The best VoIP solution is ...

The best VoIP solution is ...

Summary: The world of enterprise IP telephony is varied and complex. Here's our round-up of the major players and what they can bring to your business.

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TOPICS: Networking
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The face of corporate IP telephony has changed considerably within the past few years. No longer simply concerned with pursuing cost savings and efficiencies by amalgamating voice and data infrastructures into one integrated network, VoIP providers are seeking to enable customers to leverage their telephony implementations across a wide range of products and services.

Unified communications (UC), integration and collaboration are today's driving forces. Businesses want to be able to offer cost-effective and seamless communication to all users, regardless of their role within the company or the tools through which they work. It's not just about desk phones running XML applications, but rather extensions following users across multiple platforms — business software, collaborative applications, smartphones and traditional base stations.

This change has been made possible by the infrastructure work implemented by VoIP providers throughout the 1990's — VoIP technology is firmly established as a robust and scalable communications platform over the traditional PSTN model. The recent changes have been driven by the constant merging of disparate technologies — mobile phones are fully web-enabled with high-bandwidth data pipes, and business applications are far more web-aware than has previously been the case. Such an environment is highly conducive to tight systems integration, and a more seamless user experience across platforms.

Although Australia's broadband infrastructure has come under sustained criticism in recent years, it has surprisingly not proven to be a barrier in the take-up of IP telephony. Australia has one of the highest levels of VoIP market penetration globally.

Businesses looking to implement a new VoIP solution or expand their existing investments are certainly spoiled for choice, and the benefits are not only available to the big end of town. Small- and medium-sized companies stand to gain significantly from a data-centric telephony system, and most providers have a solution that can meet the needs of five users or 50,000.

Topic: Networking

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18 comments
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  • voip

    Your article covers all the major players
    overseas but neglects to mention one
    of the best if not the best in Australia.
    FRESHTEL
    anonymous
  • Nine pages of click-throughs

    Beats putting everything on one page as a convenience for the reader, but not as much ad revenue for ZDNet AU I guess.
    anonymous
  • Freshtel

    Freshtel is not a corporate IP telephony vendor. It's primarily a consumer player like Skype.

    Cheers,

    Renai LeMay
    News Editor
    ZDNet.com.au
    anonymous
  • Really?

    Really? Everything on one page? That would be a bit unwieldy, I think :(

    It's not about click-throughs. We have plenty of readers and page impressions :) It's about laying it out in a way that's easy to read.

    A single page would go on for like 2 metres of screen real estate!

    Cheers,

    Renai LeMay
    News Editor
    ZDNet.com.au
    anonymous
  • Seems lacking

    Wondering why you did not include 3com in this comparison?

    Also what is the point in including pricing and warranty information if you just state "Details available on request from partners". It's kind of hard to compare 1 product with another without those details.
    anonymous
  • 3Com

    hi there,

    we couldn't include everyone, so we looked at the most popular vendors by market share, as well as a few smaller and innovative players like ShoreTel and the Asterisk solution.

    In my experience speaking with CIOs, I find that pricing will vary pretty wildly anyway, depending on the size of the rollout, what other business you have with that vendor etc etc.

    Cheers,

    Renai LeMay
    News Editor
    ZDNet.com.au
    anonymous
  • But who do I connect it to?

    Can you please do a follow up story on SIP trunk providers? Connecting the IP PABX to a carrier via a pure IP connection is the next logical step....
    anonymous
  • Fee for Advertisement???

    Hi,

    Just wanted to find out if there was a transfer of fee from the abovementioned providers for this review?

    Was there any other particular with respect to the selected vendors?
    anonymous
  • SIP Trunks

    Call Soul 1300 133 464 , I looked for ages and they were the only ones who have their own network and knew what they were doing...
    anonymous
  • huh???

    I suppose the open source people perhaps...sheesh!
    anonymous
  • VoIP Winners

    We do Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent so have no complaints about where these two vendors have been placed by the writer.

    Why the writer was at pains to say Avaya was third globally and not follow the same ranking formula with the other vendors is puzzling.

    I do think that the journalist is way off the mark on a number of facts and perhaps should have spend longer in research. For example, asterisk being limited to SOHO/SMB. The US Army deployed * with 3000 endpoints...hardly SOHO!

    Why Alcatel Lucent does not get a mention on mid market solutions but ShoreTel does....come on who they trying to kid.

    In the conclusion, the writer also credits Cisco with the ability to enable seamless communications across multiple platforms....making them exceptionally compelling.....I think he meant to say Avaya Aura because this sure aint Cisco.
    anonymous
  • Fee

    hi there,

    there was no fee for any of the vendors to appear in this feature. In fact, we would have covered them whether they wanted us to or not!

    ZDNet.com.au is staunchly independent.

    Kind regards,

    Renai LeMay
    News Editor
    ZDNet.com.au
    anonymous
  • click print to read story all on one page

    to read a multipage storey on one page, just hit print and it comes in a nice format for you to read. means zdnet misses out on the ad impressions, but beats whinging about multipage storeys.
    anonymous
  • VOIP winners

    I'd have to agree, I was hoping to see AudioCodes in the mix but understand you can't include everyone. I'd agree on the Cisco comment, not the most intuitive pieces of equipment - expensive, poorly integrated aquisitions and cludges. They still don't understand voice. I'd pick Avaya or Lucent..
    anonymous
  • What you are reviewing is UC not VoIP

    I think the heading and intro is a bit misleading and further muddies the waters amongst business people who don't understand the technology.
    VoIP is just dial tone (and usually costs about a quarter of a true Unified Communications system). Unified Communication (UC) encompasses a number of others things including presence, etc which deliver significant additional value. What you appear to be wanting to review is Unified Communications. Perhaps should should have separated out the two solution sets so that the average punter can see where VoIP ends and UC builds on VoIP.
    anonymous
  • ShoreTel also a fit for the enterprise

    I'd like to clarify that ShoreTel has more than 11,000 customers operating in 28 countries, for which the vast majority have between 50 and 6,000 stations. In fact, the average number of stations per system shipped continues to increase every quarter as we serve larger organization. Several larger global enterprises, such as Robert Half Inc., have more than 6,000 stations, and take advantages of ShoreTel’s distributed architecture and ease of use of administration for multi-site deployments. Imagine the power of managing 6,000 stations from one single web interface – that’s the power of ShoreTel’s unique approach with VoIP for enterprises. As you add more users, the value of ShoreTel’s brilliantly simple administration becomes more apparent compared to the legacy systems.
    anonymous
  • ShoreTel - go pay for your fluff advertising

    This is not an advertising post Mr Shoretel banner-waver. Whatever you make of Shoretel technologies, it appears they have a warped sense of business ethics by pushing their advertising fluff on an independent, online forum!
    anonymous
  • VOIP wiless options for small office

    We are looking at a VOIP system supporting 4 in lines. (1 fax) and upto 10 phones.

    We would like it to be wireless. No cabling and ideally works inconjunction with a WiFi internet/Intranet network.

    Self installation would be great.

    What options are there and what is the cost.
    anonymous