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Cisco phone systems: a product portfolio update

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Cisco is the world’s largest purveyor of unified communication technology products. Their enterprise telephony product portfolio consists of PBX systems, phone system software and telephone sets for businesses of various sizes. Millions of businesses worldwide, and thousands of integrators trust this brand. Let’s focus on the latest products from Cisco among their rack-mounted phone system servers, and on telephone sets for small and medium to large companies in this review of Cisco phone systems.

Cisco phone systems: the PBX systems

Cisco phone systems are first and foremost PBX servers - or large, stackable, rack-mounted computers, with all the necessary software to turn them into the central equipment of an enterprise telephone network. Users should take note that Cisco usually only offers one year warranty with their systems.

Cisco Business Edition 6000

The Business Edition 6000 is the most popular Cisco phone system these days. Shipped with all necessary software, Cisco Business Edition 6000 allows its user to quickly setup an enterprise PBX system with all key features such as:

- Voice over IP (VoIP) phone Calls,

- Calls from mobile smartphones and tablets,

- Voicemail,

- Paging,

- Instant messaging and presence,

- Video and web conferencing.

It is best suited for businesses with up to 150 users, providing plenty of computer-integrated tools lacking in many competing offers from other manufacturers.

Cisco Business Edition 7000

The Cisco Business Edition 7000 is the newer Cisco phone system and comes as a follow-up the Business Edition 6000. Improvements include support for select third party telepresence, video endpoints and other applications. For increased simplicity and ease of use, there is just one entry point to manage the platform.

 Cisco phone systems

Cisco’s business telephone sets

Business users who don’t need to get a full Cisco phone system, or users who want to complete their servers with other Cisco equipment will be interested in Cisco’s business telephone sets range. Some models are more adapted to small business needs, others to medium and large companies.

Cisco phones for small businesses

Cisco phones for small businesses are basically all the phones from the IP phone 8800 family: the 8811, 8831, 8841, 8851 and 8861 models. Special features include USB charge support for the 8851 and Wifi support for the 8861. IP Phone 8831 is in fact a hands-free conference phone system with a 360-degree room coverage.

Cisco phones for medium to large businesses

Two Cisco phone system models may be interesting for medium and large businesses.

- Cisco’s IP Phone 7800 can be either single or multi-line and includes features such as a two-way navigation, full wideband capability throughout the handset, headset, and speaker and electronic hook-switch control.

- The Unified 9951 IP Phone is a phone system with a colour screen supporting video, 2 USB ports, one gigabit Ethernet switch and Bluetooth capability.