, the biggest issue comes from deploying them correctly with the right access product for the Job, don't expect a DSL circuit to run your PRI rate to VOIP, also and this is the big one are you using a VOIP provider that can actually handle SIP trunking correctly




Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

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  Reply # 367615 14-Aug-2010 17:21
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scoopy: Thanks for getting back to me everyone.

The point of the exercise isn't really to get more functionality.  it's to cut costs generally, but calling costs in particular.  The school wouldn't mind shelling out the cash to update the system if long term costs would be reduced.

So what would you suggest sbiddle?


If you don't want to replace the PBX then my suggestion is what I mentioned above - installing an or ISDN gateway connected to the existing PBX. There are numerous ways this could be implimented including porting all existing lines across to a VoIP provider or reconfiguring the PBX to use VoIP trunks only for outgoing calls and use the existing Telecom lines for incoming.

If you've got ISDN trunks then you're probably looking at around $1000 for hardware. If you've got analogue lines you're looking at a lot less.

The biggest factor is the internet connection for the school, this obviously needs to be suitable for VoIP and the school network/routers need to be configured with QoS to ensure that voice quality is fine.

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  Reply # 367617 14-Aug-2010 17:25
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sbiddle:
scoopy: Thanks for getting back to me everyone.

The point of the exercise isn't really to get more functionality.  it's to cut costs generally, but calling costs in particular.  The school wouldn't mind shelling out the cash to update the system if long term costs would be reduced.

So what would you suggest sbiddle?


If you don't want to replace the PBX then my suggestion is what I mentioned above - installing an or ISDN gateway connected to the existing PBX. There are numerous ways this could be implimented including porting all existing lines across to a VoIP provider or reconfiguring the PBX to use VoIP trunks only for outgoing calls and use the existing Telecom lines for incoming.

If you've got ISDN trunks then you're probably looking at around $1000 for hardware. If you've got analogue lines you're looking at a lot less.

The biggest factor is the internet connection for the school, this obviously needs to be suitable for VoIP and the school network/routers need to be configured with QoS to ensure that voice quality is fine.



LOL ... you reading my posts Mr Biddle Tongue out




Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

https://www.facebook.com/wxccommunications

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  Reply # 367618 14-Aug-2010 17:27
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maverick:
sbiddle:
scoopy: Thanks for getting back to me everyone.

The point of the exercise isn't really to get more functionality.  it's to cut costs generally, but calling costs in particular.  The school wouldn't mind shelling out the cash to update the system if long term costs would be reduced.

So what would you suggest sbiddle?


If you don't want to replace the PBX then my suggestion is what I mentioned above - installing an or ISDN gateway connected to the existing PBX. There are numerous ways this could be implimented including porting all existing lines across to a VoIP provider or reconfiguring the PBX to use VoIP trunks only for outgoing calls and use the existing Telecom lines for incoming.

If you've got ISDN trunks then you're probably looking at around $1000 for hardware. If you've got analogue lines you're looking at a lot less.

The biggest factor is the internet connection for the school, this obviously needs to be suitable for VoIP and the school network/routers need to be configured with QoS to ensure that voice quality is fine.



LOL ... you reading my posts Mr Biddle Tongue out


Great minds think alike!


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  Reply # 367632 14-Aug-2010 18:31
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maverick: We work with a number of dealers who work with Schools, 3bit and Coffee baron in Auckland here do good work and have options.... But there are costs involved with installing a good LAN VOIP network, please don't get sucked in with cheap options.


What he meant is that both 3bit and CoffeeBaron are here on Geekzone. Search for "nate" or "CoffeeBaron" in our user list then contact them if you want.






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Reply # 367638 14-Aug-2010 18:41
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It seemed so easy setting up a single line for my home office.  Obviously a lot more complicated for a bigger setup.

Thanks again everyone!




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  Reply # 367639 14-Aug-2010 18:42
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freitasm:
maverick: We work with a number of dealers who work with Schools, 3bit and Coffee baron in Auckland here do good work and have options.... But there are costs involved with installing a good LAN VOIP network, please don't get sucked in with cheap options.


What he meant is that both 3bit and CoffeeBaron are here on Geekzone. Search for "nate" or "CoffeeBaron" in our user list then contact them if you want.


Who would you recommend in Wellington?



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  Reply # 367644 14-Aug-2010 18:55
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And another thing . . . 

How would you think hosted VoIP PBX work for a school?

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  Reply # 367867 15-Aug-2010 15:52
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scoopy:
freitasm:
maverick: We work with a number of dealers who work with Schools, 3bit and Coffee baron in Auckland here do good work and have options.... But there are costs involved with installing a good LAN VOIP network, please don't get sucked in with cheap options.


What he meant is that both 3bit and CoffeeBaron are here on Geekzone. Search for "nate" or "CoffeeBaron" in our user list then contact them if you want.


Who would you recommend in Wellington?

Hi Scoopy,

Was about to ask what area this is for. I'm Waikato - Auckland based, so probably can't help you too much (apart form advise, which a good part has been covered above).

Generally I cover more home/small business stuff, 1-3 lines / upto 10 extn. If you are a small school, something like that may be sufficent. Otherwise, definetly have a look at what the guys from 3bit can offer. Or chat to sbiddle, I think he's a Wellingtonion?




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
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  Reply # 367901 15-Aug-2010 17:15
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scoopy: And another thing . . . 

How would you think hosted VoIP PBX work for a school?


With 8 extensions I think a hosted VOIP PBX would definitely be what you are after if you did go VOIP. WxC have a service (although their website is a bit scarce on details). I have also heard of kiwilink and I'm sure there are others out there. I can't vouch for their quality but taking a look:

http://kiwilink.co.nz/voip-business.php

So, just trying to get my head around the pricing. It's $10 per month per line (for the cheap calling rates) and then $5~ per month per extension. You'd probably need say 4 lines & then 8 extensions.

So that would be 4x10 + 8x5 = $80 per month for your phones then 3c a minute for local and 26c for mobile which I bet you is much cheaper than Telecom. You will need to get VOIP phones however which may be $100 each for a basic model.

The only provisio with VOIP is, as mentioned you need data cabling to each phone and a good internet connection. TBH I don't think QoS/VLAN switches are really that important in such a small setup but if you do want these and a good router for the internet which is QoS/VLAN capable you may be looking at another $1000 or so including a power over ethernet switch (which means your phones will still work even in a power outage). Then lets say 2 hours for a professional to install and a better internet connection which, presuming your on DSL may be another $100 a month for EUBA. So presuming your calling costs halve:

Assuming your Telecom lines comprise $150 of your bill:

Costs
- $2000 one off for hardware/setup
- $80 for VOIP lines (monthly)
- $100 for better internet (monthly)

Savings
- If the calling costs are halved then $225 (monthly)
- $150 on Telecom Lines


So your costs go up by $180 and your savings are $375 so net saving of around ~$200 per month. So should pay itself off in a year. My numbers are probably inaccurate but the other thing this does is also future proof you for as anaolgue/ISDN is a sunset technology and you will be VOIP ready.





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