Possibly looking for a new switch.

Topic Views - 171



Possibly looking for a new switch.
I have been staked to look at alternatives to our existing phone system. Currently we have a Meridian Option 11, using Symposium to handle both the main office and 40 seat call centre.

Can anybody suggest alterntaive switches / systems for me to look at.

I do NOT want to be bombarded by sales people, just recommendations about which to look at. I WILL DO THE INITIAL INVESTIGATIONS, and contact sales companies when I am ready.

Paul DS


Thesaurus Consulting Limited

New Switch
It really depends on what you want from your switch. There are many vendors out there. Some of the most common are Lucent's Definity and Avaya. There are also lots of other alternatives.
A switch can mean large capex for the company. You might want to look at having this based in the telco network. There are a number of companies that offer this facility. Energis, Xrl and Opal Telecom to name but a few. This will all depend on whether you want IVR functionality, Voice recording etc etc. Not wanting to teach you to suck eggs, but it is more complex than just wanting to by a new switch. Hope this helps


MI Capability Manager

Vertex DataScience Ltd

Looking for a new switch
Out of interest why are you switching from a Symposium?

Symposium is a modern upgradable switch, what has caused your management to look for alternatives.



I have been tasked to look at alternatives. My preferred solution would be to go to a dual processor option 61 and keep the symposium software running. But politics being as they are I must look at alternatives.

I have used Siemens iSDX in the past (but not in call centres) was always a good switch. How are Siemens in the call centre /ACD arena ?


Telemarketing Manager


Possibly looking for a new switch
Hi Paul if you want any information on Avaya Definity or INDeX switches I will be happy to email them to you.



Principal Strategist


Different Telephone system types
I will try my best to help.

I will breaking a golden rule in doing so, as I never usually recommend a system until I understand the clients key drivers for change and their exact requirements.

Just a quick Intro Paul, Ive been advising client on what Telephone system or ACD to use for their business for over 10 years now and if you are Corgi in Basingstoke then I have worked with your predecessors. You initially purchased a GPT DXE 24/70 and expanded it and added a Storacall ACD to front the calls and to provide some queuing. The DXE suffered from a lack of ACD functionality and call queuing and rather than replace it at the time you added the Storacall unit. This was then replaced with the Meridian. From memory you had about 60 back office staff with about 30-40 agents. I won't ask why you are considering changing the present system as this can sometimes be for reasons other than technical or performance.

Systems fall into about 4 categories, The first are aimed at the SME Small to Medium Enterprise market, they have every feature imaginable for the office and usually come with some form of ACD so that they are not ruled out by clients who have a large central office with a small call centre, these include the likes of ( Panasonic, NEC, Toshiba, Ascom, Intertel, Samsung, Goldstar, Telrad,) and some of the larger manufacturers also have a product placement here (Mitel, Alcatel and AVAYA with IP Office and INDeX)

The second are Hybrid systems with strong networking features to link multiple sites and a versatile ACD which can cover most scenarios, offering real time reporting. A little bit more expensive but they offer a modular expansion path, better ACD and reporting features and the facility to add adjuncts such as Unified messaging, CTI, Diallers, IVR's etc. ( MITEL, ALCATEL, AVAYA INDeX, AVAYA MULTIVANTAGE-Used to be called DEFINITY, SIEMENS HICOM, ERICSON, INTERTEL etc)

The third are stand alone ACD's mainly aimed at those clients focused purely around call centre and contact centres, ( Aspect, Rockwell)

And the fourth are the new Breed of IP Solutions from ( AVAYA, CISCO, 3COM, NORTEL, SIEMENS, MITEL).

Let me know if you would like any comparisons on products as I have some competitor analysis documents. I also have some informative IP discussion documents and product comparisons if you are considering going the IP route.

Either way feel free to ask any questions.



WFM & Business Telephony Manager

Healthcare Insurance

New Switch

I think Simon might have something to say about
the InDex switch.

Personally my Meridian's fine for now!



Consorte UK Ltd

Looking for a new switch
My first question is why?

What is missing from your current switch?

Most features such as IVR, ACD, Callbacks, Messaging, Disaster Recovery and so on are available as Network services so you are able to preserve your existing investment but add the features you require without capital expenditure. You pay for what you use out of revenue.

Consorte, Opal Telecom, Gematech, BT, Energis and Cable & Wireless to name a few all offer varing degrees of services at a wide range of price points.

Drop me a line paul.james@consorte.com if you want to discuss this option further.



Resource Planning & MIS Analyst

Tui Travel - Specialist Sector

Lots to say... (Mainly Nortel & INDeX)

Have a look at the previous thread posted about INDeX reliability issues as this may help you.

Personally I would go for the Meridian anytime, especially in your situation as you can simply migrate your current set-up across to the new platform, with minimal disruption (the time it takes to re-patch the incoming lines!)

Also having worked in a dual centre environment running an INDeX and an Option 61C Dual Processor, I have noticed that there are definitely some reliability issues from the INDeX, in 4 years the Meridian only stopped twice (a hard drive failure) but it has built in backup. (the other time a digger went through the incoming lines & power) the switch remained running regardless.

In the same period the INDeX crashed on several occasions, stopped collecting reporting data, gave incorrect reporting data and wasn't a versatile in routing and reporting as the Meridian.

I now find mysef in an INDeX only environment (which I can do nothing about) and am learning to live gradually with the restrictions.

Look at it from your Directors point of view, would you rather pay for a switch that ran over 37% of UK call centres, or one that falls into the "Others" section of the pie chart?

Remember though one of them was sold exclusively by BT so this would warp the stats, on the other side BT does offer an excellent support service for them as it has years of experience.

FYI... Nortel 37% INDeX in the "Others"



Thanks Folks
Thanks for all the input. I going to try and force through staying with the Meridain platform. This project has now been delayed so I am more relaxed.

Want to add a comment?

Not found what you were looking for?

1. Try searching through our site.
2. Still not got an answer?

Why not ask the Call Centre Helper Community? Click here to ask your question