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#600266 04/27/16 10:52 PM
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We are moving into a much larger office next year (we are building) and have been looking into phone systems.

Some of you may know from other areas of this forum that we have some experience supporting Nortel Meridian 1 systems and a few customers left running Lucent/Avaya Legend and Magix systems. There are even some stragglers on Comdial Key systems. We are also Digium affiliates, getting our feet wet with Asterisk and the Switchvox appliances.

Quite frankly, the Option series is still my favorite, but since I can't get the licensing I need to expand our Option 11C, we need to find something new.

So, I have some questions.

1) I read in some Toshiba customer documentation that the digital phones support Loop Keys. What document do I need to get more details on the implementation? I want to know how a console position on this system would function. The documentation I've found thus far for console operations shows examples of each line having a dedicated key, and that won't work.

2) By then, we will be multi-site. I'm thinking about a CIX40 now, to handle our current office, then putting a CIX100 in our new building and sending the CIX40 to the branch office. Anybody see any snags with that?

3) We currently have SIP trunks for most of our service. I see the CIX40, when properly licensed, will support up to 24 connections. So, I have, say, 4 SIP DIDs, each with three channels. Is that 4 channels as far as licensing is concerned, or 12?

4) Regarding Strata Net: Say Calls come in to Location "B" and "C" via the SIP trunks on their local internet connection, but the calls need to be answered centrally by the dedicated attendants at site "A". Many of those calls can be transferred back to someone at the remote site. Does the remote CIX40 know to accept the transfer and keep the call local, or does it use up 2 channels, one coming and one going. Nortel used to call the feature "Trunk Anti-Tromboning."

5) We would like to interface (via CTI) with our accounting and service management systems. We DON'T run Windows for those functions. We realize we'll have to "roll our own" so to speak, and that's OK as long as Toshiba will share/license the communications protocol they use. Are they known for working with third parties that way, or do they make it difficult (like Nortel did) to create complimentary products?

6) Are there any glitches or major problems you have seen in the field related to these systems? Anything I should be aware of in the decision making process would be appreciated.

There you go, CIX questions as promised. If you have any input on any of the questions above, please feel free to chime in.

Thanks,
Dylan


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Hello Dylan,

Maybe I can offer a little bit of input.

1- Sorry if I am having troubles with the question. I am not sure if you are referring to the line keys or pooled lines. The Toshiba can create virtual line keys for SIP trunks creating the illusion of a squared system, or you can use pool line keys, or just use multiple call appearances of each phone.

2- That should not be an issue. Any system with an IP card and a license can be connected via StrataNet

3- The CIX 40 with an MIPU24 IP card can handle 24 IP resources, SIP trunks, Stratanet, SIP extensions, or Toshiba IP phones. The SIP trunk licenses would be for each concurrent call path. The number of DIDs would not make a difference. You would need 3 SIP trunk licenses for 3 concurrent calls, in your example.

4- I have been told since my first centralized Voicemail setup that the system will pull the call back to the local system and not use 2 channels, but I have never put this to a test.

5- I am not sure how closely that they keep the CTI protocol. I know they share it with other 3rd party (Oaisys for example). Just a Google for Toshiba CTI pulls up a service for Zoho CRM that uses Toshiba CTI to integrate with a CIX. You can also output SMDI through the network for call accounting. The Toshiba Call Communicator will also interfaces with several CRMs on the client side, but it is Windows only.

6- If it is setup properly the system functions pretty will in a multi-site environment with centralized V.M. Just a couple minor issue.

Since each system is an independent system, there are a couple things that do not work as well as if it was just one system. Park, for example, can be done across systems, but requires an extra couple digits (Node ID + extensions). DSS and BLF can work across the network if it is setup correctly. You can not simultaneously ring extensions across 2 systems. Network eManager will make extension setup a bit easier, but you will need to be sure that when you add an extensions, you add it to all the other systems as a Network DN. If the IP connection drops and the voicemail system is unreachable, the system won't automatically route locally, but the users could change the call routing with a 'Night' key. The line appearances (real or virtual) will not work across Stratanet.

Generally Stratanet will be pretty transparent to the end user.

For a few of our CIX setups, we have been used a single CIX 670 system at the main site and then use IP phones at remote locations. With SIP trunks we can get DID numbers native to remote locations on the SIP trunk in their HQ. For example I just installed 3 IP phones for northern California that connect to the system in southern California with DID numbers that are local to the IP phone up north.

Of course there are some additional concerns with this setup, such as 911, local 7 digit dialing, and bandwidth to support all calls from remote site. Generally this has worked pretty well in the last couple installations, although generally I would prefer having a local system at the remote sites. This may be better for a small remote site with only a couple of users.

As a voicemail system I would recommend the IPEdge app server. The LVMU in the CIX 100 is an OK choice but has only basic voicemail features. For a new system those are really your only 2 choices.




Last edited by newtecky; 04/28/16 05:23 AM.
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Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed response. You've given me a lot more confidence in following up on this.

We have kind of the situation you spoke of, with multiple DIDs from different geographic areas. Right now, the system we're replacing has NO SIP support whatsoever, so I have 2 Grandstream 8-Port FXS gateways. I had one installed, but we recently added an 800 number, so I added a second gateway. There just feeding in to Loop Start lines in a Merlin Magix. We also have 4 analog trunks.

So gateway 1 has 4 channels dedicated to one DID, 3 channels to another DID and the last channel to a third DID. The second Gateway has 3 channels for 1 DID, 3 channels for the second DID and 2 Channels for a third DID.

So the channels go in to pools for each DID. The DIDs go to the operator queue, except the one for the toll free number, which goes to AA directly.

The dial plan is set up so that extension ranges 241x and 251x go to store 1, 242x and 252x go to store 2 and so on. We currently have 4 stores on the drawing board. The 24xx extensions don't show up on the Operator's DSS, but the 25xx range does. Some of the extensions are analog. I'm a little worried about having only 2 analog endpoints on the CIX40 Each store has 5 or 6 planned now.

I looked at the 670, too, and just running IP phones at the remote locations. But I still need to have access to one or two local analog lines at each location, so a CIX40 at each site sounds like the best bet.

If I were to need more than 2 analog FXS ports, does Toshiba offer any kind of add-on (like a module in a phone -- we have these on our Magix) or an external expansion to give it a few more FXS ports?

And outdialing...phones at individual stores should outdial on their specific DID. Under our old Nortel system, we had to use multi-tenant service to make that all work.

So, if I want to play around with a system to get to know it, what should I expect a CIX40 and a couple of phones to cost me, one DP5130-FSDL and one DP5122-SD? Do you sell the hardware?

Thanks,
Dylan


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Originally Posted by SwedaGuy
If I were to need more than 2 analog FXS ports, does Toshiba offer any kind of add-on (like a module in a phone -- we have these on our Magix) or an external expansion to give it a few more FXS ports?

Not on the CIX40. If you need more than two analog ports, you really need to shift to the CIX100 - and slap in a BSTU card that would give you 8. (or two BSTU's to give you 16, etc)

Originally Posted by SwedaGuy
And outdialing...phones at individual stores should outdial on their specific DID. Under our old Nortel system, we had to use multi-tenant service to make that all work.

Not a problem - you have 16 LCR's to work with, and if you need more than that, you can simply put a group key for that particular DID that they'd press.

(I'm actually doing this for a customer right now... with 20 DID's - and a different CID for each... They'll all get a "private line" key)


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Originally Posted by SwedaGuy
If I were to need more than 2 analog FXS ports, does Toshiba offer any kind of add-on (like a module in a phone -- we have these on our Magix) or an external expansion to give it a few more FXS ports?

Are the analog devices installed due to costs, or because they are existing? Theoretically you may be able use the FXS gateway and connect to the Toshiba as a SIP device, but I don't know it that would be the cleanest or most cost effective way to do it. Each IP endpoint would require a license.

Toshiba has a digital non display Single line phone, the DP5008. The cost is not a lot less the phone specifically for the CIX 40, the 10 button DP5022-SDM, but functions similar to a Single line analog phone.

But if you need more then 2 analog ports, then you should need to look at the CIX 100.

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Thank you both for the additional input. Ya, the analog devices are existing. A couple of fax machines, credit card modem, dial-in support for the Point-of-Sale system...stuff like that, but only a couple of analog power fail phone that are kept in a closet and haven't been used in years.

So, I'm thinking I should jump in to a CIX100, or even 200 right away. When we get to the branch office part of it, I can probably whittle down the number of analog devices to 2 for those locations. The fax machines don't have to go through the switch as they do now, the two POS servers can use one port because only one can be in an answer state at any given time, and the credit card modem can take the other port.

I'm poking around eBay to find a potential test system. It looks like there are a few refurb operations selling complete systems with a dozen phones at attractive prices. My question, I guess, is can IP licenses be added later, or can't that be done since I was not the original owner?

Thanks so much for you help!
Dylan




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I've added licenses to systems that were not originally sold by us, the only thing that happens is that Toshiba's licensing website will notify you that the serial number doesn't belong to your dealership, and please check it. Then it will issue the license.

So yes, IP licenses can be added by any Toshiba dealer.

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Thanks, Ben, for the input on that. I spent a long time this last weekend reading over all the toshiba docs I could get my hands on. I'm liking what I'm seeing. I need to learn more about Auto Attendants on that system. Since we have several different entities we answer phones for, it's not as straight forward as I would like it to be.

Thanks for the input!
Dylan


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It's easy on the Toshiba to set up different 'Auto Attendants' - you'd simply point a DID at a pilot number, the pilot number would go to the VM - to a specified Mailbox.

So you could have 100 (or any number!) of DID's, all pointing to different mailboxes... and each mailbox would have the greeting for *that* entity, as well as appearing to handle calls as if they were the only ones on that VM.

It can be a tad tricky, however, depending on the VM used, to restrict a caller from being able to access any of the extensions in the system. So a caller could dial extension 200 - even if the person sitting at Ext 200 doesn't belong to *that* company (that the DID was directed at.)

I have one firm that has a dozen different companies within it, and they all have their own main greeting (I used a spreadsheet to keep the spaghetti together!)

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If you are looking at a new system, I would consider the IPEdge App server, especially for multi-tenant. It's much easier to group users by 'Departments' then with the LVMU (DOS based Stratagy) or the Stratagy iES (Windows XP based Stratagy VM).



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