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The more info I read and the more I learn about VoIP, I come back to the same thought, are the IT guys trying to take over telecom?

The equipment is computer based, the transport is the internet, and the techs are really geeks.

Since the folks in telecom, that have been in telecom for any length of time, know how reliable the internet's up-time is, we should not worry about VoIP replacing the PSTN. For years, the argument has been "Telephone is not allowed to have down time". This one statement is the entire argument of VoIP vs Telecom.

An office with a VoIP communications system that needs to be rebooted, as computers do now and again, will need to do without telecommmunications for the duration of the boot-up process. As the computer loads its operating system, then loads the software required to operate as a telephone system, there is no possibility of a call being received or originated, and this can be up to several minutes. What becomes of a caller, trying to reach you during the down-time? Is that caller provided a notice you are still in business, or does the carrier see no signal from the far end and play the "number not in service" recording? Will the call ring unanswered as currently happens with POTS?

VoIP is a good theory, but until QOS, reliability, guarantee of up-time, etc are improved, I would hesitate greatly before considering a VoIP system.


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Yup, you nailed it. That's why we string up every fifth computer geek or IT "professional" (whatever the hell that is) that signs up here.

-Hal


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and the fourth one just signed up wink


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OK....yes....the computer geeks are trying to take over the telecom world (as well as every other aspect). I know because I am one (hopefully one of the good ones).

I like VoIP in the rare instances where it is actually needed. That said, inter-office VoIP is stupid and there is no need. Same feelings on VoIP trunking. Sure, you may save a few pennies on calls, but as Frank_DaFoneguy so gracefully put, the reliability is not there.

Now for the profound wisdom......

IF YOU WANT VoIP GET A HYBRID AND A GOOD INSTALLER! there are applications for it....just not as many as "they" claim.

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Same feelings on VoIP trunking. Sure, you may save a few pennies on calls, but as Frank_DaFoneguy so gracefully put, the reliability is not there.
Not true on a private network. There are many ways to do VOIP, on a private network say MPLS or via the public network, the internet. The company I manage moves all its voice traffic on a private MPLS network. The savings in over $200K per year. Call quality on the MPLS is better that the PSTN IMO.


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The problem is the marketing is ahead of the product. They are pushing a concept for something that is still in it's infancy working through some growing pains.

I install VoIP systems (utilizing as little internet-based VoIP as possible) and have had good experiences with it. It has proven very versatile and stable. My connection quality is as good as whatever I hook it to.

I think it's less that the "IT Guys" are trying to take over the world but more that they believe things can be done differently. If things never changed then most of us wouldn't be here talking. At one point the computer was considered a fad that would die out as well. Operator's probably hated the invention of switches as well.

Just my opinion. smile

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The problem is the marketing is ahead of the product. They are pushing a concept for something that is still in it's infancy working through some growing pains.

This is how the computer industry works. They pretty much invented that concept. To hell with the customers, I want mine now so I can retire at 40. This is the new generation folks, spoiled rotten by their parents who then gave them a college education. They spend 4 years learning nothing and they think they have paid their dues. They are out to make as much money as they can any way they can and they think they are entitled to it. To hell with honesty, integrity and ethics.

Fortunately the "old time" telecom trade knows the value of an honest days work and working hard to give their customers a product that delivers as promised from day one. Unfortunately that is becoming harder and harder to do with the next generation taking over the leadership and copying the greed the computer industry has championed.

-Hal


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The only growing pain of VOIP is the growing pain-in-the-a-- it is becoming!
liquidvw, it was REAL tough to pass up the oppertunity prezented bi yor tipoz! Newtwork and quatily, man those were begging, I guess I'm a better man than I thought! smile smile John C. (Not Garand)


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Same feelings on VoIP trunking. Sure, you may save a few pennies on calls, but as Frank_DaFoneguy so gracefully put, the reliability is not there.
Not true on a private network. There are many ways to do VOIP, on a private network say MPLS or via the public network, the internet. The company I manage moves all its voice traffic on a private MPLS newtwork. The savings in over $200K per year. Call quatily on the MPLS is better that the PSTN IMO.
LiquidVW is correct. An MPLS managed network is probably the most stable platform between multiple sites that is available today. There is hard and soft redundancy built in so there is no single point of failure. A customer site of ours that has 23 locations with 300 lines received enough savings to pay for new premise equipment at all locations via monthly lease. 24/7 monitoring at data centers insures some serious uptime. Chances are issues are fixed before you know there are problems. Not everyone can afford to play in this arena however. VoIP over anything other than truly managed bandwidth is idiotic.


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To hell with the customers, I want mine now so I can retire at 40. This is the new generation folks, spoiled rotten by their parents who then gave them a college education.
Wow.

I wish I had a rebuttal but I'd like to retire by 40. Anyone need a pensions administrator and/or accountant? (LOL)

Anyways, enough of the hijack. Back on topic smile

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As RBF noted "Not everyone can afford to play in this arena however." Therein is the problem.

How many mom & pop stores, gas stations, churches, delis, restaurants and such can afford to get into a managed VOIP service situation? Local loop charges alone are enough to keep small outfits away. frown

Managed services seem to be fine for medium to large corporations with multiple locations that need to be linked. Having an IT person on staff is a real plus.

The little guy is relegated to the Vonage or Packet 8.


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I wish I had a rebuttal but I'd like to retire by 40.

I think we all would like to but some of us actually grew up sometime before.

-Hal


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I need Voip because my toilet now has a network connection in order to alert me when the cesspool of information backs up.

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Well, I hate to say it, but I just helped install my first VoiP system going through another company. I had this customer for 10 years, and they wanted to buy a new system from me. They gave me every chance to win the bid, but I couldn't get close to the price and feaures being offered by a couple of the VoiP vendors. Fortunately for me, I was able to refer them to a company I partner with and will get a nice finders fee out of the deal and the oppurtunity to learn a new VoiP system. I still prefer the PBX and Key systems, but I think the cost and features available to medium and large businesses will make them look closly. I will give more feedback once the system is in place.


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Zane
Who's going to be the bad guy when it fails or has so many issues they want it removed, you or the partner? "Features" on a IP phone thats a joke. 90% of the features on a key system dont get used after the first day of training. VoIP has it's place in this business but I just cant see why a company would put up with all of the issues or the cost when the cable is in place and the phone sits on the desk in the same spot for the next 10 years. But wait will that IP phone still work after 10 years most PC's dont and will it need the weekly upgrades that a network does?
Companies at one time looked at the long haul, cost of investment, return on investment and future replacement. But some how all of this has gone by the way side for the new Buzz word VoIP.

Sorry Zane not a attack at you.

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I agree, VOIP is a bit of a buzz word. The issue on this thing was cost and capapbilities. I tried to get them into a BCM, but it wouldn't meet their minimum requirements. So instead of losing the deal completely, I brought someone else in. They are now the vendor, and I am more a consultant on this one. But I am okay with that because the customer was very low maintenance to begin with, so now I get the oppurtunity to learn something new. So far from what I have seen, it does everything a BCM or Nortel would do. Obviously, the real verdict will be after the system has been in use a few weeks.


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What is the system based on?

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The one we installed was a 3Com.


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Why don't you let us know about a month after the install and see how it is doing. I bet you will have more problems with it then a BCM. The hype is one thing let us see it perform. Good luck with it and just make sure the customer knows that they decided on the 3com not you. smile


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Business telephone systems on Long Island and New York City like Comdial, Vertical, Avaya, Panasonic
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I have never dealt with the 3-com system but I have heard that is uses a fairly well molested version of sip and has been known to cause problems with sip-endpoints (like ATA's/etc).

Let me know how that works out for you as well.

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90% of so called Voip Systems are still getting their Trunks via a T1 or PRI using TDM, the customer thinks they have voip but in truth its just voip from the handset to the phone system.


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So Avalon, are you saying VOIP will be better or worse when it's VOIP end-to-end? Or is it the old "time will tell"? John C. (Not Garand)


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To refere to the original poster's question, is VOIP an attempt to take away the work of the phone guy? Well, computer guys are always looking to change the way something is done and this is no different. I don't think computer guys are intentionally trying to be phone men, but they feel there is another way to do what we're doing and make a big chunk of a huge market. We telecom professionals have to accept that the times they are a-changin' and (at the very least) become knowledgeable on anything taking place in our industry. I feel it is my job to evaluate what's out there, determine whether or not it's useful, and discard what is not applicable. We have to take the role of educators for the client and show them how they can get the most out of the available technology. It's not much different from the process we use to determine which systems we will be offering to the public. There will be 25 different opinions whether the product we carry is better than Joe the phone man's product and we have to be prepared to present our case.
VOIP is here to stay, so we have to show the customer where it fits and where it doesn't. Winning the trust of the client and proving our technical proficiency and ability to think outside of the box, is really what we do anyway.

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VoIP? Computer guys wanting to be telephone men? Not hardly, I started in telecom back in the early 80's and about that time, “telephone people” were trying to connect computers together with data adapters connected to the phone sets. Well, we all know that didn't work out to well. I decided in the 90's to migrate over to the networking side (computers/switches & routers) because I could see the "writing on the wall". Voice will move over to more of a computer networking environment, it's just not going to happen as fast as some people would like. What I have found out in the past is, most "computer" people don't know “ditties” about voice or anything about the industry and they are many times "dumbfounded" by telecommunications. Although small KSU’s and PBX's may resist the migration to a VoIP platform for a bit longer, anyone who wants to continue to work on telecommunications equipment (KSU and PBX level) will need to adapt to the changing industry. If not, then I fear your only options will be to support equipment that will one day eventually fail or move on to another profession. Key in mind when we changed from 1A2 key sytems to "new fangled" Electronic key systems, many people didn't want to change then either, but there aren't just to many 1A2 key systems (or "steppers" for that fact) left out there either.

I personally would like to retire at 40,….. oh darn, I guess I missed that one by a few years. Anyway, this is just MHO.


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For some insight into the why, I had a customer/IT person tell me the other day that they wanted the VOIP system so they didn't have to deal with cabling. "I hate cabling" was the remark. Funny thing is, what do VOIP phones run on? smile I think there's a general fear of the 25-pair amphenol cable. Give them something that's more familiar: a Cat 5e patch cord; and regardless of whether they have to learn how to program a system and keep it up for phone calls to come and go, they will be comfortable. Strange mentality. I guess it's not much different than us saying we don't like a particular system, when in reality we are just unfamiliar with it.

Between the buzz words, the hype, and the amphenolphobia, we're in for an uphill battle.

My fear is that the dropped calls and poor quality of service will become as accepted as computer down-time and reboots. It's not logical, since there is already something out there that works reliably 99.9% of the time. However, the justification will be made for whatever reason, and we will see more and more of the VOIP, and less and less of the reliable TDM.

By the way Avalon, it's not VOIP from the handset to the phone system. It's analog (that 6-letter dirty word that NO I.T. person wants to hear as being part of their system) from the handset to the phone, and then VOIP from the phone to the system. smile

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Nicely worded Justin! Amphenolphobia? Does that mean some people are amphenolmaniacs?

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MAYBE, Just MAYBE, VoIP is a grab at the few remaining computer dollars, by an industry that required EVERYONE IN THE WORLD to upgrade for Y2K.

With the technology budget of many companies now on the rise after the recovery and amortization of Y2K expenses, the computer guys have found a new "buzzword" and the minions have begun to subscribe to the earbug of "we need something better than what has been more than reliable enough for the past 100 years"

As key systems began replacing 1A2, it was the "more reliable and better" that allowed the key system to take over. We are hearing whispers of that with VoIP, but, reliability is the greatest issue with telecommunications.

after all, it IS all tip and ring


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Perhaps the commercial VoIP PBX's came about due to it's decreased production costs.

A lot of time and money is spent in order to develop your own switch fabric, logic, cards, and so on.

Now say you realize that there is already a fabric capable of transmitting your voice from Point A to Point B. TCP/IP Ethernet. It's very mature and in widespread deployment. It alleviates you from having to maintain your own physical connections and allows you to use a single cheap NIC that is capable of handling hundreds of calls over one physical connection. Add to that "value" that there is a free protocol standard already developed called SIP. All that is before marketting gets ahold of the idea and goes "We can use it on the internet!". Not much of a stretch to connect those dots. They probably spend more money on the POTS/TDM interface chips then they do on the NIC side of things. Although i'm sure they are just reusing existing designs for this.

Now they look at all the costs involved in developing their own customized RTOS to run this PBX. Since we are using pre-existing wide-spread network technology, why not use pre-existing wide-spread programming technology? No longer are they limited to the small engineering staff they have to write the RTOS for them, but they can use popular languages such as C, C#, etc, to write their PBX as a software platform. Now they have access to literally millions of programmers to write their code.

Since they can now use widespread programming tools to write their applications, then that means they can now use cheap industrial-grade x86 hardware.

Basically, they are assembling a pre-configured pre-engineered pre-existing lego set of computer hardware. Obtaining more money for more usage is now just a software-license away. One hardware system now replaces 5 traditional PBX's depending on the software they install on it.

So from the inside it may seem like computer people are trying to be phone guys, but I think it is the PBX companies that are trying to leverage technology that has already been paid for in order to create a product they dont have a lot invested in. Technology in the computer arena matures faster and evolves faster then anywhere else.

The other side of the coin (Mostly from the Open Source Software side) is that the engineers and programmers may honestly believe that after 100 years of faithful service, the capability of the PSTN network is now limiting us. There may be a better way to have a conversation with someone, or to do business, then what currently exists. The PSTN has done it's duty for over 100 years and done so pretty reliably. But as with all things, they can be outgrown, or outdated. This is what I like to believe, that VoIP is merely the next evolution of voice communications.

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Kumba, Kumba, Kumba, when will you learn? :rolleyes:

You just made the obvious even plainer......

Mature? Computer Technology? The Internet?

Let's take away the old, tired, tried and true infrastructure that has worked for over a century and see how well they work.

Why do CGs always use a cloud for the Internet inter-connectivity? Because they don't know. :confused:

Mature? If Bell Labs hadn't invented the transistor you'd still be the guys in the heavy black rimmed glasses with the plastic pocket protector with a slide rule in it!

Mature? You infants are standing on the shoulders of giants. Once the "gravy" is sucked up the real communications' giants will gnaw the bones of the VoIP industry. A flash in the pan, quick profit, no staying power. The Edsel of the electronics' age.

So how come laptops are so costly compared to desktops? How come this universal interoperability cost more now than a decade ago.....? The magic "License"....pure highway robbery...and for nothing....but another cup of curry that you eat out of your rice bowl.

KUMBA....KUMBA.......Come to the light. Just come out of the darkness.....come to the light.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


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ROFL KLD... As a VoIP mod I tend to play with all things IP centric. I'll take it and break it...or take it and make it. I came into this industry in the mid 70s learning telecom installing and repairing gear developed in the 50s. Worked fine..lasted a long time. Did voice excellent. Didn't do video..we had cameras for that. Didn't do data....had punch cards for that. It did what it was designed to do.

VoIP is a technology that promises alot. It's kinda like a first date. All positives put forth but you really don't get to see the real deal until much later.

I can take 10 developers working Asterisk and other open source platforms. I can walk away with 10 different ways of looking at it. I have 10 different boxes working 10 different ways. Waaaay too much room for artistic liberties to be a standard.

Transport between sites is awesome. Telecommuters is excellent. Softphones...way cool. WIFI..love it. Put an IP set on a "normal" network without revamping it with total QOS routers is idiotic. Sellers of this new technologies rarely tell you of the hidden costs. I can sell a TDM/hybrid system to an enduser and they call me when they need me. I'm not there on day 364 demanding licenses or their system will be DOA tomorrow. Small to medium shops don't expect recurring licensing for their handsets and voicemail.

BTW ...gave a quote today to remove a 13 set hosted VoIP solution and replace with a Vertical MP5000 with unified messaging . Demo went well. Customer really liked. Third deal (if I close) from this hosted VoIP provider. smile


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You should be farming their customer base. Then again, why bother. They're already coming to you! :thumb:

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It's kinda like a first date.

More like you get totally s*** faced, wake up the next morning in bed next to some really ugly broad and then you find out that you married her last night. eek

-Hal


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And paid a HUGE price for the wedding. What you don't understand is why the honeymoon didn't turn out like your golf buddies described.

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Guys, you are killllllling me !!!!!!!!

eek :rofl: :shrug:


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I knew I was going to get blasted from all the tried and true folks on here. I expected that and that's why I waited to post.

I guess all we can do is hurry up and wait.

I know that I am not willing to stake my future on how things were 10 years ago, let alone 100.

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Ken, if I had to guess, I'd say you were at the mexican food place @ about 18th and Broadway in KCMO. Man, I can taste their 1/2 bowl of Mexican Chili with flour tortillas, used to be 2.95, 20 years ago. smile

Kumba, as an old dog, I suspect you will be proved right in the end. It's just that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks", esp if they won't pay attention (Translation, close to retirement, whether they can afford it or not). So VOIP will sucessfully, reliably deploy, and us old dogs will be around to keep the leftovers running until they're no longer viable. Just my 50 cents worth. (Inflation, you know!) smile John C. (Not Garand)


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I dont think VoIP will replace TDM, but will instead compliment it to a point that it is amibiguous which is which.

And for the record, doing VoIP over the internet or any unmanaged network is bad. Probably why I dont do internet-based VoIP installs. smile

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Lightninghorse,

Your statement makes me think of the TV repairmen that would not adapt to solid state, they just kept repairing the tube type TVs until there were no more left....


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if the blocks in the picture are the type with 66 style punch on the lower and RJ jacks in the upper, they are not usually wired as normal.

In the mod-jack blocks, tip & ring are side by side, not over/under.


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if the blocks in the picture are the type with 66 style punch on the lower and RJ jacks in the upper, they are not usually wired as normal.

In the mod-jack blocks, tip & ring are side by side, not over/under.

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Frank, I know I am tired and senile, but, where is the picture? :shrug:

And Kumba, we were not blasting you, just having a tongue-in-cheek moment while I ate pepper pork and soupy beans. And John, La Cockaroacha is at 17th and Broadway, still a good deal if it weren't for the yuppies. Manny's is down the hill. Ponack's just under I-35. Then you go out Southwest Blvd to the Argentine. Where else do you have a Mexican joint and a BBQ shack sharing a parking lot?

Guys, Kumba has pretty well summed it up. Unmanaged networks and junk equipment will always hurt the VoIP people until it does mature.

Have a good night, I'm eating spicy ribs tonight.

laugh


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KLD: Yeah I know... that's why the Tried and True comment made it into my reply smile

If it helps, i've been called worse by better... LOL

There's only a few (2~3) things I disagree on, but for the most part you guys have it nailed.

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Originally posted by KLD:
Guys, Kumba has pretty well summed it up. Unmanaged networks and junk equipment will always hurt the VoIP people until it does mature.
That's it in a nutshell Ken.

The network MATTERS

I would also add that the single most important component of a successful VoIP, IP Telephony, or Unified Communications implementation (other than using QUALITY hardware) is hiring a competent company to configure the system PROPERLY. If you do those two things, the promises are more than just hype! If not, somebody is NOT going to be happy.

Come on guys, slip a toe in to test it out...the water's fine. Actually, scratch that, this is not something that you just want to 'try out'. If you are not completely committed to it, it's going to bite you. If you don't have the bandwidth to do it right...do something else. IMHO


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Originally posted by KLD:
[QUOTE]
Guys, Kumba has pretty well summed it up. Unmanaged networks and junk equipment will always hurt the VoIP people until it does mature.
And my question: Who gets the blame? Its the phones that don't work correctly it has to be a phone problem.
I went to a site yesterday that has 10 IP phones on 10 desk with PC running thru the IP phones (to save money on cabling), a video conf unit in the conf room and 5 network printers. All of this on a 512k pipe. The remote CG states "well it is MPLS" to that I shake my head and say, to myself, but its only 512k.

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If you sell someone a system and it doesn't work or doesn't work the way it was sold, then you are to blame. If the system has a limitation that you thoroughly explained to the customer, then tell them "Hey, that's Life". If the problem is outside of your control then what can you do?

I get phonecalls about my phone installs every time it rains. Verizon's copper is cutting in and out and therefore it must be my box. Similar situation as your 512K pipe.

The glaring issue with whoever installed those phones are the 512K pipe. They probably dont have a QoS router installed to make sure the phones get priority either.

As far as the phones being inline it would depend on the phone. Some phones will actively act as a QoS limiter and cut back the computer traffic if it gets to high. This is the case with Polycom. The other side-issue is that now you have 2 lines ran to your phone and it makes moving it a PITA. Dont get me wrong, it's still done cheaply tho. It's one of those things where you go "Yeah, it'll work, but that's not what I recommend and I wont guarantee it" and explain why in detail. If they still insist on it then you either drop the job or let them get what they want.

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Originally posted by Kumba:
I dont think VoIP will replace TDM, but will instead compliment it to a point that it is amibiguous which is which.

And for the record, doing VoIP over the internet or any unmanaged network is bad. Probably why I dont do internet-based VoIP installs. smile
You're most likely correct in the short term, but if you remember the LAN technolgies that were around in the 1980s which have been superseeded by the cureent technolgies it will only be a matter of time. In my part of the world true PBX phone techs that went thru the telco training programs now have an average age of about 46 and getting older. The ones coming on now have no grounding in telecomunications and can't tell busy tone from a DTMF tone, and are what we would have called "linies" back in the 80s. Anyone with any brains and an education now goes to the IT industry where the money is and the working condidtions are better. My son who is now 26 has done exactly that and has done allot better than I did at his age in the telco industry..

Now to win Lotto and retire..


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Originally posted by Frank_DaFoneguy:
For years, the argument has been "Telephone is not allowed to have down time". This one statement is the entire argument of VoIP vs Telecom.
I am from the IT side of things and I have always found support for Telecom to be more demanding because the expectations were higher for voice than data. The company I work for is adopting VoIP to reduce costs even though, in my opinion, voice quality was better on our outgoing Nortel equipment. I have a theory about why people are willing to accept the possible reduction in availability and quality: cell phones.

Cell phones have reduced the average person's expectation of availablity and quality SO much that only the most poorly-implemented VoIP installations seem unacceptable. I bet that most corporate executives spend at least as much time talking on cell phones as they do on wired phones. These same executives are the ones pushing the corporate in-house Telecom & IT staff to go with VoIP to reduce costs. So what if there are problems from time to time or voice quality issues? Cell phones have trained us that it is perfectly acceptable to not be able to place a call, have a call drop unexpectedly, or have voice quality issues.

IT may have made VoIP possible, but the cell phone made it acceptable. That is just my opinion. Thanks.

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That my friend hit the nail on the head. welcome to the club

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But, does that mean the whole world has to be the kind of pain that causes Sprint (and probably the other cell carriers now that Sprint has broken the ice) to drop customers. I for 1 would not have a cell phone, if my employer did not provide it! I certainly would not throw money down the rathole that overall 'cell service' (Add that to your oxymoron list) represents! I should mention that my employer also sells cell phones and we have access to the latest and greatest from 2 carriers. Even in the 'good' service areas, their definition of good is not the same as mine! Good means to me upwards of 95% 'uptime'. Even the cable industry is barely breaking that barrier. When 'up time' is 98% or better, I'll spend my own good money. Until then, the cell companies can 'whistle up a cat's patoot!'. Just my opinion, sorry about the rant. NOT! John C. (Not Garand)


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In my opinion, cell phones suffer from poor quality regardless of carrier or handset manufacturer. My employer provides one, so I have one. I never use it while driving (convertible + manual transmission + safety = no talking on cell phone) and if I am near a wired phone I will always ask to call people right back instead of having a lengthy discussion on a cell.

I have never spoken to someone on a cell phone where I didn't know that they were on a cell phone after they spoke their first sentence even when the person is standing still. The poor quality of cell phones is the service "cost" of using them versus the "benefit" of convenience. It seems that most people believe that the benefit outweighs the cost so much that they are willing to spend their own money for crappy cell service.

I firmly believe that if cell phones hadn't been invented and decision-makers were looking at VoIP for the first time that the person giving the demo would be laughed out of the board room.

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Talking on a cell phone may not provide the best quality conversation, but it sure beats stopping off at a pay phone in the rain only to find no change in your pocket :-(

As for the CGs, I would imagine there are many who are put in charge of telecommunications despite having little or no experience with it. I don't guess that many small to medium size companies could or would justify hiring an on-site telecom professional to handle phone service issues. I've found that most managers have no idea just how complex telecommunications is and what's required to setup a phone infrastructure that meet's their company's needs. They leave it to the computer support staff to "figure it out".

So now we have a CG with no trining or experience in telecommunications making decisions (or at least making recommendations) about phone systems and telecom infrastructure. Is it a wonder why VoIP appeals to someone who may understand networking but not telecom. And, of course, someone is SELLING this technology to the ill-informed CG.

It's like anything else, a proper decision requires knowledge and expertise, which is something many on the network side don't have in the telecommunications arena. I doubt seriously that most technical folks want to screw up a phone system decision, its a matter of not being equiped make the correct choice.

And, yes, I do work in network/systems administration. I also manage telecom for my company. I have, however, tried to make it clear as to what I do and do not know and that I'll need outside assistance for some issues.

Just my $.02


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OK, Steve, I'll accept your statement that cell phones might be better that standing in the rain at a payphone with no change. Only the phone won't work in the vehicle, unless you turn the vehicle around. And roll the window down enough to stick the antenna out, unless of course you've got the latest and greatest with a stub that is the antenna. Then you're right back out in the rain! I do admit that cell phones can be mighty handy in an emergency. Unfortunately, the route my wife drives to work only has 2 places in a 5 mile twisting, but flat route. (Man that was redundant) John C.


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This is really drifting, let's keep it. topic


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Sorry, I got us off topic and never really answered the question.

No, I don't think that VoIP is an attempt to steal phone tech work. I am a CG with a fair amount of experience with telecom as well. VoIP is gaining ground because it is technically possible, it has acceptable voice quality to most people (that's where I was going with my cell comment) and it can save money in some cases.

Many companies now place telecom staff in the IT department. The company that I work for is just one example, but there isn't another IT/CG at any site in North America that knows more than an average consumer about phone lines, let alone phone systems, paging equipment, and other telecom peripherals.

On the other hand, we have lots of IT/CG types that know about networks. They make up the bulk of the department outnumbering the telecom staff 10 to 1. The head of the department started off as a CG. When they look for solutions they look at what is familiar. You have probably heard the old expression: If the only tool you have is a hammer then all of your problems start to look like nails.

There is no conspiracy here, just a reaction to circumstances that guides people in that direction.

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If there is no conspiracy then how do you explain Many companies now place telecom staff in the IT department?

-Hal


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If you want my guess, it's because the producers of these "VOIP" systems have purchased major prepaid charge accounts at most golf courses where corporate CEOs tend to frequent. It's all a palm greasing thing.

Do you really think that the CEO of, oh let's just pick one: Schlotsky Industries really understands what he agreed to buy on the golf course? Of course not! He just heard "savings" and in a typical knee-jerk reaction, opened up the checkbook.

Lest we forget the "keeping up with the Jones" issue.

We can continue to fool ourselves into believing that this stuff really works and saves money, but come on........

VOIP has it's place and works fairly well in certain instances, but once again, it is not ready for prime-time. This is the third generation. How many strikes does one get in a baseball game?

When it works flawlessly, across the board with the industry-standard 99.999% uptime requirement for telephone service, I will welcome the technology with open arms and sell it to anyone needing a phone.


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Originally posted by hbiss:
If there is no conspiracy then how do you explain Many companies now place telecom staff in the IT department?
I think that the average corporate office worker spends more time each work day on their computer workstation than talking on the telephone. Workstations, servers, and the networks that connect everything together are far more complex than the telecom equipment in the same office environment. These complex IT systems require support staff for end-users and the infrastructure that operates behind the scenes to allow modern office workers to do what they do. Since there are so many IT people compared to the number of telecom people and since most companies now seem to operate on the premise that anything with a power cord, display and input device should fall under IT then telecom groups end up in the IT department.

Many companies have a Chief Information Officer (CIO) or a Chief Technology Officer (CTO). You'll notice that there is Information & Technology in those titles, but no mention of telecom. Companies adopt VoIP (and focus on IT) not because of a conspiracy, but because the bulk of the support staff is more comfortable with VoIP (and IT work in general) than with a phone switch.

General purpose computers, even with all of the support issues, save companies money. Every square foot of office space costs money. Every piece of office furniture costs money. General purpose computers are far more compact than the sum of all of the devices they replace.

With the right software and a headset you can even use your computer in place of a telephone. Marginally acceptable now, the day will probably come that softphones will be the rule on the average corporate desktop. If you think that telephone desk sets will never go away, talk to the people who sold typewriters, adding machines, small typesetters, and stand-alone word processors.

I'm not trying to be incendiary and my comments all pertain to companies with, say, 500 employees or more. I think that smaller businesses would be crazy to rely on their data network for voice traffic without a full-time IT person. I certainly won't be replacing my Partner ACS with a VoIP system at home any time in the near future.

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Companies adopt VoIP (and focus on IT) not because of a conspiracy, but because the bulk of the support staff is more comfortable with VoIP (and IT work in general) than with a phone switch.

That's exactly what we have been saying all along. Don't hire one person or retain a service company in the oft chance your old reliable (and paid for) TDM system requires attention. Scrap the whole thing for a problematic and expensive to implement VIOP solution just because your overpaid and overrated IT staff is too stupid to understand something that doesn't have a Microsoft operating system and a keyboard and monitor.

The conspiracy is in that the IT industry is much better organized and financed (read Microsoft, Cisco etc. etc.) than the telco industry. What other industry has the resources to reinvent the wheel just so their population has job security? How many geek publications are there? I would suggest hundreds, all trumpeting VIOP and many delivered weekly to corporate executive officers desks and numb nuts CIO and CTO types.

What telecom publication have you read lately? Sad to say you are reading it now...

-Hal


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The company that I work for has increased the number of Telecommunications employees at the same ratio as IT employees after converting to VoIP. We have the same service contracts with the same vendors and we use the same cable installers.

Going to VoIP does have some tangible benefits for the company, though. Some of our sites don't have any technical support staff on site. Moving phones at those sites is now a breeze: every single jack in the office (except analog ports labeled as such) is connected to a power over ethernet data switch. When people want to move around, they can move their phone and notebook PC easily. Plug in anything anywhere and it works. Our Telecommunications staff used to talk non-technical staff through moving patch cables over the phone. Now our Telecommunications people spend time on more interesting things.

I was on a trip to New Zealand a couple of years ago. I took my cell phone and a good quality USB headset to use with a softphone package installed on my notebook. I could use the softphone for free (cell rate was expen$ive) with the same voice quality as the cell. People could even call me at my extension when I was sitting in an office or hotel room in New Zealand.

Anyway, my company may not be typical but we aren't changing our Telecommunications hiring practices as a result of VoIP.

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LightningHorse sed:
It's just that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks", esp if they won't pay attention (Translation, close to retirement, whether they can afford it or not). So VOIP will sucessfully, reliably deploy, and us old dogs will be around to keep the leftovers running until they're no longer viable.

I have been paying close attention to telecommunications for a long time. In the middle 80's, when cellular was supposed to revolutionize telecom. It did, we are now all rudely having conversations that are insignificant while waiting to pay for a coke and bag of chips at the local 7-11. Cellphones have become a nusiance at best (by the folks that are NOT using them for anything important.)

By the way, on the back of my truck, a sweet sticker...Hang Up and DRIVE

VoIP may be a good thing, and may also be the way telecom is going to go, BUT, until there are many improvements to the quality and reliability of the transport medium, and until they standardize how programmers program, and until they decide will it be switching method A or B that is the adopted standard, I will stick with key systems and PBX switches.

$0.02


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Frank, let's start a Conga line, I'm following you! smile John C. (Not Garand)


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I have used * for a number of years. I have seen its issues with vm problems, tx/rx issues and other oddities. In the begginging I was excited to have the idea of selling this or anything voip but again the system needs to be nearly 100% reliable to keep my reputation. I have yet to upgrade to a newer version or the telephony cards. Now I dont think traditionally telephony systems will just disapear. We still have alot in customers installing just the telephone lines only and rarely see voip except perhaps avaya. I think both can coixist and both have there purpous.

I have my own * box and have done my share of voip telecommuting to my box and called out my telus line. It was cool that I did not have to deal with long distance roaming charges but still voip with wifi is extreemly restricted and impossible to use when constantly traveling. Both have there place and I dont think traditional pbxs will disapear.

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One thing I keep seeing in these posts about VoIP is the reliability of traditional phone service, which isn't there with VoIP. Now I don't have experience with VoIP, so I can't speak to that directly in any manner. I do have experience with our local phone service, which is anything but 100% reliable. And I certainly can complain about the call quality, which, with the recurring static and hum on our lines, is a real issue.

I'll grant you that a significant portion of our problems are related to the crappy old infrastructure in my area, but its not like the LEC will actually address these issues in any meaningful way. I've had countless vendor meets, meetings with the area cable supervisor, and some interesting conversations with Verizon's customer advocacy group.

The point of all this is this question:

Given the relative lack of call quality and number of service issues I've encountered with my traditional phone service, will I really see that much of a drop if we were using VoIP service? I mean, at this point I'm asking myself if it can really get worse than it is now. Assuming a solid network infrastructure (I can make that happen), what kinds of issues would I face in a VoIP implementation?

I am asking as I will be making a decision to replace our current phone equipment (ROLM 9751 Mod 10) and service in the upcoming months. And, yes, I do realize that the right installer is key to making any system installation successful or not. It is worth mentioning that I (network admin) will be required to do the MAC work on any system we install and will be trained to do as much.

Sorry if I'm drifting from the original topic. Bill if you want to move this to the VoIP forum or elsewhere, put it wherever you see fit.


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Can't move just a post, but I think it fits with the quality issue. The infrastructure is beyond your control. My understanding of the reliability comments are the system itself as far as up time goes. Like you I'm not experienced in VOIP so if my thoughts are wrong someone will correct me.


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Steve:

You have very valid points. A phone system is only as good as the infrastructure that serves it. Regardless of whether it's traditional copper, T1/PRI or variations of IP, if the infrastructure that delivers these services is unreliable, then no amount of equipment is going to correct it.

Sure, you can buy a car that will go 0-120 in ten seconds, but if you have nowhere you can (legally) drive it, then what's the point in having it?

VOIP has its place in today's telecommunications marketplace. There's no doubt about that point. The issue of placing the proverbial "eggs in one basket" is where the real thinking must come into play. Everyone hears "our servers are down" with regard to computers. They also hear "I have a bad cell signal where I am right now". People have become somewhat tolerant of these issues.

At the same time, these very same issues that are very commonplace with IP systems are starting to become accepted as the norm. That's just not right. I don't care what kind of operation any business is, their phones are and always will be their lifeline. The phones being down periodically and unexplicably, or monthly software patches and updates isn't acceptable in this day and age. Telephone companies strived for decades to maintain 99.999% uptime and that's the way that it should be.

Talk about drifting off-topic!


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Steve,
The best answer is that you're probably in line for a solution that can give you the best of both worlds, a hybrid application. TDM is not going to go away because it makes too much sense for the majority of users today. In house, digital sets, utilizing your existing voice cabling. Why abandon that investment? If you have multiple sites, VOIP can be a great way to tie them together for easy dialing access and to save toll charges. To me it's foolish to allow the remote sites to rely completely on VOIP because of the countless issues that can render it unusable, so I recommend building them to stand alone, but enhance it with VOIP. For remote workers, VOIP can be a great application, with analog lines or cell phones as a ready fail over solution. As I stated way back towards the beginning of this thread, we have to see where ALL new technology fits in with what we do and what our client is trying to accomplish. It's our job to determine what works and what doesn't and advise accordingly.
As for the telco infrastructure issues, now is a good time to start evaluating carriers to see who has the best service, reputation, etc. And if Verizon has crappy facilities in your area, get the PUC involved.

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Thanks guys. We are planning an office move to a relatively new area, so I'm looking forward to better facilities at that point. Fortunately we'll be consolidating the two offices that are in older areas where we've had the worst service issues. I will say that in the areas where we have new infrastructure we haven't experienced nearly the number of issues that we've seen in our older locations.

Kevhawk, that's just the approach I am considering for our new service. We have 14 locations on a private WAN (full mesh) that I was hoping to use for the interoffice communications via VoIP. I would continue the local service as PRI's or individual lines (for the smaller offices) via the LEC or CLEC. Voicemail would be centralized at the new hub location. Smaller versions of whatever phone system we select would be used at the remote sites and possibly VoIP access for home users.

When we reach implentation I'll start a new thread describing our experiences and what I've learned from the process. Right now I'm in the process of developing requirements for an RFP for the new system.


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Telephone companies strived for decades to maintain 99.999% uptime and that's the way that it should be.

Remember that old Sprint (I think) TV commercial with the pin dropping. "Voice clarity so clear you can hear a pin drop". What happened? With VoIP and cell phones you are lucky to hear the other person. Looks like striving for the best quality and marketing it has been replaced by who can provide some kind of service at the cheapest price.

Like Ed said, it just ain't right.

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Remember that old Sprint (I think) TV commercial with the pin dropping. "Voice clarity so clear you can hear a pin drop". What happened?
Hal, they've been replaced by the guy in the Verizon Wireless commercials who asks "Can you hear me now?".


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point made to me by someone while discussing VoIP (heatedly)

"In an office, phones go out, folks can still work on their computers. Computers go out, they can still do business with telephones, using paper and pencil. If the computers ARE the phone switch, both go out, folks are in suspense, and everybody looks to go home early."


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Sooooooo, Steve. Shall I be expecting your call in the near future? :dance:


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It seems like VoIP is a completely polar experience. Either it works great for you, or you die a horrible death.

Guess its one of those things with no real middle ground.

Just as a casual observation, it seems like those who are more willing to get in-depth with VoIP tend to have better experiences then those who approach it as a plug-and-play kind of deal. But the same can be said for any TDM system as well. Implementation is the key smile

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Ed, PM sent.


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just had a location install a Shoretel VoIP system and add our IVR into the mix. Our 4 port device and 1 port for fax/modem could not use more than 2 ports total. Something about how many licenses the site had purchased for analog sets.

Wow, I wonder how often these licenses will require upgrading/renewing/etc.


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Frank, did you explain BOHICA to the customer? frown John C. (Not Garand)


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Great conversation thread! I am not a telco business guy, but am the telco guy for the small manufacturing company for which I work (Northern Tel SL-1). I also support the computer network, and mostly provide manufacturing support and improvement.
Ever since I started doing anything telco (about 25 years ago, with an SL-1, a TIE key system, an Electra system) I was amazed at how primitive the programming interface was, but mostly how convoluted and spagetti like changes were (like:to enable a feature you have to make 4 changes in different places). Maybe the newer SL-1 PC interface fixes all this (I got old software on mine), but the NEC DSX-40 system I just bought (and had high hopes for it being much easier to program and talk to) has exactly the same program interface as the TIE and Electra of 20 years ago. (note: it does have a nice PC/ethernet interface so I can talk to it through a menu setup instead of a keypad!....but it is the exact same 1212-01 type programs steps menuized, not made simpler or more logical.
As far as I can tell,, all the phone system code was written way back when and it continues to be used in the same form.
Now as to IP phones; I haven't set up any, but they can emulate existing phone setup code, or make up their own setup system which I am betting will be clean and easy to program (for the good ones). Since the old style phone system mfgs have not made things easier, the new kids will ultimately do it.
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welcome , gr. Please take this bit of information in context.

[QUOTE] programs steps menuized, not made simpler or more logical.

Well, gr, logical to whom?

1) You admit you were raised on the Northern Telecom SL-1. The software is written east of the Lakes by Francophone's.....therefore it is written in a reverse thought process, like all Latin-based languages.

2) Your Oriental systems of the past (and today) are based on European telephony (as most of the electronics in the Orient). Remember, the Japanese still drive on the wrong side of the road because their auto industry started with imported English technology. These are the people that copy anything and everything, including the defects.

Simpler , for whom?

1) The only system (PBX) that I have ever worked on that was simpler (the telephony equivalent of DOS) was the original DBX by Stromberg Carlson. The software was written to match telecom grade hardware, not hardware to match the software as most computer companies that manufacturer telecom products do.

2) If you truly know telecom and it's protocols it does make sense therefore it is simple. Undoubtedly you are familiar with IP (Internet Protocol). Once you learn the TP (Telecom Protocol) and understand how your switch interfaces and interacts with the telecom network it makes a lot more sense than the "cloud" that CGs use to show the Internet.

Glad you stuck around, gr, 25 years is a long time for the computer world, but just a blink in the telephony world.

Please enjoy the board, keep your sense of humor about you, and join in with your experience.

:thumb:


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I used to be quite good at creating computer programs in Basic and Quick Basic way back when. I certainly wouldn't want to do that to program a phone system.

Early electronic key systems (what you are refering to) were quite primitive and convoluted in their programming, particularly the off-shore brands. The difficulty in understanding was made magnitudes worse because of poorly written and translated manuals.

The situation has improved with most major manufacturers as new products were introduced. Many TDM systems can easily be programmed without a PC which is the preferred method.

But now we take a giant step backward. With products such as the Avaya IPO you are back to writing code and needing a PC to make it work. That's all because it's the only thing that makes sense to the people who the systems are intended to be programmed by. puke

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I did not take the time to explain BOHICA, but, by time we complete this installation, I am sure the end-user will be "wide open".


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This is a fantastic thread!!!! I'm an old time telephone guy who has learned and is constantly learning the VOIP side of the industry. First of all let me say that I believe there will be a need for us telephony types for a very long while yet. BUT, the industry of communications is still undergoing change, and that is nothing new. From the days when crossbar switching took over from step offices and then gave way to ESS Switching to todays evolution to VOIP.

In 1977 I sat in a conference room in Basking Ridge, New Jersey and listened to a guy named Arch Mcgill (THE architect of divestiture) talk about the worlds of telephone and data going through something then called convergence. Since that meeting I have watched this as it has unfolded and I am excited and thrilled to have been a part of that and to continue to be a part of it.

Our little midwest company started doing Voice over Frame Relay when MCI said that they would NEVER support THAT technology!! Then,, 11 years ago we began communicating with our branch offices using VOIP provided through the use of Multitech VOIP boxes. Today we sell and maintain BOTH "legacy" PBX's AND VOIP Systems.

I have a lot more that I'd like to say about our converging industries, but I have already gone on for far too long. I'll finish by saying, there is room for ALL of us and a LOT we each lear about the others world, it's exciting!!!

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Am I alone in thinking that the programming interface should do the work of identifying cross-dependancies for you? Most systems pretty much do that in the feature document as the last lines (as; related features, or required features/settings). So, these interactions should be available at least as a pop-up in the programming window, and for sure as a warning if a feature won't work at all unless other features are turned on. With the current horsepower of the PC it would be rather easy to do this kind of interface.(old equipment at least has the excuse that the memory and cpu power were not available.

And thats why I think IP phones will prevail for a whole lot of installations; some will come out with much easier system setup (and yes this means a lot of users/IT guys will be able to set up and maintain a phone system).
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grief, you are sounding like a CG wanting phone systems to match your knowledge/skills/desires

maybe THIS is why an experienced phone guy is worth more than a CG. (though most IT guys will argue this point)


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Greif,considering the cross-dependencies that can occur in the fantastic TDM systems being deployed today, I suspect you are looking at a program that will occupy 1 and possibly 2 CD's, ZIPPED. This thing would have to read the entire system program EVERY time you made a change. Real time programming would not be an option. Download, modify, look for things that interact and how, fix the interactions as needed, look for the new interactions, fix as needed, look for the new interactions, fix as needed, ad nauseum! This is where the human brain and experience outdo the 'wonderous capabilities' of the computer! John C. (Not Garand)


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Am I alone in thinking that the programming interface should do the work of identifying cross-dependancies for you? Most systems pretty much do that in the feature document as the last lines (as; related features, or required features/settings). So, these interactions should be available at least as a pop-up in the programming window, and for sure as a warning if a feature won't work at all unless other features are turned on.

Yes you are alone. What you are talking about is called training and experience. In short-knowledge of the product or system. A GUI could handle the mundane user level functions for an end user as they do now but it could never make complex configurations simple for someone without training.

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Well put, Hal. :thumb:


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The ability for a program to check itself for dependencies is not as intensive as you all make it sound. It's usually a fairly small piece of code that just checks the "big picture" items and spits out an error message telling you which items aren't enabled/etc.

The harder part is having the engineers spend the time in order to determine what the actual dependencies are. This involves code audits and regression testing that may or may not be part of their normal development cycle. Plus the management may decide that such a use of the R&D budget is not profitable because the system programming is to be done by installers that will have learned the dependencies either by trial and error or certification.

The other issue is like hal said, there is no real way to verify a complex dialplan/programming. This gets even more difficult if not impossible by VoIP systems that are capable of higher levels of integration beyond just SIP/TDM endpoints.

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re: grief, you are sounding like a CG wanting phone systems to match your knowledge/skills/desires


Well, I would guess this is partly true. But in learning to program for new systems (robotics controllers, custom equipment,various computer scripts, etc) it has been easier for me to get up to speed than with phone systems (despite the fact that the phone system manual were usually much more complete and sometimes better).

I seem to hear a lot of tone (here) "that phone systems are our bailiwick and all others must use us". That did not work well for the early mainframe computer guys, and in the long term computers and phones will merge more and more.

This is certainly a lively subject!

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Well I have been in the forum for two whole days now so it’s time to throw some potatoes in the soup.

From everything I have read on this post, you are all right.

I work on/with the larger commercial systems that Avaya makes. I started here working on a lightening hit AT&T Dimension 2000. I had about 2500 stations then. I have seen a lot of changes through the years like you guys have.

About a year ago I went to the new servers for processors (S 8710’s). I sounded so much like most of you about them. My old G3R only had about a 99.999 runtime and mine was actually better than that. So why the hell would I want anything IP related little lone depend on them to process calls in my PBX? It is the way the industry is moving. Is it better? That’s a tuff one. At this point I would have to say the servers are working well and Avaya “Claims” the same 99.999 runtime. I am not sure about that one, but it’s probably not far off.

For VoIP, I think it is still not near where it should be to depend on it. In my environment (a hospital) it is not something that I would place a patient’s life on it. And here it could very well happen. From all that I have taken in about it, the only true saving is the trunking. By the time you rebuild your infrastructure up to meet the VoIP requirements, you have lost money that it will never save you. And I also don’t like have the “All your eggs in one basket” scenario either. Again here I can’t or someone could die. Although a lot of hospitals have gone with all IP solutions. Maybe the old AT&T phone guys that taught me years ago have me thinking the same way most of you do, I don’t know.

To me VoIP is like ISDN was. In the beginning ISDN meant I Still Don’t Know. Now it’s everywhere, a tried and proven technology. But VoIP is coming, but still a babe IMO. This is where us old guys are going to have to cable and hook up everything for these kids so their stuff will actually work.


Don’t try this at home kids, I am a professional..


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Originally posted by RATHER BE FISHING:
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Originally posted by liquidvw:
[b]
Quote
Same feelings on VoIP trunking. Sure, you may save a few pennies on calls, but as Frank_DaFoneguy so gracefully put, the reliability is not there.
Not true on a private network. There are many ways to do VOIP, on a private network say MPLS or via the public network, the internet. The company I manage moves all its voice traffic on a private MPLS newtwork. The savings in over $200K per year. Call quatily on the MPLS is better that the PSTN IMO.
LiquidVW is correct. An MPLS managed network is probably the most stable platform between multiple sites that is available today. There is hard and soft redundancy built in so there is no single point of failure. A customer site of ours that has 23 locations with 300 lines received enough savings to pay for new premise equipment at all locations via monthly lease. 24/7 monitoring at data centers insures some serious uptime. Chances are issues are fixed before you know there are problems. Not everyone can afford to play in this arena however. VoIP over anything other than truly managed bandwidth is idiotic. [/b]
Well said. There is a HUGE difference between VoIP carrier services and hardware managed VoIP internal systems. If you want to run your small business on vonage or an equivalent, good luck with that. You WILL get service calls, and it's not worth it.

If you want to put together a solid VoIP solution that takes the best features from traditional telephony and throws in some new cool features, it most certainly can be done.

I see a definite need for our techs to become cross trained in data services. Voice is becoming data whether we like it or not, so we have bought a data company with competent data techs to assist us. We will cross train their techs in voice, and they will cross train ours in data.

Amazing how much they resist though. Data guys don't want to touch traditional voice, and voice guys don't like data. Those who don't adapt will be stuck servicing legacy equipment until it disappears IMHO.

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I have reread this thread a few times, and YES, this has been one well-discussed topic for several weeks now, with input from ALL sides.

VoIP is in currently its infant stages. If any of you can recall cellular, beginning in the early to late 80's for most cities connected at present, it has evolved a long long way.

The 333 channel 800Mhz "cellular" system has long-ago progressed into the high frequency PCS phones we use today. Cellular required a large power supply to support its 3 watt tansmitter, battery powered phones had about 15 minutes talk time before you recharged them overnight, mobile phones required your automobile's electrical system to support them.

Today, we have PCS, low powered high-frequency portable long-range phones, and it is the current evolutionary point in personal communication.

For the past 25-30 years, we have all been guilty of throwing thousands of dollars at technology for its benefits, only to have it superceded, sometimes within mere months, by the next latest and greatest thing on the market.

Yes, VoIP will have a place in our culture.
Yes, VoIP will eventually be the infrastructure used to transport voice telephone calls.
Yes, computer guys will eventually be our phone guys.
No, it is not going to happen in the next 5 years.

I do feel for the folks that are currently shelling out thousands for NEW VoIP phone systems. Myself, I would never buy the first three grenerations of any new technology. Hell, I did not get a CD player until 1996.


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Frank, I still have a blinking VCR. But, your summary of the wide ranging commentary (Whoa, several big word word so far!) is right on. I think an corollary of where VOIP is headed is Nortel's BCM. Look at Marty's list of upgrades,notices, warnings, etc., on his web sight. I think that is where VOIP will be going for the next half-dozen or so years. The thread has been really interesting and hopefully it will draw more comments from different points of view! John C. (Not Garand)


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How many techs have systems in where they don't hear from a client for years and then get call for additions,upgrade,etc. If you put in new voip, you can keep up with client on a monthly basis just adding patchs,checking on gateways etc.The billable hours are incredible,the customer will treat phone system like his computer and expect downtime,our hourly rate will double.-------Our satisfaction in well done jobs will fall but what the hell were earning big bucks.Enough patchs and you have a quilt.--John

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Originally posted by jacktel:
...the customer will treat phone system like his computer and expect downtime...
But should they HAVE to?

It's like a car that looks wicked cool, and everyone oooh's and ahhh's at it, but sometimes when you hit the brakes your windshield wipers come on, the horn honks, or the entire transmission falls out. Aw heck... it's just a little "downtime."

Stability SHOULD be a MUST.


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The thing that concerns me is that, with telephone equipment manufacturers dropping TDM systems in favor of hybrid and flat out VOIP systems, small businesses are steadily losing telephone systems to choose from.

Using Avaya as an example; The Merlin Magix was retired in 2006 and the Partner ACS is slated to end in 2010. Once new Partner hardware is gone, all that will be left is refurbished. The other alternative would be to look at another manufacturer.

While a hybrid can mimic a TDM, the cost of the hardware, in many cases, puts it out of the reach of many small businesses.


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so it sounds as though evolution is progressing, BUT....

But, will the infrastructure be ready, if so, when

But, will reliability be at a comfortable level

But, will end users continue to purchase patches and require fixes for the software control

But, will the equipment be superceded in weeks, months, years due to the steady progression from step 1

But, will the standard hourly charges DROP like they did for CGs? (I recall they used to be able to bill "more" than phone guys)

I guess my reluctance to embrace a new technology until it is a stable and consistent entity is my reluctance to embrace VoIP. Did you buy 8-tracks? quickly replaced by cassette, replaced by cd, soon to be replaced by mp3. By my estimate, I have bought the same "album" by Neil Young 5 times, once in each format, I am tired up temporary upgrades.

Will VoIP be a temporary upgrade until they come up with something "bigger and better"?

(hmmmmm, maybe the topic for the NEXT rant)


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From where I stand, there will always be small TDM systems, but they'll be aimed at the do it yourself business owner, who will arrive as 'the phone guy' leaves, if you get my convoluted expressions. John C. (Not Garand)


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As I sit here working on a pair of Motel system quotes, I'm wondering what small TDM is. Do you think I could sell them a handful of SIP phones and a box? When the guest checks in, they're handed a phone with the room number on it and.....

The phone is just a box that's required in most corporate motels. It's cheap communication to the rooms, but I can't think of the last time I used a motel room phone for anything but toll free or room calling and maybe a "free local call". Other than that, I grab my cell phone.
I also expect the quality of cell calls to be less that a real phone. If I pick up that room phone, I expect it to work 100% of the time. My Time Worthless internet service isn't that reliable, or do you suppose the "No such host" errors on my email client or my Packet8 "I can't hear you" errors is just a little "downtime?"


If I need a room built on my house, I don't go the the lumber company, buy the materials, and build it, I call a carpenter. The same with a plumber, heating contractor, or mechanic. Why would a businessman install his own phone system?

The last consumer Panasonic systems I install, I put the maintenance console on the customer's computer. Do you think they bother to make their own changes? They can barely understand CSV files, let alone edit them.

On the other side of the coin, why would I have my attorney do my bookkeeping? My services, by market, are priced about the same as an electrician and less than the CG. Yeah, I could charge more, but I like to eat. That means I pull a lot of cable at prevailing rates, and work like a CG for less than prevailing, but them's the breaks.

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Up until this past weekend 9/8/, 9/9, my answer to customers asking about VoIP is the technology is not all there. Yes it works but there are flaws. Over the weekend we were told my NEC and others at an technology seminar that the problems VoIP are or were having is getting corrected at a accelerated pace. We were also told if we were not involed in IT than we better start. This was a eye opener more so than these past few years.

TDM will be around for some time yet but VoIP it is now coming faster than originaly thought.


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A managed VOIP application makes sense for companies with multiple locations.

By managed I mean install a T1 or DS3 circuit to a router of some kind and have the applications managed by on-staff personel and trained IT people from the service providing company.

The problem is small companies can't afford such services (T1 loop charges alone would be enough to end any thoughts of going that route. DS3 loop charges are worse).

These companies will be forced to choose between a dwindling supply of TDM equipment or go with unmanaged VOIP service providers until the price of VOIP hardware as well as loop charges come way down.

I just don't see either of those things happening anytime soon.


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if you are not involved in IT, you better "start"?
This confuses me.

15-20 years ago, the phone guys were getting all the IT business. "Hey, can you run me some network cables?" was a fairly common phrase. Most of us, I know I did, expanded to where we took on some of the IT stuff. Maybe not placing PC's on desks, but hubs, switches, routers, etc all were part of the cable infrastructure that made up the phone guy's side of IT.

As Y2K sucked all the dollars out of IT at the tail end of the 20th century, and it was apparent the dollars would not be back for a few years, the smart guys did not accept working for lower wages and continued to provide QUALITY telephone service and installation and our wages have continued to climb.

IT techs, network techs, and lotsa computer guys all accept the market has changed, and the $60-100K yr jobs slowly have migrated down to $20-50K. The years of experience are slowly dwindling to techs that can get the job done, but have no real base for theory and practice of how the compnents interact and communicate. They are not techs, they are parts changers.

This thread has been lively, and I do enjoy the many voices and opinions.

Phone Guys rule, computer techs are unix!


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I remember installing my first ARC net Cable job or converting An IBM coax system over to 4 pr. in 500,000 ft new plant, and how about installing thinnet coax before those. I also remember sweating over the bids and holding my breath untill all the green lights came on. Franks right about phone guys and IT type cable,hub,switch and router work.

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One thing that seems to slide back and forth with no real differentiation is exactly what someone means when they use the term VoIP. This always presents a somewhat interesting challenge to figure out in what capacity someone means VoIP.

I think that most of you here mean VoIP as in SIP across the public internet. The bigger problem here is not completely VoIP but more that the network that this method of VoIP is riding over is not capable of providing the QoS and SLA needed. Everyone knows these reasons and i'm not going to beat a dead horse here.

VoIP in a controlled network environment (just like the PSTN network) is just as reliable. VoIP and TDM are only as good as the switch they connect to. VoIP and TDM are only as good as the network they travel. VoIP and TDM are only as good as the software and hardware they run on. Logically we are not comparing apples to oranges but comparing an Orange to a Tangerine. Unfortunately there are more IT then Phone guys and therefore people with little to no experience with cabling systems or network design get designated to do so and only have the marketing they read telling them what they want. Silly consumers.

Telco switches do not have a consumer market, and therefore do not suffer from consumer woes. If no-name chinese offshoots made PSTN switches how stable do you think that network would be? Obviously not very. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you want to look at it) the VoIP arena does have a consumer market, and hence, consumer woe's. It is being flooded with hack-job hardware and software in a "First to Market" attempt.

Has anyone looked at the VoIP angle from the manufacturer's and telco's point of view?

Now i'm sure someone will correct me, but is a Internet-Based VoIP or PSTN-Based service easier for the telco to provide? All they need to provide the customer is a data jack (read: DSL). No porting (termination done in some magic POP somewhere), no need to roll a truck to turn up an extra line or two, Changes and features are instantaneous, No need to run seperate copper for voice or data, and the internet (which you have assets in) already exists.

The Telco's are already doing something similar with SS7 by using D-Channels to dynamically determine switch circuit routing paths instead of static paths. DNS operates on the same principle.

I've already stated that I think it's cheaper for the commercial vendors to develop IP PBX's because of the vast majority of development tools out there for PC's. Are there more updates for an IP-PBX because it's that much less stable? Or because you dont need hardware changes or large production investments to change the system (Like older TDM systems). How many bugs have you found in your PBX Hardware that wouldn't be fixed because not enough people complained? If you say none because the hand of god came down and touched your hardware then either you dont know it's there or are lying smile

Now all that being said, VoIP software is still lacking stability and robustness. But then again, it's also the youngest thing out there. TDM Phone systems do the same thing with a V.1.0 but the primary difference is the vendor's keep it at V.1.0 (short of a major bug) for a few years making everyone get used to it's quirk and recouping costs before releasing an updated version as a completely different product. An old AT&T Partner and a Lucent ACS are essentially the same design, but with different updates, making one not necessarily work with the other. Other then the corporate buy-out, did it really take them that long to develop, test, etc the hardware design from a Partner to an ACS?

VoIP will be prime-time soon enough. The telco's are providing better provisioning, the commercial vendor's are scaling it up and TDM down, the marketting is going after it, and it truly does have some promise if you can look past today.

If I argue anything I argue for ambiguity. I still say the Internet and PSTN will merge to a point that it becomes the "PSTiNet" and no one really knows what they ride over.

Ohh yeah, I made post #100. I win! smile

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Kumba -

I agree with you about much of what you said, but i have to take exception to one thing.

My main issue with VOIP is that it is not as reliable as TDM and it never will be.

The problem is the Internet itself.

When I call my brother in California, my call steps up through the "pyramid" of exchanges going from my local Class 5 CO on the base of the pyramid perhaps all the way up to a Class 1 CO at the tip. Then it steps its way back down to a Class 5 CO in Orange County. When the circuit is established I have a dedicated circuit that is all mine (it may be a channel on a T - but it's MY channel). That circuit is all mine for the duration of the call and is only broken down upon disconnect. As a result, the maximum bandwidth available to me is only 56 or 64K but I've got all of that to myself.

What's wrong with that scenario from a military perspective?

Well, let's say a Class 2 office (and there aren't too many of those!)is in Sheboygen and the Russians find out about it. Prior to launching WWIII they explode a small thermonuclear device over Sheboygen. Now I can call the Bronx or Westchester, but I may not be able to call DC or certainly not Cheyenne Mountain.

Unacceptable to the DOD and the Pentagon.

It was too late for the government to redesign the telephone network (they tried to an extent with AUTOVON - but that's another thread), but it wasn't too late to start fresh with this brand new DATA network (Arpanet) that was being developed. As a result the Internet was designed that if I want to "place a data call" to someone in California, my router sends out packets not just on one route, but on MULTIPLE SIMULTANEOUS routes. This way if Sheboygen gets nuked the call will still get through.

It won't get through with the same immediacy as a voice call, but it will eventually get through and it has the potential for a heck of a lot more bandwidth then a voice call.

This is great for data but it SUCKS for voice. Voice requires low bandwidth and high immediacy (is that a real word?)Data requires high bandwidth but not necessarily high immediacy.

When you put Voice over the Internet (NOT an INTRANET - the Internet)how do you guarantee immediacy? You can't. Sometimes the call will go through perfectly and sometimes it won't.

I took my CCNA and Cisco VOIP classes and I learned all the tricks you can try - but none of them are guaranteed once you hit the cloud.

That's the way the darn cloud was designed! Randomness! Keep America safe from the Commie Attack.

Which is why I think VOIP will always be a second class phone service.

That doesn't mean it won't take over, shoot - manual elevators with real operators beat the pants off automatic elevators for a whole host of reasons - and how many elevator operators do you see these days?


Sorry for the Rant, but this stuff makes me nuts.


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I am with you on pretty much everything you said.

I agree that the internet in it's current form can not reliably offer phone service.

I think we can also agree to disagree in that you don't believe the internet will ever be able to offer the QoS and I believe that it eventually will through additions or changes to it's fundamental protocol's. Guess we will just have to hurry up and wait to see smile

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Kumba -

I hope you're right - because it looks like VOIP is coming - ready or not. And if it is, I'd rather it work than not.

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I've tried to keep out of this discussion but I feel the need to slap another couple of pennies on the table like everyone else.

First off, Dexman... If you have ever priced out an average sized Magix(using new equipment prices before the line was dumped) and compared it to the same size IP Office you would find that both systems are VERY similar in price. So the whole thought that these new generation of switches are going to kill the smalller business is just plain silly.

As for VOIP in general, it's been covered repeatedly by several people that no, the public Internet is not ready for wide spread VOIP deployment. That doesn't mean VOIP isn't ready for prime time. Every technology has it's usefull place. The problem is some people just think in "buzz words" VOIP is either the greatest or it's the worst thing invented depending on who you are talking to.

There are several sides of "VOIP". VOIP over any segment of an unmanaged network (ie: the Internet) is of course a crap shoot on reliability and/or quality.

VOIP in an office with users on a managed network be can be MORE reliable than standard TDM phones in certain situations. The "limitations" that Sam mentioned above are also an asset with the proper network. This "managed network" can be a single office area, multiple floors, or multiple offices scattered across town or across the world. It also doesn't take thousands and thousands of dollars and fulltime IT departments to deploy a good network for VOIP. The need for money and personel to manage a network utilizing VOIP isn't much different than what it would take to manage a "data" only network plus TDM phone system. The more users involved with either technology, the more people and money you need.

Then you have VOIP service providers. These can be the "Vonage"'s of the world, or it can be AT&T, XO, Cbeyond, etc. Services that provide "lines" via the Internet will have the same problems people complain about quality etc, but the LECs and CLECs that are now offering VOIP services can provide you with greater flexability for normally less money than other traditional transport methods with the same reliability and quality(which is still covered by the same regualations as TDM based services)

So like it or not VOIP is here to stay and if you don't want anything to do with VOIP, you are only limiting yourself. There are plenty of good places for VOIP to be deployed to provide services that TDM based options are either impossible or cost prohibitive.

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Both Kumba and IPOfficeguy are right about VOIP being practical and usable on an Intranet. In certain applications it makes a lot of sense and is actually a rather slick application of resources.

I think the anger and bitterness that a lot of the folks here feel is because of their experiences with office managers/IT guys/corporate principals who don't have a clue - but want VOIP!

Come in to a guys office. It's already prewired with a CAT3 & a CAT 5E jack to each desk. He's got one floor in a building and no other space. He wants VOIP. Why? "Because it's better".

I started in this business before Interconnect was allowed. When you were finally allowed to put your own phones in you could have different colors! You could have MOH! You had more choices than just a monitor board, a plug board or a Stepper. You could OWN your own phones, pay them off, depreciate them and buy new technology when you wanted it. You could actually transfer outgoing calls! You didn't have to pay extra (and monthly!) for features that came free like wink-hold. And on and on and on.....

The folks on this board have built this industry up, sometimes fighting tooth and nail against a monolithic entity that pulled all kinds of dirty tricks trying to shut them down.

And they succeeded. They built an industry that is second to none. And now they see it starting to come unravelled by something that is arguably (at least for the moment) a niche product that is being touted as a "one size fits all" solution.

That's why they're pissed.


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It is the "knowledge" arrogance of the IT world. I had an IT guy call last night during my wife's birthday dinner because he couldn't figure out how to patch a fiber connection. I'll run by Monday and hook up two fibers for him....at a charge. Give them some mumbo jumbo to prattle about and they do okay.....add sweat and they run and hide.

Now, again, an IPO would be a waste of resources for the majority of my market....a Comdial Executech that has worked for 20 years is considered "overkill". When they do buy new it is not ViOP. Their "IT" guy is their cousin Marvin's 12 year old pimple-faced AV geek.

A real horror story....IPOguy will love this one.
The contractor to install was a West Coast type, the deployment was over a month behind, said their in-house network wouldn't support the "new" system, change order for more cabling for a new "phone" infrastructure, (more $$$$) the Westy spent more time checking the typing pool than the trunk pool, got booted, and the contracted trainer was training the users for another brand/system, the receptionist was supposed to get "factory" training for three days and an on-site tech to assist her on the opening day and first week of service. Didn't happen. IT might know how to manage a network but not a system cut-over.

This local headquartered company just went VoIP .... a real step backwards.....now this location answers calls for all five branches, not just the one local HQ (look at the money saved!!!!!)....one call at a time, not the five or six at once like with the old TDM. The touch screen is always down....finally they put a "real phone" on the receptionists' desk, and it won't reset half the time. Dropping your best overseas customer five times doesn't make too many people happy. When the IT lady who I had warned got called into her boss' office, well, she still has a job....barely.

Would they do it again? Probably not. The cost of ownership went way up, not just the hardware but the networks and monthly costs. As an employee owned company the head shed has a lot of explaining to do to the stockholders.....the employees who have to use this system. It cut their bonuses and % of COL increases on their pay checks. Even the lowest paid janitor feels the cost of this mess in his paycheck every week.

This is the second time snake oil sales people sucked up the little work available other than the small (two - three person) office market around here....and the ones who get it are not local, not even to the metro area. Always some "Internet wonders".

Boy, do I feel better? No, but now maybe, just maybe, someone out there will think twice before jumping into something that could cost them their job or their company their business. Either way the welfare line begins here.


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Ipofficeguy,

The cost of IP equipment puts it in roughly the same ballpark as new Merlin Magix. I say roughly because, for example, the cost of an Avaya 2420 is far above & beyond the cost of a Magix 4424LD+

Now compare the cost of IP hardware to Partner ACS and there is a difference.

Add in the cost of local loop charges and you've just priced IP service outside the small guy's reach, unless he goes with a service provider like Vonage which uses the public Internet to carry traffic.

My point is, if you are talking about a company with dozens of employees and/or multiple locations then, yes, a Managed Service application would be a good fit. That's not the case when dealing with small "mom & pop" shops who might have 1, 2 or 3 telephone lines.


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The 2420 is also more expensive than the 5420 that looks just like it and is for IPO only. To be fair, the 4400 series phones are also compatible with IPO with the exception of the 4424LD+.

Loop charges are the same for for any system. VOIP services are already out there saving lots of people money. XO and Cbeyond and others offer a package of 6-8+ lines plus "flex" T-1 data service for less than the average LEC cost for the same thing. Those 6-8+ lines come to the customer via VOIP and terminate as standard analog lines or PRI to the customer equipment.

"mom and pop" shops have no business running a Magix OR an IPO was my point. When the IPO was first introduced to us Americans as an Avaya product, they were more expensive than what was out there. The price has dropped ever since. Now it is in the same price range as the Magix it was meant to replace.

For the small companies with just a few lines and phones, the Partner and other comparable key systems are the perfect fit. Yes Avaya is planning on dumping it soon but they are already planning for the replacement. The One-X quick edition. The dreaded VOIP machine. It already has about the same capacity as a Partner but so far the price isn't there yet. I feel pretty confident that they will get the price low enough in the future to be a viable replacement for the Partner.

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The One-X, if I understand correctly, does not expand out as far as the Partner ACS and has a very basic auto attendant.

At this point, I'm willing to wrap up by simply agreeing to disagree. smile


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Fair enough. Like I said, the One-X isn't quite a suitable replacement, YET. It will expand to close the same capacity and since it uses phones that are compatible with larger systems, it gives people an upgrade path. Anyone using a Partner with more than 20-30 extensions should be using a larger system anyway.

but since this is straying off topic, I'll shut up now too. wink

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To keep everything on topic.... Is voip an attempt to steal phone tech work? My answer is NO. It's just another option for us to use to help the customer. If you don't have it in your "arsenal" of options for your customers, then you are GIVING your work away.

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Quote
Originally posted by ipofficeguy:
To keep everything on topic.... Is voip an attempt to steal phone tech work? My answer is NO. It's just another option for us to use to help the customer. If you don't have it in your "arsenal" of options for your customers, then you are GIVING your work away.
So, either the phone guys jump on-board with VoIP or give away your work to someone that will? I tried that line with my first wife, she said find someone new.

Maybe, in 10-20 years, VoIP and VoIP compatible telephone systems will have matured enough to be reliable and worthy of trust.

Maybe it is me, but, I refuse to buy version 1.0 of anything!


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Work is there. People are paying to get VoIP installed. You do not sell VoIP. What is it that you are infact doing if not giving up work? If you choose to make that decision then more power to you. To each his own.

I don't have the luxury of voluntarily giving up work therefore I will try to provide the best service I can to a customer. If what the customer wants it not the best fit I will dutifully try to explain to them why it is not a good solution and stress that it might not work. If they still refuse to listen to reason then let them know you will install it at their own peril. You dont guarantee it to function correctly and all call-backs are billable (within reason).

We are paid to consult the customer and install what they want. We inform them of their options and let them decide on their course of action. If you tell a customer that if you install something they will be hit in the head everyday with a 2x4 with protruding nail, and stress that fact, and they still pay you to install it, then install the damn thing. You cant fix people's stupidity or stubbornness.

VoIP is not stealing work it is another option. Granted it's an option that is new and you will have to learn. 25 years of TDM phone systems wont prepare you much for VoIP if you've never looked at the computer network side of things.

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Great to hear the stories out there on this. Does anyone here focus on hosted IP PBX? I have not had any clients with positive experiences so far unless all locations were connected MPLS via fiber.

I personally tried a hosted web based service for awhile, but the quality just wasn't there. They seem to pop up everywhere, but can't imagine why I'd ever recommend a solution like that until they can prove they'll be around for awhile....

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Telephone Guru, Your question might end up needing it's own topic started but there is only one scenario that I would even possibly consider a hosted PBX solution.

That being a very small start up company that wants to give the impression of being larger than they really are and where they have 2-5 people working from their home with no real office yet. This would allow them to have some of the functions a real PBX offers without the larger investment in equipment until they are ready for such a purchase or lease.

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Frank,
Kumba summed it up pretty well. If you have a customer or potential customer that actually NEEDS a VOIP solution (which IS rare I admit) and you are not able to offer them what they need, then yes your are giving away work to someone who can offer what that customer needs.

Every other situation where customers think they WANT voip in some form or the other, you have 3 choices. Give them what they think they want, show them a different solution that may or may not involve voip, or walk away.

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How many of you spent thousands to buy an 80's model cell phone? Spent another few hundred for labor to have it moved between vehicles? Replaced it every few years as new technology, retail discounts, and programmed obsolecense(sp) took control of your technology budget?

Twenty plus years after the initial cellular calls were made in the USA, the technology is still evolving, and we replace our toys at regular intervals. Telephone, the wired kind, have been a constant for a good part of recent history. That stability is what made AT&T the giant it could grow in to. The capacity to control the market, and the equipment to be used for interconnection.

We could still be beating on rocks with sticks, sending smoke signals, pulling a string tight between two tin cans, etc, but, Mr Bell received a patent for a technology that has metamorphisized, but remained constant. Wired telephone is near the end of its life span, that is a given. As technology moves on, yes, in much the way we went from 2 pair key systems into the digital single pair systems, the wires will no longer be required.

Switching methods will advance, transmission means will progress, wireless has more practicality than wired comm over VoIP.


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I cannot see wireless succeeding in replacing wired systems any more that I can see VOIP systems replacing TDM systems. The free frequency space just isn't there! And I would expect the TDM system manufacturers to reach common ground on basic platforms like PC manufacturers have, although I hope that is NOT because of a Microsoft style monopoly. And I agree regarding the never buy release 1.0 of anything. Look at VISTA, NT BCM 50, and on and on. John C. (Not Garand)


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Great topic! My 2 cents goes something like this. I dont see alot of companies large or small needing any VoIP solution especially with the versatility of the PBX systems of today. Its not me that brings up VoIP in meetings with prospected customers, it is the customer themselves. In the last few years, Ive been installing more and more "hybrid" systems and from what I see, bring it on. How much does a company benefit by having their receptionist working from home when their child is sick? Inter-office dialing over VoIP networked pbx's has saved thousands of dollars for some of my customers. Business trips are way more "business" with a soft phone on your laptop. Although the need for improvement is there, the benefits are already out-weighing the downfalls. If your customer base hasn't pushed you towards VoIP already, its only a matter of time.

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Originally posted by KDL “IT might know how to manage a network but not a system cut-over.”

I couldn’t agree more. I saw it 1st hand. No testing. No communication with the users. The mindset was “Whatever is in the computer must be right and I bought the system so I know what the end user needs.” Unfortunately neither are true. Could be that "knowledge arrogance" that KDL mentioned.


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Nothing is more satisfying than watching a customer get punished by showing their disloyalty by dumping your great service over the years for the promise of a super "IP phone system". Like Cisco. In every case so far the company has been miserable with their decision. One account we lost downtown - a large auto dealer - bought Cisco and the installing firm never has got it right. When you call them at night it answers with 'Thank you for calling' about 30x times then hangs up. Guess they got their 140k worth LOL. Their old Samsung key system at least worked right.

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I think what it is more than anything is a skill set the IT guy simply doesn't have for the most part. They, the IT guy, thinks that if they get enough manuals and can herd someone on the phone for days at a time they can do it. Unfortunately these same IT guys, whoafully undertrained for even an IT position, are put in charge of everything electronic because most of the bean counters and decision makers haven't a clue about computers or phones.

The question I would ask business owners is WHY you would entrust your business, and I mean critical business decisions, to a person that can barely balance a check book and you probably only pay minimum wage to.

See, I actually went to college for IT...well actually programming but I have been using and working on code and computers for quite some time. It amazes me how many times that "I" the phone vendor gets called in to fix stupid level zero and one issues with someones network which isn't even my business.

Until the computer sector gets their collective heads outa their asses and demands these people get properly trained for even IT jobs (not simply MS certs...quite a joke IMHO) but REAL training so they can actually manage and fix network issues...VOIP simply will never work properly on a large scale.

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Here! Here! Coral, you have a deep understanding of the IT world and the "Real" world.

Local college, teaches IT, calls, IT guy having problem with wireless points on the network. Wants to add "that blue wire" so that they can add another POE unit to "add more power to the network to make it work better". OKAY?!?

Hey, it is time and material, fourth floor. Old brick 4 story buildings. Brick interior walls. Look the job over. "Do you really need this here?" "No." "Okay, we'll get started." We added 30' of cable, turned the wireless point to extend down the hall, not at the wall. Signal great now. Ran 70' from the closet through a wall and placed the new wireless point where it covered the other hall. Great signal. No need for a new POE injector. Just place the equipment properly. IT guy thinks we walk on water. No, common sense says radio doesn't work through brick walls, signals travel down halls.

IT is in charge of phone and IT and has six people, yet no one could figure out the basics. My associate looked, figured it out in minutes, and we fixed it right then and there.....

Oh, well, it pays the bills. laugh


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And when it's hard to refrain from laughing out loud, just remember,1 way or another, you're paying the guy's salary. Or, someone just like him, somewhere! frown I'm sorry, I probably ruined everyones' Sunday. John C. (Not Garand)


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I work with a bunch of IT guys now because cables and wires and that dreaded slate/white pair scares them. Evidently i'm also the resident VoIP expert which is scary because suppositively one of the guys is a CCNE. I guess VoIP ethernet packets are a completely different beast then any other RDP ethernet packet. We had a nice discussion at length about why QoS is important.

I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of these pedigree's (certificates) are nothing more then a way to certify false confidence and incompetence. Atleast on the M$ side of things with is 80% of everything you will deal with.

Atleast on the Linux and OpenSource side of things the competency level usually goes way up. Chances are they still will be mystified by that white/slate pair tho.

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Kumba, sounds like you may be able to write your own ticket for life. I'm jealous! frown John C. (Not Garand)


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Atleast until the next snake oil salesman roles into town.

But any business has it's lesser desirables. The IT side just seems to have more certificates then qualifications it seems.

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I am seeing a pattern of voice techs being very wary of learning data, and vice versa.

I think it will take some time to have the workforce move with the changes. Data guys seem better equipped to troubleshoot IP systems right now. I wouldn't put in an IP system without a data guy available. There are just way too many things that can go wrong on a data network to affect voice quality.

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Quote
Originally posted by Telephone Guru:
I am seeing a pattern of voice techs being very wary of learning data, and vice versa.

I think it will take some time to have the workforce move with the changes. Data guys seem better equipped to troubleshoot IP systems right now. I wouldn't put in an IP system without a data guy available. There are just way too many things that can go wrong on a data network to affect voice quality.
I agree, but MOST IT guys hold certs on windows...and thats it. Topology and IP networking are beyond them...totally. Start talking about VLANS and QoS and you start to see their eyes gloss over. Start talking about NAT tranversal issues the same. VOIP is a great buzzword, and IF the network is setup properly WITH the proper (non-mixed) equipment it will serve you well. The problem is MOST networks aren't even close to being ready for it...the problem is they don't percieve the problem cause "internet exploder" is working just fine and dandy.

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Old telephone guys/gals... I am one of you too. Do I feel like I am being edged out of the telephony business by computer and networking pro's? You bet. Yes, VoIP is the "buzz". Yes it makes sense in certain applications and no it is not for everyone. But here's the irony of the situation. In the face of adversity comes opportunity. So, the good news is that while some clients are rushing out to get the latest in "gotta have" VoIP gear they are discarding perfectly good, and in many cases, reliable, feature robust legacy telephony systems, many of which are available at unbelievably low prices. So, here is our challenge... to convince our clients that we can sufficiently meet their telecom needs with legacy gear and we can do so to their advantage. Obviously this has the potential to be a better value proposition for small to medium sized businesses. We have to become better consultants to our customers and more effective communicators of this value proposition. The ride is not over for legacy systems yet. It is up to us to leverage the pitfalls of VoIP solutions in circumstances where it makes sense to do so and to bow out where it doesn't. Finally, it is up to us as true solutions consultants to learn new technologies and know when it is appropriate to apply them. This is just my humble opinion. RFC phones@biz

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But it is deeper than that! I knew this was coming so did my CCNA, I then went to work for a company that did IT and voice and for about 5 years all was ok. They then started doing a VoIP solution and decided that the IT techs could do the phone work so made me redundant! Funny thing was, I was more qualified in IT than any of their employees and just one week after I was made redundant, I was called back in as a contractor on about 3 times the hourly rate (I knew I wasn't redundant as in Oz Certain aspects of Telecoms is a registered trade and without registration it is illegal to work on some items). Simple fact is that your average IT person doesn't understand telecomms and it is adversely affecting the industry! The swing will swing back in the other direction eventually, I just hope they haven't done irreparable harm in the meantime.

Here in OZ as Voip increasingly becomes the way of delivering phone services, we are having to find ways to harden services such as lift phones are now being delivered via 4G (and as technology progresses these units will need to be upgraded to 5G and so on) and they need to be dual sim with different providers with UPSs that can also monitor the battery status so that they will continue to work in power outages. Can you imagine the lawsuit if someone dies in a lift because the UPS fails?

We are moving to high speed data at the cost of fragility in the voice network and it will take deaths for the politicians to realize they are responsible, but when they do, the swing will reverse!

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You're replying to a 6 1/2 year old thread

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