Easiest Phone to Add to New System

What is the easiest phone model to add to a fresh install of FreePBX? I have someone who is about to spend $50k to upgrade their existing Cisco server. They are scared to try something new and are worried about the configuration of the new system. I demo’ed a new setup using Polycom SoundPoint phones and they did not like the complexity involved. They are willing to buy “a couple” of new devices, and install the distro, and I’d like it to be as painless as possible for them.

It’s hard to imagine a more seamless experience than a Sangoma S series with Zero touch redirect enabled to the PBX. Power up an unconfigured phone fresh out of the box and see a login prompt on the device. Enter extension number and VM pin, phone is configured.


I think you’re asking the wrong question here based on the scenario because the easiest model does not mean it’s the right model for the end user’s needs. What features does the Cisco’s they have currently support? How will the new phones they buy support those features? Will it be a lateral comparison or will the new phone have a different method of doing the same feature. Even more, does the phone support that feature at all?

@lgaetz answered the OP question and I agree with Lorne.

Tom @BlazeStudios has a point but I would add that if they are spending $50K on an upgrade then they should get it done professionally. No disrepect to you @SkydiverFL.

Yes he did and no there isn’t a single thing wrong with Lorne’s answer. I wasn’t disputing Lorne’s answer I was just pointing out that the question was phrased wrong and thus any response could be a skewed. Of course there are plenty of times when the question was wrong but the answer is still right even when the question is asked right. This very well could be one of those cases.

I’m not looking to complete a one-to-one comparison. My goal is to simply introduce the distro and show how much easier it is to deal with in comparison to Cisco Unified Messaging. At this point I just want to get over the nervousness. Then we can start doing proper comparisons.

OK this isn’t like they have 3CX or some other free/low cost PBX system. They have the Cisco UCM and are willing to put another $50K towards with Cisco. That means Cisco isn’t just going to let some guy with a FreePBX come in and magically out do them.

You are also aware the the UCM’s use Cisco own protocol for their stuff and generally not SIP. This generally requires the phones to be patched for SIP (are they?) and then features that are available on the UCM due to Cisco’s own protocol would not be available via FreePBX (Asterisk) without patching Asterisk with a third-party Cisco UCM patch to have those features work. On top of all that some of those features just won’t work on a non-UCM system.

You’ve got a very hard road ahead of you trying to take this from Cisco because they have a big advantage over you. They have the customer already. They have phones that completely work with all the features on their UCM and they have support contracts, TAC, et al.

You’re also not thinking down the road. Let’s say they want to do this and you present them with all sorts of options. One of the things they will look at, how hard is it for their users to use and how much re-training are they going to have to do. For example, let’s say you go with Sangoma S-Series phones while they offer high interop with FreePBX it’s a whole new set of buttons and functions and how to read the screen and make option choices that they need to learn. Oh and there is the fact the same Soft Key can perform multiple different functions based on the key press (short, normal, long) so now you have to train the users that Soft Key 1 can do X if you short press it, Y if you press it normal and Z if you do a long press. Then you’ll have to answer the questions “How long is short, normal or a long press supposed to be?”

You just can’t go in to demo them with a new PBX without having an understanding of what their current PBX system is doing and what features it is offering them and that they use. You’re going to have to show them that FreePBX, the phones and you are a better deal that what Cisco has to offer. The sad part is you could lose out over non-PBX/phone related items that Cicso offers.

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