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Migration Strategy - away from Avaya (Aura CM)

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by DugDaThug, Mar 8, 2016.

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  1. DugDaThug

    Mar 2, 2016
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    I've searched all of the forums for finding a supported way to integrate 3CX and Avaya (Aura - CM) together, but without much luck. Nick indicated the best solution would be to replace Avaya - while I don't necessarily disagree, something like that takes time.

    I've spoken to my Avaya support folks, and they always come back with 'not supported, sorry'. Does anyone have a pragmatic solution, technical resource or other advice they can provide? While I'm interested in 3CX, migrating 2000 handsets and 1400 people isn't possible without some sort of supported integration with my current solution.

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.
  2. Frank D

    Frank D New Member

    Oct 6, 2014
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    Hi DugDaThug,

    you are completely right, that the migration strategy is the critical part of this project, which needs really careful planning. I have no experience with Avaya, all I write below is more general about a migration.

    Some thoughts about your partners:
    If Avaya thinks, that you might be sticking with at least some part of the old pbx this may help you in making them help you. But they probably already know, that you want to switch, so it won't be easy. In general is helps a lot, if you don't have to tell them, that you want to switch before you are really sure your want to switch and you can switch in time, without some new contract being due. Ask quickly for a new quote without a long contract period, if your old contract expires soon and you maybe won't be able to make the migration in time.

    Look for a 3cx partner, which has Avaya experience, too. Or an pbx consultant, who has experience with migration from Avaya / connecting Avaya to other systems, who you pay for the services only, so they have no incentive to have you stick with Avaya.

    Ask 3cx directly, which partners they can recommend for this job. They have a good overview and are motivated to make it work for you. Maybe you can even get some sort of special support, directly from 3cx.

    Set expectations internally: Some features will be missing during migration and in the first year(s). It really takes time to figure out the best configurations for your use cases. But give them some new nice feature like webmeeting. Show them, that Smartphone integration and Outlook integration will be possible some in the future, but this will take some time. Show them the new phones.

    your infrastructure
    How are your phones connected at the moment? (which kind of wiring)?
    Check PoE or electrical plugs needed. PoE is really nice, but not required.
    Do you have enough network wiring available at your company? (Considering both the new SIP phones as well as an optional parallel migration, where for some time two phones will be on peoples desks)
    Maybe you will have to use the Ethernet Switches integrated into the IP phones or use Softphones or install additional Switches or even add network wiring?
    What protocol are those phones using?
    What old analogue systems have to be connected (fax, modems, elevator telephones, alarm lines, door openers, door speakers....)
    How are your outgoing lines connected at the moment? SIP-trunks or T1/E1? Probably several different connections

    technical means
    There are several technical means that can help you:
    PIMG PBX-IP Media Gateways, available from different vendors, they can bridge proprietary digital signals to SIP in both directions, see here http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_i ... c11.html,n or here http://www.tmcnet.com/voip/0506/leaders ... m-0506.htm
    gateways: You can use gateways (like patton or beronet)in different scenarios. For example you can plugin your PSTN line and send some DID to your new 3CX pbx and leave some other T1/E1 and send some to your old pbx as it used to be. So it will just keep on working for some extensions and you can migrate others to the new pbx.
    You can also select how to root internal calls from your old pbx to your new pbx this way (or using the PIMG)
    Gateways like Beronet, Patton and Welltech are well supported by 3cx and don't know about those PIMG. Of couse 3cx works well with SIP, but sometimes it's nice to be able to rely on technical support, configurtion guides and provisioning features. If you have the choose use Gateways supported by 3cx instead of PIMG.
    Migrating to SIP-trunks: Maybe it is an idea to migrate to SIP trunks, because it is easier to subscribe multiple pbx to the trunk.
    CLIP no screening: allows you to make calls while writing an outgoing number of your choice, has to be supported by your PSTN provider
    If the internal connection of the two pbx is to complicated you can choose to make internal calls externally (via PSTN) for some time. It is not a perfect solution, but it is an option you have, especially considering a short migration phase.
    For some locations, where it will take some time to add the necessary wiring, you could use
    - ATAs and analogue phones and old two cable wiring
    - PIMG and your old phones (maybe even old pbx)
    - temporary Switches in the office
    - Smarphones with 3cx phone clients
    - Smartphones without 3cx phone client (just forward to mobile number)

    features needed
    Backup and Update strategy of phones and pbx.
    How are personal settings on phones preserved and backuped (people get angry, if you change their private telephonebook, their Shortdials, their ringtones, their volume settings with each new provisioning)?
    What is your minimal viable solution for you to replace your old pbx?
    Do you need encryption/ security like SRTP and certificates on phones?
    Which queues do you need?
    Which analogue lines have to be connected?
    Which presence features and other features of the phones have to work (pickup, callback, BLFs) Setting up the groups and permissions and configuring individual extensions may take lots of times if individual configurations are required.
    Telephone book: How is it handled now, how do you want to handle it during transition? Maybe you have change some numbers to externals numbers or add some prefix for some number, denpending on your configuration (lots can be done on gateways and pbx configuration)
    Monitoring of extension status and QoS via an dedicate monitoring server?

    Migration strategies:
    You can rollout department for department.
    Some first test groups could have both their old and the new phone.
    People will have some phones numbers stored in the old phones. Ways to migrate those?
    How can Gateways and PIMG help you?
    Maybe some of your Avaya phones support SIP too.
    Maybe your Avaya supports SIP and you can connect some of your old phones.
    I would use both the last two measures only if a very limited functionality is needed and only in cases without an alternative. The management of those phones will be difficult.

    Regarding the migration I definitely would start with some small test group and than a department/small location. But afterwards it may be best to migrate all at once, at least considering each location. You can prepare all phones and provision and configure them. Then, at the given time you plug your PSTN lines to your new pbx or change some settings in your gateways/media converters. Trying to bridge two different technologies/pbx over a longer time probably will give you more pain and cause more effort worth the advantages. You will always loose lots of non-basic features bridging two different systems. If some locations/departments of your company don't need internal advanced features like presence and callback, you are fine. Setting up gateways or using the PSTN, if you just need to make calls between departments/locations is quite easy to setup.

    All the best for your project

    Frank Drews
    3CX certified engineer
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