Digital System Present, use as trunk?

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by joebocop, Dec 27, 2013.

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  1. joebocop

    Dec 12, 2013
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    Hello again,

    I have a client who currently has an old Nortel digital PBX ("Meridian" branding all over the place).

    They are seeking an IP PBX replacement and I am hoping to sell them a 3CX system.

    I have attached two photos of their PBX hardware currently (one photo "above" the other).

    My question is this: is it possible to install a 3CX Pro system with a few phones (let's say 10 for the time being), and integrate that system into this current mess somehow? I would like to trial a few users on the new phones, but still allow them to dial users on the digital PBX by extension number (an additional digit wouldn't be the end of the world, of course). Additionally, the digital PBX has 12 FXO connections, which I would like to be able to access from 3CX.

    I understand this might be too crazy an endeavour, but wanted to float it out there to see what the more experienced opinion on the topic might be. Wiping out their current system would no doubt be easier to implement, but I wondered if by some magic the current system could temporarily remain intact while the 3CX system gained traction?

    Thanks again for the help.

    EDIT: Forgot the photos, of course:
  2. lneblett

    lneblett Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2010
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    The issue is how to get commonality between the two systems such that communications between the two can be accommodated.

    The NT system is digital proprietary whereas the 3CX is SIP and Ethernet. The FXO ports you mention are also likely taking the PSTN and converting the signaling and voice into a digital stream only understood by NT. Even within the Meridian line, not all Meridian phones were/are compatible with all Meridian systems.

    You really need to get more detail about the system - model numbers, phone handset models, feature sets cards and applicable model numbers.

    The pictures are great, but likely not enough for a definitive answer. Even then, there will surely be some significant feature absences that may impact how one views the capability of 3CX.
  3. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2008
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    Nortel made a lot of small systems, many were simply glorified key systems with extension assignments for the sets. As mentioned, because the sets are proprietary, there is no way of using them directly with the phones.

    The only way of "tying" the two systems together is via the 12 FXO connections. One, or more would have to be connected to ATA's that are each registered as extensions on 3CX. If the Meridian system has a card that allows analogue sets, one of those lines could be connected to a gateway and taken into 3CX as a trunk (this would be the only way that a 3CX set could directly dial a Meridian extension). All of this requires the purchase of the ATA's and/or gateways, money better spent on new VoIP sets that the sale of the Meridian system could also help pay for. While the gateways could be retained for connections between 3Cx and the current PSTN lines, once 3CX is installed, they might consider porting their number(s) to a VoIP provider for additional savings. I would recommend keeping one PSTN line, on a gateway, for emergency calls. Many make use of a fax line for this purpose.

    As far as accessing the PSTN lines from either system...they run the risk of both systems of attempting to answer the same call or placing a call out on the same trunk. One persons call is not going to go anywhere.

    Either method would allow calls to pass between the systems but does not allow for a the same flexibility that a tie trunk would. It really all depends on what they want to do with the existing phones and how long they plan on retaining them. If this is just an interim solution, until they migrate everyone to VoIP, then perhaps they could muddle through. Linking two systems, at the same location, is never better than using one unified system.

    It all comes down to what they want their phones to do for them.
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