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Cisco Releases Video Enhanced IP Phone Systems for Midsize Businesses

November 02, 2011

Building on its expertise in unified communications (UC), networking giant Cisco has released video enhanced enterprise grade IP phone systems for midsize businesses. In fact, Cisco said that innovations and new features have been added to the existing UC manager business edition 3000 and 6000  to create new Cisco Business Editions 3000 and 6000.

Cisco said that through these innovations, midsize customers can now access collaboration offerings, ranging from rich video to instant messaging (IM) to presence, at price points attractive to the cost-sensitive market. Additionally, these solutions are simple to use, configure and support, said the maker.

According to Cisco, the Cisco Business Edition family, together with Cisco WebEx and Cisco TelePresence for small and medium-sized businesses, announced last week, provide a complete portfolio of capabilities for midsize organizations.

Currently, most midsize organizations operate aging public branch exchange (PBX) systems and old telephony applications, even though these systems scale poorly, are increasingly expensive to maintain, and fail to meet today's business and mobility needs. While IP telephony systems offer distinct performance and efficiency benefits, many have held on to the old technology thinking that IP-based systems are beyond their budget and IT skill level.

With this announcement, Cisco is debunking the myth that IP telephony is out of the price range of midsized businesses by making available systems for as little as $100 per user for a 100-person organization while also including functionality that allows smaller shops to harness the power of business-changing unified communications solutions, said Cisco.

With 800 employees, Kettle Foods is one of Britain's biggest suppliers of fresh vegetables to major supermarkets and multiple retailers. According to Alan Berry, Kettle Foods’ IS manager,

 “A single missed phone call can mean a major missed revenue opportunity if we harvest too little or a major problem if we harvest crops that may rot because no one wants to buy them that day.” He added, “By replacing our aging PBX system with the Cisco Business Edition 3000, we got all the functionality we need today to maintain and grow our business. In the foreseeable future, we could reap further benefits by replacing regular business trips to our sister company in Spain with video conferences enabled by our new system."

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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