Question on Cost

Hello to everyone.

I have recently taken a brave career change and moved in to Telecoms. I am learning on the job. Please forgive any silly things I may say.

During my search for Telephony related material which may help my development, I come across Asterisk.

Asterisk sounds bloody fantastic. I currently have a UNIX (FreeBSD) box on my home network which i’m planning to run as a web server to aid the development of my web software. Now i’m wanting to run Asterisk on it too, as it sounds fun and surely it will help me develop in Telecoms.

Introductions aside, my home set up will surely be very small as it will only be handling my home phone line, in essence, and maybe a 2nd line if my software takes off. But i’m wondering about a bigger set up.

What is the cost comparison for a small to very large business set up between Asterisk and say, a Meridian 11c mini and above.

At first glance i’m not seeing a great cost advantage in terms of hardware.

Any insight here is appreciated.

you are correct

the cost advatage exists

if you have PSTN lines and PSTN phone on other way - asterisk has no advantages

but if you use IP-telephony, E1 as input, and all phones distributed on the big territory you have such advantages:

  1. ip networks is more simple to build then MANy PSTN(all channels over one cable)
  2. you have very nice flexebility. you can move phones and much more
  3. you have voice recording,voice mailbox, IVR’s
  4. you can plan you sistem as you wish.
  5. you have cost-free calls between offices.( if you have internet connections )
  6. you have simple billing and control over all calls in the system.
  7. if asterisk can’t do something, you can extend the code.

also scalability- with a standard PBX or key system, you are limited to the number of lines/hardware modules your chassis can support or the number of total extensions/lines the system can address. Once you outgrow your system, then you may have to (depending on what system it is and how much you grew) replace most or all of the base pbx hardware. With *, your investment is secure because you can just move other apps off of *, or buy more * servers and telephony boards.

You are also limited on features- whatever features the existing system doesn’t support will require expensive hardware modules to add, or won’t be available at all. One client of mine wanted to add voicemail-to-email to a low end avaya system- his dealer quoted him over $5000 for that one feature alone (hardware module). When he asked about upgrading his voicemail system (it is an older version that does not even let you fast forward through the message), he was told it would take $2000 for a new voicemail module. He was understandably underwhelmed.

this is so true

we are not putting any unnecessary dollars into our Avaya Definity

we have setup a seemless link between the definity and * ; we plan on keeping the definity around using it for some areas and voip/asterisk in others

hell just to add something like unified messaging was 25k+ if i remember correctly

they also license the number of ports you can run … this number includes not only physical phones but Xports also ( xports are phantom ports that redirect calls to other places )

every obstacle i have run into with the definity was something else you could license from Avaya to fix your problem $$$