Open Source Phone Systems Missing The Mark?

July 22, 2008 by Garrett Smith

Nermetes Research recently honored several IP based phone system vendors with PilotHouse awards which recognizes companies for their outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as customer service, technological innovation, technical service, value and strategic product development.

Not surprisingly, none of them were open source systems or based on an open source platform.

Why am I not surprised?

Well, because that is what I have come to expect; especially from analysts who, for all intent and purposes “take the money and run” when it comes to these awards and it is a shame, especially since Nermetes’ Robin Gareiss states,

“This research is a must-have for companies evaluating a new VOIP strategy, or reassessing an existing one because it relies on real experiences from real customers.”

Take a look at some of the winners: ShoreTel, Seimens, Avaya, Nortel, Cisco, 3Com, a venerable “who’s who” of the old guard. I have news for Nermetes and everyone else: I would take a SwitchVox or trixbox solution over one of the above any day. What is it that makes Shoretel the best phone system on the market? What does it have that other systems do not? I have used the system for over a year and to be honest was not impressed in any way, shape or form.

Here is some real advice, from a real customer, one who has sold IP based phone systems and has used almost every system on the market:

Don’t be fooled by research conducted for the entire purpose of giving those paying for it a badge to wear and something to market.

When it comes right down to it, there is more power, flexibility and value in an open source based phone system than in these proprietary solutions. These proprietary solutions, unknown to many, are traps. They pull you in with savvy marketing and well paid sales professionals, then hold you hostage with licensing, last generation technology, lousy business systems integration and of course a hefty bill.

Do yourself a favor. If you are in the market for a phone system, take a look at all of your options, not just the ones that pay to have their solutions talked about.

1 Comment

  • Xolani


    I have Avaya 1692, it can’t give option for me to assign a VLAN. initially it allowed me to assign our vlan and it is working. My problem is that I have to install the phone to another site with different vlan.

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