On Premise VoIP: Key Players

By Stan Baldwin
Updated: February 10, 2011

The two primary reasons enterprises choose to install and manage their own VoIP PBXs are:

  1. The desire for complete control over their communications system and,
  2. The economies of scale available with large networks.

Having the communications equipment installed locally means the local IT staff is able to upgrade, change, move or modify equipment and services rapidly. An internal staff, intimately familiar with the communications network, can also assure the details and configuration are as well aligned with the needs of the organization as possible. Because there is a substantial capital outlay for equipment when setting up an on premise VoIP system, such installations typically make sense for larger companies. However, there are a growing number of premise based VoIP solutions available for SMBs. For organizations with complex needs and substantial resources the economies of scale achieved by maintaining control of their communications network can produce a significant ROI.

What makes a key player successful in the On Premise VoIP market? Providing equipment, which is reliable, secure and supports a wide range of features are the fundamental requirements. The price-to-performance ratio of their offerings is also important, as is how well their staff supports your staff. Financial viability, the likelihood they will be around for many years to continue to provide that support, is also a consideration. The following vendors are among the leading suppliers:


Avaya's Communication Server 2100 is designed for big organizations, including governments. Scalable and available in IP telephony or hybrid configurations, the Communications Server 2100 supports the major IP protocols, such as H.323, H.248 MGCP and SIP. Avaya's 2009 acquisition of Nortel Enterprise Solutions group expanded their portfolio (and no doubt comforted some Nortel customers).


Cisco's family of Unity products have been among the most widely deployed IP solutions over the past several years. Unity PBX IP Media Gateways provide a high-quality hook-up between the Unity Connection Servers, which manage the VoIP services, and any existing traditional PSTN private branch exchange (PBX).Cisco benefits from their wide range of network components and their many compatible partners.


NEC Sphericall IP PBX is a scalable open system approach running on industry-standard servers. A wide range of communications devices are supported, giving the customer great flexibility and choice in the selection of capabilities. Features include web services, SIP trunking services, as well as PSTN media gateways.


The trend in premise telephony systems is strongly toward “convergence” of PSTN and IP networks. Equipment and software vendors talk less about what used to be the central (and largest) investment, the PBX, and more about the range of components compatible with their architecture. VoIP has already become just one of the services delivered over these On Premise IP / PSTN enterprise networks.

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