Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Small Business

Considerations When Buying a New Phone System

Features, cost, and vendor relationship should all factor into your purchasing decision

If there’s one piece of technology no business can manage without, it’s a professional-grade phone system. The right phone system can improve employee productivity and customer service—both of which can have a positive impact on your bottom line. If you choose an IP-based phone system, you’re also laying the foundation for additional advanced technologies such as unified communications (UC). When shopping for a phone system, you should consider your company’s requirements (size, future growth, number of locations, functionality required), factors that impact the final cost, and what you need from your vendor relationship.

Read More »

Tags: , ,

Mythbusters: Can you rely on VoIP for Your Business?

When it comes to making technology decisions for your small business, there’s a lot of information to sift through. Sometimes, determining whether that information is accurate can be difficult. To help you separate fact from fiction, we’re launching a new monthly series called Mythbusters, in which we’ll tackle a common technology misconception.

In this first Mythbusters, we set the record straight about voice over IP, or VoIP, and whether it’s reliable for your business. Once upon a time, no business that wanted reliable phone service would have considered switching from a traditional analog phone system, or private branch exchange (PBX), to an IP-based solution. The call quality was inconsistent, including jitters (clicks and other undesired audio effects), delays, and drop outs.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,

How Does a VoIP Phone Call a Non-VoIP phone?

One of the most common questions for small businesses when considering upgrading to an IP-based solution is: How does a voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone can call a non-VoIP phone? The answer: There’s a gateway unit that makes the connection back to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). It’s not as complicated as it may sound.

Watch the video to learn more!

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Identifying a Caller’s Location for Emergency Response

If someone in your corporate building makes an emergency call, will responders know where to go? Years ago a phone was always in one location, and the phone number was as good as an address for identifying where you were. With IP telephony features for mobility, and with software phones that travel with your laptop, it can be hard to identify the physical location where a call is coming from.

At Cisco, we use several approaches to providing the right location information for emergency response. And we’ve learned how a simple portion of our dial plan can have a dramatic and painful impact on our Emergency Response system. You may find these ideas helpful for configuring emergency calling and response capabilities at your own sites.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Safe is Your Phone System?

When considering security, make sure you’re protecting the data on your phones, too

In July 2011, the world saw just how vulnerable voicemail systems can be when a phone hacking scandal took down the News of the World newspaper and created a huge public backlash against News Corp. and its CEO Rupert Murdoch. Reporters were illegally intercepting voicemail messages left for the British Royal Family, celebrities, British soldiers, and others in their quest to scoop stories. Public figures’ voicemail messages aren’t likely to reveal product secrets, credit card numbers, or confidential business strategies, but your employees’ voicemails can. Voicemail systems can be configured insecurely and easily hacked—if you don’t take the right precautions.

Whether you have an analog or IP-based phone system, your company’s private voicemails are vulnerable. Most voicemail systems require only a simple four-digit personal identification number (PIN) to protect a user’s voicemail, and hackers have a few different methods for figuring out those numbers and gaining access to voice mailboxes, including caller-ID spoofing, and social engineering.

The good news is that deleted voicemail messages can’t be hacked. Therefore, the easiest and most effective step you can take in securing your voicemail system is encouraging your employees to delete sensitive messages as soon as they’ve listened to them.

Read More »

Tags: , , , ,