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Cisco Phone System Review

June 20, 2018

11:15 am

Out of all the telecom companies you’ll find, Cisco offers perhaps the most comprehensive services.

Whether you’re a small business looking for a dynamic VoIP plan, a midmarket company that wants to upgrade, or an enterprise that needs a diverse unified communications plan, Cisco has something for everyone.

In addition to full IT services, many of Cisco’s phone systems can be hosted by your business on premise, hosted by the company, or held in a public or private cloud.

However, the company has branded itself as a global leader in cloud computing.

Cisco seeks to hold its position as an innovator in unified communications. Its systems integrate voice, video, messaging, conferencing, and mobility into one central application, which can be configured to interact with other preferred third-party applications as well.

Additionally, the company offers an impressive contact center solution for the corporate market.

Product, Service and Solutions Overviews

  • Unified Communications Manager
  • Contact Center Enterprise
  • Business Edition 3000

Unified Communications Manager

At the center of Cisco’s collaboration portfolio infrastructure is the Unified Communications Manager, or CallManager. The system covers just about every modern mode of business communication, and includes phones, video and more. It also lets designated users control session management.

Offering reliability, low cost of ownership, and easy scalability of up to 40,000 users, UCM has an appealing suite of benefits to businesses looking to broaden their collaborative communications.

It also provides simplified, IP-based voice solutions, enhanced video capabilities that can be operated from your desktop or telepresence room, and click-to-begin features for IM, phone, and video.

The UCM’s advanced VoIP technology lets you direct incoming IP calls to preferred lines, whether you’re in the office, or answering calls on your mobile (or transitioning between both). You can also create a personalized access list to determine which calls get routed to which numbers.

Additionally, the Unified Communication Manager’s Unity Connection feature lets users to manage messages from email, browsers, IP phones, tablets and more. It allows for voice commands, speech-to-text transcription and if desired, video greetings.

Contact Center Enterprise

Cisco’s Contact Center offers sophisticated and versatile features. Using an IP infrastructure, the system is founded on intelligent call routing.

You can configure it to analyze each individual call based on customer profiles and contact-specific data, and then deliver the call to the most appropriate department or agent anywhere within the enterprise.

The system also lets you seamlessly integrate inbound and outbound voice and internet applications. From chat to email and social media, an agent can manage different conversations at the same time over different channels.

Business Edition 3000

While its Unified Communications Manager and Contact Center are meant for enterprise-level businesses, Cisco does provide service for small and midmarket companies as well.

The Business Edition 3000 is similar to the UCM system but is scaled to accommodate up to 300 users, 400 devices, and 10 locations.

Hosted on compact hardware and stored at the customer’s site, the system offers customized call control, basic voicemail and auto-attendant, as well as some collaborative features such as instant messaging and presence.

It also offers mobility capabilities to help you stay connected when you’re on the go, and has a simple management interface for your IT department.

Get Phone System Quotes Tailored To Your Business – Start Here

What Benefits Are You Looking For?

Cost Savings

Easy to Scale

Custom Features

Case Studies

  • Ogilvy & Mather
  • Genuine Healt

Ogilvy & Mather

Ogilvy & Mather is an internationally renowned advertising agency with offices in 161 cities around the world, and a workforce of approximately 15,000 people.

More and more offices are implementing Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager, but a few years ago Ogilvy’s employees and IT staff wanted to take advantage of some of Cisco’s other enhanced features.

They desired more mobility so that they could use the same communications tools in the field that they used in the office, and a single sign-on function that granted employees access to all of the system’s features.

As a result, Cisco upgraded its Communications Manager with the goal of improving efficiency.

The new system eliminated the need for a desktop phone for approximately 500 employees. Instead, they used the Unified Personal Communicator, a Cisco desktop application that integrates common voice and collaborative services such as instant messaging, video, click-to-call and more.

It also gave them the option to use voice commands, which became a boon for employees who travel.

Genuine Health

Genuine Health is a natural health company offering innovative, nutritious supplements, vitamins and weight-loss products.

With 60 employees dispersed between the US and Canada (many of them working remotely), and an outdated phone system on its last legs, Genuine Health needed a system that could improve communications both within the company, and with customers.

After a market evaluation, Genuine Health opted to deploy Cisco’s Business Edition 6000.

The on-premise, easy-to-manage solution allowed the company to take advantage of IP phones and enterprise-grade voice and video solutions. It integrated the system with Microsoft Office, which allowed users to instantly check their colleagues’ availability, and gave them access to chat, video calls and conferencing.

As a result, the unified solution improved employee efficiency and enabled enhanced interaction with Genuine Health’s customers.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Cisco’s unified communications systems certainly aren’t lacking for features. Enterprise-size businesses, in particular, will surely benefit from the company’s host of collaborative options.

From reliable IP phones to video, chat, and more, it can elevate and refine any corporation’s telecom system and contact center to the next level.

While the company does provide solutions for small and midmarket businesses, the company offers perhaps fewer features than some of its competitors. But with a trusted name and history, it is certainly a reliable choice.


Cisco Unified Contact Center Express 5.0

Cisco’s Unified Contact Center Express 5.0 meets all of the requirements needed by a sophisticated call center. It provides automated interactive voice response (IVR) that can be optimized to identify callers based on customer data, and route them to the appropriate location or agent.

Its interface also enables agents to engage with customers in several different ways. Whether it’s over the phone or through IM, the Express never has any problems handling simultaneous lines of communication.

The social media function has been especially helpful. By linking to social media profiles, agents can use the system to monitor and respond to customer requests and comments.

Ideal for enterprise-level businesses, the contact center is offered in Standard, Enhanced, and Premium models. The price per seat ranges from approximately $750 – $1,850, and includes all software.


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Richard Parris is the Managing Editor of TechCo.

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