ISDN Gateway Recommendation

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by ziptalk, Dec 30, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ziptalk

    ziptalk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    I am based in the UK, and after a couple of months of evaluating the 3CX Free Edition features and capabilities, I have been formally approved a budget to do feasibility testing with the view to replacing our existing Nortel BCM 50 system. Our primary motivation is to replace this proprietary hardware-based PBX with a Windows-based PBX. Once we have a system for ourselves, we will then be in a position to sell this solution to clients.

    The kit I am going to purchase is a Patton SmartNode 4638 5 port ISDN BRI Gateway, principally because it is the cheapest and provides the functionality I need. We have 4 x ISDN 2e lines. I will also purchase 3 x Linksys SPA-942 IP Phones.

    The only uncertainty I have at this stage is regarding the ISDN Gateway device, whether it works well with 3CX, or are there any alternatives I should be considering at similiar price points? Price is an issue whilst we have to consider price points in selling this to clients. Whilst we intend to support and maintain the system both for ourselves and our clients, I would want to be confident I am purchasing hardware that other 3CX support companies are comfortable supporting and/or recommending.

    The website I have decided to purchase my kit from is http://www.voipon.co.uk.

    Thanks in advance for any advice/guidance as I commit my first tentative steps to implementing 3CX commercial edition with the road map of becoming a reseller.

    Lewis
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. discovery1

    discovery1 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Lewis

    Welcome!
    The Patton Gateways are very good and there are no issues using them with 3CX. They are listed as recommended hardware by 3CX (and they provide support for them) so you can be confident that the Patton's will live up to your expectations. See the documentation on them and the other supported hardware if you haven't seen it already

    http://www.3cx.com/support/

    My only other suggestion would be to use Snom phones as they are very highly supported by 3CX and you also get the free Flexor CTI software to allow Outlook integration.

    Keep us up to date with your progress and let us know if you need help.

    John
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. ziptalk

    ziptalk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi John,

    Thanks for your quick and informative reply. I had seen that the Patton was recommended by 3CX and the configuration instructions looked reassuring, but I find it much more reassuring to hear first-hand experience with that hardware such as yours.

    With regards to the IP Phones, the decision towards the Linksys was based principally on 'looks' :oops: , and they're a reputable brand. I notice that most IP Phones leave a lot to be desired in the looks dept, but the Linksys for obvious reasons look very Cisco-esque and consequently customers will want something that reflects their investment in a phone system (OR I don't want to feel like I've ripped them off with providing antiquated looking handsets!)

    Is there a general pecking order for IP Phones that are generally considered to be the best ? or would you happen to know which ones are most commonly deployed ?

    Either way I will check out the Snom phones now.

    Thanks again for your comments, most helpful.

    Lewis
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. discovery1

    discovery1 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Lewis

    There is no real "pecking order" for phones - the ones that are recommended by 3CX are done so because they (and we) can get all the features working (phonebooks, BLF, softkeys etc). The Linksys ones are still OK, but i personally regard them as "consumer grade".
    As you have already mentioned the Cisco ones are very good looking - but that doesn't flow through to good interoperability with 3CX. Same for the Polycom ones.

    I've recently done a fair bit of work with the Thompson ST2030 SIP phones, and while they are not officially supported you may want to have a look at them from a visual aspect. Details are here hhttp://www.3cx.com/support/ in the "Community Supported" section.

    With phones i generally find there are generally three types of customer:
    1. Wants the most value for money and does not have a lot to spend
    2. Wants the cool factor and does not have a lot to spend
    3. Wants both and has money to spend

    Either way i generally recommend Snom (300, 320, 360/370) followed by one other if cost is a factor. Other customers i deal with have already got phones and are using another system eg. Asterisk but want to move to a windows based solution, so sometimes the handset factor is not present.

    BTW, have you seen the latest Snom - the 820?

    http://www.snom.com/sv/products/snom-820/
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. ziptalk

    ziptalk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi John,

    I had a look at the SNOM range, and my first impressions are they're quite pricy. In the looks department they look functional and respectable, not necessarily 'cool' though. I see what you mean about the Linksys phones, they do look more consumer-grade, and I imagine they have a cheap plasticy feel.

    The SNOM range looks to me more corporate/enterprise grade of phone - whereas the Linksys resemble cheap Cisco imitations, they look pretty but I fear they might not be the better phone. The SNOM 820 looks like a big evolutionary step in design and a break from the bland black/grey colour is probably a good thing. They certainly look sexier, but for £250 a phone I can imagine giving a customer a quote for 10 of those and them having a heart attack! I get the impression SNOM is more established and got a good history with IP phones ?

    On further consideration I think I might actually purchase 3 different IP phones, one Linksys, one Snom, and a budget Grandstream say, that'll save me making a mistake with 3 Linksys phones and give me the opportunity to properly evaluate each vendor. I'll have to increase my budget approval to sign-off that 820 though!

    The main objectives for me in coming up with a solution that is reasonable cost, i.e. £60 basic handset, £100 advance handset, then the customer can decide dependent on their budget. :roll: basically if they want cool, they're going to have to pay for it, and through the nose it would seem! I am glad the telephony industry is moving forward and VOIP becoming more mature and viable, and the phones are catching up in design just like the PC turning from the bland beige to sleeker more appearling designs. I think we're sort of getting into the 2nd generation of phones with regards to looks now.

    p.s. I take it you're a reseller, how many 3CX deployments have you done and what sort of scale ? Thanks for letting me know.

    Lewis
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. Discovery Technology

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Lewis,

    Just be careful mixing IP phone vendors in the same network as you may lose some of the smoothness in transferring calls internally. (I noticed this with Cisco and SNOM phones on the same network and in some cases was losing audio between the transfers, although it could have been a setting that was hiding from me at the time). Either way, it does add a little more complexity to the setup so it is good to be careful there.

    Re: the Patton gateways, some good advice would be a) don't stray too far from the defaults in the wizard or you won't even see the "generate config file" button appear (4 lines is good), b) don't use the 0/0 lifeline port or you will miss some calls and c) check the inbound caller ID as they come in - are you missing a leading character? If so, there is an easy one-line fix for this. They appear to work really well otherwise.

    I have found that the Linksys phones have a very easy-to-use GUI as I have worked with the PAP2 ATA's quite a bit - the dial plan stuff is very easy to work with and you can modify the ring tones very easily as well. Some echo problems have been reported in the forums though so be careful of this (we also had a customer that reported this a little while ago ourselves). Nice looking though, and you're right - one of the least expensive options to consider.

    Polycom have a nice video handset that you may want to take a look at as well whilst you're looking around for possible handset vendors...

    The real challenge I suspect will be to match the colour of the handsets around the office ultimately as white and black may look a little wierd.

    The local 3CX Australian office have been working with the "Yealink" IP phones as well which appear to be fairly inexpensive and look fairly professional also.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. ziptalk

    ziptalk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for that information.

    Linksys look the safe-bet for me at the moment, particularly in the testing stages. I may get adventurous with the SNOM 820 and inter-mingling other handsets for evaluation. Whatever deployment we do it will be conditional that the phones will be the same manufacturer, with at most 2-3 model variations, i.e. entry-level basic phone, advance phone and a reception-type phone. I think I'll start with Linksys SPA-942s and go from there, most of our anticipated installs will be ripping out the existing digital hardware-based PBX phone systems, like Nortel, Panasonic, Avaya etc.


    Lewis
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.