To cut a long story short,
Ive been given the oppurtunity to install an * system and upto 40 seats for my friends company.
I have a meeting with them next week to plan the initial POC phase and to review potential cost savings.
The questions I have are
Who would be the best UK provider to place them with. I imagine they would need approx 6000-8000 mins a month? Until I see there bills I wont be able to project exactly but which providers should I look at? From what Ive seen BT offer pretty good discount on this volume, is it possible VoIP would not be financially beneficial?
I’m not a fulltime * consultant. I plan to run the POC on a home made serverfor 5 users and then buy an appliance and support from Digium. I think this is the most sensible approach until I go full time (if at all). They have internal IT support who I can train but they will still need backup. How do you pros handle this? Home made servers? or appliance and licences?
I will have many more questions over the next few weeks ahead of me deciding whether to take the plunge…
Exciting but scary
What do they have at the moment ? what lines do they have ?
An appliance for a 40 seat what ? office callcentre, you need to check as If they intend to anything other than make calls you need to be looking at a decent server. Budget on Â£700 - Â£1000 for that as the appliance is for UP to 50 users with 4 fxo no ISDN. you could look to ABE or one of the ISOs
Then what features are they after ?
A stupid question but have you deployed telephone systems before ?
You need to factor in training and a lot of inital support.
I’m a Project Manager deploying Cisco Callmanager and associated products by trade and * has been a hobby.
I’ve a vast wealth of questions regarding features, current PBX config, lines in, call volume and timings and all the usual stuff The planning phase is a big one, as you say, with many questions to be answered.
I’m by no means an amatuer when it comes to deploying, but I’m a relative novice when it comes to * so I wont take this on if I dont feel comfortable.
The reason the question was asked because you mentioned that you were going to deploy an Appliance and that would be maxed out from the start and then talked about Homemade servers.
Deplying Asterisk in a commercial environment is no different to any other IPPBX same rules apply with respect to server specs etc, and in many cases the cost is similar with the only savings being the licence cost.
I am based in London and have installed a few Asterisk systems for my own customers. I have used Gradwell which appears to be a decent service (although early on I had to switch from IAX2 to SIP because of quality problems). I also know that Voipfone are very good and provide Asterisk support.
In terms of support we also provide telephone and dial-in support to our customers. We would always want VPN connection into the customer to do this as it makes everything much easier. In this way we can pro-actively monitor system systems as well (we use Nagios - Open Source) for this.