Avaya G3i with Asterisk as voicemail

Our Avaya Audix voicemail server is about dead. We have been in the process of trying to get a quote on a new one for weeks and started looking at Asterisk as a replacement with the intention of eventually replacing the Avaya G3i switch also and going all VOIP. We have about 100 Avaya 6408D+ and 6416D+ phones at this location and changing them all out right now is not an option so we want to easy into it.

Management is very interested in VOIP and has also suggested that I look at Asterisk. That was about a week after I brought up our test Asterisk box.

I have searched the forums here and found posts on both sides of this issue: go with Asterisk and the G3i and it will work AND don’t go there-use an open source voicemail solution as there will be too many problems. Has anyone gotten a setup like this to work reliably? I am on a short lead time to get the voicemail system replaced (i.e. year end) and IF voicemail only on Asterisk is practical, I need to get moving with it.

Thanks in advance for any input.