Product Type: Cisco VoIP-Telephones
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Cisco IP Phone 7940
Member Name: bailey_kipper_uk
Cisco IP Phone 7940
Advantages: Make calls using your broadband connection
Disadvantages: Quite an expensive phone
Up until recently there was a wide variety of telephones in my workplace, then they announced we were getting VOIP phones. Chaos ensued for a while due to the fact that we sell Income Protection, thus the name Voice over IP caused numerous people to ask what this new Income Protection product was about. Thus the project to implement these new phones was changed to Mercury (which clearly makes more sense), apparantly Mercury was the god of telecoms (although Wikipedia says he was a messenger and god of trade, which is probably more accurate *citation needed)...
VOIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol is a way of making telephone calls using the Internet (such as Skype). It is often free to call other VOIP users, and calls to other networks and international calls are often quite a lot cheaper. My parents phone Spain a lot and the calls are at least 50% cheaper than with BT.
The main benefit is that you are essentially gaining another phone line, at the expense of some of your broadband capacity, however most people have enough spare that they can still use the internet whilst chatting without any noticeable change in speed. If you have a web cam you can also make video calls, which are again free if you are phoning other users.
The main benefits for us was the fact that we no longer needed to pay for separate phone lines, thus saving a load of money for the company.
The phone itself is quite large on the desk getting on for 30cm across, and 20cm deep and high. They also aren't the lightest and are certainly over 1kg, probably nearing 2kg (i send a lot of packages so have got used to how heavy things are).
There are lots of standard options such as the obviously ability to make a call, redial, call forward & transfer calls. There is also the ability to have a voicemail, logging into your voicemail on another phone, or transferring your number to another extension temporarily.
There is a lot of buttons on the phone which are labelled clearly, such as selecting to use a headset, putting callers on hold or yourself on mute, or listening to calls through a speaker. The speaker volume can be set to be quite high, and the mic picks up most speach within a couple of metres of the phone. The handset itself is designed so that the ear piece directs the noise directly to the centre of the users ear, making it clearer. Also the mouthpiece is supposed to have similar technology so that it reduces any background noise that gets picked up.
There is a fast dial function but I don't find this very useful as you can only store a number, not a name.
We have utilised a directory function which displays missed, received and dialled numbers, plus we have a company wide directory that allows you to search by first/second name and/or by number. You are presented with a list that you can select from and the phone automatically dials that number. This is very useful but currently disabled for us as we are unable to update the directory when people move desks.
I'm not sure what price we paid for these phones but would am sure they weren't cheap, they seem to retail for between 150 and 200 pounds. Dooyoo have some links to potential retailers.
So are they worth it. Personally I would say no, as you can get software such as Skype free from the internet and then buy a cheap headset and camera for under 50 quid from somewhere like PC world or dixons/currys. However for a business then these are probably very useful as you can also set up groups and monitor how many calls they make/receive.
Summary: More of a business phone, than a personal one.