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Telephony Systems for Small and Mid-sized Businesses
Infrastucture. July 2013

pictureToday, the defacto standard for telephony system for a small or mid-sized business is voice-over-IP (VoIP). A VoIP PBX can be installed on premise in company’s office, data center, or the company may use a hosted PBX solution (sometimes called virtual or cloud-based PBX). The incoming phone lines may be provided over T-1, ISDN or POTS by the telephone carrier. The VoIP phones may be be wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi). Typical features such as Voicemail are standard on these PBXs. Here is a quick comparison of some of the popular telephony solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. The information in this table is for typical installations and a telephony system should be selected only after a thorough analysis of the business needs and technical requirements.


Telephony System Recommended for this many users Recommended for this many sites Remarks
Cisco Unified Communications UC540 1 -32 1 - 5 4 digital trunks or 8 analog trunks; 1 T-1 (optional); music on hold; on-board wireless support.
Cisco Unified Communications UC560 1 - 138 1 - 5 6 digital trunks or 12 analog trunks; 2 T-1’s (optional); music on hold.
Cisco Business Edition BE3000 1 - 300 1 - 10 (Single country) 2 T-1’s; 10 attendant consoles; music on hold; limited availability for USA.
Cisco Business Edition BE6000 1 - 1000 1 - 50 (Multiple countries) T-1 via Cisco Integrated Services Routers; music on hold is not built-in.
Avaya IP Office 500 Basic Edition 1 - 48 Single 24 digital trunks or 16 analog trunks; Softphone (PC phone software).
Avaya IP Office 500 Preferred Edition 1 - 384 per site 1 - 32 240 PRI, or 204 analog trunks; call recording; Softphone (PC phone software).
Avaya IP Office Server Edition 1 - 1000 1 - 32 240 PRI, or 204 analog trunks; Softphone (PC phone software).
Shoretel On-Premise UC 1 - 100 Single On-premise Shoretel device; dedicated T-1 required; recurring service fee.
Shoretel Sky Hosted Solution 1 - 25 Single Cloud-based solution; minimum or no footprint on-premise; recurring service fee.


Contact CAPITAL at for more information about business telephony solutions.


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