Using a VoIP phone system and installing one, are two entirely different user experiences! Most product development efforts focus necessarily on end user features and benefits. Anyone who has ever installed a VoIP system knows that if design engineers ever actually installed a system we would have a range of exciting new configuration automation tools! Case in point: LLDP. Until version 9, ShoreTel IP phone deployment was a two step process. First you would install your handsets on the net and they would boot up in the native VLAN. If you were deploying 100 desktops, this meant that the phones would eat up 100 of your native VLAN DHCP leases. The phones would then obtain their VLAN tag and reboot in the correct VLAN. The native VLAN lease damage, however was already done, not to mention waiting for that second boot DHCP broadcast request for service. A number of vendors had previously create proprietary discovery protocols to overcome this behavior. CISCO has always had CDP,( not to be confused with Enterasys Cabletron Discovery Protocol); Nortel had NDP; Extreme Networks had EDP and Foundry had FDP. In 2005 an industry standard, LLDP was adopted and later modified to become LLDP-MED or Link Layer Discovery Protocol for Media Endpoint Devices. ShoreTel, rather than event yet another vendor proprietary protocol has adopted this industry standard greatly simplifying IP phone deployment. LLDP-MED allows network devices to advertise their identify and capability through a multicast. This enables the phones to come up on the network in the correct VLAN, eliminating the multi-boot requirement. Now this is not a feature that an end user will notice or appreciate, but those of us who have to spend hours deploying VoIP desktops say Cheers!
update 2/15 see this link http://support.drvoip.com/admin/knowledgebase_private.php?article=43&back=1
Remember those old SUN Microsystems commercials? “This is my dog, network. He can get you anything you need”. Well, regardless of the vendor, if you have a network that can barely keep up with user demand for internet access, you are definitely not going to have a successful VoIP deployment. This is why a network assessment is absolutely essential to the future success of your VoIP deployment. Let’s start at the lowest level of the OSI model and work up; cable or level 1. It is the 21st century but your company still has CAT3 cable in the office? This is not going to fly if you want to run VoIP do the desktop! How about those Ethernet switches you bought off eBay three years ago? Are they able to provide Power over Ethernet (POE)? Can you enable VLAN’s? How about interVLAN routing (switch many time, route once)? Ethernet switches and the functionality you need at L2 are mission critical in VoIP deployments. How about L3? If you are using your firewall for a router, you will need to know that “deep packet inspection” necessary to the functionality of a firewall, is a major source of latency in VoIP deployments, so find another default gateway! When you set up a WAN between your far flung, geographically dispersed business locations, will you have access to them? Or will you need to call your carrier every time you want to check your egress queue for QOS? At the end of the day it really will not matter if you went with Mitel, ShoreTel, CISCO, Avaya or Trixbox. If you do not have a properly engineered and managed LAN/WAN in place your VoIP deployment will suck and you will irritate your boss and alienate your users. Get both a network assessment and an ongoing monitoring and network plan in place, including an “acceptable use” policy before you deploy a VoIP solution.
ShoreTel gives business owners everything they need to have the peace at mind of knowing they have access to support when they need it. This includes services directly by ShoreTel support as well as through authorized service partners. These are the reasons that so many different people have been opting for ShoreTel communication systems for all of their VoIP solution needs.
Every business that has tried to implement the right VoIP communication system into their operations has experienced the frustration that comes from dealing with many other providers. However, with the effective ShoreTel support this is no longer something that businesses have to be concerned with. One of the best options that are available for small businesses when it comes to ShoreTel support is the incredible post-implementation support package that is available. The complete package will allow business professionals access to web based administrator training, telephone technical support, software updates, hardware replacement options, and online support tools. These ShoreTel support services will allow you to get the absolute most out of your VoIP communications system.
Another great option for support that is available for business owners is the partner support from your ShoreTel Channel Partner. This is the reason that ShoreTel has been able to maintain the high standard of customer satisfaction that is associated with all of their communications systems and services. This achieved by providing small businesses with the local hands on support that is so crucial in so many fast paced and demanding business environments.
ShoreTel Training for Small Businesses
There are many incredible services available to help small businesses with ShoreTel training for their ShoreTel communications system. With all of the great opportunities for businesses to have one-on-one support as well as comprehensive online tutorials, it is easier than it has ever been to truly get the most from your ShoreTel VoIP system.
Some of the offerings available for this type of hands on ShoreTel training include online courses that can give small businesses the knowledge they need to install, configure, trouble-shoot and thoroughly learn the administrative process. However, by far the most powerful tool available for businesses is the ShoreTel training VoIP Solutions DVD. This incredible training DVD will give small businesses the power to effectively learn the skills they need to make their system as functional as possible. This includes managing IP phones; setting up and creating users, hunt groups, automated attendants, and trunk groups. This type of training gives businesses and business owners the tools they need to make their ShoreTel communications system work for them and make their VoIP solution as efficient as possible. Below you will find some of the administrative processes and other functions of your ShoreTel system that the ShoreTel training VoIP solutions DVD will allow your business to quickly and easily implement.
• Dialing Plan Definition
• SIP Basics
• Professional Call Manager Integration
• Configuring Application Servers
• Trunk Group Definition
• System Installation Overview
• Configuring IP Phones
• Setting Call Control Options
• Microsoft Unified Communications Server
• Configuring Switches