Ip Telephony - Alcatel versus Cisco


We are starting to deploy IP telehpony on a large scale in our enterprise. Our management wants to deploy Alcatel (4400), but the engineers and technicians really want Cisco IP-tel.

So we need to convince our managment that Cisco is the "best" solution.

Can we get some ammo for this?

Articles, review, experciences...



Reply to
Loading thread data ...


Talk to Cisco, They are amost evangelical on how good their system is compared to others and will tell you. Whether they are right or not doesnt matter to them, As far as they are concerned they are the best.

Reply to

In my experience, Cisco ISN'T the best. I like the sound quality on both Inter-tel and Mitel better.

Reply to
T. Sean Weintz

I did a feature comparison between about a dozen mid-range systems (TDM and IP) about 18 months ago and found Cisco just about the weakest. That was Call Manager V3.x, though I think V4.x has probably brought enhancements. Alcatel's 4400 range has been developed over a longer period and is a more sophisticated system. Of course, you may not need the extra features.

Why do you prefer Cisco? I can see that a network person might assume it would be easier to integrate and support within existing infrastructure. Your management, on the other hand, might prefer Alcatel for ease of integration with other telephony infrastructure (i.e. an existing PABX).

Reply to

Look do you guys want the best system for your situation or just to buy what you want? If the Cisco is best I would assume the engineers have some data to back up their preference, otherwise you owe it to your company to do a proper comparison and select which system is the best for your company ( who ever makes it ). I have dealt with a number of situations where someone pushes through a pet project and doesn't do proper reasearch. God if nothing else protect your ass by doing a through job. Otherwise you guys will get blamed if you just go for the Cisco and it flames out. The management can always fire the engineers the other way around doesn't happen.

Reply to

In October my employer, one of the top "Fortune 100" conducted a vendor forum at our company headquarters on the topic of VOIP and invited Cisco, Avaya, Eads, Nortel and Mitel to make up to a 2-hour technical presentation (each) over a period of 2 days to a group of 32 IT professionals, communications engineers, network engineers telecomm managers and IT department heads. After each vendor made their pitch the floor was then opened up to questions. Each of these presentations was "closed" in that none of the other vendors could attend while another vendor was making their presentation.

At the end of the 2-day forum the "audience" of telecom & network pros and dignitaries then "scored" each vendor on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 lowest, 5 highest) on a total of 40 different items. Things "graded" included product features, suitability, total cost of ownership, technology migration plans, how they address the issue of "9-1-1", integration with established TDM platforms, design life expectancy, vendor product knowledge, etc.

The outcome was that Ayava and Mitel scored highest, almost a dead-heat with Mitel actually finishing ahead by .1 point. (4.6 vs 4.5)

Surprisingly, Cisco came in at 3rd place, well behind the leaders by almost a full point. (3.7)

Eads and Nortel tied for last place each scoring a dismal 2.9

One of the main concerns to come out of the forum had to do with Cisco's total reliance on a Microsoft Windows-based platform of multiple servers and the apparent need to replace or at least upgrade a considerable amount of existing network backbone infrastructure. The majority of the audience was in agreement that Microsoft Exchange Server and SQL Server were also not where they wanted to be hosting their heretofore historically 5-9's reliable (and in many cases, mission-critical) telephone systems. More than half the group also nodded in agreement that data network applications can go down but the phones had better never.

We already have some pilot systems in place, testing for ourselves. These include 1 Cisco Call Manager with Unity Voice Mail and several Mitel

3300's to do IP trunk>Look do you guys want the best system for your situation or just to buy what
Reply to

No one can dispute that Cisco has some of the very finest -DATA- networking equipment in the industry, nee, inarguably the gold standard by which all others are compared. However, proficiency stops there.

Cisco is not a technology company. They are a marketing company. If you doubt this, take a look at one of their Powerpoint presentations.

Before 1999 Cisco had no "experience" in VOICE networking and what little they have today they bought via takeovers of small voice systems manufacturers most of us have never heard of. Cisco's voice technology is also totally proprietary and resides on a cluster of multiple MS-Windows servers running proprietary mutations of MS-Exchange and SQL, not to mention a proprietary load of the underlying Windows O.S as well.

Do you want your mission-critical voice system to be totally dependent on Microsoft servers?

Reply to

Hi, Cisco is the best on .ppt slides only. The highest achievement of Cisco is ringing IP-set. If your telephony has to work, choose Alcatel.

best regards, Arek

Reply to


Stay away from both products. If you truly want an education on IP telephony, look into a smaller player, though not weak, like ShoreTel. Their approach to IP -PBX is unlike the others mentioned. I use to be an Alcatel dealer in the US. Their product demonstrates very well and can be quite impressive, however because they are a European based product, their tech & product support stinks! In many cases, they just don't understand the US market and our unique application demands.

I can give you a couple of references where we had to pull out the switch to avoid lawsuits. At considerable expense I might add.

CISCO is the 800lb gorilla that shows well, but is weak when it comes to redundancy. In all seriousness, look at ShoreTel as a candidate. You don't have anything to lose, and everything to gain.

Reply to
James R. Shaw

Cabling-Design.com Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.