An Evaluation of Vendors That Support an IP Office Phone

By Charron Conley
Updated: March 07, 2011

In looking for a vendor for IP offices phones, buyers today have so many choices. When communication is of vital necessity to a business it is hard to differentiate between companies that offer similar products. There are dozens of these hardware manufacturers and solution vendors around, meaning superior cost through competition, but also better reliability and features. Here is a list of popular vendors and some of their attributes and critiques:

Cisco

This is a great option, though it can be higher priced for IP office phones. However, Cisco offers great quality. Cisco is known for excellent desktop software, fancy phones and the option for an unlimited numbers of phones. This system gets good reviews and the phones are also small in size. Their calls are usually very clear and little problems with failed calls. The IP phones require Cisco Call Manager to handle call dispensation. If a company runs on a sip or PBX system, this is a highly recommend phone system.

Shoretel

This vendor may have a slightly higher upfront cost (not the most expensive around), but it is very low maintenance. Buyers must use all the Shoretel hardware with their systems. Benefits are that is customizes very easily and they have great customer support. They have a great PC interface and hard phones aren’t necessary if not wanted. This solution is perfect for open spaces like lobbies and classrooms

Siemens

This solution allows for a very easy set-up. This is a great starter system. They offer their services on three different levels depending on company size. Siemens offers a popular cordless option. They also have a great selection called The Hipath that allows for instant messages to be connected with calling. So, an employee can be updated to the minute with call forward to cell phones about changing meetings or functions when they are out of the office. This is a very efficient solution that is great for small to medium businesses.

Avaya

Along with offering many options such as: media gateways, routers, message servers, PBXs, wireless phones, and voice application, Avaya has the most popular IP office phone on the market. This is a very prevalent option making Avaya the leader in this platform. Avaya IP Office has a straight forward set-up and it easy to use. This is perfect for medium sized business that is looking to expand. There are a ton of configuration and administration features available. Avaya is great for companies that aren’t intimidated by complex systems.

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