I've been tasked with purchasing a new conference phone for my work, but I have a question about network protocols which I suspect some of you technical smartypants could help answer.

The phone we currently use is the Avaya 4690 IP, which doesn't seem to be made any more. I figure if I get a phone with similar specs, it will work with our system. My question, basically, is: how important it is for the phone to use the same network protocols?

The current phone lists SNMP in the technical specs. A lot of pretty expensive phones also use SNMP. A lot of less expensive phones use HTTP and/or TFTP. But I don't know what that means; I don't even know if "use" is the correct verb there. If I get one of the HTTP phones, is it likely that it won't just work when I plug it into the conference room ethernet port? If we have to get an expensive phone with SNMP, that's fine, but I'm not a rich person so I'm afraid of asking if we can spend what seems like a lot to me.

I don't know what I'm doing. Please help.