Grandstream Announces GXP1100/GXP1105 Ultra-Low-Cost HD IP Phones

Grandstream GXP1100/GXP1105Grandstream has announced two new ultra-low-cost SIP phones with wideband audio support, the GXP1100 and GXP1105.

The GXP1100 and GXP1105 target the price-sensitive hospitality industry (such as hotels) as well as small businesses who want an entry-level phone with HD voice support and are willing to trade some features such as speakerphone, headset port, multi-line capability and LCD display for the great price.

The difference between the two models is in the power options. The GXP1100 (MSRP $49.00) includes a universal 100-240V AC power supply and does not support PoE. The GXP1105 (MSRP $55.00) adds 802.3af Power over Ethernet support and does not come with an AC power supply.

Grandstream GXP1100/GXP1105 Features

  • Wideband G.722 HD audio
  • Single SIP registration
  • Up to 2 concurrent calls
  • Single 10/100Mbps Ethernet port
  • Integrated 802.3af Power over Ethernet (GXP1105 model only)
  • 4 programmable keys
  • Dedicated function keys for Hold, Flash/Call-Waiting, Transfer, Message, Mute, Volume, Dial/Redial
  • Energy efficient (average consumption of less than 1W using AC adapter or 1.5W using PoE)
  • Configuration via Web interface or built-in IVR
  • Wall mountable

The Grandstream GXP1100 and GXP1105 are now in stock and available for order from Telephonyware.

Cisco UC320W Phone System – A Sneak Peak

Cisco UC320WIt looks like Cisco has given us a sneak peak of the new Cisco UC320W in the form of an Administration Manual of the first model of the new Cisco UC300 series of small business phone systems.

So far, only one SKU is known, the UC320W-FXO-K9.

Connectivity

  • 4 FXO Ports
  • 1 FXS Port (Not counted towards the 24 user maximum)
  • 1 WAN 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet Port
  • 4 LAN 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet Ports
  • 802.11b/g/n WiFi with WiFi Protected Setup
  • Audio Line In
  • Audio Line Out (for paging)
  • 2 USB Ports (the manual only mentions their use for configuration and voicemail backups)

Extra Connecitivity Options

Phone Support

It appears that the Cisco 7900 Series of IP phones is unsupported on this unit.  The UC320W is capable of operating in PBX, Key System and “Blended” mode.

The Cisco UC320W is now available from Telephonyware for immediate shipping.

Grandstream Announces GXP1450 – New Low Cost Enterprise IP Phone

Grandstream has today announced the availability of the Grandstream GXP1450, a new low cost model in their range of enterprise IP phones.

The 2-line GXP1450 features HD voice for crystal clear communications, 180×60 backlit graphical LCD display with 4-level grayscale, 3 XML-programmable soft keys, dual 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports with 802.3af Power over Ethernet support, full-duplex speakerphone, 3-way conferencing and support for basic Web applications.

“We are very pleased to announce the new GXP1450 which rounds up our release of new enterprise HD IP phone portfolio in 2010,” said David Li, CEO of Grandstream. “From the 2-line entry-level phone to 6-line executive phones, Grandstream offers the most far-reaching array of desktop HD IP telephone options for both large enterprises and small businesses that lead to enhanced productivity and unrivaled ROI.”.

The release of the GXP1450 comes hot on the heels of the GXP2100, GXP2110 and GXP2120, giving Grandstream a formidable line up of enterprise-grade IP phones.  The GXP1450′s list price is $99.00, but you can expect street price to be considerably lower. We expect to have stock of the new GXP1450 approximately December 15, 2010 and pre-orders are now being accepted.

Choosing the Right UC500 System

In the previous installment of our Cisco Small Business Communication System (SBCS) blog article series, we looked at the components that make up a complete SBCS deployment.  In this post we will cover the “heart” of a SBCS installation, the Cisco UC500.  We will highlight the various model features, differences, offer suggestions on selecting the right model and how to assemble a complete system from part numbers.

Difference in Models – UC520, UC540 & UC560

The Cisco UC500 series comes in three different models, the UC520, UC540 and UC560. Inside, each of them is basically a Cisco router with voice modules running Cisco’s IOS software and Cisco CallManager Express (CME).

We’ll examine the main differences between the three different models:

Series Cisco Product Cisco Small Business Pro Series Cisco Small Business Pro Series
Model

Cisco Unified Communications 520

Cisco Unified Communications 540

Cisco Unified Communications 560

Feature Highlights
  • Eight to 64 IP phone station support
  • Four to 8 analog trunks or two to 4 BRI digital trunks
  • Optional single T1/E1 voice interface (PRI and CAS)
  • Integrated voicemail
  • 16 hours voicemail storage
  • Automated attendant
  • Integrated business productivity applications
  • Integrated security
  • Music on hold
  • Optional on board wireless access
  • Simple system configuration and management
  • Eight to 32 phone station support
  • Four to 8 analog trunks or two to 4 BRI digital trunks
  • Optional single T1/E1 voice interface (PRI and CAS)
  • Integrated voicemail
  • 32 hours voicemail storage
  • Automated attendant
  • Integrated business productivity applications
  • Integrated security
  • Music on hold
  • On board wireless included
  • Simple system configuration and management
  • 16 to 104 phone station support
  • Four to 12 analog trunks or two to 6 BRI digital trunks
  • Optional one or two T1/E1 voice interface (PRI and CAS)
  • Integrated voicemail
  • 32 or 64 hours voicemail storage
  • Automated attendant
  • Integrated business productivity applications
  • Integrated security
  • Music on hold
  • Wireless support with the Cisco AP 500 Series Wireless Access Point
  • Simple system configuration and management
Service and Support Cisco SMARTnet Service Cisco Small Business Pro Service Cisco Small Business Pro Service

As you can see from the table above, the UC520 and UC540 are actually very similar in capacity, whereas the UC560 is designed for larger installations or sites that need the capacity for future growth.

The UC520 is the original UC500 series system, and is supported via the more conventional Cisco SMARTnet service agreement rather than Cisco’s new 3-year Small Business Pro Support and has slightly less “horsepower” than the newer UC540.  For these reasons, we recommend the UC540 for new installations.

Each of the UC500 series systems come in a variety of models based on the type of PSTN connectivity you require.

Cisco UC520 Models

FXO Port Models:

Basic Rate ISDN (BRI) Models

T1/E1 Primary Rate ISDN (PRI) Models:

  • Cisco UC520-48U-T/E/B-K9 — 1 T1/E1/PRI Port, 2 BRI Ports, 4 FXS Ports, 48 User Licenses, 1 Free Slot, 8 Port PoE Switch
  • Cisco UC520-48U-T/E/F-K9 — 1 T1/E1/PRI Port, 4 FXO Ports, 4 FXS Ports, 48 User Licenses, 1 Free Slot, 8 Port PoE Switch

Cisco UC540 Models

All models of the UC540 come with integrated 802.11b/g wireless access point, a single 10/100Mbps Etherent WAN uplink port, 8 port 10/100 Ethernet switch with 802.3af Power over Ethernet to provide power and network connectivity to your phones and support for up to 32 users (with 8 user licenses included). Each model has one free slot for additional PSTN connectivity. The UC540 supports up to 10 concurrent VPN sessions for remote teleworkers.

  • Cisco UC540W-BRI-K9 — 2 BRI Ports, 4 FXS Ports, 8 User Licenses, 1 Free Slot, 8 Port PoE Switch, Integrated Wireless
  • Cisco UC540W-FXO-K9 — 4 FXO Ports, 4 FXS Ports, 8 User Licenses, 1 Free Slot, 8 Port PoE Switch, Integrated Wireless

Cisco UC560 Models

The UC560 forgoes the Power over Ethernet switch and integrated wireless access point found in the UC520 and UC540 range, but adds an additional VIC slot for installation of additional PSTN connectivity modules as well as support for expanded voicemail storage via an upgradable Compact Flash card and support for up to 104 users (16 users included).  Network connectivity is provided by 4x 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports (3x LAN, 1x WAN). The UC560 supports up to 20 concurrent VPN sessions for remote teleworkers.

  • Cisco UC560-T1E1-K9 — 1 T1/E1/PRI Port, 4 FXO Ports, 4 FXS Ports, 16 User Licenses, 1 Free Slot, 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • Cisco UC560-BRI-K9 — 2 BRI Ports, 4 FXS Ports, 2 Free Slots, 16 User Licenses, 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • Cisco UC560-FXO-K9 — 4 FXO Ports, 4 FXS Ports, 2 Free Slot, 16 User Licenses, 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports

Expansion Slot Options

Each model of the UC500 series has at least one free “VIC” slot, allowing you to install an additional module for connecting more analog lines (FXO), analog telephones and fax machines (FXS) or even up to two T1/E1/PRI circuits.

We stock a full range of Cisco VIC modules suitable for the UC500 series.

Choosing A System

So which system is right for you?  In spite of the myriad of different models of the UC500 platform, the choice comes down to three simple questions:

  • What PSTN connectivity do I need?
  • How many users do I need to support?
  • What room for future growth do I need?

If you have less than 32 employees and don’t plan on expanding beyond that number, the UC540 is the ideal choice.  If you currently have more than 32 employees or plan on breaking this number, the UC560 is for you.

In our next installment in this series, we’ll examine some example configurations for common types of business, including full parts lists and recommendations.

Telephonyware offers the full range of Cisco Small Business Communications System products and can help you to customize a Cisco voice and data solution to your exact requirements and budget. Contact Telephonyware today for advice.

New 3CX Pricing, Now With Upgrade Insurance Included

3CX Logo3CX has announced new pricing on the entire 3CX Phone System for Windows range. This new pricing means that one year of “upgrade insurance” is now automatically included with every license, as well as generally lowering the overall cost of a 3CX license, especially for larger installations.

Upgrade insurance provides free upgrades to your 3CX software, including major version upgrades, for a period of one year from the date of software activation. All 3CX licenses now include the first year of upgrade insurance.  Upgrade insurance renewals to help keep you up to date after the initial year of included upgrades and are now cheaper, too.

As part of the changes, the 24 concurrent call license option has been grandfathered and is no longer available for new users. Existing customers with the 3CX Pro Edition 24SC license can continue to purchase version and edition upgrades as well as maintain upgrade insurance without having to upgrade to the 32 call license.

Telephonyware has updated 3CX pricing on our website.  The new prices are available immediately and 3CX licenses ordered from Telephonyware are usually issued within 4 business hours.  If you’ve been thinking about trying out 3CX, you can download the FREE edition and for help with putting together a complete 3CX system, contact Telephonyware today!

Cisco’s Small Business Communications System

Cisco has an unsurpassed reputation for quality and support.  As the saying goes, “No one ever gets fired for buying Cisco”, or so one might say to justify the expense of going with the top brand.  Since the acquisition of Linksys, the mingling of product lines and most of all, listening to their customers, Cisco is plowing it’s way into the small business with a premium product at a very affordable price.

Although a relatively late entrant into the small business PBX market, Cisco has developed a complete “small business in a box” style approach to both voice and data.  The Cisco Smart Business Communication System, or SBCS, is a group of Cisco products that are tightly integrated to create a unified communications system for your small business.

The Cisco SBCS range consists of the UC500 unified communications appliance, a range of high quality managed network switches, the widest range of IP telephones of any manufacturer, network routers and a host of integrated software applications.

Overview of the SBCS Components

Cisco UC500 Series

The Cisco UC500 series appliance is the “heart” of the Cisco Small Business Communications System.  It provides the Unified Communications system, with direct connection to the telephone network and SIP trunking. It’s a smart little box, with the following features:

  • Multiple PSTN connectivity options:
    • Up to 12 analog FXO ports for connecting to regular telephone lines
    • Up to 6 BRI ISDN ports
    • Up to 2 T1/E1 ports (either PRI or CAS)
    • Expansion (VWIC) module allows you to add more ports later
  • Built-in 8-Port 802.3af Power over Ethernet switch to power your IP phones (UC520/UC540 only)
  • 802.11b/g wireless networking (Some UC520 models and all UC540 models)
  • Expandable as your business grows:
    • 8 to 48 users (UC520)
    • 8 to 32 users (UC540)
    • 16 to 104 users (UC560)

In later articles in this series, we will cover more of the features available in the UC500 range.

You can see all the UC500 series appliances on our website.

Cisco ESW500 Series Network Switches

Cisco has developed a specialized range of network switches for the SBCS with many of the features found in much higher end switches.  The whole range is managed from inside the Cisco Configuration Assistant (more about this later), making management of things like Quality of Service very easy.

The ESW500 series has many different models depending on your requirements. The available configurations include switches with 8, 24 and 48 ports of 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet with two 10/10/1000 Gigabit uplink ports as well as 8, 24 and 48 port 10/100/1000 Gigabit switches, also with two 10/100/1000 Gigabit uplink ports. The 8 and 24 port models all have the option of 802.3af Power over Ethernet support, which is perfect for powering your Cisco IP phones.

The option to be administer by the Cisco Configuration Assistant makes the ESW Series the best choice for SBCS deployments. The numerous models and differences will be covered in more detail later in our SBCS series.

Cisco 500 Series Secure Router

The Cisco SR500 series offer a firewall, an intrusion prevention system (IPS), content filter, VPN (both IPSec and SSL) and a 4-port 10/100 switch.  If you need a router or firewall or have been thinking of adding IPS or VPN features to your network, the 500 Series Secure Routers are the ideal option.  Cisco’s credential for solid security systems aside, simplify your life configuring and managing your new system using one feature-full console in CCA.

Cisco offers the 500 Series Secure Router with WAN connectivity via Fast Ethernet, ADSL and ADSL over ISDN, each with an optional 802.11b/g wireless access point.

Cisco AP 500 Series Wireless Access Points

If you need to add basic 802.11b/g wireless networking to your SBCS network with a single access point, you’ve got the option of adding it to either the UC500 or the Secure Router. If you need the newer 802.11n, or to add several access points for coverage or throughput or need advanced access point features, then the Cisco AP 541N is the only choice.

The AP 541N makes it easy to set up and maintain multiple wireless access points without the need to invest in an expensive wireless controller, making it ideal for growing small businesses that have high bandwidth wireless needs and large coverage areas.

Like the other parts of the Cisco SBCS, the AP541N is designed for combined voice and data, with seamless roaming between access points and automated quality of service features.

Like it’s SBCS sister products, the AP 500 Series can be configured with CCA.

Cisco SPA500 Series Phones

These low-cost SIP phones are the evolution of the very solid Linksys SPA line. They build upon the success of the SPA900 series phones, adding wideband audio codec support and a higher quality speakerphone, among other features.

There are 7 models of SPA 500 and one attendant console, all are an ideal fit for the small business budget.  In a later article in this series, we’ll take you through the whole range and explain the differences between the models as well as the feature set of this range.

You can view the full range of Cisco SPA500 phones on our website.

Cisco 7900 Series Unified IP Phones

The Cisco 7900 Series are the long-running series of mid to high-end IP phones with an incredible depth in make and function.

In addition to several desktop IP phone models in this range, there are also two 802.11g wireless models, the 7921G and 7925G as well as two conference phones, the IP Conference Station 7936 and the 7937G.

The 7900 series also has two attendant consoles, the 7915 and 7916.

Cisco Configuration Assistant (CCA)

One feature all of the above products share is the ability to be configured and maintained using a single desktop application, the Cisco Configuration Assistant (CCA).

Cisco boasts that the CCA allows a user to get a fully functioning UC500 system up and operating in under 30 minutes. In addition to configuration of SBCS components, the CCA features a dashboard with an incredible number of features including, but certainly not limited to, monitoring SBCS devices, managing add-on software, system updates and detailed use reporting. The CCA is a free download for registered Cisco.com users.

Cisco Office Manager

Cisco Office Manager is a software application designed for the site administrator of a SBCS. This software offers management of user settings, phone system features, viewing status info and even viewing video from one of the Cisco IP surveillance cameras, the Cisco PVC 2300 and the WVC 2300.  The Cisco Office Manager is also a free download for registered Cisco.com users.

Putting It All Together

Among the components listed above, a UC500 system, IP phones and a Small Business Pro Support (or SmartNet) contract are all that is needed to get up and running.

A sample minimal configuration could be a UC540, 8 SPA 502Gs and add to that the Cisco 3-Year Small Business Pro Support and you have an 8-user, Cisco phone system for less than $4,000.00.    It is difficult to get away with paying less than that for most other popular brands.  Not only will you not get fired for buying Cisco, you’ll save your company money in the process.

Telephonyware offers the full range of Cisco Small Business Communications System products and can help you to customize a Cisco voice and data solution to your exact requirements and budget.

Be sure to check out the next article in our Cisco SBCS Series, Choosing the Right UC500 System.

Snom ONE Software IP PBX Released

Snom Technology AG chose ITEXPO West to officially announce the release of their two latest products, The Snom 821 IP Phone and the Snom ONE software PBX.  The new phone was already widely available, but the release of a software PBX is interesting indeed.

Snom has become the latest maker of IP Phones to announce their own PBX system, Snom ONE.  Snom ONE comes in three versions:

  • Snom ONE Free is exactly that, free to download and supports up to 10 extensions without any licensing.
  • Snom ONE Yellow is a step up from Free offering up to 20 extensions.
  • Snom ONE Blue is for installations beyond 20 extensions and also comes with multi-tenant support, ideal for sharing a system between multiple companies, departments or entities.

All versions offer the same basic feature set one would expect from a business phone system, with ACD, voicemail and mailboxes, auto attendant(s), conferencing and paging. On top of these basic features, the Snom ONE adds some features not found elsewhere, mainly as a result of extremely tight integration with their IP phone range.  Benefits of this tight integration include:

  • Plug and Play support for all Snom phones
  • Shared line emulation
  • Hot-desking
  • Real time call recording
  • Presence and monitoring (BLF)
  • Shared centralized address book

There is one downside of this integration, and that is that only Snom products are supported by the Snom ONE.

Another feature that makes the Snom ONE unique among all of the current crop of IP PBXs is its cross-platform operating system support, with Linux, Microsoft Windows and Mac OSX all supported.

Snom ONE is based on PBXnSIP and has been “streamlined” to fit the needs of SMBs.

The wider push towards IP PBXs  from IP phone manufacturers obviously creates an increased brand loyalty as well as  a new software revenue stream for the manufactuer, but you also can’t help but wonder if manufacturers, particularly those such as Snom who are consistently pushing the envelope adding new features are growing tired of Asterisk not keeping up with support for some of the fancier SIP features.

The Snom ONE PBX software is available now from Telephonyware.

3CX Updates Hotel Module for Version 9

3CX has released an updated version of the 3CX Hotel Module for 3CX Phone System Version 9.   Build version 1.0.14293 works only for version 9.  Added fixes in this build are:

  • Fixed: The PBX API would sometimes not connect to the Hotel Module
  • Fixed: Service restart problems occasionally not updating the web interface
  • Fixed: Bugs in Wake Up Calls and Wake up Digital receptionist
  • Added: Integration changes for IIS and Abyss Webserver

The 3CX Hotel Module update 14293 is available for download from here.

3CX Releases Version 9 of Popular Windows PBX Software

3CX has released version 9 of its popular phone system for Windows. Version 9 is a significant upgrade that adds video support as well as enterprise features such as the ability to monitor remote PBX installations via 3CX Assistant and automatic remote installation and configuration of 3CXPhone and 3CX Assistant.

“3CX Phone System 9 is now a complete Unified Communications solution – We have added standards based video and support for smartphones as clients. At the same time we have added key enterprise features that widen 3CX’s appeal to larger companies.”

Video support
V9 allows single click set-up of video calls with other 3CXPhone users or with standards based video phones such as from Xlite, Yealink or Grandstream.

Android Smart Phone support
3CX v9 allows Android smartphone users to make and receive calls from anywhere using their extension. Android users just download the 3CXPhone for Android softphone and configure it to use their 3CX Phone System account.

Provisioning of 3CXphone and 3CX Assistant
Deploying and administering 3CXPhone and 3CX Assistant installations is now much easier via the provisioning feature. Phone System users can install the client apps by clicking on an HTTP link which will automatically install and configure them. Changes to the configuration, as well as software updates are automatically pushed out to the clients.

Multi Site – capability
Monitor presence and queues on remote PBXs and transfer calls between PBXs

SLA / Shared parking
Seamless Key System like functionality for “sharing” phone lines without the need to transfer calls. Supports standards based SIP phones, no proprietary phones required.

Microsoft Dynamics support
Trigger outbound calls from within Microsoft Dynamics and resolve inbound calls to customer records automatically. All calls are reported and logged with the relevant customer record.

Other Features

  • 3CX Assistant now allows for creating conference calls to internal and external users with a few mouse clicks
  • Improved presence and call forwarding
  • G722 support
  • New Bundled High Performance web server: Abyss

3CX Phone System for Windows Version 9 is available now from Telephonyware.  We have the full version as well as upgrades from previous versions of 3CX and optional software such as the voice application designer.  If you have a current upgrade insurance plan, then this upgrade is available at no charge.

Grandstream Announces New GXP285 Single Line IP Phone

Grandstream GXP285Yesterday at CommunicAsia 2010, Grandstream Networks announced the newest addition to its line-up of enterprise-ready phones, the Grandstream GXP285.

The GXP285 is a single line SIP phone with dual 10/100M Ethernet ports, integrated 802.3af Power over Ethernet, 128×32 graphical LCD with support for multiple languages, full duplex speakerphone with acoustic echo cancellation, up to 2 line appearances allowing 2 simultaneous calls, 3 XML programmable soft keys, and headset jack.

The GXP285 also offers superior audio quality with its HD handset and speakerphone and G.722 HD audio codec support.

According to David Li, CEO of Grandstream Networks, “The GXP285 offers small business and service provider customers a next generation single line SIP telephone with HD audio quality, rich telephony features, and a very attractive price point.  A key benefit of the GXP285 is its integrated PoE capability that allows centralized power supply with backup.”

Telephonyware is currently accepting pre-orders for the GXP285.  Itis due to hit the streets in July, 2010, and will have an MSRP of $95.00 (expect a street price of around $75.00).