At one point, every organization had an analog phone system. When Cisco entered the Unified Communications (UC) market, it wanted to help usher in a new and improved era of corporate communications and collaboration. Naturally, companies with large budgets and few barriers were able to upgrade. Today, just over half of all analog phones have been upgraded to IP.

However, all the “low hanging fruit” opportunities are gone for the individuals who sell UC solutions, focusing on upgrading from analog to IP. The opportunities that  remain–the organizations who need our help the most–could not initially upgrade from analog to IP due to infrastructure barriers.

We see these challenges in many industries. Cruise lines with analog phones often cannot justify the immense cost and business disruption to remove and replace its existing infrastructure to support IP phones. We see the same thing happening in government, transportation, and retail–to name a few.

A New Era of Challenges, A New Era of Solutions

Now that we live in the COVID-19 era, these challenges are magnified as budgets are tight, travel is restricted, and operational procedures uprooted. The tolerance for business disruption during a digital transformation project is at an all-time low, and ROI justification is scrutinized now more than ever. Businesses are having to adapt if they want to thrive in the current landscape. One such business is our longtime partner, NVT Phybridge, which we are excited to announce is now in the Cisco Black Belt Academy!

NVT Phybridge is a global leader in long reach Power over Ethernet technology. The NVT Phybridge PoLRE switch, available on the Cisco Global Price List, delivers Ethernet and PoE over any new or existing single-pair UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) infrastructure with up to 1,200ft (365m) reach, which is four-times farther than standard Ethernet reach.

So, what does this mean for you and your customer? It means that you can bring a simple and robust upgrade solution to your customers who have these budget, time, travel, and disruption barriers. Instead of pitching a network refresh, which can take multiple years to complete, you can use your customer’s existing CAT3 infrastructure supporting the current analog phone system to deploy a Cisco IP solution.

Whether the customer’s barrier is cost, infrastructure requirements, or a combination of the two, the PoLRE switch will be your secret weapon. Sometimes, these customers are told they cannot support an IP system and end up with a sub-par solution from one of our competitors. So, instead of losing your customers to the competition, position the PoLRE switch and deliver simplicity, convenience, and cost-savings.

Delivering Incredible Value

(NMSU) used the PoLRE switch to upgrade from analog to IP, deploying over 7,000 Cisco IP phones throughout its campus using the existing CAT3 wiring infrastructure. Cisco and the reseller partner decreased the total planning and deployment time by three years and saved the customer over $1 million in infrastructure costs.

In tandem with NVT Phybridge and the reseller partner, Cisco delivered incredible digital transformation outcomes for NMSU. We eliminated the customer’s infrastructure barriers to reduce cost, time requirements, risk, complexity, and business disruption while delivering an industry-leading Cisco solution to improve communication. The customer enjoys the same five nines of reliability by using the same point-to-point network topology that supported the analog system.

Pro-Active Against the Competition

Success does not stop with educational institutions. A few years ago, Cisco used the PoLRE switch to help a federal agency upgrade from analog to IP communication throughout one of its iconic and historic buildings. As with many landmark buildings, it can be challenging to make any physical alterations to the premises. Therefore, removing and replacing the infrastructure was not an option.

Our teams positioned the PoLRE switch, and the agency tested it for months to ensure operability and security. Once satisfied with the solution, the reseller partner used the PoLRE switch to deploy over 3,500 Cisco IP phones in government offices using the existing CAT3 wiring infrastructure. A quick and straightforward digital transformation, well within the customer’s budget.

A Long Time, Trusted Partner

As mentioned before, we now live in a challenging era with new digital transformation barriers. Fortunately for us, we have already partnered with a PoE switch manufacturer that addresses and overcomes these concerns. Capture the $100 billion in opportunities that lie before us. Position the PoLRE switch with your customers who fit this description and help them enjoy Cisco UC like so many others.

Visit the Cisco Black Belt Academy portal, search for “Phybridge,” complete the training, and beat the competition with a proven solution!


Nick Larison

Business Development Manager - Americas

Americas Partner Organization