Phone of the Day: Avaya 1408/1608 Telephone at Winners Bloor St. Toronto  

Ahhhhhh, Toronto, one of my most favorite cities in North America.  From the streetcars, to the polite people, to the unique retail stores, to the evidence of Nortel’s huge former existence everywhere, I couldn’t be happier on a visit to Toronto.  It was especially nice to visit Toronto with my girlfriend last week to show her all of the cool things about the city.

Yes, we even visited a Winners to compare it to a TJ Maxx back in the USA.  It was actually quite a bit more upscale than any TJs in the USA.  The use of unique lighting and different ceiling planes, with some ceiling areas exposed to the structure, made for quite an impressive space.

Winners is an off price discount chain owned by the TJX Companies since 1990.  Originally, like a USA/UK TJs store, Winners installed solely Nortel Norstar equipment with M/T7000 series telephones.  In fact, if you google search the Tom Green Intercom Trickster skit on youtube, you’ll see him paging on a grey M7208 in a 1990s Winners Store near Ottawa, where the store manager lady keeps pressing the RLS button to keep him off the Nortel PA System.  It’s quite funny.

Most recently TJs gave up on the Nortel product and all new stores appear to be getting IP Offices with the telephone below.  I am not able to view the cable behind the phone so I have no idea if it’s a 1408 Digital Set or a 1608 IP Set.

If TJX would only have considered the UCx from E-MetroTel, they would have been able to install a phone system that acts and works exactly like their hundreds of other stores already out there with Nortel equipment.  I do understand if TJX wants to stick with Avaya for new systems, but for the older stores with so much Nortel equipment and employees already trained on the Nortel equipment, it makes no sense to me, to throw the equipment away.

I hope the TJX telecom staff take a hard look at the UCx for their huge existing Nortel installed base.