Cisco Phone Systems Review 2018
Looking for a Cisco phone system? Then you have come to the right place!
Cisco has long been a household name, especially in the Asia Pacific region.
Founded in 1984, Cisco has quickly become the largest networking company in the world.
Today, they have a significant market share in networking, with more than 72,000 employees and annual revenue of £37 Billion (2017).
They focus solely on the internet and phone communication and is continually looking to innovate to stay at the forefront of their field.
If you haven’t already decided on purchasing a Cisco phone system, this article will answer all the questions.
By the end, you will know whether they are a good option for your business.
What’s in this review?
How much does a Cisco phone system cost?
Firstly, a Cisco phone system is built up using multiple pieces of hardware. These are the different items that you will need:
- Endpoints: Phones, video conference screens, and table speakerphones.
- Switches: The internal switchboard that connects all your endpoints.
- Routers: Connects your switches and endpoints to the outside world.
- Call manager: A device that manages all your incoming and outgoing communications.
Note that all the following prices are excluding vat and shipping and will vary depending on your local distributor or Cisco partner.
The primary function of the whole phone system is to support your endpoints.
Unlike the background equipment, you will use your phones or video boards on a daily basis, so the better the endpoint, the better you feel about the whole system.
Here are some of the best phones that they have to offer. These models range from simple versions to full option phones with video capabilities.
|Cisco Unified SIP 3905 VoIP Phone||£72.65|
|Cisco Unified 6901 SIP Slimline IP Phone||£58.95|
|Cisco 6851 SIP Phone||£134.49|
|Cisco IP Phone 7861||£171.73|
|Cisco Unified IP 7975 G-VoIP Phone||£184.53|
|Cisco IP Phone 8865||£219.93|
Room Video devices
Taking conferencing to the next level, Cisco room video devices are known as Webex team.
So, video conferencing help teams keep in touch with superior picture and audio quality.
|Cisco Spark Board||£3,672.60|
|Cisco Spark Room 55||£6,522.70|
|Cisco Spark Room 70||£30,468.44|
|Cisco Telepresence MX 700||£42,013.88|
|Cisco Telepresence MX 800||£37,584.68|
|Cisco Telepresence MX 800 Dual||£33,790.80|
Switches are one of Cisco’s bread and butter products and are compatible with a variety of endpoints.
The product you choose will depend on the scale of your business; they have options for small to enterprise level businesses.
|Cisco Industrial Ethernet 5000 Series||£11,005.87|
|Cisco Nexus 93120TX Switch||£27,520.57|
Cisco Routers reliably connect you to the outside world.
Cisco routers are what earned them their popularity, and something in their range will suit the size of your business.
|Cisco 2010 Connected Grid Router||£18,461.01|
Unified Communications (Call manager)
A unified communication platform can interconnect customers, coworkers, and partners from any device.
This all-in-one system makes collaboration as simple as making a phone call.
|Business Edition 4000||£3,749.25|
|Business Edition 6000||£4,863.89|
|Business Edition 7000||£17,615.08|
What products does Cisco offer?
Cisco offers all the components to create a flawless phone system.
So, you can choose where you want to spend more for extra bells and whistles and what you can do without to control costs.
Here are their leading products:
Starting with Cisco phones, these are the components that you will see and use on a daily basis, so it’s essential to get one that will serve your purposes.
Picking the right one for you will improve your day.
|Cisco Unified SIP 3905 VoIP Phone|
|Cisco 6851 SIP phone|
|Cisco Unified 6901 SIP Slimline IP Phone|
|Cisco IP Phone 7861|
|Cisco Unified IP 7975 G-VoIP Phone|
|Cisco IP phone 8865|
Cisco Video Rooms (Webex)
Cisco’s state-of-the-art conference rooms and boards provide superior video and audio quality to enhance all collaborating teams.
So today, Cisco uses a newer version called Webex team, and their impressive features change the traditional working environment.
|Cisco Spark Board|
|Cisco Spark Room 55|
|Cisco Spark Room 70|
|Cisco Telepresence MX 700|
|Cisco Telepresence MX 800|
|Cisco Telepresence MX 800 Dual|
They offer top-of-the-line switches for small-sized business to major data centres.
The models are all scalable, so they can grow along with your requirements.
Even if expansion isn’t your focus, the reliability of these machines will impress you.
|Cisco Industrial Ethernet 5000 Series|
|Cisco Nexus 93120TX Switch|
They are the king of all things internet.
Their routers are known for reliability and are capable of running 24 hours a day seven days a week, so your business is never unreachable.
|Cisco 2010 Connected Grid Router|
Unified Communications (Call manager)
Cisco bridges the gaps between all flat forms into one unified system under their Business Edition line.
From line-phones and IP phones to conference boards and routers, Cisco Business Edition makes interconnectivity seamless between systems.
|Business Edition 4000|
|Business Edition 6000|
|Business Edition 7000|
What type of support can you expect?
As a company with worldwide operations, you are promised 24/7, world-class customer care and support.
You can ask for solutions or technical problems by calling their Technical Assistant Centers (TAC).
TACs are all licensed and run by world winning certified engineers and technicians who know their products inside and out.
Along with Cisco TAC services, their global website has a considerable amount of detail about their products, so if you prefer you can find answers for yourself.
Cisco Sales Team
Cisco takes great care when making contact with you.
The company wisely knows that excellent customer service makes loyal customers.
According to Cisco statistics, over 73% of the customers will change brands if they are mistreated, so customer service is a top priority for the company.
So what does that mean to you?
It means that you are in the best hands when it comes to purchasing from Cisco!
Cisco makes it easy and effortless on your part.
You can either buy directly from them or from one of many licensed partners that they have.
When you have made up your mind which pieces of hardware might work best for your business, Cisco will arrange a video conference with you to discuss what you need.
This way, you don’t need to leave your office to get a face-to-face service from Cisco’s experts.
They offer lots of flexibility when you are purchasing your system, you can get by hardware outright, get help with installation or choose an ongoing service contract.
Maybe you don’t have a lot of cash to invest in an advanced Cisco communication system?
If this is the case, Cisco has you covered with their finance options. You can pay off your system over several years at a low-interest rate.
They also offer bundled hardware and service options so you can be sure your system will keep humming along perfectly.
If this pay-as-you-go option is what you are looking for, you have three contract options:
To avoid putting a large capital upfront, the Multi-year service will lock-in the price you purchased the contract and kept that price until it has been paid.
This way, you won’t have to worry about increased price changes.
Maintenance and services only
Service only option if you already have your hardware or will be mixing their hardware with other products.
Get the whole package with a bundle.
This contract will cover the hardware and software that you need, as well as their service and maintenance, all for a simple monthly price.
What do others have to say about Cisco?
Unsurprisingly for such a large company, Cisco gets the full spectrum of online reviews from its customers.
Some customers love their products and support, and other customers are very unhappy.
Across the board, customers are happy with the quality of their hardware and talk about how long their products last.
Complaints, like those on Trustpilot, are usually about their customer service.
Despite Cisco’s focus on customer service, thing sometimes still fall through the cracks.
Some complaints from more technical customers were about staff not having all of the product knowledge that they need.
Of course, these reviews are subjective and cannot be taken as representative of all customers.
All in all, it’s safe to say that you can’t go wrong with their manufactured products, as they seem to be universally seen as excellent quality.
Is Cisco the best in class?
As one of the largest suppliers of corporate phones, they are a baseline that other suppliers can be compared against.
Below we compare Cisco to major competitors:
|Reliability||Exceptional||Very Reliable||Very Reliable||Reliable||Reliable||Reliable|
|Price||Higher end||Mid range||Higher end||Higher end||Mid range||Mid-range|
As you see, it comes down to a quality/cost trade-off.
Cisco is a fantastic choice if you want a high-quality phone that will last.
But you might also be looking at Cisco’s teleconferencing and video conferencing capabilities.
Cisco’s Webex system is used by many of the largest corporations in the world, and for a good reason.
Below we compare the features of Cisco Webex with the other systems you might be looking at:
Teleconferencing and Videoconferencing technology
|Supplier||Cisco Webex||Zoom||Microsoft Teams|
|Meeting Capacity||1025 users||500 users||250 users|
|Cloud, on-premises and hybrid system hosting||Yes||No||No|
|Content storage integration||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Connects with VIA H.323 and SIP devices||Yes, at no cost||Additional Cost||Additional Cost|
|Personal rooms with advanced features||Yes||Yes||Limited features|
|Team collaboration features||Yes||No||Yes|
|Background noise detection||Yes||No||No|
|Augmented reality capabilities||Limited||No||No|
|Simplified scheduling from mobile devices||Yes||No||No|
|Native sharing from mobile||Yes||Yes||No|
|Prevents unauthorized meeting attendees||Yes||No||No|
|Auto-lock personal room||Yes||No||No|
|Secured meeting content||Yes||Yes||No|
|Support for multiple devices in a single meeting||Yes||Limited||No|
Should I use Cisco?
Cisco serves professional, high-quality products with reliable systems.
If you choose to go with them, your system will last for a long time (until you get tempted to upgrade!) and will work like a treat.
The price might be the only downside, especially if you are a small business starting out.
If you are running a mid-sized operation looking to grow, then a Cisco system with financing could be a good choice, as you can quickly expand.
Cisco is an obvious choice for large organisations, especially those with international offices.
Video Conferencing through Webex can be a game-changer, reducing expensive travel for critical internal meetings.
Additionally, a reliable teleconference system is essential for regular meetings and projects across multiple offices.
Their WebEx system is known to be incredibly reliable and has all the tools your employees will require.
Finally, Cisco is known for its excellent quality, and its name is synonymous with teleconferencing.
They manufacture a wide range of products so they can supply your entire phone setup.
This makes it easier to get support and maintenance when you need it.
However, as a high-end brand, you will be paying a bit more for your Cisco system.
But it’s superior quality and reliability will be worth the investment in the long run.