Another consideration is whether you want to use Voice over IP (VoIP) for your voice transport, or, if you prefer to stick to the traditional phone system (PSTN). Before deciding, determine which applications you will need to deploy (voicemail, unified communications, voice self-service, conferencing) on your phone system, and find out if these applications are available on the solution you are evaluating. Understanding this availability will significantly impact your decision.
Given your needs, I would explore solutions from Vonexus/Interactive Intelligence, Vertical Televantage and 3COM NBX. All of these offer expandability and can integrate with other systems through standards. Each of these companies also offers their own and partner applications to meet most business needs.
Since price is very important to your decision, make sure you compare prices over the long term, i.e. maintenance, upgrades, etc., rather than just the upfront cost of deployment. Whether you will be better off integrating all of your offices or not is a more involved question. This will depend on several factors including price of bandwidth/per minute toll charges, interaction between the offices, and productivity gains brought about by improved communications, balanced with the added cost of maintaining a distributed system. You may be wiser to start with a solution for each office and look to consolidate later.
Dig Deeper on IP Telephony ROI
Related Q&A from Sanjeev Sawai
Is there a standard for encryption of traffic between IP phones? If no, then what options do enterprises have currently to protect the voice traffic ... Continue Reading
What protocols can be used to facilitate communication between a voice card and an IVR system? Continue Reading
Find out more about music on-hold (MoH) capabilities and SIP enabled audio streams in this expert answer. Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.