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DRAFT PREVIEW of Casper College Phone System Presentation for Wyoming Community Colleges


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This is a DRAFT PREVIEW of Casper College Phone System Presentation for Wyoming Community Colleges provides an overview of our transition to the Digium Switchvox VOIP phone system. The Final version will be up next week for the Feb 17 meeting.

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DRAFT PREVIEW of Casper College Phone System Presentation for Wyoming Community Colleges

  1. 1. Are Open Source Phone Systems Possible? Kent Brooks, IT DirectorDon Lewis, Computer Systems Technician #edu14 @educause Phone System Presentation February 17, 2016 1:30 PM – 8:30 PM LCCC Campus – CCI 121
  2. 2. Why I am here today ….
  3. 3. Final Tally: ● 670ish Landlines ● 152 (20ish use licenses) ● Analog ● Fax ● Elevator ● HVAC ● Security
  4. 4. So what did our path to this looked like…
  5. 5. 2011: Out with Old……...…In with the New The only sure thing was the time had come to scrap our analog Avaya phone System and we should move toward a Unified Communications platform. The existing infrastructure: • Avaya system with 700 phones + • 92 phone Cisco via Call Manager Express • The systems did not play well together or allow full utilization of functionality for either system.
  6. 6. In 2011 = 2 Phone Systems = A problem
  7. 7. Our Temporary Path = 3 Phone Systems
  8. 8. Our Goal = A single phone system
  9. 9. ● Converge three (3) phone systems to one (1) ● Standardize campus handsets ● Drive recurring Hardware Costs down Objectives: ● Upgrade & add Unified communication capabilities ● Obtain greatest value for initial investment
  10. 10. The Problem...the Cost 1) Ask for more money to accelerate the change 2) Phase the costs in over a 3-4 year period 3) Look at other alternatives
  11. 11. To Cisco or Not to Cisco… That was the question • It was really hard not going with Cisco. • We were mostly a Cisco Shop with small Cisco VOIP presence on campus, • Cisco CME solution would not scale would have to be discarded to handle our entire campus. VS.
  12. 12. To Cisco or Not to Cisco… That was the question Moving to a Cisco solution would have required 3 tiers of licensing for 1) Phones 2) Voicemail boxes 3) Messaging Services including Jabber & Voice to email VS.
  13. 13. To Cisco or Not to Cisco… That was the question Cisco extra cost items we wanted: ● Attendant Console/ Switchboard ● Voice Recording ● Agent / Call Center CCX ● Hardware Cisco’s UCS Chassis thus the requirement for additional hardware. VS.
  14. 14. The Alternative ● Utilize existing hardware ● Converge three (3) phone systems to one (1) ● Standardize handsets across campus ● Upgrade and improve our voice/unified communication capabilities ● Obtain the greatest value for our initial investment ● Significantly reduce our recurring costs
  15. 15. Proposed CiscoAvaya and Cisco 2012 Digium Solution
  16. 16. Digium Full Features = one price: • Interactive Voice Response • Call Queues - Help Desk, Business Office, Enrollment Services • Voicemail - Over the phone, email, web and App • Reporting - Per Line and System wide • Web Interface - User Level and Administrative • Android and iOS App - Directory, Voicemail, Calling • Programmable features - Greetings, Ring Options, call pickups
  17. 17. Standard Desktop Phone Digium D70 100 number speed dial Three way Conference calling Voice mail integration Searchable contact list Configurable from the phone or the Web
  18. 18. Hardware(Sever, License, Phones): ● The VoIP software itself runs in a VMware virtual environment on existing HP c7000 blade hardware consisting of g8 bl460c blades and virtual connect switches. ● 2 CPUs/dual core, 300GB storage 8 GB RAM very little overhead ● The storage for this environment is the Lefthand p4000 series SAN.
  19. 19. Benefits (Part 1): • Unified Communications features: voice mail to email • Fast Forward and Rewind Voice Mail (end users love this) • Status Buttons allow you to quickly see if someone is on the phone • User Level Web Switchboard Interface eaccessible to all users • Automated Accounting: No account codes, access or trunk number to get to the outside. • Users can now redial long distance calls
  20. 20. Benefits (Part 2): • IVR’s are a standard • Intercom System for library was a cheap add vs. purchasing a separate new system • Emergency Notification System supplement • Self Service Conference Bridge all at CC = 100 simultaneous user • Smartphone App
  21. 21. Problems (Part 1): • We are maxing out system capacity with 700ish Digium phones • About10% of phones time out & must be reset (reset button or unplug and re-plug) • Digium Phones have a scaling problem past 400ish phones
  22. 22. Problems (Part 2): • There is a smartphone app: – iPhone Version is Junk – No updates until V.6 (was suppose to be Nov/ Dec 2015) • Arbitrary Limits – 150 concurrent calls – 30 concurrent calls in a queue – A problem with Emergency Notification via phone
  23. 23. What’s New in the 6.1 release (Part 1): • Smart phone app doubles as a a soft phone (Right now the Bria Softphone @ $8 each) • Switchvox in a virtual environment is now officially supported by Digium
  24. 24. What’s New in the 6.1 release (Part 2): • Call Queues (Examples: answering out of sequence & leaving a voicemail w/ call back • Contacts Import from Outlook & setting a phonebook to push to your users • Virtualization will eliminate most arbitrary limits
  25. 25. If our user culture was different we could have used softphones for all the 700ish phones and our cost have been price at about $50,000 total.
  26. 26. Things to Remember Commercial Support is Important Sam Houston State University 6000 VoIP phone rollout of Asterisk turned into a failed deployment in 2009. After deployment they were forced to move back to a proprietary Cisco solution when they lost key staff with Asterisk specific knowledge.
  27. 27. Things to Remember ● A POE network environment is a must ● Solid server hardware is a must install the virtualized environment
  28. 28. Things to Remember ● I wanted to try avirtualized environment based on my experience deploying a 250 phone system at a previous institution. In my opinion the Digium appliance hardware is a little underpowered. In the previous case, for example, we immediately had to upgrade memory. I guess the lesson is if you are using appliances, take the recommended specification & bump that specification.
  29. 29. Would I do anything differently….Maybe Polycom phones for deployment > 400 Digium phones update every time a change is made to the contact information. This causes issue when all the phones try updating at the same time. The Polycom phones only update when the phone reboots.
  30. 30. So is it Possible…. ● Yes… ○ If you're broke you can still upgrade your phones ○ It’s a feature rich system even if you're not broke ○ Your organizational culture must be right for softphones ○ Commercial support can ensure long term success
  31. 31. Are there other alternatives to explore…. ● Yes… ○ Yate: ○ CallWeaver: ○ FreeSwitch: ○ SipXecs: ○ Starfish PBX: ○ OpenVBX:
  32. 32. Additional Resources: Casper College VoIP Phone Learning Center Web Site: Blog Posts Related to this project : NOTE: The 2nd blog post explains how Digium Licensing Works.
  33. 33. For More Info: Kent Brooks @kentbrooks Don Lewis