My company is looking to get a few conference phones, but not looking to spend as much as a Polycom or Cisco conference phone costs, and during my search I’ve come across the ClearOne MAX IP which fits under their budget. I’ve read vaguely that this phone should work for us, however I’d just like to confirm from anyone that this would work before we purchase it, and if anyone has any tips that they could send my way.
It works fine. I have not found the price difference significant enough to not go with the Polycom. You can actually get a refurb Polycom for less.
The Polycom is in a class by itself. Save money in other places. You need to be heard well by your clients in conference calls.
I’ve deployed a MAX-IP phone and it’s really second-class to the Polycom IP5000/IP6000
The configuration through the web-gui is very frustrating, and I’ve had it lose registration several times.
I’ve only sold one, and it was due to a situation similar to what you are describing. After that it’s been nothing but Polycom. With the OSS Endpoint manager installation of those is a snap as well.
What I’ve found is that when customers express a price issue on a particular item you are recommending, you are putting your reputation on your recommendation. If they end up with a product that leaves much to be desired because you went out of your way to find a “low-cost” solution. It could hurt your relationship in the long run.
I realize this isn’t specifically a customer, but an employer asking for this - And for a conference phone I know most companies like to use their boardrooms as almost a “showcase” room, where they will be bringing clients, etc. You don’t want to be the guy they point the finger to when a cheap speakerphone ends up causing an embarrassment for the boss!
Try to look for a refurb IP5000 or IP6000 instead. The sound quality and polish will end up better for you in the long run!
Hmm… thanks for the answers! I’ve found the Clearmax for about $100-$200, however the Polycom IP5000+ phones I’ve found ranged from $400+. I tried passing this by my superiors but it’s not how much they’d like to spend. I’ve been eyeing the Polycom IP3000 as well which is under their budget, however I’ve read some issues getting it working with FreePBX.
Yes, the IP 3000 is h.323 not SIP.
You will not be happy with the Clearmax. I didn’t thing they were that cheap. The 5000 is under $400 bucks.
I can’t imagine what kind of company and boss you work for. If $150 is really an issue than perhaps telephones are not the most important thing to be focused on? Just make your business case to the boss. The first time the Clear has a lost config and you are late for a conference call what is that worth?
If you really, really must buy an analog polycom and a high quality Cisco ATA. You better be ready to spend two or three hours tweaking the levels. If you do that it will work fine. I still have an analog Polycom in my living room for our family calls. It works great (no display but who cares it was $100 on).
If you really, really want to be slick and earn your pay check, do you have a PC in the conference room? Polycom makes room solution speaker phones. You can use them with a sound card and a soft phone. If you do it right it is almost as cool as a Lutron room system.
I don’t mean to bust on you but after 30 years I have learned to sell value and not talk price. Your a sharp IT guy, you can work for a company with money and have a lot more fun.
BTW Asterisk support h.323 just fine. You will have to make a peer in a text file but it’s no big deal. Would actually be fun.
Thank you for the insight SkykingOH, unfortunately I’m still doing this under a budget, and recently found out about the Polycom IP4000 which seems like a promising option. I’ve read a few confirmations that it does work, but would like to know if you have any input on that phone?
ClearMax is more than $200. Make sure you are looking at actual ClearMAX IP not just an expansion set (which looks exactly the same btw). I have been looking at conf stations also and do no have Polycom 5000 money.
I was looking at http://www.konftel.com/Products/Konftel300IP
It is the same as Snom, but a little cheaper. I have not used it or know anything about it. Look promising though. See if that works for you, but be careful and do your research, it could be a junk.
They are $400+ that will get you a reconditioned Polycom.