NEC UNIVERGE Sphericall Review

The capability of becoming a Web Collaboration Platform by simply adding a server and licenses empowers companies.


Valuable Features

  • Simple and powerful standard solution
  • Network independent
  • High level of redundancy at zero cost
  • UC client application
  • User Centric capability
  • UC & Collaboration solution

Improvements to My Organization

Staff for administering Univerge 3C are telecomms specialist, but the person who administrates Active Directory could be the one as it´s a platform that is fully software based. We have customers who started up with the product running v2 over ATM and are now based on SWA (Software Assurance) they have been migrating to the latest versions of the software, replacing some gateways from ATM to ethernet, however I believe there is no need to drop their investment. Another great feature is the unique User Centric Capability that allows IT administrator full control of the users based on their Microsoft AD credentials independently of their multiple devices (Deskphone; Smart Phone; Tablet and/or PC/Laptop). Finally, the capability of becoming a Web Collaboration Platform by simply adding a server and licenses empowers companies with the option to access to great tools for collaboration and stop spending a lot of money in travelling, training, etc.

Room for Improvement

For many customers it is good to have a very wide open support for SIP gateways and terminals. A proprietary cheap gateway solution would be desirable.

Use of Solution

I've been using it for more than 16 years.

Deployment Issues

Once we cover the prerequisites, you can set the system up in hour or couple of days, depending on the number of ports.

Stability Issues

If all the deployment is on Microsoft based servers, everything works perfect.

Scalability Issues

It is as robust and stable from a few phones in one location to thousands of phones over hundreds of locations.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

This was a weakness in the past, and it took a few years from the acquisition of the product until now for it to become a core IP solution. During that time many, customers were left with some issues.

Technical Support:

Great from manufacturer, the most important stuff is to be under SWA maintenance agreements.

Previous Solutions

We have switched TDM and Hybrid Solutions from Avaya, Ericsson, Alcatel.

Initial Setup

When the end user has good control on the network and Microsoft AD servers it is really simple implementation. Only when you need to deal with an unhealthy environment does it get a little bit harder, and it is about getting control of those foreign factors, not the product.

Implementation Team

We have great experience with the product, but we are always backed up by the vendor's Software Assurance Program, that allows you to get support any day with free software upgrades.

ROI

It can be from 12 to 18 months as UC solution only. If you buy and use the collaboration tool ROI is even faster.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

I believe that Univerge 3C is simple from the presales process. You only deal with less than 10 numbered parts for licensing. In terms of pricing, there is flexibility in buying gradually, starting from basic functionality to advanced collaboration. Stuff like redundancy n+1 for free, gives it a great advantage over other solutions.

Other Solutions Considered

We have several times evaluated Shoretel and Cisco. Complexity of those products and level of expertise needed for implementing gave Univerge a great advantage.

Other Advice

Active Directory and Exchange administrators have to be involved during the process of pre-installation and a minimum time during installation.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are resellers in México.
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