Cisco sells networking merchandise for business VoIP use. This includes any hardware that you might need to improve the VoIP system in your office.
Cisco is an international company that has focused on networking and business communications since 1984. They are leaders in the development of VoIP technology and manufacture some of the top-selling VoIP hardware products.
Cisco Products and Services
Cisco calls its comprehensive VoIP systems “Voice Systems.” Voice Systems are the cornerstone of Cisco’s business IP network solution.
Cisco Voice Systems include:
- full PBX features
- a selection of IP phones
- SIP trunking support
- automated attendant
- multiple telephone lines
- wireless access points (for connecting to your VoIP system from mobile devices)
- Ethernet connection
Cisco Voice Systems can be used for smaller and larger offices. The UC320 ($700) suits businesses with 24 employees, and the Cisco Business Edition 6000 (price not listed) suits businesses with 1000 employees.
If you want to replace the phones in your office with IP phones, or if you need to add a few individual phones to your VoIP system, Cisco sells individual desktop phones.
Cisco phones are designed to be wireless and work with new innovations. This means that your phones will be ready for new VoIP capabilities as soon as they become available -- and that you won’t have to replace your phones again.
Cisco phones are designed to be compatible with Cisco Voice Systems and most other VoIP systems, so they will work with your VoIP system as soon as they come out of the box. This makes it even easier to add a new phone line in your business or home office. Phones range from about $60 to about $450.
Voice Gateways and Accessories
Cisco gateways and accessories make it easy for you to incorporate old analog devices to your new business VoIP.
A Cisco gateway allows you to use all of the standard VoIP features like call waiting and voicemail on your analog phone. In addition, certain Cisco gateways like the Cisco SPA3102 Voice Gateway with Router ($70) can also work in a power outage, routing calls successfully with your analog phone system.
You can choose from simpler to more complex gateway systems. Some, like the Cisco SPA3102 Gateway with Router support only one analog phone, while some like the Cisco SPA8000 8-port IP Telephone Gateway support up to 8 analog phones ($200). Some of these, like Cisco SPA122 ATA with Router ($60), come with included extra phone numbers.
Cisco accessories allow you to improve your mobility with your Cisco Voice System by improving your wireless connection with your IP phones.
Cisco connection accessories allow you to get Ethernet support for your phones so that you can minimize your office phone wiring and install your phones wherever you want. Wireless calling is supported by WEP, WPA, and WPA2 encryption.
A basic Cisco Wireless-N Bridge for Phone Adapters costs about $50.
Video and Conferencing
Cisco’s business VoIP solutions offer several services for improving your VoIP conferencing experience.
TelePresence uses cloud technology to provide a video conferencing service to any computer. Because it is a cloud service, you can use it from multiple locations. And the service is easily programmed to contain your business contact’s calling addresses. TelePresence starts at $29/month per user.
Cisco WebEx, another cloud-based system, is designed to allow easy conferencing with multiple parties. It also allows you to add images and graphs to your conference, and you can download a Cisco WebEx app for use from your mobile device. Cisco WebEx is free for the basic package which hosts a meeting for 3 people and has 250 MB of storage. The $24/month package supports a meeting for 8 people, and has 1 GB of storage. The $49/month package hosts 25 people at once with 1 GB of storage.
Cisco Unified IP Phones are designed for telephone conferencing. Most of these hardware options are wireless phones with multiple phone lines, up to 12 lines on the Cisco Unified IP Phone 696, which sells for about $140. Some of these phones also come with multiple speakers or microphone attachments.
If you still want video capabilities, you can get the Cisco Unified Video Advantage which allows you to make conference phone calls with the video component displayed on your computer screen. This service costs about $150.