Possible to use with Vodavi Infinite digital phones?

Hello everyone, the small business I work at is considering a replacement phone system and we had a quote done for Asterisk (I wasn’t involved so I don’t have all the details) but I have a few questions they seemed unable to answer.

The largest cost in the upgrade was replacing all 64 of our Vodavi Infinite 24 button phones with SIP phones at $350 each (I wasn’t told which phones they quoted). I know many digital phones can be utilized with adapter cards or SIP gateways, but I can’t find any information about compatibility with Vodavi. Does anyone know of any so we could continue to use these phones?

Secondly, if that is not an option, are there any more reasonably priced options for a business SIP phone? I was browsing voipsupply.com and $350 seems on the high end, so I’m wondering why we wouldn’t able to use a cheaper phone?

Thank you all for your time.


The way one keeps using legacy handsets is usually through the legacy PBX- you put it in ‘dumb mode’ (dump most of its programming so it just provides a extensions-PRI interface or something similar) and let asterisk do all the heavy thinking. This however can be harder to integrate…

what IP phones were they suggesting? 24 buttons is a lot, most IP phones have less than 10. The only exception I know of is Inter-Tel and I haven’t found a reseller for them yet.

I would suggest looking @ SNOM and AAstra phones, they dont have oodles of buttons but they are good phones and they DONT cost $350.

Also keep in mind $350 may include a markup for them, and/or they may not want to install a handful of phones you provide…

hope that helps!

IronHelix - Thanks for the response! Couple more questions now as I slowly start to understand some of this…

You mentioned a PRI interface; so I would want to run a PRI connection between the Asterisk box and the legacy PBX (Vodavi XTS) which would allow us to use all of the features of Asterisk just routed through the old PBX? Would features such as BLF and the programmable buttons still be able to be used? We are very attached to our ability to park a call on a button with one phone and hit that button on another phone to pick it up, I have found that it can be done with * and Snom 360 at least, so that would be a big deal if it worked through the PRI interface also.

I asked about which phones they quoted us and found out they were Polycom IP601’s, and half were with the matching sidecars to emulate out current setup. Is there a decent way to match the functionality of all the buttons with an IP phone system without requiring the users to dial extensions to pick up the parks, see if a line is available, etc? I know the operator can use a control panel on her pc, but our sales staff is very busy and efficiency is important for our phones (avg 3000 calls a day among 25 sales people.)

I was looking at the Snom 320/360’s already so I’m glad to hear you recommend them as well. Once one phone is set up, all the rest can use the same basic settings I assume right?

Thanks again for your help.


Yeah, asterisk -pri- vodavi.

Feature keys will work within the system and on asterisk to the extent that you can access features by dialing stuff. BLF will almost certainly not work (well it will work w/in the vodavi but not across the PRI). MWI will probably work, there is a script you can get (vmnotify.pl, google it) that will dial codes to turn MWI’s on/off on legacy systems.

Ignoring the vodavi…

With * you can set up buttons for call parks. Set one button to park the call, then 3-4 other buttons to be the parking slots. SNOM phones can remap the HOLD button to be the park button as I recall if you don’t mind losing local hold. W/ the metermaid patch the buttons will light up when there is a call parked on them, and pushing the button will grab the call.

Most IP phones can be centrally provisioned, snom and aastra are no different.

(snom is similar, this is aastra)-
Set your DHCP to provide the TFTP server address.
in your tftp server, create aastra.cfg (shared settings) and (phonemac).cfg (phone specific settings which override shared). Also put latest firmware in TFTP. If you can whip up a script, the mac files can be auto generated from a database with relative ease…

When you plug in a phone, it will get the TFTP server via DHCP. It then TFTP’s the aastra.cfg and then the macaddy.cfg files. These may tell it to use another TFTP. If it’s still good, it then downloads latest firmware if there is any and reboots if needed.

End result- just config some stuff on the network and provision phones with a mac.cfg file or from dbase. Plug phone in. Wait 30-60seconds. Phone is ready to use. (no screwing with web or keypad interface). This makes supporting them very easy.

Polycom are similar but their configs are much more picky, they use some kind of XML format. I don’t know much about PCOM, I try to avoid them because of a broken (IMHO) firmware policy- they only provide up to date firmware and documentation to ‘polycom certified technicians’. In other words you have to take a test and jump thru a bunch of hoops to get suppoort. OTOH, AAstra and Snom both have ample documentation for whoever wants it and they are responsive to the * community.

Also FWIW the Snom 360 supports a sidecar…

the Snom extension keypad/sidecar is good