Altigen vs Avaya vs NEC .... Who Do You Choose?
Most businesses at one time or another find themselves in the process of evaluating new phone/voicemail systems. That can be a hair pulling event .... time consuming and frustrating at best.
Let's say you've narrowed your list down to these systems .....
Avaya IP Office 500
Yeah, yeah ... no Cisco listed. That would be too easy.
Now .... which would you choose and why?
I would recommend them in the following order .....
1. NEC SV8100 - Simply because NEC have been around for a long time, and you know their products can be supported long after their life cycle has completed. NEC products are the most flexible, and cost effective business system on the market. Nothing more need be said.
2. Avaya - There are a ton of Avaya professionals out there so you will have a fair bit of resources to turn to, and the good thing to that is the prices fluctuate due to the competition in the market. However, they have failed in the past and just came out with a newly structured organization. Avaya has morphed from AT&T then Lucent, and now Avaya (every time they fail they just spin it off to a new name). It is up too you if you want to take that risk. There will still be plenty of professionals around to service them so I wouldn't say that would be a problem. Also just to clarify .... Avaya is financially pretty sound at this point as they have made an offer to buy Nortel.
Now with the IP Office 500 ..... this is a real winner, cost effective and easy to manage. Now that Release 5 is out Avaya has made this system even better. Also you may want to ask your vendor if Avaya is still offering the 20% off beat Nortel Promotion.
3. Altigen - maybe a bit "specialized" and lesser known than the other two. But they may be the right choice given a specific application, cost point, local service office (customer relationship). Altigen is one of several companies that have a decent product, but they only recently entered the voice field.
The other alternative is Hosted Solutions. Regardless, I never recommend this solution with a strong conviction. The reason being is that you have to have some fail-over and or redundancies in the event you lose contact to your Hosted service. Now if you were to do it properly you actually won't have any reasonable cost savings. If anything it could cost you more then a Localized product.
You really have to find the right solution for you business, the biggest mistake that many business make is being short sighted on what the phone system is meant to do. Never think about the immediate future. Where possible think about the distant future, where the phone system will come into play, and if it can grow with your business to that expected time frame.
Simply put, if the Phone system can not meet the demands of the business now, and also in the future (not too distant future) ..... then you really are not purchasing something that is right for you. You are only putting in a stop measure appliance, kind of like a band aid solution.
Take your time, think about every step. Good indicators are also looking at your past and how the current system performed with the growth of the business .... and what it cost you to keep it growing, then compare.
You CAN get some extra help with this decision ... from someone local ... using a free online search tool such as:
Telecommunication System Support & Services