Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I'm considering a Shoretel system

    My company is reviewing proposals to replace our Nortel Meridian option 52 c pbx. One of the proposals is for Shoretel. We have 100 total users in a single site with a customer service department of 10 agents that currently participate in an ACD queue. The other systems in consideration are Avaya and Iwatsu.

    The other proposals are VOIP enabled and could support VOIP phones where needed (for telecommuting for instance) but the proposed office handsets are digital at a considerable cost savings to the IP sets in the Shoretel proposals. One of my concerns is that by introducing more devices onto the network, I've introduced complexity and need to introduce and maintain QOS and possibly VLANS- not necesaarily a big deal, but more work. I haven't seen any compelling evidence that having an IP handset is superior to a digital set (except that they are easier to move- a very minor benefit in our small building)

    Anyone out there with experience in one or more of these?

  • #2
    If your going to do VOIP, go for the whole thing. Digital systems are outdated and make no sense, even if the cost is less. You will be glad you went with a ShoreTel system.
    -LC

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with luckycharms. The Avaya, be cautious of. Like Cisco, they will often piece meal you to death ("oh, you wanted to do this, then you need to buy this additional..."). I think the biggest thing that impressed us with the ShoreTel is that I can walk in to any of our locations in any city, turn off the Distributed Voice Server or the Headquarters server, and still make calls. When we reviewed IPT, that was one of our criteria: if the server goes down, can I still make calls from all my phones. ShoreTel handles that extremely well. PBX's running on hard drive based systems are not a good option. Just my two cents worth.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with the two comments as well, great advise

        Technically if your going to invest into a new system, it does not make sense to not move toward the future and plan for that future as well. With VOIP your going to have freedom to expand, no one is really developing or expanding on the technology with legacy digital. With VOIP there is new stuff coming out everyday.

        Your Phone system should be looked at as a Long Term commitment.

        Comment


        • #5
          As a customer, here are some factors that influenced our ShoreTel decision.

          Ongoing Costs: Our annual maintenance is about 1/3 of what our previous maintenance + MAC (Move/Add/Change) costs were before. We don't have any MAC costs with the ShoreTel because we do all of that ourselves, and we do it in minutes rather than the days that it took before.

          Upgrade Costs: Every other vendor that we received quotes from told us that we would require a technician on-site for software upgrades, and this would be billable (not covered under maintenance). With the ShoreTel, we have installed several upgrades (one major version upgrade) without anyone on-site. In fact, I installed one upgrade while connected via an aircard one hour away from the office. That upgrade involved the server software, firmware update on 26 Shoregear switches, and firmware update on 330 IP phones at 12 different sites, and took less than 2 hours total.

          Simplicity: We had every vendor demo their system configuration interface(s). ShoreTel was by far the easiest and most intuitive.

          Productivity: The CallManager software gives you instant access to your phone directory, and transferring and conferencing calls couldn't be easier. I can place a call to someone in our phone directory or in my contacts in about 3 seconds just by typing part of their first or last name and pressing enter. Before, I would have to lookup the number in my contacts and then manually dial it on my phone. I can answer calls with a single mouse click, never even having to look away from my computer screen or reach for the phone.

          Workgoups: You can probably do everything you need with regard to your ACD groups using workgroups. Most of the other vendors will want you to purchase a separate application for ACD.

          Flexibility: We have people move around the company all of the time. If they're moving to another office in the same building, they just take their phone with them and we don't have to do anything. Or, they can go to someone else's office, log into that phone, and all of their calls follow, regardless of whether it is the same model IP phone or even an analog phone.

          You will probably want to setup VLANs and QOS, but that's pretty much a one-time setup.

          Hope this helps.

          Gary

          Comment


          • #6
            Shoretel System

            Let me start by saying that I still believe the Shoretel system was the best choice for *us* by far. I am probably one of the most vocal against shoretel on this board. I would STILL choose them over the competition however to this day.

            However, don't think that they are perfect (far from it). They seem to get 99% of the solution right and overlook the easy things that would make a truly polished solution.

            For example:
            1. They offer the Mobile Call manager but only support 3 Handhelds. How many clients can really use it when it only supports 3 handhelds?
            2. Someday down the road you will try and delete a user. You will get a message that you are not allowed to. You will then have to jump through more hoops than a showdog at a skills competition. You have to clear out (manually mind you) buttons, call forwarding rules (from ANY other user), etc etc. What is wrong with a box that says "Warning. Deleting this user will affect the following other users: JSMITH - Button DJOHNSON - Call forwarding rule..... if you continue all these buttons/rules will be deleted and will revert back to default values. Would you like to continue?
            3. Conference calling is limited to you + 5 people without a conference bridge (even if you have the ports available)
            4. MOH doesnt stream between sites (even if you want it to)
            5. Dialing ## from a phone without picking up the handset will perform a different action than picking up the handset and dialing ## WTF??????

            ## is ## regardless of if I am on speaker phone or not.
            6. When an internal user transfers an EXTERNAL call to another internal user, the caller id on the phone shows the INTERNAL user and not the EXTERNAL user.... even if the person performs a BLIND transfer (using the phone, not the PCM). For example, Sue at the front desk transfers an important customer to Joe. Joe sees that SUE is calling. Joe answers the phone and says "Hey sue" and it is really mr Important customer. Sue hung up LONG ago. The caller ID on Joe's phone doesnt change to the external user until AFTER he answers the phone. As soon as sue blind transfers/hangs up, sue is out of the picture. Joe's caller id should reflect that.

            I know they are working on many of these issues. It just seems that if Shoretel would stop sending out new versions every damn month and focus on fixing the issues they have/have had for a LONG time everyone would be better off.

            For example, I reported a CRITICAL in the wild bug in December of last year. It affects VOICE QUALITY. The fix took 6 months to create, and is scheduled for deployment at the end of this month (believe it when I get it).

            In the wild bugs that affect voice quality should be THE priority of a VOIP company. My god, hold off on the Video conferencing built into the call manager until you can MAKE MY PHONES WORK PROPERLY ON VOICE CALLS. Is that too much to ask?

            I feel they spend so much time trying to release NEW features that they never truly polish the ones they already have.

            Comment


            • #7
              eazeaz

              Factually MCM supports a few more then 3, you need to ask your ShoreTel Sales Engineer for that info

              Deleting a user, getting the error can be caused by a few items, yes some logic can be brought in to curve this, but the majority of times I have experienced is based on User Error, and or moving and shuffling the users around.

              On Demand Conf has been 1+ 5 since its inception, it is a limitation of Hardware and resources of the DSP. Not many OEMs will allow for more then 5 as well.

              MOH across the WAN, then I supposed the next complaint would be QOS and Bandwidth. Technically it does not make sense to do this in voip

              ## In all the years, I have been in the industry I know of no one that picks up the handset and dials ##

              CID, more then likely a bug, now that is a legitimate complaint

              Believe me, I am not defending ShoreTel in the least, I do know and understand first hand the internals of the company. I am no fan of the release schedules either, bugs aside, the ShoreTel is blamed for many customer installation FUBAR. Yes it has short comings, the ShoreTel system is only as good as the network it is installed on and the engineer who maintains it.

              Many issues can be eliminated if you do your home work.

              I agree with you on this part, The ShoreTel Phone System is the Best in its class.

              Comment


              • #8
                Shorts

                Thanks for the reply.

                The MCM doesnt work right on the Curve. The most sold blackberry phone on the market. Let me re-phrase.

                1 + 5 is stupid...... I don't care what the reason is. A $20,000 conference bridge to have a medium sized conference call in 2008 is silly.

                I wrote a Long post a while back on how MOH could span sites with little to no affect on the network. The MOH source would stream a SINGLE MOH stream to a Master/Proxy switch at each site. A wopping 16-32K would be used to EACH SITE total. The Master/Proxy switch would handle distributing to that site from there. It makes a heck of a lot more sense then me installing MOH devices and having to update/manage them at each site.

                We use ## all the time.

                Again, as much as I bash, it is still the best I have seen out there. It is just sooooo frustrating that Shoretel could be so much more. These examples are just a few of hundreds that I have. It just seems that the pride in a smooth polished solution is lacking. I am sure that they are working on many of these things.

                Oh, and while I am at it, why in the world would you make the screens on the new color phones SMALLER? My Lord. We got the big picture plan right: color screen, touchscreen possible, bluetooth, but lets make the screen smaller to save a few bucks on this THOUSAND DOLLAR PHONE. Screens should get BIGGER not smaller. We must be one of the few companies in the world with OLD PEOPLE working for us. They have a hard enough time reading the larger screen. Lets shrink it and add some color, that will help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jlorenz View Post
                  eazeaz
                  Deleting a user, getting the error can be caused by a few items, yes some logic can be brought in to curve this, but the majority of times I have experienced is based on User Error, and or moving and shuffling the users around.
                  This is a big issue for me. I am the ShoreTel administrator for a school district and we have lots of changes every summer. As the administrator, to be blocked from deleting an extension because some other user setup a button to monitor that extension, is a major bug. Logic might work when you have 25 phones but when you have over 300, it isn't so easy.

                  Back to the original post: Stay away from Iwatsu. I have been dealing with their Adix system for years and it is one of the most difficult systems to manage. Not only is the support horrible from Iwatsu USA, but their terminology is often not industry standard (making configurations a real pain.)

                  Avaya really turned me off because of the price. For starters, their hybrid TDM/VoIP system was 150% higher than Cisco. My sales rep made the mistake of giving me an itemized quote once. When I saw that there were charging $70 for a standard 6' computer power cable and $350 for a 28.8kbps modem (for support?), I tossed the rep out the door. Everything else was expensive enough, why add insulting items like $70 power cables?

                  Cisco has sexy looking phones but it's expensive. The sales reps usually assume that the existing data network is..... Cisco (they are the only switch vendor, right... well, other than Linksys.) If not, they will waffle on the support and not guarantee quality.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We removed an iwatsu phone system with their pseudo voip campusing solution and replaced it with a shoretel system 2 years ago. We still love out shoretel system, and I still get people coming up to me in the office saying how glad they are that the iwatsu system is gone. I had never seen an iwatsu system before I came to work here, and i hope I never do again!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by eazeaz View Post
                      6. When an internal user transfers an EXTERNAL call to another internal user, the caller id on the phone shows the INTERNAL user and not the EXTERNAL user.... even if the person performs a BLIND transfer (using the phone, not the PCM). For example, Sue at the front desk transfers an important customer to Joe. Joe sees that SUE is calling. Joe answers the phone and says "Hey sue" and it is really mr Important customer. Sue hung up LONG ago. The caller ID on Joe's phone doesnt change to the external user until AFTER he answers the phone. As soon as sue blind transfers/hangs up, sue is out of the picture. Joe's caller id should reflect that.
                      This is a massive issue. Is this still a problem in 8.0? What version have you seen it on?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jmjstevens View Post
                        This is a massive issue. Is this still a problem in 8.0? What version have you seen it on?
                        Nope, its not been an issue for a long time, Many of the items noted above are non issues

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Non Issue

                          And what makes you think that because something doesn't affect you it is a Non-Issue? These are real and important issues to us.

                          I would recommend that people make their own determinations as to what is an issue and what is not. Everyone's business models are different. Many things that affect others mean nothing to me as well.

                          I think Shoretel probably suffers from a bit of the same philosophy. Well, we don't think it is really an issue, so lets not fix it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eazeaz View Post
                            And what makes you think that because something doesn't affect you it is a Non-Issue? These are real and important issues to us.

                            I would recommend that people make their own determinations as to what is an issue and what is not. Everyone's business models are different. Many things that affect others mean nothing to me as well.

                            I think Shoretel probably suffers from a bit of the same philosophy. Well, we don't think it is really an issue, so lets not fix it.
                            I would answer that, but I wont, if your wanting to get or make this into a pissing match, I wont go there with you. Lets leave it as, I was on the receiving end of engineers who had no clue. And when they called, they screamed the loudest about how screwed up ST is when it was their own fault.

                            So thats what makes me think, your opinion is your opinion as is mine. personally, I think some people would complain about the sky is blue on a sunny day just to complain.
                            Last edited by Jlorenz; 07-14-2008, 12:10 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have not seen the issue with blind transfers not showing the CID. As I was reading this post I received a blind transfer from an outside caller and got the CID on my display. I am running 7.5 - Build 12.13.1328.0. The call came in on a PRI using a Shoregear T-1 and my switch is a Shoregear 120.

                              I went live on my system last Tuesday, but I have not seen the issue you are describing.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X