I know very little about VoIP technology, and need some guidance.
I currently run an Avaya Partner phone system with 3 external lines and about 40 extensions and a paging system.
This old system is becoming a pain to manage. It’s hard to add new features and we’re pretty much maxed out for extensions. Not to mention that traditional phone service is expensive.
An IP based solution seems to be ideal, but I don’t know where to start exactly. I would really like to be able to plug an IP based phone into the network whereever I want, so that I can simply manage one wiring nightmare. I would love to see the cost savings of voip long distance.
I require the ability to have at least 3 simultaneous telephone conversations going on with the outside world. I would like to try to take advantage of a VoIP service, but am not sure where I would get this service. Vonage? A local company? I would also like the ability to rollover to an analog telephone line if the internet connection is down.
I require at least 40 extensions, with a max of probably 50 over the next two years. The maximum number of simultaneous conversations taking place between extensions would be about 3 (currently no more than 2). I have seen bridges that allow an IP phone to be used on the same line as a computer, which would be ideal as I wouldn’t want to make a drop for every phone.
Our internal network is (mostly) unmanged gigabit ethernet. Approximately 35 workstations. Low to medium traffic. QoS issues on the LAN?
We currently have 512Kbps SDSL. I would consider adding a dedicated SDSL line just for voip. I see many recommendations for a T1 - would that really be necessary for my requirements above?
I have an old PII 450 x2 linux server with 1GB ram laying around that could be used, if it’s capable.
Somehow I’d like to integrate with the analog paging system…which really just takes an analog audio input and blasts it through the paging speakers.
Blah, I would love to hear any comments about where I should start based on what I need and what I’ve got. I’ve barely got a handle on some of the terminology here, so be gentle.