Cisco Phone System Reviews


Who Are Cisco?

Cisco is an American network technology company, and one of the most significant innovators in the business telecoms industry over the last 30 years.

In more recent years Cisco has been naturally placed within the industry to become one of the leading providers of business VoIP, Mobile business solutions, Collaboration and Unified Communications systems, for companies large and small around the world.

Below we outline some key products and services from the broad range of Cisco offerings that will be of particular interest to small and medium-sized businesses looking to invest in or upgrade to a more modern phone system.

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Cisco Phones For Small Business

The SPA500 Series

The SPA500 Series is specifically designed with small business users in mind. They provide access to modern call management and data communications features that IP phones allow, while remaining streamlined enough to be a low-cost solution for smaller operations.

Cisco SPA 502G IP Phone

1-Line VoIP Phone with Display and PC Port
Key features:
• Business or residential use (great for your home office)
• Monochrome backlit display
• Easy installation
• Menu or web-based configuration
• 1 Line business class IP Phone that supports PoE
• Reliable and affordable
• Supports SIP and SPCP with Cisco Unified Communications 500 series for Small Business
• Connects directly to an Internet telephone service provider or IP PBX

Cisco SPA 502G IP Phone

Cisco SPA 504G IP Phone

4-Line VoIP Phone with Display and PC Port
Key features:
• Easily installation, secure remote provision, menu or web-based configuration
• Supports up to two Cisco SPA500S Expansion Module (64 additional buttons)
• Monochrome backlit display for ease of use and on-screen applications
• Connects directly to Internet telephone service provider or IP PBX

Cisco SPA 508G IP Phone

8-Line VoIP Phone with Display and PC Port
Key features:
• Full-featured 8-line business-class IP Phone supporting PoE
• Wideband audio for voice clarity and enhanced speaker clarity
• Easy to use monochrome backlit display, with on-screen applications
• Supports SIP and SPCP with Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business
• Easy installation, menu or web-based configuration, secure remote provision
• Connects to an Internet telephone service provider or IP PBX
• Supports up to two Cisco SP500S Expansion Module (64 additional buttons)

Cisco SPA 509G IP Phone

Cisco SPA 509G IP Phone Key Features:

12-Line VoIP Phone with Display and PC Port
Key features:
• Cisco HD Voice for voice clarity and enhanced speaker quality
• Fully featured 12-line business-class IP phone supporting PoE
• Monochrome backlit display with on-screen applications
• Easy installation, secure remote provisions, menu or web-based configuration
• Supports up to two Cisco SPA500S Expansion Module (64 additional buttons)

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Cisco Phones For Medium Businesses To Larger Enterprises

The 7800 Series

cisco 7861 phone
The 7800 series desk phones are designed with medium to large businesses in mind.

The 8800 Series

Cisco 8800 Series IP Desk Phone
The 8800 series desk phones are also designed with medium to large businesses in mind.

Cisco Conference, Video And Cordless Phones

As well as the flagship series of desk phones highlighted above, Cisco provide a range of options to support every kind of office communication. Below, we’ve selected details on some of the key Cisco offerings for video and conference calling, and one of their DECT cordless handsets, to give you an idea of the range of potential solutions that can be used to tailor the perfect business phone and collaboration system for your business:

Cisco Unified 9951 IP Multimedia Phone

Cisco Unified 9951 IP Multimedia Phone

•From £481.80 (ex VAT)
•A highly advanced multimedia endpoint that provides high definition voice, video, colour display, and advanced applications
•User interface designed for simplicity and high usability
•10cm graphical TFT colour display
•Embedded bluetooth radio and 2 x USB ports for headsets and camera
•Firmware support for XML and Java MIDIet applications

Cisco 7937G IP Conference Station

Cisco 7937G IP Conference Station

•From 645.00 (ex VAT)
•Large backlit display
•Combines wideband speakerphone conferencing technology with award winning voice communication technology
•Expanded room coverage with optional external microphone kit

Cisco SPA302D Multi-line Cordless DECT Handset

Cordless Phone – the Cisco SPA302D Multi-line Cordless DECT Phone

•From £90.60 (ex VAT)
•Designed exclusively for use with the Cisco SPA232D Multi-Line DECT ATA
•Enables high quality, feature rich business quality VoIP calls
•Convenient and easy to use
•Super performance and long battery power
•Features support caller ID, call transfer, call waiting, call forwarding, three way conferencing, call history, as well as private and shared phonebooks

Cisco Routers And Switches

Cisco are at least as well known in the telecommunications industry for their network products, the routing and switching equipment that powers a phone system itself behind the scenes, as they are for actual phone handsets. When specifying a new or upgraded phone system for your business, it’s highly likely that whichever provider you choose will be using Cisco network hardware at some stage in the phone system infrastructure – whether it’s hosted on-premise or at a cloud server location.

Cisco 1921 Router

Cisco 1921 Network Router

The 1921 router addresses the many needs of today’s tech-reliant businesses, including scalability and network agility.

Cisco 2960 Series Switch

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches

The 2960 Series switches are designed for small to medium-sized businesses, providing performance and reliability to an office phone system.

Cisco 3750 Series Switch

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches

The 3750 Series switches are designed for larger-scale enterprises, and make use of Cisco’s patent EnergyWise technology to measure and control energy use within the network.

Cisco Unified Communications

With its unified communications division, Cisco is able to bring comprehensive telecommunications systems to businesses of all sizes, allowing professionals to enjoy voice and video calls, group chat, instant messaging, and SMS through their desk phones and mobile devices.

Cisco’s unified communications solutions give businesses access to an all-in-one solution that brings both security and ease-of-use to their organisations. As businesses increasingly trend towards mobile, Cisco recognises the need for a solution that allows professionals to seamlessly move from a desk phone to a mobile device. Cisco bills its solution as a new way to communicate.

Cisco’s Communications Products

Cisco’s unified communications suite is actually a series of products, including both the hardware and software necessary to run a unified communications system within a business. Some of the components are:

  • Unified Communications Manager – Previously known as CallManager, the Unified Communications Manager is a call control platform that puts businesses in charge of their phone systems. Because it is scalable to up to 40,000 users with extensibility for up to 80,000 users, this solution is ideal for large enterprises encompassing multiple locations.

  • Unified Communications Manager Express – For smaller businesses (up to 450 users), this customisable solution is both affordable and scalable. With localised call control, mobility, and conferencing, a small business has all the tools it needs to interact with clients and colleagues as it grows.

  • Business Edition 7000 – This service gives a business the solutions it needs to communicate via voice and video, conferencing, instant messaging, mobile, contact centre and more. Business Edition 7000 is priced for companies with 1,000 employees or more, with support for up to 3,000 devices and multiple sites.

  • Business Edition 6000 – The 6000 is designed for businesses with up to 300 users but has a capacity of up to 1,000. The 6000 has the same features as the 7000, but the 6000 is a Medium Density variant of the solution. Businesses of 25 to 300 users are directed toward the 6000, with the 7000 recommended for businesses with 300 to 1,000 users.

  • Expressway Series – This gateway works with the Unified Communications Manager and other Cisco solutions to make collaboration more universal. This solution allows secure communication without requiring a VPN. Because of its higher level of security, it opens up businesses to communicate with people outside the immediate enterprise, including clients, potential business partners, and other industry leaders. Cisco provides both small and large deployments, geared specifically toward the business size being served.

  • Jabber – The Cisco Jabber client is designed to make videoconferencing easy. While basic Jabber can work between employees, Jabber Guest allows businesses to conduct video calls with customers and clients. The client is available for iPhone and Android, as well as Windows and Mac.

  • WebEx – Virtual meetings are becoming an increasingly essential part of doing business, with companies using cloud-based videoconferencing and webinar tools on a daily basis. Cisco’s WebEx provides high-definition video and audio, which can be combined with content sharing to facilitate meetings with professionals across the globe. The software works on desktops and laptops, as well as iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Windows phones, and Blackberrys.
Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a writer for Expert Market, specialising in a range of cool topics. He loves web design and all things UX, but also the hardware stuff like postage metres and photocopiers.

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