We have always wanted the most features that we could get, so a VoIP (Voice over IP) solution was the only way to go! We initially used enterprise class Cisco 7960 VoIP phone sets with an Asterisk based system and a couple phone lines provided by Charter, and a couple provided by Vonage.
We had everything we wanted and needed with that system…
- Automated Attendant
- Voice Mail
- Voice Mail sent to our Email
- Full featured SIP phones with multi-line, displays, etc
- Call tracking, with full logs showing incoming/outgoing call detail
- Music On Hold
- Ability to forward calls to cell phones
- Good audio quality, speaker phone capability
We never really wanted for additional features, but along comes the Cisco UC 320 series which is an ideal fit for many of our own clients. Obviously, we want to provide support to those who may be using this type of system, so we purchased one for ourselves and at the same time purchased a few of the latest SPA 525G2 phones from Cisco and some SPA504s and even the SPA301.
Seeing as how change was coming, we also switched to a SIP trunk with 8 channels (simultaneous lines in use) in addition to the two lines from Charter, so we should not be hurting for available phone lines and nobody should get a busy signal…
The Cisco VoIP solution is very nice for small to medium offices like our own! Out of the box, it supports everything we had before, but here are a few of the details:
- Support for four copper (standard) phone lines from MaBell (or Charter, or a Vonage ATA, etc)
- Support for sending out to analog devices (you can give your FAX its own extension number for instance or use analog phones)
- Support for using SIP trunks (cheaper than analog lines)
- 24 phone extensions (more on this further down)
- Built-in gigabit switch
- Built-in router
- Built-in 802.11 n/b/g wireless for phones and data
- Music On Hold
- Automated Attendant
- Call logs for external calls
- Supports the full line of Cisco SPA series phones
If you need MORE incoming copper lines, you can add them 4 at a time (up to 12 total) with another device, but you lose an extension for each line you add.
The old 7960G phones rocked for their quality, phone books, and their ability to use external XML scripts to get the weather, etc, but the new phones do not make me miss them at all!
The SPA 525G2 desk sets have too many cool features to list without you getting bored and your eyes glazing over! Here’s a few:
- Color display
- Built-in MP3 player lets you listen to your favorite music directly on your speaker phone (pauses when an incoming call comes in)
- Bluetooth headset support
- Bluetooth linking to your cell/smartphone – Lets you use your smartphone as an additional extension. Answer your cell via your desk phone, place calls on it, even load the cell phone’s directory directly onto your desk phone. Also view the battery charge and signal strength on the SPA 525G2.
- Ability to link up to two 32 button consoles
- Outstanding audio quality on handset and speaker phone
- View Cisco Small Business security cameras on the color display of the SPA 525G2 phone (you can place a camera and a one line phone in your lobby for instance, view who is there, and speak with them)
- Built-in web applications, let you get the current news and weather on your phone’s display
If you are considering a new phone system for your business and you never need more than 12 lines or 24 extensions, then this may be the system for you! In fact, if you did happen to expand past its capabilities, Cisco has a trade-up program to move you to a larger system and you can continue to use the existing phones with it.
We are offering the Cisco UCW320 and the complete line of Cisco Unified Communications systems for Small and Medium Businesses for sale, but also offer consultation, planning, installation and support of these amazing VoIP solutions. In Greenville / Upstate, SC, please call us at 864.990.4748 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.