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What edge does Cisco have over Alcatel?

Learn the differences between VoIP vendors Cisco and Alcatel and the benefits of each in this expert response.

I am trying to decide between two vendors, Cisco and Alcatel, for our new IP telephony solution involving 5,000 phones. Our corporate office already has a Cisco switching infrastructure installed.
What is the compatibility of Alcatel IP Telephony over Cisco infrastructure? What edge would Cisco have over Alcatel?
Both manufacturers work well together. Obviously, Cisco will work with Cisco, but so does Alcatel. As for an edge, the largest advantage is that you can use other phones with the Cisco gear. I am not sure if this is the case with Alcatel, but that may be worth looking into for your situation. It could be a significant cost savings over 5,000 phones.

Another advantage is that you already know your Cisco gear which means the transfer of knowledge would take less...

time on the Cisco gear than with Alcatel. Although, I have to say the Alcatel solution is also very good.

I would suggest that you create a score card - include features, maintenance costs, warranty periods, training times, ease for moves, adds and changes, availability of local support, backup power options in the event of a power loss, E-911 capabilities, interoperability with other equipment, how they address analog lines, etc. Evaluating the critical things will help you with your decision.

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