Cisco SPA509 phones

Cisco Voice over IP phone systems – ideal for small businesses

March 31, 2014
Matt Morgan

Just about every medium or large enterprise you walk into has Cisco phones on their desks, and the reason is simply because they have become the standard by which almost every other VoIP solution is measured.
Over the last five years almost every VoIP manufacturer has tried to mimic the look and feel of Cisco VoIP phones, partly because they are so familiar to so many already (and on TV – remember the Cisco phone shots in ‘24’?).

Cisco VoIP phones for small businesses

People in business have grown to expect a certain level of quality, from the feel of the handset, its construction and whether it fits their hand nicely, to the responsiveness of the dial buttons. Probably most important, however, is the audio quality of the handset and the speakerphone. Other important aspects of each user’s experience are the optional choices like ringer selection, headset interfaces and the display.

Ok, so you may be a smaller business and are therefore questioning whether you can afford a Cisco system. The simple answer is ‘yes’ as, in addition to making world-class enterprise phone systems, Cisco also make a line of affordable products designed specifically for small and medium sized organisations.

For example, the entry-level UC500 series (UC = Unified Communications) such as the UC540 and a dozen phones competes nicely against any brand of VoIP, key or PBX offering. The UC540 comes with support for up to 24 phones and can expand to 32 phones. This system can use inexpensive SIP routing to save money on monthly phone bills – perfect for small business services, manufacturers, law firms or doctors’ offices.

The Cisco UC540 features Automated Attendant, Voice Mail to Email, Caller ID, SIP, paging, multi-site support, plus full support of just about any Cisco handset you could possibly want to use, including the affordable and feature-packed SPA series.

However, once you have a Cisco UC system then it is essential to be able to manage all your employee’s log-ins efficiently, and this is where Single Sign-On comes into play to make your Cisco system efficient.

ALM Single Sign-on (SSO) for Cisco IP telephony systems

ALM single sign-on (SSO) software from Cisco Select Partner RSconnect can be installed within 30 seconds, does not require any administrator or technical skills, and will work out of the box using your existing Cisco IPT phone’s Extension Mobility settings. ALM is also compatible with Cisco CUCM 7.x, 8.0 and 9.0.

ALM replaces the need for users to manually enter their Username and PINCode, using a tiny Windows application that then appears in the Windows start menu of a user’s PC or laptop.

ALM software is easy to use and improves the internal security policies within your company, and can also be added on top of your existing Microsoft Active Directory integration.

A fully functional evaluation version of ALM software is available for download, completely free of charge.

Thank you to RS Connect for this guest blog and image.

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